The Three Most Important Lessons You've Never Been Taught
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"The hour-long guide, designed to start you on the path to beating the system, grabbing the best deals and avoiding being ripped off."
The Three Most Important Lessons You've Never Been Taught is a survival guide to living in one of the world's most competitive consumer economies. We need to change the way we think about money. This book is designed to start you on the path to beating the system, grabbing the best deals and avoid being ripped off... and it only takes an hour to read.
Where it all started
The ITV1 Tonight programme gave me a challenge: take a class of ordinary teenagers for one day and turn them into junior MoneySavingExperts. It was a scary concept and like nothing I'd tried before. Yet the results were astonishing: after class, the 12 pupils went home and saved their families a whopping £5,050.
Think about that. These children, with just a day's worth of lessons, were able to go home and in a significant way re-work some elements of their parents' finances. Why? Simple; because as a nation we're close to being illiterate about money and debt, are scared of finances, are taught to be loyal and listen to the bank manager. This is wrong, it's a travesty that we're a nation where when our kids go to University they are educated into debt, but never about debt.
At that point I decided it was time to try and change this mindset. So for the kids themselves I launched the free Teen Cash Guide, and then I started work on a slightly reworked version for adults; and that's exactly what this book is. As this book is based on information that should be readily taught in schools, I'm donating all my proceeds to the MSE Charitable Fund.
The three lessons
Lesson One: Know your enemy; a company isn't your friend
This chapter's all about understanding our relationships with companies. Remember they spend billions each year on advertising, marketing and teaching their staff to sell. And we don't get any buyers' training. Understanding how they operate and try to make us spend is the core start point.
Lesson Two: Debt isn't bad; bad debt is bad. Learn to tell them apart.
The biggest single gap in our education is debt. The days of 'neither a borrower nor a lender be' are long gone. These days we are forced to borrow to get a higher education; or to buy a house. Debt isn't bad, provided it's understood, planned for, budgeted for and as cheap as can be. Yet most people simply don't have the tools to do that. This lesson provides them.
Lesson Three: Loyalty is for losers; how to be a savvy shopper
Do you want to be the type of customer who's business is fought for, or simply taken for granted? If you are loyal companies will love you, precisely because they don't have to do any work to keep you. You subsidise those who get the good deals, and the advertising to pay for them. Lesson three teaches how to maximise your gain from companies.
Clever ways to calculate your finances