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Four Halloween Money Monsters, and How to Defeat Them

Soldo Team 2 years ago
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31st October – All Hallow’s Eve: The streets are full of trick-or-treaters, dressed up to frighten you into filling their sticky paws with chocolates and sweets. But the real ghouls are the Halloween money monsters that lurk within, and their hungry eyes are set on your bank account.

Here are four Halloween money monsters to look out for – together with some advice for dealing with them.

The Pocket Money Pirate

The horror:
The Pocket Money Pirate is not satisfied with a reasonable regular weekly income commensurate with age. Instead, the Pirate is on the lookout for a huge windfall, at your expense. Often found to be whining: “But why can’t I have a PlayStation now?”

The antidote:
Teach your Pirate that treasure is to be earned, not found. If they want to be able to plunge their hands gleefully into a chest of coins, they’ll need to start saving now. X marks the spot where a canny Pirate has put money aside week by week, only to be dug up when they finally have enough to purchase the object of their desires (a PlayStation perhaps).

The Skeleton in the Budget

The horror:
You’ve spent hours drawing up a budget. It’s bulletproof, it’s perfect. This budget will keep you on track, and set you free to enjoy guilt-free treats, knowing that everything is accounted for. But suddenly, there’s an eerie knock on the door of your life – the boiler dies, and you need a new one right away (it’s nearly November, after all). Skeletons in the budget make a mockery of your prudence.

The antidote:
In addition to budgeting for all of your regular items, you should set aside two other streams of money. The first is for acute emergencies. These must be safely locked away until you’re in absolute dire straits. The second is general savings; for bigger life events that, while unusual, are still somehow predictable: summer holidays, dental treatment, and retirement.

The Paperwork Spiderweb

The horror:
Worse than the bite of a poisonous arachnid is the fate of a fly caught in its web. Or, to put it another way, there is nothing more stressful in the world of family finances than an unmanageable pile of paperwork and bills that entangle the mind.

The antidote:
Open everything as soon as it arrives. Take action immediately wherever possible; only file things away for later if you can honestly say that you’ll deal with them on time. Make notes in your phone’s diary, and set up reminders. Establish a sensible filing system: you’re more likely to use a small concertina box file that lives under your kitchen table than a huge filing cabinet in the corner of the first floor office. Once you’ve dealt with each letter or bill, make a note on it, detailing what you’ve done, the date, and the name of anyone you spoke to in the customer service department. No web will ever catch you.

The Halloween Money Binger

The horror:
Your children return with buckets full of glorious sweetness. In their hands they hold what is, to them, the greatest and most abundant wealth known to humankind. It beckons to them: eat me, eat me, eat me now. And they will – if you let them. Children live for today – tomorrow is another world. The same thing goes for their attitude to money. If it’s in their hands, they want to spend it right away.

The antidote:
The only known cure for the binge monster is Soldo, the family spending account. Whether you’re a party of one, or a family of seven, Soldo is the easy way to streamline your budget and manage your spending. It’s the best defence against binge monsters. Create virtual wallets and give Soldo cards to anyone in your household aged 8 and up. The cards will come embossed with their names, but you’ll control the purse strings. If your children have smartphones, they can download the app too, and learn as they spend. You can use Soldo at any of the 31 million MasterCard outlets worldwide, including 1.5 million cash machines.