“Same As Cash” Offers Are NOT the Same as Cash

Same As Cash Offers

I’m sure you’ve seen same as cash offers in stores or on television commercials. We’re bombarded with 90-days same as cash, 6 months same as cash, and even 12 months same as cash offers!

Seems too good to be true, right? Well, when you have to stop and ask yourself, “What’s in it for the lender?” that’s a good indication that you’d better scratch beneath the surface and learn what’s going on.

How Same As Cash Offers Work

It’s tempting to walk into a store and buy a new computer or furniture suite with a same as cash offer. Sure, you could wait and save up the money—especially for an item you don’t need right away—but with an offer like this why wait?

The problem is that when you learn how these offers work, you realize that it’s not even close to being as good a deal as paying with cash. In fact, it’s almost as if it’s an enticing snare.

That’s exactly what it is because lenders know that nine out of ten shoppers won’t manage to pay the debt off in time.

Let’s say you purchase a new computer for $1,000 with a 6 months same as cash deal. Your plan is to pay it back within the six-month window to avoid the interest payments. That sounds like a good plan, but if you’re not careful, you’ll get caught and end up paying a whole lot more.

Now, keep in mind that I’m not talking about the type of deal that offers no payments and no interest for a certain period. Same as cash offers usually require you to make a minimum monthly payment from the outset, it’s just that they defer the interest for the duration of the promotional period.

So, to pay off your new computer inside the six-month no interest window, you’d need to pay at least $167 per month. Your minimum payment may not be equal to this, so you’d need to pay the extra in order to own your new computer free and clear.

If you somehow miss a payment in the middle, the debt immediately converts into a high-interest ball and chain somewhere around 18-23%—and some of these same as cash deals can have rates as high as 40-50%!

Not only that, but the lender will immediately assign all of the interest that you would have had on your previous payments. This means that you suddenly owe not only the remaining balance AND the recurring monthly interest, but ALSO any interest you would have incurred from the very beginning of the loan.

Even if you never miss a payment, the above scenario remains true if you’re unable to pay off ALL of the loan within the promotional period. So, if you were only able to pay $975 of the total $1,000 you owed, then you’d end up getting billed for the remaining $25 PLUS all of the interest from the beginning of the loan period.

How to Avoid Same As Cash Offers

This sounds like a no-brainer, but the best way you can avoid getting trapped by a same as cash offer is to avoid them altogether.

If you think about it, most of the products you’ll see offered in conjunction with same as cash deals are items that you can probably wait on purchasing. Big ticket items such as furniture, entertainment systems, and computers are not needs. So how should you purchase such items?

With cash.

Seriously, save up the money and pay cash. If you find yourself tempted by a same as cash deal because you think to yourself, “I can come up with that much money in that amount of time,” why not actually take that time to save up the money instead.

Listen, life happens, which means that you may be in the position now to make payments without fail and own that item free and clear before time runs out, but what happens if you get sick and miss work, or get in an accident, or have a family emergency?

Learn to delay gratification and, therefore, eliminate risk. Be patient and save up the money.

Once you’ve got your cash-in-hand, take your shopping to the next level and see if you can find an even better deal than you first saw in the store.

Living Up to Your Superlatives

SUPERLATIVES

Have you ever noticed how many businesses have some sort of superlative as part of their name? If not as part of the name, you’ll find it in their byline.

I saw a pickup truck the other day with a sign on it for “Superior Landscaping.” A similar byline would say something like, “delivering superior service and beautifying your home.”

You’ll see all sorts of superlatives such as ultimate, best, superior, pinnacle, first-class, revolutionary…the list goes on and on.

Notice you’ll never see a business tell you they’ll keep things as-is. You’d never pay a company to maintain the status quo would you?

What’s your superlative? How do you advertise yourself to the world? Are you actually giving your customers what you advertise?

Losers Say, “I Can’t.” Winners Say, “I Will!”

losers-winners

I saw a graphic the other day that was a chart comparing the differences between winners and losers. No, it wasn’t sports-related, it was comparing the mindsets of people who view themselves as successes in life against those who see themselves as failures.

Here are a few of the comparisons I remember seeing:

  • Winners say, “It’s difficult but possible.” Losers say, “It might be possible, but it’s too difficult.”
  • Winners see possibilities. Losers only see problems.
  • Winners make things happen. Losers let things happen.
  • Winners seek solutions. Losers make excuses.
  • Winners say, “I was wrong.” Losers say, “It wasn’t my fault.”
  • Winners say, “Let me do it for you.” Losers say, “It’s not my job.”

I was struck most by what I think is going on in the minds of so-called winners and losers. In fact, I think I can give you a pretty clear idea because I’ve acted out both roles at various times in my life.

The Real Difference Between Winners and Losers

Losers aren’t willing to try. They’re afraid of not succeeding, so they don’t take the chance. Losers live in fear of failure, so they hold themselves back.

Losers have an “I can’t” attitude.

Winners are winners because they try. They don’t always succeed, but they are willing to take a shot and miss. Winners don’t let the fear of potential failure hold them back.

Winners have an “I will” attitude.

Sometimes people with a winning attitude are thought of as stuck-up or prideful, but this is usually the jealousy of the loser exposing itself. Being a winner isn’t about cocky confidence, and it’s not even truly about winning more than losing.

In fact, if you closely examine the lives of the people you think of as winners, I suspect you’ll find many more failures than successes. The difference is they didn’t let their failures stop them or hold them back. Like Edison on his quest to create the light bulb, winners learn crucial lessons from their failures and use them as a platform on which to build future successes.

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I’ve always admired Michael Jordan for his work ethic. Look at what he had to say about the times he failed, and how he used them to become an overwhelming success.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning
shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and
over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”

~Michael Jordan

A winner’s attitude is one that says “I will.”

  • “I will do my best.”
  • “I will try even if I’m not sure I’ll succeed.”
  • “I will learn how to do something I’ve never done before.”
  • “I will help others however I’m able.”
  • “I will continue to learn and grow.”
  • “I will try again after I fail, and I won’t give up.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.
But I can’t accept not trying.”

~Michael Jordan

Listen More, Speak Less

Listen

There’s an old Arabic proverb that says, “The smarter you get, the less you speak.” Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”  Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”

Have you ever been in a group of people and there’s that one person who just won’t shut up? You know the one I’m talking about. He’s got an opinion about everything and waxes eloquent about every topic under the sun. Doesn’t that drive you crazy?

Oh, you can’t think of anyone like that when you hang out with your friends? Hmmm…then maybe you’re “that person.”

Listen, there’s nothing wrong with being a gregarious person, nor is it bad to be chatty and conversational. Trust me, introverts like me rely on you to fill the awkward silences of life.

But are you absolutely sure you’re listening when people speak to you? If you find yourself dominating conversations, almost as if you’re holding court like a celebrity, maybe it’s time to think about walking back your output and concentrating more on the input.

Become an Active Listener

The next time you’re in a conversation or hanging out in a group, challenge yourself by asking, “Can I recall the last thing each person around me said?” I’m not expecting you to know it verbatim, nor am I asking you to remember what the introvert of the group said ten minutes ago. Just make sure you’re keyed in and focusing enough on the people around you that you’re actively aware of their contributions to the conversation.

Remember, deep and meaningful conversations must be full of both give and take. In this instance, it’s probably better that you learn to take more than you give. If you find yourself struggling to be a good listener, here are some tips that are practical and easy to implement.

  1. Focus on the person. There are several components to this practice. If the person is new to you, concentrate hard on learning their name. We love hearing our own names, it’s one of the sweetest sounds to our ears. So, when it’s your turn to speak in the conversation, sprinkle their name into some of your responses when appropriate. Also be sure to look them in the eye and try your best to not be distracted by whatever else is going on around you. And for goodness’s sake, leave your phone alone.
  2. Pay attention to your own body language. Turn toward the other person, especially if you’re standing. Turning your body, even only slightly, communicates to the other person that you’re already seeking an escape. If you’re sitting, lean toward them and engage them as directly as you can. Watch where you’re placing your hands as well and make sure your body language expresses openness and welcome. Be cognizant of your facial expressions as well. Raising your eyebrows is a simple way to visually communicate you’re engaged with them.
  3. Paraphrase and repeat back what you’ve heard often. Not only does this show the other person you’re fully engaged in what they have to say, but it also allows them to clarify the actual meaning and intent of their words. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves if you didn’t understand something that was said.
  4. Ask questions. Remember, you’re trying to make this conversation about them and not yourself, so ask questions. The more you know and understand the mind and heart of the person you’re speaking to, the more you’ll be able to engage them on their level.
  5. Remain open-minded and don’t argue. Unless your original purpose for the conversation was some sort of debate or (hopefully) friendly disagreement, there’s no need for arguments to be a part of your conversation. Yes, you can debate and discuss differences, but be careful about making assumptions about what the other person thinks and believes. When you respond to their points, do it only after they’ve had their chance to air their side of the issue, and make sure you respond to what they actually said rather than what you think they’re thinking, or grinding your own axe. If you’re listening to someone voice a complaint against you, let them say their peace completely so that they feel they’ve been allowed to make their point. Then you can decide how, or even if, you want to respond.
  6. Don’t offer advice unless you’re asked to provide it. One of the fastest ways to come across as a know-it-all is to offer unsolicited advice. Even if they’re having a hard time or are in trouble and you can clearly see the solution, hold back from voicing your opinions on the matter. Just listen and let them talk it out. If you truly believe you can help the person, you can direct the conversation by saying something like, “here’s what worked for me.” Be careful in this instance because you’re close to stepping over the line from empathy to sympathy. Empathy communicates, “I hear your problem and I’m here for you,” while sympathy says, “my problems are just as bad as yours, and let me prove it.”