Everything I needed to know about saving money I learned from Dungeons and Dragons. Yep, it’s true, Dungeons and Dragons holds the key to saving money and paying off your debt. Here are some tips on saving money that any table top RPG playing nerd could teach you.
- Loot everything- This doesn’t mean that you have to kill everything and then take all of its stuff. No, what you need to do is look for the financial gain in everything. This means taking a look at everything you do and seeing what else you can gain. Maybe this means putting your money in a higher interest bearing account or ordering the free checks instead of the ones covered in chromatic dragons. Consider saving money to be looting from yourself, which is ideal since looting from your friends is not cool. Save as much as you can so you can afford a +1 budget that will allow you to slay your debt.
- Everyone is trying to poison you- I’m not kidding, even your friends are trying to poison you. This means that you can only eat food that you have prepared. Sure if you trust your significant other they can prepare your food, but do you really trust them? If you make your food choices based on the assumption that anything you haven’t prepared could be poisoned, killing you, you will be more inclined to eat food you prepare. The nice thing about food you have prepared yourself is that it is cheaper. A lot cheaper.
- Search for traps- When you get offers in the mail for credit, get a loan or borrow money from anyone, READ THE FINE PRINT. Reading the fine print won’t kill you and you will learn the terms of the loan and find any potential traps. Traps that you will find might be an acceleration clause or maybe a change in your interest rate if you pay late. Trust me a 3d6 A.P.R. adjustment will kill you as surely as a fireball. Keep in mind that a trapped door or loan is going to do its best to not look trapped.
- Invest in +1 budget- Do this as soon as you can. You wouldn’t enter a dungeon without the proper equipment and a +1 budget will allow you to fight off even the hardest temptations. A +1 budget gives you a bonus on Will saves to avoid stress shopping and a +1 to Fortitude saves against pushy sales people. Make sure that your budget does allow for the occasional shopping trip. You need it.
- Find a good party- Just as a good party needs a Cleric, Wizard, Fighter and Rogue, a good financial plan needs someone to fill all those roles. The Cleric can help staunch the bleeding that is your current financial crisis, the wizard will work his magic to enchant your budget, the Fighter is responsible for keeping the spending monster at bay and the Rogue is in charge of finding good deals and of course picking pockets.
- Everything is treasure- Everything is and should be for sale. If you have found something that you could sell and it is free, take it and sell it. Do this quickly before someone else does. Never underestimate the value of something you would donate to a thrift store. Sure it might be nice to donate to the less fortunate but if you are going to get your finances under control you need to sell everything. Even better try to sell it without having to split the gold with your party. Splitting treasure is for pussies.
- Save for healing potions- You wouldn’t go fight a dragon without buying a few extra healing potions. Of course if you spend all your gold on super fancy armor and a bunch of weapons how are you going to buy the potions? Always set aside a little gold for the future. That way you will never be surprised when you run into a monster of the emergency variety.
If you are wondering how one creates a +1 budget I would suggest that you start with one of the spreadsheets below. They are pretty easy to use. You just fill in what you make, what your monthly expenses are, your debt and what things you are planning on buying in the next year. Once you do that you need to figure out what you can pay for each bill. Start with the smallest balance and work your way to the most expensive. You can see that there are two sheets. Both use the same numbers and you pay off all of your credit card debt in the same month but with the savings plan you have $380 in savings the same month you paid it off and $2810 in savings in a year.
If you have questions please let me know and I will do my best to help. I am not saying that I am the best financial planner but I am pretty good at making budgets. Good luck and remember, when you are needing help in life look no further than your local gaming group.