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Spend your money like the Patriots on 5/3/2016

Spend your money like the Patriots (For the guys)
Greg Dietrich, Marketing & Community Development Coordinator
I probably shouldn’t have phrased the title like I did because I know there are plenty of die-hard female football fans out there. I also realize there are plenty of men who just don’t get into the whole football frenzy.  
Okay, if you’re reading this and half tempted to hit the back space button because you’re not a football fan or because you loath reading anything that involves personal finances, I promise you there is something worthwhile for everyone in this blog. You might even be able to use some of the talking points in this blog to maybe add to the conversation when the topic turns to personal finance or football during the summer gatherings.  At any rate, my goal is to show you how the philosophy of a successful NFL football team can be translated to your very own financial life.
When you think of the New England Patriots you probably think of its Super Bowl winning, super model dating, super everything quarterback, Tom Brady.  But what most people don’t think of is how the Patriots organization remains one of the most dominate franchises in the history of the NFL.  Since 2001, the Patriots have won four out of six Super Bowls and have been to the playoffs for seven straight seasons.  
As a Lions fan, I’m extremely jealous.         
Here is what many believe to be the reason the why the Patriots have been successful for so long. They never, ever…ever pay more for a player than they have to and they always look to get players who play more than one position.  Behind this philosophy is Bill Belicheck the head coach of the Patriots. Coach Belicheck is considered a football genius mainly because he gets each player on his team to play up to or over their natural abilities on each play.
Belicheck carefully balances his team’s athletic ability with how much he thinks they will produce for him over a certain amount of time. Often, Belicheck will cut or trade players that no longer fit the winning game plan for ones that will. This has resulted over the years in a slew of no-name players that the organization picked up from free agency or in the draft (at a reasonable price of course) that were considered mediocre or over-the-hill in age by other teams.  Belicheck looks for value and fits that with in his winning game plan and ignores what other teams perceive as valuable. Many of these players have helped the Patriots in critical times win important games.  
See Malcolm Butler
How can we use Belicheck’s winning strategy in our own financial lives?
Now, your winning game plan could be paying off your students loans, saving for a down payment on a mortgage or saving for retirement.  Keep in mind we all have our own value system and no two are alike.  Even as we get older our value system changes.  
What works for the Patriots won’t necessarily work for the Lions.
I realize we don’t have the time to analyze every aspect of every purchase we make like Belicheck does with a defensive tackle.  A recent study on the status of American consumers had 47% of respondents say they would need to sell something or get a loan to pay for a $400 emergency. We can say from this survey that $400 is a significant amount of money for a lot of people. For the sake of this conversation let’s say that any purchase around that amount or more should be looked at the same way Coach Belicheck looks at a potential player for the Patriots.   
We shouldn’t pay more for something than we have to. How many times have we gone into the store and bought something without putting much thought into it? Only to come to realize it was junk or it didn’t work for an extended period of time. A couple of extra dollars for the right item could have saved you $100 or $200 down the road.  Or the opposite happens, maybe we overpaid for something that could have been purchased for much less that does just as good of a job.  
Do a simple google search of the item and read the reviews before buying it.
Belicheck looks for versatility in each player to get the maximum value out of their abilities. Take some time to think about all of the possible uses of the item before purchasing it.  You may find out that it’s better to rent or borrow an item because the job is too specific or it has limited use in the future. Resist the temptation to outright buy something that you’ll only use once.
There are plenty of share economy web sites online that allow you to borrow or rent items from others.
Belicheck has zero tolerance for players or coaches who no longer serve the purpose of the winning game plan.  If you have items that no longer fit within your game plan, sell it or trade it away.  Just look at all the stuff in the garage or basement that you no longer use.
Check out your local “Buy-Sell-Trade” on facebook
Finally, Belicheck is not fazed by the hype and excitement of certain players.  He cares nothing for what other teams deem as valuable. And why should he?  He’s been to the Super Bowl more times than any other coach today! Resist the urge to purchase items just because others deem them to be valuable or life fulfilling.
Just look at super everything, Tom Brady.  He was passed up by every NFL team six times in the 2000 NFL Draft.  Belicheck’s selection of Tom Brady is considered to be one the greatest draft steals of all time in any sport.  
Think about your winning game plan and what you need to get there.
            

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