The Karate Levels Of Cash Purchases

What does “KLLOCPQ” stand for? Why are lyrics to an '80s hair-band song in an article about paying with cash? How is money like a deer? These are all valid questions. You’ll find the answers in this excerpt from Jon Acuff’s book, Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt.

By Jon Acuff

Dave Ramsey likes cash. Not in a Scrooge McDuck, swim-around-in-the-vault-of-bling kind of way, but more in the “shopping with cash is better” kind of way.

But if you grew up using a credit card or a check, it can be difficult sometimes to just jump into paying cash for everything you get. It feels different. It acts different. It causes different reactions when you pull it out.

So how do you do it? How do you know you’re doing it right? How do you know you’re really good at it?

Fortunately, I created a Karate-Like List of Cash Purchase Qualifications, or “KLLOCPQ,” if you prefer. Based on the martial arts system of awarding belts as different levels of skill are attained, the KLLOCPQ lays out the different degrees of expertise you can acquire when it comes to shopping with cash.

White Belt - The Mention of Cash

When you’re a rookie, a Daniel san if I may make a much-anticipated Karate Kid reference, you're probably ready to start off your journey by simply telling the salesperson you have cash. But you’re not ready to flash it around like a Benjamin Franklin peacock.


Yellow Belt – The Cash Flash

Saying you can pay in cash is one thing, but flashing it out? That’s a whole different level, my friend. That takes someone with a little more experience. The first thing you have to master is the fan of your money. If you pull out a bunch of sweaty, crumpled up $100 bills, the impact of your action is severely reduced. You need to pull it out with a single, fluid motion, then fan it out as through a David Copperfield bit of magic. That’s why it’s a yellow belt move.


Brown Belt – Count It Out

A lot of people can pull money out in a dramatic fashion, but counting it out is a different beast altogether. You have to count it, so there’s math involved. You also have to do it with flair, so there’s drama involved. This is really where the sciences meet the arts. This is where form meets function. Go too fast, and each Benjamin won’t get to shine. Go too slow, and you’ll lose the salesperson’s focus. Pace it right, and you’ll get a great deal at that store.


Black Belt – Put the Money Back in Your Pocket

The threat of the money disappearing is every bit as important as it first appearing. Sometimes, salespeople are like the lyrics of an '80s hair-band power ballad—they "don’t know what they’ve got 'til it’s gone.” And your job is to show them how quickly and easily that money can vanish. When you do the brown belt move and count it out, that money needs to be like a powerful buck, crashing through the woods. Boom, here it is! But when it’s time to put it away, that money needs to be like a frightened baby deer: shy, quick to jump away when it senses danger. Oh no, high prices, no discount, this money is about to bounce!


There’s a good chance that you will never see your money as a deer. I can understand that. I’m strange. But even so, don’t be afraid to have fun with your cash purchases.

Excerpted from Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt by Jon Acuff. Copyright 2010 by Lampo Licensing. Published by Lampo Press. Used with permission.

Jon Acuff is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job. He’s also the founder of and the author of the book Stuff Christians Like. His insight into everything from church, to advertising, to money, to life is as funny as it is true. In the last 12 years, he’s written branding for companies such as The Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, Staples, Bose and many others. He’s a contributor to , speaks nationally on the subject of social media, and joined the Dave Ramsey team in 2010. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Nashville, Tennessee.

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