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Paying Attention To Your Money Makes A World Of Difference

February 11, 2014

When you focus on something, you see things you never knew were there.

watchforice

I hated history in high school. As soon as I walked into that classroom each day, my brain turned off. Time to daydream about all the things that mattered to me. Surprise, surprise; I did terrible in history. Pretty hard to be good at something when you’re not paying attention and don’t care! Lucky for me (and my future professors), I steered clear of history in university. I found a career that I could enjoy and be good at without understanding the American Revolution or Christopher Columbus’ pursuits. Unfortunate, yes, unacceptable to some of you, but a trade-off I wanted to make.

Money is a different animal altogether. Can you live a good life if you blindly ignore your money like I did with history class? Maybe yes, if you have plenty to go around. For most of us, money is scarce. A resource we always want more of. Something we need to take care of, nurture and grow just like our own children. It’s hard to live a great life if you don’t watch your money. The good news is that most of us have the skills we need for success. Common sense, good habits and discipline can be as important as stocks, bonds and real estate.

Life moves fast. It’s easy to get caught up in activities and spending without giving them a second thought. Think about your largest expenses… maybe your home, your car or your vacation? You must do your homework and get those things right. Otherwise, BIG dollars are lost. At the same time, don’t ignore the little, ongoing items that add up over time.¬†Consider the cost of your habits. Daily lunches in downtown Toronto, starbucks coffees or regular visits to your favourite clothing store can add hundreds or thousands to your annual budget.

A few minor changes to your money habits can make a world of difference. Spend money on things that matter to you or your family and cut back on the stuff that doesn’t. Know what’s important and forget about what your sister, neighbour or best friend think! Ask a 50something what they wish they had done differently with money when they were 20something. So many will tell you that they wished they’d saved more. Saving an extra $50/month and growing it at 6% per year adds over $22,000 in 20 years and over $48,000 in 30 years. Growing your wealth gives you freedom and flexibility that your older self will be thankful for.

Take My Money Challenge:

What’s a spending habit you’d like to change? Cut back on it, even just a little, and save the difference towards a goal that’s important to you. Track your progress- successes and failures. Tell me how you’re doing- what’s working, what’s not and how you’re changing in the process. I’d love to share your story in a future post!

The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way…Keanu Reeves

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