You might be planning to run your first 10km. You might be trying to lose 10 pounds. Whatever the goal, it is always best to do some research, perhaps get professional advice, write down your goal, and break it down into manageable ‘baby steps’.
If you try to accomplish these goals in too short of a timeframe you’ll get hurt, fail or not sustain the result for any period of time. This makes the ‘baby steps’ part very important. By tackling smaller, more manageable goals as part of the bigger goal, you’ll feel successful, know what it takes to succeed and enjoy the momentum of ‘quick early wins’.
When it comes to winning with your money, creating ‘baby steps’ also works great – because doing the right thing month after month after month results in one thing: financial peace.
Here’s an example: If you spend $300 less than you earn on average every month for 25 years, and invest this $300 each month in a Tax-Free Savings Account with a 5% return, you will have saved $179,397. On the other hand, if you spend $300 more than you earn every month for 25 years and the interest rate on that line of credit is 7.9%, you will have $282,562 in debt.
The next time someone says sarcastically ‘What’s a few hundred dollars?’ multiply the impact by several months. If you don’t manage your money carefully it will fall through your fingers, every single month. Retailers are waiting to pick up these pieces and win a portion of your wallet every day. The next time you’re at the mall, take a critical look at the many ways retailers try to get you to part with your money. It’s a science and they’re very good at it.
To win with your wallet this year, watch your frequency of shopping. Those who shop more often, spend more. Period. It’s very difficult (even for the most disciplined person) to stick to a list, and the more often you’re exposed to marketing messages the more you will find yourself getting home with unnecessary purchases – and that could lead to unnecessary debt.
Spending less than you earn is guaranteed to result in a more comfortable financial future.