Bringing Financial Literacy into YOUR World

To appreciate or to depreciate? The choice is yours.

Source: To appreciate or to depreciate? The choice is yours.

To appreciate or to depreciate? The choice is yours.

As we get older, we are supposed to get wiser, but that depends on whether we have good sense and the stubbornness factor. Sense is not that common and stubbornness does not necessarily decrease with age.

Over the last 6 months, I have been going to a chiropractor and deep tissue sports massage to fix various ailments and it got me thinking about a lot of things.

When we were younger (I can’t believe, I am saying this – when I was younger!!) and I thought I was bullet proof. I played rugby, loved the contact and physicality and would simply play week in, week out even while injured. I always believed I would heal and bounce back from an injury easily. We are after all indestructible per our youthful view of ourselves.

With hindsight, I now know differently. No doubt you have heard the analogy of the sports car with regards your body and wellness.

You have a Ferrari (which is your body) and all you do is put cheap gas (food) into it. Ferrari’s need high grade gas to perform. If you deny the Ferrari the high-grade gas, the car simply won’t perform like it is supposed to. Just like if you do not eat wholesome food and a well balanced diet, the same can be said for you.

Let’s take that analogy one step further.

Remember the Ferrari in this story is you.

When you purchase a Ferrari, unlike other used cars, this one “should “appreciate in value. The car becomes more valuable due to its rarity. Along with the investment of the car, regular maintenance should take place: tires rotated and replaced, oil changes and routine regular maintenance. The car should be cleaned and polished to prevent the paintwork from being discolored and scratched. The upholstery should be treated to keep the appearance of newness and the inside cleaned so that the car keeps it’s fresh leather smell. The key is preventative maintenance, that helps to sustain the condition of the Ferrari and keep its value higher

If done correctly, there should be a return on your investment and the Ferrari should keep going for a long time without major break downs or issues.

Switching gears, from the car and to you.

For you to work efficiently, you need to be healthy and stress free.

Personal Finance issues are one of the biggest stresses that any household has. The desire to earn more money or to make ends meet is what drives most people to succeed at work. The never ending and vicious circle that is – “if only I had more money, life would be better” –  is not really the case for many, because unless you address your money spending habits, earning more alone doesn’t fix the situation, it’s a two-part process. Probably 80% of people who earn more money will simply spend more and still be in the same earnings to spending ratio as before. If we start to save early, spend less, invest the difference………circumstances will improve.

But what if we look beyond that.

If you do not get a good night’s sleep, how are you supposed to function the next day? In my early years, I know that it wasn’t a problem, but it does take its toll eventually. As we get older we cannot recover or recoup as quickly. Sleep is a major part of your maintenance. So, if you are constantly sleep deprived you cannot function at full capacity, thus you are not working as efficiently as you could. Which means a sub-par performance, just like the Ferrari that is not well maintained.

Suitable hydration and healthy food intake are also key for the body to become hydrated and allow itself to maintain and regenerate.

Now, there is a lot that we need to do to maintain our wellness, but I believe that there are three investments that are key to allowing yourself to appreciate in value, or at the very least maintain your value longer.

The first is getting a decent mattress. By investing in a decent mattress or topper for your bed, you are giving your body a chance of recovering while you sleep. Looking back, I had an inferior quality mattress all the way through my teenage years and I never truly slept well. I never woke refreshed and my body always ached because my body was not correctly supported, especially when trying to recover its self from those rugby injuries. Hindsight is always 20 /20. He is also your best friend, but often late.

The second, is a decent pair of shoes. No, I am not talking about high end shoes (ladies) that when worn make your feet bleed and are not comfortable at the end of the night, that you walk home carrying your shoes. I am talking about a comfortable and sturdy shoe that supports your posture that works for you and keep your body well aligned from the feet up.

Thirdly, investing in excellent quality sunglasses that protect your eyes from most of the UV spectrum especially if you live in a sunny climate. (One way of making sure that you don’t lose or damage your sunglasses, put a sunglass strap / retainer on them).

By waking up refreshed, you are giving your body a chance to meet the demands of your day. By having a decent pair of shoes, you are helping your body with its posture and prevention of sore feet and legs. Keeping your eyes healthy seems obvious, but many people buy cheap corner store fashion sunglasses that don’t do the serious protection your eyes need.

As we age, sun can damage your eyes, which leads to cataracts and several other eye conditions that further reduce our vision besides the normal deterioration of aging eyes. For my 40th birthday my wife sent me to the eye doctor and got me reading glasses.

Of course, there are a myriad of other wellness options to consider in keeping yourself healthy and well maintained, this article, in no way pretends to be medical advice however, in looking over my “Ferrari” maintenance in my life, these are three main areas I addressed and have felt the most significant results from changing in my life.

Since you are a Ferrari, treat yourself well, do your maintenance, take care of yourself in ways that truly make a difference and you too should appreciate in value.

To learn how to improve your money habits, budget, save or use a credit card effectively check out our website and even play our free game.

If You’re Not Challenging Yourself, You’re Not Living

For my entire life (ok, 18 years), soccer has been an enormous part of who I am. I spent most of my weeknights practicing or competing, and all other nights were dedicated to more fitness and train…

Source: If You’re Not Challenging Yourself, You’re Not Living

How Much Do You Make?

Yes – the issue of talking about money, salary, income, or particularly, how much ‘we make’.

Source: How Much Do You Make?

What If One Dollar Was Worth One Use?

I want you to imagine a world in which you seriously thought about every purchase you made in your life.

Source: What If One Dollar Was Worth One Use?

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Paul Vasey of Cash Crunch Games

Cash Crunch Games entrepreneur Paul Vasey just shakes his head. As a teacher of personal finance in the U.K., he heard—loud and clear—that teaching personal finance was difficult because of the mat…

Source: Entrepreneur Spotlight: Paul Vasey of Cash Crunch Games

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Paul Vasey of Cash Crunch Games

Cash Crunch Games entrepreneur Paul Vasey just shakes his head. As a teacher of personal finance in the U.K., he heard—loud and clear—that teaching personal finance was difficult because of the mat…

Source: Entrepreneur Spotlight: Paul Vasey of Cash Crunch Games

My new hobby


I am proud to say that I have taken up surfing and loving it. Originally, I watched a load of surfers and came to the conclusion that it was a lot of effort for very little reward.

You have to get up early to catch the best waves, otherwise the winds can affect the quality of the wave.

You have to paddle out against the waves, which can turn out to be quite a work out.

You sit on your board waiting for a wave you are happy to get, paddle like crazy and stand up in one movement.

As soon as you stand up, you are lucky to ride the wave for 10 seconds.

You are back in the water and paddling out for another wave.


A lot of effort for very little return. Or so I thought.

Surfing is far more than just catching a wave.

When getting up early , you are soon rewarded with the stillness and beauty of the beach.

Watching the waves and picking when to paddle out in the calm between the sets of waves.

When you are far enough out, you sit on your board and take in what is going on around you.

Dolphins swimming, Pelicans dive bombing for fish and the tranquility that clears your mind.

Then a wave appears, it’s the right one for you. You paddle hard, you feel the surge of power by the wave as it takes you forward. You do your best to place your hands at the side of the board, your feet on the board, toes touching the board and then in one movement spring up.

As a beginner it is not as easy as it looks. My back foot drags and I end up with a foot and a knee on the board. The wave dissipates and I paddle back.

Another wave comes along, my hands find the side of the board, my toes are on the board and with a spring, I am up and the wave takes me for about 3 seconds and I fall off. Those three seconds are in slow motion and it might as well have been 30 seconds.

The joy. Who knew that those 3 seconds could be so joyful.

I find myself paddling back out. This time the waves have subsided, a surfer paddles past, a nod of the head and “good mornings” are exchanged.

Before long, it is time to go in. I look for that last wave and ride it in (the best I can in between kneeling and standing). I have caught my wave today. Next time I surf, I plan to tighten up on my back foot.

But it is not just about the actual wave catching, but the experience that goes along with it.

After surfing, I am now in the office. I have had a work out, cleared my head, found an appreciation of my surroundings and I am ready to start my workday.

My experiences with surfing can apply to a lot of different situations. Perseverance, patience, learning, adaptability, preparation and so on, but today I want to focus on personal finance.

Earlier I said that there is a lot of effort for very little return. The truth is, it is like saving. In order for something to be worthwhile, you have to put the effort in and also be willing to sacrifice.

Your paycheck or any money that you receive should not be your budget. By this I mean you should not spend it all. Put some of it away for different uses. When you put money away, you have money for later. If you feel that you do not have enough and are always struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, try taking 10% of the money you earn straight out of your bank account as soon as you get paid, and place it in a savings account. That way you don’t realize you have that money. I bet you would learn to manage on the money that you have available to you.

Like my surfing, this will be difficult at first, but through adapting, learning and perseverance, it won’t be long before it becomes second nature. The more you practice, the better you get. Over time your money will grow and in the right savings account, you will even get interest. The concept of compound interest will actually apply to you. In surfing, my efforts are compounded as my skills in the water grow. It won’t be long before I am riding a wave for its entirety and my three seconds of joy will not be an achievement, but a minimum standard.

As Warren Buffet says “Don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”

By doing this you will grow your savings or as some call it your Emergency fund. Next time you have an unexpected bill, you will have the money to pay for it. If there is something that you really want or want to do, you have the money to pay for it.

Knowing that you saved the money and you don’t have to pay on credit, or worry about paying off your balance and being hit with interest , will take a huge amount of stress off you. In a  survey nearly 3 out of 4 adults said that they felt money-related stresses.

So by adapting your money habits, will you be one of those 3 out of 4 adults?

Simple Graphic Design for The Classroom

If you frequent any sort of social media site like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Google+, chances are you have posted an image or GIF to convey an idea, a thought, or a joke.  But using images t…

Source: Simple Graphic Design for The Classroom

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