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The True Cost of Breaking the Rules of the Road Part 2

If you remember from Part 1, I was caught speeding 15 mph over the speed limit and was given a ticket. What followed ended up being the best part of $1000 in fines and increased insurance premium and the loss of my good driver bonus over 3 years.

dui taxi police car

Moving onto Part 2.

Every weekend across the country, there are instances where people decide to have alcohol or drugs and then proceed to get behind the wheel. The results are disastrous for that driver who is caught. Remember this post is from a Personal Finance point of view and how this can effect your pocket.

I know a couple of people who have recently lost their licenses because of driving under the influence(DUI). The results are disastrous.

  • Their license was taken away which means a huge inconvenience for loved ones who depend on transport from the driver or for them even getting to work. The alternative is Uber, taxis, buses and friends which can get expensive and strain relationships.
  • The court cost and other legal fees top $10,000 easily.
  • As DUI’s are felonies, there are a number of jobs that are not open to people. If you work in finance, such as the investment sector, there is legislation that does not allow” felons” to work in this space.
  • If you have a job, there may well be a clause in your contract that says if you are convicted of a crime, it is immediate grounds for being fired.
  • Depending on your job, if you lose your license, you will not be able to work and therefore lose your job.
  • Future employers, many colleges and universities also require that you disclose any convictions, which in turn could affect your chances of being successful in gaining employment or a place at college or university.
  • Your insurance may well be rescinded, or your new policy will be astronomically more expensive as you are a risk to other drivers.
  • If you plan to drive for a living. A DUI will stay on your license for 55 years which basically means your driving career is over.

So, the moral of the story, if you are having a drink, think of the consequences. Please also take into account that being “buzzed” when driving is also classified as a DUI.

Back to Personal Finance. You can only spend a dollar twice, and it is easier to spend it than earn it. Spend wisely and think of the consequences . It takes a long time to earn back the $10,000 that would have been paid out to defend yourself in court.

The True Cost of Breaking the Rules of the Road, Part 1

policecharger

A couple of years ago, my wife and I embarked on a drive from Los Angeles to Yosemite. We wanted to experience nature. But what I got instead were some life long insights into the true costs of breaking the rules of the road.

I had been driving 5 hours and everything was going beautifully. It was a sunny day, we were within 20 miles of our destination and the experience we had discussed and dreamed about for months. That changed instantly when out of nowhere those dreaded red and blue lights flashed repeatedly in my rear view mirror.

I was on an undulating road where the speed limits change frequently. Unfortunately, my driving speed did not.

I mentally prepared myself to receive a ticket. I recognized I was in the wrong. I was polite to the officer. The ticket was issued. The only thing I did not know was how much the ticket would cost. We went on our way. I tried not to think too much about it, until one day, about two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from the issuing county office. Question answered. Fine $221. Wow! It seemed like a lot. I gathered myself from the shock and quickly realized I had three choices:

One, pay the ticket. Two, contest the ticket. Or, three, take a driving course which would reduce the cost of the ticket.

I considered the options. If I paid the ticket, it would be over. If I contested the ticket, it goes against everything I stand for and believe in. I would also have to become an “armchair lawyer.” The ticket was my fault. I had been speeding. No one was holding my foot to the pedal. Why not just take responsibility for my action. Or lastly, I could take the driving course. However, there was a catch. I would have to take the course in the county where the ticket was issued. That was 5 hours away, 10 hours both ways, plus the time and fee to take the driving course.

I chose to pay the ticket. $221. Finished. Done. Move on. Or, so I thought. It turned out it wasn’t over. The cost of the speeding fine wasn’t my only expense. More mail. This time I received a letter from my car insurer. My auto insurance had gone up. It increased an additional $170 per year. The increase was not for one year, but 3 years. That is $510. Furthermore, I was notified my good driver discount was being cancelled. When all was said and done the true cost of that 15 mph speed violation and breaking the rules of the road was close to $1,000, or just about 5 times more than the $221 cost of the ticket.

 

Coming Next: The True Cost of Breaking the Rules of the Road, Part 2

Pay yourself first?

money on hand

When I started looking into personal finance, one of the resounding pieces of advice that I heard was “pay yourself first”. Being reasonably practical minded, I thought, how do I pay myself? Do I work for myself? Do I get a paycheck for keeping myself alive? Do I pay myself for sleeping and the list goes on.

What I realized was, that by “paying yourself first” actually meant,” save some money for yourself first”. Understanding what was meant, now made all the advice that I’d heard, make sense.

In simple terms, when you receive any money, before you do anything, you should take some of that money and put it into another account, or at home into a piggy bank. Your total paycheck or allowance or commission is not your budget. In the simplest of businesses, for example on a lemonade stand. For every glass of lemonade sold, you have the cost of the cup, sugar, and lemons. If you do not budget for those costs, you will not have any money later on to pay for more cups, lemon, sugar or have gas to pay your parents to go to the shops to buy supplies for you.

Like anything, we are adaptable to our surroundings or our situation. If we are at a sports game, we can shout and holler and support our team. If we are in a library, we can keep quiet. Even Goldfish are adaptable and will grow to a size relative to their surroundings. The bigger the tank, the bigger the fish.

So with all these analogies, our spending habits can change or should change depending on how much money we have available.  If you have to cook a meal, and are given differing amounts to spend, your buying habits will change depending on your “budget”

I think I have labored this point enough. Next point.

A simplistic example. If you earn $1000 a month and took out $100 as soon as you receive that money, you would get used to only having $900 a month to spend. That $100 could be split into an Emergency fund and a Savings fund. Over the year, that $100 a month, now becomes $1200. That is now $1200 that is available to you, which can translate into $600 in your Savings and $600 for unexpected bills. This has been achieved by simply changing your mindset and altering how much you actually spend each month. If you don’t have it, you don’t spend it. If you hadn’t adapted your spending, that $1200 would be unaccounted for and quite likely you could not actually pin point on what or where you had spent it.

To hit home further, someone I recently met said that $5000 was put into a Mutual fund. 8 years later that $5000 had grown to $10,000 (look up the Rule of 72). So in essence over 8 years, each dollar deposited had grown and now was worth $2. I will let you do the math, but more you save now, the more you get in the future. You can either work for your money or let your money work for you.

It is all about mindset and adaptability. Save first, spend second. As Warren Buffet says and I am paraphrasing –  Don’t spend first and save last. Save first and only spend what you have left, last.

 Paul Vasey Founder of Educational resource CashCrunchGames.com – helping teens improve their money habits and skills.

Should we be messaging kids more about money?

kids_earn_money

In today’s society, kids are bombarded with messages. Hundreds of messages like:

 

Don’t speak to strangers or take their candy

Don’t smoke

Don’ drink or text and drive

Use protection

Wear sunscreen

Don’t swim after eating

The list goes on and on and on.

 

But no-one is messaging to kids how they should be managing their money.

Messages like these should be used on a daily basis.

Watch what you spend.

If you spend more than you earn, you will drown in debt. Use your credit card responsibly

It is easier to spend than it is to earn

You cannot spend a dollar twice.

It is ok not to spend money and save it instead

What are your money choices?

 

With this in mind, it is imperative we address personal finance as early as possible. Parents can teach their children about money in numerous ways. Kids need to learn that money is not FREE. It must be earned.

While I have mixed feelings about paying kids to help around the house, as they should be contributing to the home environment as a decent member of society, allowing them to earn an allowance by taking on added tasks may work well. If kids want extra money, they can take on extra jobs but should still be required to keep a tidy room, help with dishes etc. as a productive family member.

Parents who want to use allowance to teach their kids about money, check out The No-Cash Allowance by Lynne L Finch. It is a great book for parents to follow and has creative ideas.

Parents can also use the envelope system with children as early as 5 years old. Every time the child receives money, they must divide their money between their envelopes. One for Spending and one for Saving. For those parents who want to teach their children the importance of giving, they can add a third envelope. Personally, I prefer children give their time instead. This way, they may develop a greater appreciation of how helping a great cause makes a difference. Giving money is not as personal and may be a little difficult on a tight budget but one can contribute their time which is of value too.

A child needs to realize once their money has been spent, there simply is no more. This will help a child realize the value of their money and the need to spend it wisely.

The envelope system can also be used by teens. It is a great way to teach budgeting. Teens need to realize they can only spend a dollar once. They have infinite wants and finite resources. Therefore, they need to make wise choices. By getting them to realize they have to make wise choices, and If they do not buy a product immediately, their lives will not come crashing down around them. They should also learn there may be alternative and potentially more cost effective products available for them to choose from.

Another question teens should ask themselves is do they need the product?

Teens also should be aware that stores and credit cards may allow them to “borrow” and spend money they do not have. What they need to understand is; if the store or credit card is not paid off within the contractually agreed to time, they will be required to pay interest on the amount spent, quite often to the tune of 20 cents for every dollar spent. If that interest is not paid off immediately, it will ultimately result in interest being paid on interest. That is called compound interest. When you are earning compound interest, it is terrific. When you are paying it, it stinks.

To discover more about how money habits can affect your financial health and wealth, play www.cashcrunchgames.com

Simple but logical thoughts about finance. Everybody should be good with their money. Right?

common-sense1

 

Whether you are pink, green, purple, blue, young, middle aged or old, there is one thing that you all have in common and that is money.

Money is ubiquitous in our lives from having money to spend on gum, to the bus, right through to saving and getting a return on your investment.

We all have choices and how we view money, will depend on our choices made, degree of wealth and motivation to earn or spend. We can make money work for us, or we can work for it. Again it is down to choice, attitude and outlook.

After reading countless financial blogs, advice columns and reflecting on my own life, I have come up with a few thoughts of my own:

Before you start looking at investments, returns, 401k, IRA and all the other acronyms and investment vehicles, you should really concentrate on the basics and get your foundation of “wealth management” under control. Hone your money management skills and decision making so that you can consider all those investment vehicles at a later stage.

You can only spend a dollar once. Once you have handed it over in the store, you will need to replace that dollar given with another one earned. Easy logic to follow but unfortunately a lot of people cannot comprehend this. If you do not have the money, you should not spend it.

Humor me with an analogy. If you ask a favor of a friend or family, they quite often will help you and will not want anything from you in return. In the movies and television shows, when you ask a favor of someone who is not your friend, they will always want something in return. Now take that same analogy when you decide to use a credit card. On every purchase, you are using someone else’s money and they want to know what is in it for them. They will always want something in return and in this case it is generally 20 cents extra on every dollar that you have used of their money. However, if you pay back the money immediately there is no interest and this is where a lot of people fall down by only paying the minimum payment.

Your paycheck is not your budget. Any money that you receive is not your budget. Think about it, in order to have money for the future, an emergency fund or savings, you have to have money to put into that fund. If your paycheck is your budget and you spend it all, even with simple math you will realize that $1000 coming in and $1000 going out means $0 left to invest, save or put in your emergency fund. Over 50% of all Americans do not have an Emergency fund. Are you one of the 50%?

We do get accustomed to the amount of money in our pockets and do spend accordingly. But how about if we slightly alter our outlook and attitude? People do not like change and I get that, but if the rewards outweigh the short term costs, it has to be beneficial.

I used to work in a boarding school and on Sunday morning the students would have breakfast at 8 am before church and then have nothing to eat until 1pm, where they would get a sandwich and an apple which would have to last them until 6.30pm for dinner. I changed the routine where the students would have hot chocolate and toast at 8 am, then have big breakfast 10.30 am upon return from lunch. By having breakfast later, it split up their day and they were less hungry throughout the day. At first all the students complained because it was change and for the majority of people, change is not something that is welcomed. The following week, they were all happy with the new routine and did not want to change back.

With this in mind, if you were able to change your budget, i.e. not spending your complete paycheck “Pay yourself first” – which simply means taking 10, 20 or even 30% out of your paycheck and putting it into a savings account automatically each month. Once your paycheck is deposited, the allotted amount is instantly taken out of your checking account and placed in a Savings / emergency / future investing account. Because it hasn’t been in your checking account, you don’t miss it and you adjust your spending accordingly while building up your reserves.

Unfortunately, as a nation we want instant gratification and are quite often not prepared to put any effort in in order to get what we want. We are for the majority a materialistic nation. We have the need to buy. If we are not spending, we are cheap and our lives are not getting better. We as a nation need to look beyond this. Instead of looking at price and thinking hey this is a bargain – I must buy it because I am saving money off of the original price. Think about whether you actually need the item and once you have bought it, how much enjoyment you will actually get from it.

If you go to a restaurant, Is a $100 per person dinner any better than a $20 per person meal? Is it 5 times better? This can be applied to all your other choices too. When you next buy something, consider the alternatives. Maybe you can save yourself some money or even talk yourself out of spending as your life will carry on without that purchase. As mentioned before, if you are using someone else’s money i.e. a credit or store card, you had better pay it off straight away or it will cost you 20 cents for every dollar spent in interest.

When you get home, empty your pockets and put all your small change in a jar. You will be amazed at how quickly it adds up. I have a system at home where I will put all my quarters in a bag for laundry and my dimes, nickels and pennies go in a huge jar. Over a year, you will probably collect $100, which is a great way of saving and having extra money for unforeseen emergencies, gifts or even treating yourself.

This last point is probably the most difficult for a number of reasons. At the end of the month, you should write down the amount of money that you received and what you spent your money on. This should include all transactions. I think you will be surprised by how much money you actually received and what you need.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, ask yourself do you really need those new shoes, cigarettes or alcohol? Can you find activities for free like walking, joining a library and taking advantage of their free books and other resources and if you want to learn, what classes are free for you to attend at local college etc. Once you have taken note of the previous month’s transactions, can you make better choices and find areas where you can save money? If your rent is too high, are there other places to live? If your car payment is too high, can you drive a cheaper car. Is your insurance due for renewal or can it be moved to another insurance company? When you did your grocery shopping, did you use the coupons that come through your door each day or take advantage of the items on sale in the store? When you brush your teeth, do you turn the faucet off to save water, or turn off the lights when you are not in the room or keep the windows closed when you have the air conditioning on? I am sure there are 101 ways to save money. It is a personal thing, but if you are determined, you will find a way.

 

Paul Vasey Owner of CashCrunchGames.com – Working towards putting a dent in financial illiteracy.

The 3 numbers that can make you a millionaire

Source: The 3 numbers that can make you a millionaire

7 things a Teenager should know.

teens and money

 

I want to keep this really simple. Currently there are a lot of people talking about personal finance and the fact that they need to know about 401ks and investing. Bottom line is that over 80% of students don’t have any money to invest, simply because they are not either earning enough, have enough disposable income, have a part time job or because college is so expensive. There simply isn’t any money to spare.

The earlier people start learning about money habits, the better they will be off in the future. That is what people are saying and it is both logical and a fact. We quite often hear people in the personal finance space saying that if you put X into your bank account, by year 20, you will have Y. In reality, and in my case, I couldn’t even consider saving or investing until I had finished University and found a full time job. Until then, I was living through the school term on the money that I had saved working various jobs during the holiday season. Luckily my parents subsidized my rent, but the rest was on me.

Going back to money skills. During my student life, I had learned to save during the holidays and budget during school time. With this in mind, my observations on current student life, I have listed what I believe are essential skills required for all students and adults moving forward.

  1. You should always know how much money you have available to spend. i.e. what is in your checking account without going into debt. This way when you are about to spend money, you know roughly whether you can afford it or not. If you cannot afford it, you need to ask yourself; do you really need it or is it simply a want? Is there a cheaper alternative to what you are wanting to buy? If you don’t buy it today, will you be able to survive? Can you wait until your next pay day or when you next are able to afford it?
  1. Rounding up – this is a simple calculation when you are in the store. If you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, you will have a rough idea of how much the basket of goods will cost you. If you go into the store, knowing that you can only spend $20 and mentally roundup and add up all your choices as you are going, then there is little chance of overspending and keeping within your budget.
  1. Calculating Sales tax is one of those unavoidable transactions that need to be made. I always work out the approximate sales tax as I am going along. If I see something in the store, for example a pair of board shorts that I like. I will always look at the price and then work out the sales tax on top. This will be the total amount that I would pay and therefore I decide if it is worth it to me. For example, If the board shorts are $29.99. Sales tax in California is 8%. I immediately round up to $30 and then work out that for every one dollar, it is going to cost me 8 cents extra in tax. With this in mind I then multiply 30 by 8 and I get 240. This 240 cents is $2.40. The total for my board shorts is going to cost me $32.40. For me, I now need to think if the shorts are worth $32.40. It is only $2.40 extra, but the price is over $30 which is my sweet spot for spending.
  1. Estimating is a great way of keeping within your budget. When I do my weekly grocery shop, I roughly know how much things are, what I need and how much it is going to cost me. I do have the luxury of paying with cash and in the worst case scenario, I have a credit card that affords me the ability to pay the extra amount that I have not budgeted for. I did this once and now pay careful attention to what I am buying and the fixed amount that I have to spend. If you go to a restaurant, you should be doing a mental exercise in how much your meal is going to cost. If you have an appetizer a desert and a drink. What is it going to cost you? Do you have enough money? If you go to the mall or a game. How much is parking? How much is the ticket? How much is food. Do you have enough? By thinking about these costs as a rough estimate, you will be able to quickly add up what your potential spending will look like and act accordingly. This might mean that you may eat before you go to the game as you would have spent $10 to park your car, which you could have spent on food and drink. If you still spend on food and drink and pay for your parking, it means that you have spent an extra $10. You could have saved that $10 or put it towards something else.
  1. Needs and Wants is a big one. Probably the biggest issue that anyone faces is when it comes to spending. When you are next in the shop and you see something you like. Ask yourself why are you buying it? Is this something I need to enhance my life. How much usage will I get out of it? If I don’t buy it, can I survive? You need water to survive, but a fruit juice tastes so much better. You want a fruit juice but in reality you only need water to survive.
  1. Opportunity Cost is the cost of giving up one thing for the next best alternative. So if we look back at the needs and wants scenario. You are at a restaurant and you are thirsty and want a drink with your food. The fruit drink will quench your thirst and costs $3. Water is also available, it will quench your thirst and it is free. You have just quenched your thirst and saved $3. Opportunity cost can apply to nearly every situation in the market place.
  1. The money you have available is not your budget. When you get any money, whether it be from your part time job, birthday money etc. Always try to put some of it away. Some people say 10%, others 20% – but start with whatever ever you feel comfortable with. I started to do this when I got a full time job. In the first month I did it, I felt the pinch as I realized that I had $100 less to spend. By the second month, I had gotten used to not seeing the extra $100 in my account (I had set up a standing order where $100 would be immediately taken from my checking account on payday and deposited in a savings account). The $100 saved each month would soon add up. This became my emergency fund for unseen bills such as the dentist etc. There was something comforting about knowing that you have a cushion in the case of an emergency. My savings balance grew each month, which gave me a feeling of satisfaction and a competitive goal of trying to save more. If you have this mindset, your discipline for spending and making the right financial decision will follow.

Once you get into the habit of saving, there are a number of options available to you in order to make your money work for you. By that I mean getting a return on the money that you have saved. This is when 401, IRA and other jargon mentioned will become relevant. Until then, concentrate on getting your mindset, discipline and financial decisions working for you. All the best.

Paul Vasey, owner of http://www.cashcrunchgames.com

Do you have an Emergency Fund?

emergency fund

I was listening to the radio today and one of the hosts quoted that 63% of Americans do not have enough money to pay for a one-time emergency costing $500. These 63% of American are living pay check to paycheck. They are simply living beyond their means.

This statistic in itself astounds me. How can we actually get to this? Over half the nation of people earning a paycheck could not afford a one off bill of $500.

This got me thinking about all the advice that I constantly hear and some of my own observations:

I have been in the US for 4 years now. When I first arrived, I had to get used to the notes and coins. The coins were no problem, but the notes were another matter.

In the rest of the world, the notes are often different colors, sizes and denominations. When you open your wallet, you are simply looking at green paper. There is very little difference in appearance when your wallet is full of dollar bills, fives, tens, twenties’, fifties’ or even hundreds. With this alone, it is hard to keep track of what you have spent. In the UK there are different notes and so it is easy to keep a mental tally on what you have spent. I had a purple note (20 pounds) and now I have a blue note (5 pounds). I must have spent 15 pounds. Where did I spend that money?

Entitlement is a word that is often used, but I think rarely understood in terms of the devastating effects that it can have on a person professionally, socially and through their wallet. I just want to talk about the wallet aspect. We are now a society of instant-gratification. It has become far easier to spend money and get hold of money, even if it is not yours (credit cards, short term loans, overdrafts…) When we want something, we want it now and therefore buy it now and unfortunately quite often cannot afford it. By buying it when you cannot afford it, you are simply deferring the cost of the good sold later on with extra interest. Unfortunately, a downward spiral can occur. If you ever watch movies and one of the characters gets depressed, ice cream is eaten, thus making that person feel even worse about themselves because now they have to work harder in the gym to battle the effects of the over indulging in the ice cream. Short term high, longer term low. Now go one step further- I believe the term in various circles in retail therapy. Things are bought, which aren’t always necessarily needed, but in the short term a high is felt, but in the longer term, pain is felt due to these good having to be paid for.

Which brings me to my next point, Credit cards. Credit cards can be your best two faced friend that you can ever have. While everything is great, your credit card is fun and gives you a lot of good times by making things affordable. Unfortunately, when the fun is over and reality sinks in (high credit card balances) the credit card is only too quick to stab you in the back, take away your support and cause you problems. You see with instant gratification, the credit card is a fantastic tool to achieve this. It is very easy to rack up big balances. There is the option of paying the minimum amount each month to make it affordable, and on occasions this is fine, but quite often things get out of hand and the balance of the card is hit with interest. It is not uncommon to be charges 20 cents in every dollar remaining on your credit card EACH MONTH. Again a downward spiral. Now you have to find more money than you actually spent to pay for the good you purchased. Short term high, longer term pain. Now, if understood and used correctly, a credit card can be your best friend. It allows you to purchase goods and be protected against fraud. You get rewards for using your card in the form of air miles and cash back. If you need a bridging loan, a credit card can do this as you have a 30-day grace period before the card needs to be paid and depending on the card, these benefits can vary. What people do not understand is that when using a credit card, you are using and spending someone else’s money. They do not give you this money for free.

I used to teach Math to 11 and 12 year olds at one point and I realized that quite number of kids are intimidated about Math. For some it is easy, whilst for others it is difficult. Having said that Math can be as simple as you want to make it. Math, like a lot of things is a confidence subject because there is a right and wrong answer. Math can be a simple subject, as it is simply made up of a lot of rules that need to be followed. If these rules are learn’t and understood, then progress and confidence in this subject grows. Math requires a good foundation of understanding where further concepts are built upon. If the foundation of understanding and confidence is there, math becomes easy. Unfortunately, I have seen this too many times when there are so many concepts to be taught that the very foundations for the next topics taught have not been laid and the confidence and further understanding crumbles. You are now thinking why am I mentioning this. Well, with further observations, too many people, particularly our youth of today cannot make change, budget, do mental arithmetic or even work out the new price after discounts and sales tax. And therefore do not feel comfortable about money, which in its simplest terms are the functions of add, subtract, multiply and divide.

We are taught not to talk about money. For a lot of people, money is a very personal thing. Money, unfortunately also brings out the various human emotions of envy, greed and jealousy. With these range of emotions and society, it is very easy to see why we don’t advance as a nation of money users, resulting in the same mistakes being repeated over and over again.

Unfortunately, people are not addressing this issue. They feel that by earning more money, all financial problems will go away. Unfortunately, this is not the case, spending habits will remain the same, but more stuff will simply be bought. Which results in more debt, and the statistic of the 63% of Americans not being abler to afford and emergency bill of $500 remaining to same or gets worse.

Money management skills need to be addressed as the down ward spiral will only become more severe. Let your money work for you, rather than you working for your money.

I would like you to do a simple task. If you have a Monopoly set, take your monthly wage in small bills. Put the money in a pile and then start dividing your pile of money into your various financial commitments. Rent / mortgage; car payments; gas; food; entertainment; health insurance; savings and so on. This is something personal to you.

Now if you wanted to put more money in your emergency fund / savings pile, which pile of money could you take that money from?

 

 

Everyone has a choice!

financial health 2

My wife and I went shopping yesterday at an outlet mall. When we got home, we spoke about our purchases and how happy we were with our choices of goodies.

This got us talking about our buying habits in general. What we buy, how much we are prepared to pay and why we actually buy what we buy. We spoke about our general expenses and started to list them.

Along with rent, health and car insurance, groceries and other essentials the topic of our spending at the gym was mentioned. We came to the conclusion that although our gym expenditure was quite high, we felt that it was worth the investment. By going to the gym and keeping ourselves healthy, we are in fact “banking” our health going forward. Later in life we are hoping not to be in hospital with potential heart problems, diabetes and other ailments, costing large amounts of money. Instead, we hope to be active late into our lives by keeping healthy.

If you brush your teeth and take the time to floss on a daily basis, you are cutting down the potential problems in the future. Since I got into the habit of flossing, my dentist has been much happier with my teeth and even thinks that I have saved a potential tooth from root canal an all the procedures and corrections that go with a damaged tooth, which in turn has saved thousands of dollars. With this in mind the old story of prevention versus correction cannot be ignored.

Another example in our lives is our Mattress. We decided not to scrimp on a mattress. We got the best and most comfortable mattress we could afford. If you think about it, a mattress’ life span is about 10 years. You sleep every night on it, hopefully at least 8 hours. If you paid $1000 for it, it equates to $100 a year. If you get a bad night’s sleep, how well do you actually function? What are the long term health impacts of poor sleep and back issues?

In terms of our lives, take the time to answer this question. Would you rather take a vitamin every day or a painkiller on rare occasions? Would you rather have 6 absolutely crazy months at work and 6 months of cruising OR 12 months of constant workload which was neither easy or difficult?

We all have choices. Now take this same logic and look at your finances.

  • Are you living paycheck to paycheck?
  • Do you always spend what you have?
  • Do you save any money for a rainy day?
  • Do you have credit and store card debt?
  • Can you account for what you have spent your money on?

All these answers are personal to you. If you are struggling with money, it generally is a money management problem. There is a wealth of knowledge out there through blogs, financial advisors, financial games and much more. It is simply down to you, to be willing to accept that you are not financially in shape and choose your “gym” of choice.

If you have savings and are doing a great job with your money, is it actually working hard enough for you?

These are questions that you should be asking yourself. Money is around us. We use it every day and it is OK to talk about it. What are you going to do?

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