CoachDeclute Blog

Pay * Attention * to Your Money

Posted in Articles by coachdeclute on September 21, 2010

One of our primary goals and a big part of our planning must include the plan for building our personal wealth. Paying *Attention* to Your Money is the first step and if mastered you will be amazed by the results. I remember being told by a mentor, at a very young age that if I contributed the maximum allowed every year to my RRSP and in addition invested prudently another 10-15% of my gross income I would never have to worry about retirement. What good advice!

Just imagine if Paying *Attention* to Your Money was taught in school. Wouldn’t that be an amazing benefit for young people? Just having an understanding and a system for guiding one on the handling of their disposable income! Even as a student working part time, perhaps to pay for education or some other personal expenses, we might think twice about stopping at Starbucks or eating another unhealthy meal on the run. We might pack our lunch and make coffee for a “to go” cup a bit more often!  We might stop to think twice before buying that next frivolous item. Okay, not to a point of taking all the fun out of life, but just to introduce a bit of moderation along the way!

I acknowledge that at certain stages in life this truly can be difficult. With families to provide for, and life’s opportunities to enjoy, it is easy to get off track. But like everything in life, we can always rewrite the plan and get back at it. Nothing is carved in stone. It is important to get a good balance working for you, a balance that will serve your best interest now and in the long term. I must also emphasize this is not all about retirement. It is about living life as you want to and having the financial freedom to do so, at every stage of life!

Very early in our full time working life we should engage the assistance of a good financial planner or a financial wellness coach. This is separate from and different than an investment advisor who is getting paid commissions on a transaction basis. These are two independent roles. Some investment advisors are good at looking at your total picture and then on a fee basis able to help you with planning your financial and investment strategy. Just be certain that whether you have one of two advisors assisting you everyone understands your tolerance for risk, the diversity of investments you want and have clarity on your short and long term financial goals.

Take a moment to consider how different things might be if at the end of every day you did a quick tally of the money coming in, the money going out and the balance still in your possession. On first blush daily may seem onerous but it is pretty easy. You see at the end of the day we can pretty accurately add up our spending in our head – $50 for gas, $10 for parking, $10 for lunch, $100 for a pair of shoes and so on. The same applies to our income. If we are a commissioned individual we know what guaranteed commissions we have earned on the business of the day. If in a salaried position we also know for each working day the amount of our income. If an owner of a small business the invoices of the day will tell the income story too. Give it a try. I can send you an excel spreadsheet to help – just email me at