We​ ​have​ ​all​ ​spent​ ​moments​ ​thinking…​ ​Why​ ​did​ ​I​ ​buy​ ​that?​ ​Should​ ​I​ ​make​ ​dinner​ ​or​ ​go​ ​out?​ ​Should​ ​I​ ​get the​ ​new​ ​iPhone?​ ​The​ ​new​ ​car?​ ​The​ ​new​ ​jacket?

Our​ ​biggest​ ​internal​ ​conflict​ ​is​ ​“I​ ​don’t​ ​need​ ​it,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​WANT​ ​it.”​ ​Our​ ​wants​ ​often​ ​outweigh​ ​our​ ​needs resulting​ ​in​ ​increased​ ​consumer​ ​spending​ ​&​ ​higher​ ​leverage​ ​(Credit​ ​Card​ ​Debt,​ ​Loans​ ​& Mortgage Payments).

The​ ​main​ ​point​ ​I​ ​want​ ​to​ ​​make​ ​​is​:​ ​h​ow​ ​many​ ​of​ ​us​ ​truly​ ​think​ ​daily​ ​of​ ​our​ ​necessary​ ​spending​ ​and budget,​ ​before​ ​pulling​ ​out​ ​our​ ​Credit​ ​Cards​ ​or​ ​De​bit​ ​​Cards​ ​&​ ​the​ ​ease​ ​of​ ​tapping​ ​transaction​ ​to
transaction.

Do​ ​you​ ​spend​ ​much​ ​time​ ​considering​ ​whether​ ​to​ ​buy​ ​or​ ​not​ ​to​ ​buy?​ ​Or​ ​are​ ​you​ ​more​ ​interested​ ​in
instant​ ​gratification?​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​think​ ​about​ ​your​ ​retirement​ ​which​ ​may​ ​be​ ​10,​ ​15,​ ​20​ ​or​ ​25​ ​years​ ​away?
Have​ ​you​ ​set​ ​a​ ​savings​ ​plan?​ ​Contributed​ ​to​ ​your​ ​investments​ ​and​ ​planned​ ​for​ ​your​ ​future?​ ​Or​ ​are​ ​you living​ ​in​ ​the​ ​now​ ​& spending​ ​what​ ​you​ ​have​ ​or​ ​more?

If​ ​it’s​ ​the​ ​latter​ ​don’t​ ​feel​ ​as​ ​though​ ​you​ ​are​ ​alone,​ ​most​ ​Canadians​ ​spend​ ​their​ ​Disposable​ ​Income ​on the​ ​Now​ ​&​ ​not​ ​on​ ​the​ ​future.​ ​With​ ​ease​ ​of​ ​access​ ​to​ ​credit​ ​cards,​ ​loans​ ​&​ ​lines​ ​of​ ​credit​ ​it​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​too easy​ ​for​ ​us​ ​to​ ​expend​ ​our​ ​resources​ ​and​ ​over​ ​spend.
We​ ​live​ ​in​ ​a​ ​world​ ​of​ ​instant​ ​gratification,​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​social​ ​media​ ​and​ ​marketing​ ​pushing​ ​us​ ​to​ ​buy​ the newest​ ​trend​ ​now,​ ​take​ ​that​ ​trip​ ​next​ ​month​ ​not​ ​next​ ​year​ ​and​ ​enjoy​ ​today​ ​& ​think​ ​about​ ​tomorrow later.
While​ ​this​ ​would​ ​​​ ​probably​ ​place​​ ​​you​ ​at​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​the​ ​social​ ​media​ ​chains,​ ​with​ ​numerous​ ​likes,
followers​ ​&​ ​in​ ​your​ ​friend’s​ ​eyes​ ​being​ ​wealthy,​ ​rich​ ​&​ ​a​ ​topic​ ​of​ ​interest/jealousy​,​ ​the​ ​​problem​ ​is​ ​that
although​ ​the​ ​above​ ​causes​ ​instant​ ​gratification​ ​we​ ​fail​ ​to​ ​think​ ​of​ ​the​ ​consequences.

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prohibits us from living freely and nobly.”​ ​Bertrand​ ​Russell

Societies​ ​addiction​ ​to​ ​instant​ ​gratification,​ ​indulgent​ ​spending​ ​and​ ​misguided​ ​spending​ ​can​ ​result​ ​in anxiety,​ ​increased​ ​stress​ ​and​ ​limited​ ​resources​ ​available​ ​for​ ​those​ ​rainy​ ​days​ ​and​ ​planning​ ​for​ ​your future.

There’s​ ​an​ ​easy​ ​formula​ ​and​ ​I​ ​want​ ​you​ ​to​ ​try​ ​it,​ ​I​ ​promise​ ​it​ ​will​ ​lead​ ​to​ ​a​ ​happier​ ​and​ ​less​ ​financially draining​ ​future.​ ​This​ ​will​ ​allow​ ​you​ ​to​ ​concentrate​ ​on​ ​those​ ​items​ ​which​ ​are​ ​more​ ​important​ ​and​ ​whilst having​ ​fun​ ​&​ ​enjoying​ ​every​ ​moment.

So,​ ​what’s​ ​the​ ​1​st​ ​ ​step?

Write​​ ​​down​​ ​​your​​ ​​unavoidable​​ ​​expenses​​ ​​(necessities)​​ ​​these​​ ​​include:
– Rent​ ​or​ ​Mortgage​ ​Payments
– Utilities
– Internet/Phone
– Groceries
– Gas
– Bus​ ​Pass
– Daycare
– Medicine
– Car​ ​Payments
– Insurance

Now​​ ​​total​​ ​​them​​ ​​up,​​ ​​and​​ ​​write​​ ​​that​​ ​​figure​​ ​​down​​ ​​under​​ ​​the​​ ​​heading​​ ​​“Concrete​​ ​​Expenses”.

Now,​ ​look​ ​at​ ​your​ ​bank​ ​statements,​ ​paystubs​ ​or​ ​employment​ ​contract​ ​and​ ​write​ ​down​ ​your​ ​monthly​ ​net income​ ​(after​ ​tax).​ ​​Write​​ ​​that​​ ​​figure​​ ​​down​​ ​​under​​ ​​the​​ ​​heading​​ ​​“Net​​ ​​Income”.

Time​ ​for​ ​some​ ​basic​ ​math….

Net​​ ​​Income​​ ​​–​​ ​​Concrete​​ ​​Expenses​​ ​​=​​ ​​(Disposable​​ ​​Income)

The​ ​term​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​sound​ ​like​ ​it’s​ ​free​ ​money​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​remember​ ​although​ ​this​ ​is​ ​what​ ​you​ ​have​ ​following expenses​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​save​ ​for​ ​a​ ​brighter​ ​&​ ​better​ ​future.

OK…​ ​So​ ​now​ ​what​ ​do​ ​you​ ​do​ ​with​ ​that​ ​figure?​ ​Is​ ​the​ ​figure​ ​greater​ ​or​ ​smaller​ ​than​ ​you​ ​expected?​ ​Do you​ ​currently​ ​save​ ​any​ ​of​ ​this​ ​amount?

A​​ ​​bit​​ ​​more​​ ​​math …

A. (Take​​ ​​the​​ ​​amount​​ ​​you​​ ​​save)​​ ​​&​​ ​​Divide​​ ​​it​​ ​​by​​ ​​your​​ ​​Net​​ ​​Income,​​ ​​then​​ ​​​​multiply​​ ​​​​by​​ ​​100
&
B. (Take​​ ​​the​​ ​​amount​​ ​​you​​ ​​save)​​ ​​&​​ ​​Divide​​ ​​it​​ ​​by​​ ​​your​​ ​​Disposable​​ ​​Income,​​ ​​then​​ ​​​​multiply​​ ​​​​by​​ ​​100
&
C. 100%​​ ​​-​​ ​​(B)​​ ​​=​​ ​​Consumer​​ ​​Spending

What’s​ ​this​ ​all​ ​about?​ ​Well​ ​for​ ​most​ ​us​ ​we​ ​spend​ ​a​ ​large​ ​segment​ ​of​ ​this​ ​disposable​ ​income​ ​on​ ​trips, going​ ​out,​ ​new​ ​clothes,​ ​makeup,​ ​kid’s​ ​activities​ ​and​ ​that​ ​new​ ​flashy​ ​car,​ ​bike​ ​or​ ​ski’s.
That​ ​figure​ ​C​ ​is​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​you​ ​spend​ ​on​ ​consumer​ ​spending​.​ ​It​ ​i​s​ ​those​ ​quick​ ​moment​ ​purchase, instant​ ​gratifications​ ​&​ ​marketing​ ​tactics​ ​at​ ​work​ ​(and​ ​working).​ ​I​ ​like​ ​to​ ​call​ ​it​ ​as​ ​did​ ​David​ ​Chilton​ ​of​ ​the Wealthy​ ​Barber​ ​​“Carpe Diem” those​ ​seize​ ​the​ ​day​ ​moments,​ ​enjoy​ ​the​ ​moments​ ​and​ ​buy​ ​now…​ ​do​ ​not wait​ ​spending.

Savings​ ​and​ ​Retirement​ ​Planning​ ​require​ ​discipline​ ​and​ ​delayed​ ​gratification…​ ​now​ ​where’s​ ​the​ ​fun​ ​in that?

What’s​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​we​ ​are​ ​constantly​ ​hearing?​ ​From​ ​our​ ​family,​ ​friends,​ ​partners,​ ​bosses,​ ​teachers,​ ​yoga instructors​ ​and​ ​self-help​ ​books?​ ​​Life​​ ​​is​​ ​​about​​ ​​balance.​​​ ​Now​ ​the​ ​key​ ​question​ ​is,​ ​how​ ​do​ ​we​ ​obtain balance?​ ​​By​​ ​​living​​ ​​within​​ ​​our​​ ​​means,​​ ​​making​​ ​​time​​ ​​for​​ ​​the​​ ​​things​​ ​​that​​ ​​matter​​ ​​by​​ ​​establishing​​ ​​our
priorities​​ ​​and​​ ​​setting​​ ​​goals​​ ​​&​​ ​​boundaries.

What​ ​stop’s​ ​us​ ​from​ ​doing​ ​so?
– Friends
– Kids
– Partners
– Ease​ ​of​ ​access​ ​to​ ​Borrowing
– The​ ​Media​ ​and​ ​Marketing

Our​ ​goal​ ​is​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​that​ ​item​ ​of​ ​“perceived​ ​wealth”,​ ​we​ ​too​ ​often​ ​judge​ ​our​ ​friends,​ ​family​ ​and​ ​business
colleagues​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​following:
– Where​ ​have​ ​they​ ​travelled?
– The​ ​car​ ​they​ ​drive,​ ​the​ ​boat​ ​they​ ​have​ ​or​ ​toys​ ​which​ ​they​ ​own
– Their​ ​house​ ​location,​ ​size​ ​&​ ​prestige
– Flat​ ​screen​ ​tv,​ ​top​ ​of​ ​the​ ​line​ ​furnishings​ ​or​ ​high-end​ ​wine
– Where​ ​they​ ​go​ ​for​ ​dinner​ ​or​ ​drinks
– Clothes​ ​&​ ​Jewelry

The​ ​above​ ​has​ ​resulted​ ​in​ ​a​ ​materialized​ ​perception​ ​of​ ​wealth​ ​and​ ​happiness​ ​which​ ​misses​ ​integral​ ​parts to​ ​one’s​ ​happiness​ ​and​ ​future.​ ​Their​ ​savings​ ​(personal​ ​net​ ​worth),​ ​community​ ​involvement,​ ​family​ ​life​ ​&
impact​ ​which​ ​they​ ​have​ ​on​ ​those​ ​around​ ​them​ ​goes​ ​unnoticed​ ​or​ ​appears​ ​a​ ​small​ ​factor​ ​in​ ​comparison to​ ​the​ ​above.

So​ ​why​ ​is​ ​it​ ​so​ ​hard​ ​for​ ​us​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​spending?​ ​Temptation​ ​is​ ​very​ ​tempting….​ ​Instant​ ​Gratification​ ​has​ ​an immediate​ ​result,​ ​whereas​ ​saving​ ​takes​ ​time​ ​and​ ​diligence​ ​to​ ​achieve.​ ​As​ ​Oscar​ ​Wilde​ ​once​ ​said,​ ​​“I can resist everything but temptation.”

Ok,​ ​so​ ​I​ ​know​ ​I’ve​ ​listed​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​main​ ​reasons​ ​why​ ​we​ ​overspend​ ​and​ ​forget​ ​to​ ​save,​ ​and​ ​why​ ​we choose​ ​instant​ ​rewards​ ​vs.​ ​long​ ​term​ ​success​ ​&​ ​gratification.

I​ ​promise​ ​I​ ​won’t​ ​leave​ ​you​ ​on​ ​a​ ​daunting​ ​note.​ ​I​ ​promise​ ​to​ ​help​ ​YOU​ ​with​ ​these​ ​4​ ​simple​ ​steps​ ​to​ ​start.

1. Spend​ ​Less​ ​than​ ​you​ ​earn.​ ​Follow​ ​the​ ​steps​ ​above​ ​​​ ​​to​ ​​determine​ ​your​ ​net​ ​income,​ ​concrete expenses​ ​and​ ​disposable​ ​income.

2. Start​ ​small,​ ​set​ ​an​ ​attainable​ ​goal​:​​ ​if​ ​you​ ​currently​ ​spend​ ​100%​ ​of​ ​your​ ​disposable​ ​income, perhaps​ ​set​ ​a​ ​savings​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​5%​ ​and​ ​then​ ​the​ ​next​ ​month​ ​10%​ ​and​ ​grow​ ​it​ ​from​ ​there.​ ​Make
sure​ ​to​ ​still​ ​have​ ​fun​ ​&​ ​for​ ​each​ ​item​ ​you​ ​give​ ​up​ ​reward​ ​yourself​ ​internally​ ​through​ ​setting
milestones.​ ​​Tracking is everything each week, month and increase as you go, you are more likely
to reach your goals and follow them if you WRITE them down.

3. Leave​ ​your​ ​Credit​ ​Card’s​ ​at​ ​home,​ ​keep​ ​one​ ​with​ ​a​ ​small​ ​limit​ ​on​ ​hand​ ​for​ ​emergencies,​ ​but​ ​put those​ ​with​ ​the​ ​high​ ​limits​ ​of​ ​5,000-15,000​ ​and​ ​higher​ ​at​ ​home.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​many​ ​of​ ​my​ ​clients​ ​​who
keep​ ​their​ ​cards​ ​in​ ​the​ ​freezer​ ​which​ ​allows​ ​you​ ​time​ ​when​ ​unthawing​ ​the​ ​card​ ​to​ ​determine
whether​ ​the​ ​purchase​ ​is​ ​necessary​ ​allowing​ ​you​ ​to​ ​“inject​ ​time​ ​between​ ​stimulus”​ ​aka
spontaneous​ ​spending​ ​or​ ​booking​ ​that​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​Mexico​ ​or​ ​Hawaii.

4. Determine​ ​your​ ​triggers​ ​and​ ​avoid​ ​them.​ ​The​ ​first​ ​step​ ​is​ ​to​ ​write​ ​them​ ​down,​ ​what​ ​do​ ​you spend​ ​money​ ​on?​ ​Where​ ​are​ ​your​ ​weakest​ ​areas?​ ​Example​ ​being:​ ​If​ ​you​ ​love​ ​shopping​ ​online
and​ ​find​ ​you​​ ​are​ ​​often​​ ​o​nline​ ​shopping​ ​in​ ​bed​ ​at​ ​night,​ ​turn​ ​your​ ​phone​ ​on​ ​airplane​ ​mode​ ​to
avoid​ ​the​ ​temptation​ ​and​ ​pick​ ​up​ ​a​ ​good​ ​book.​ ​Or​ ​If​ ​you​ ​love​ ​eating​ ​out​ ​and​ ​socializing​ ​with
friends​ ​buy​ ​a​ ​new​ ​cookbook,​ ​try​ ​a​ ​new​ ​recipe​ ​and​ ​invite​ ​them​ ​over​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​eating​ ​out​ ​​-​ ​y​ou
will​ ​all​ ​save​ ​&​ ​have​ ​more​ ​one-on-one​ ​time​ ​without​ ​going​ ​over​ ​budget.

Our​ ​pursuit​ ​of​ ​​’​more​’​ ​​often​ ​distracts​ ​us​ ​from​ ​what’s​ ​truly​ ​important.​ ​Our​ ​material​ ​quest​ ​sabotages​ ​our financial​ ​future​ ​and​ ​has​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​effect​ ​on​ ​our​ ​psychological​ ​wellbeing.​ ​This​ ​can​ ​create​ ​tension​ ​in relationships,​ ​financial​ ​stress,​ ​anxiety​ ​and​ ​over utilization​ ​of​ ​our​ ​resources​ ​&​ ​limited​ ​savings.

Following​ ​the​ ​above​ ​4​ ​steps​ ​will​ ​help​ ​you​ ​to:
1. Create​ ​a​ ​healthier​ ​financial​ ​future.
2. Save​ ​for​ ​retirement​ ​and​ ​a​ ​better​ ​life​ ​ahead
3. Determine​ ​what​ ​truly​ ​creates​ ​happiness​ ​for​ ​YOU​ ​and​ ​your​ ​family
4. Increase​ ​discipline​ ​and​ ​achieve​ ​balance

Now…​ ​GO​ ​write​ ​these​ ​down,​ ​determine​ ​what​ ​your​ ​disposable​ ​income​ ​is​ ​and​ ​how​ ​much​ ​you​ ​want​ ​tosave.​ ​Make​ ​a​ ​list​ ​of​ ​your​ ​triggers​ ​and​ ​go​ ​ahead…​ ​put​ ​your​ ​Credit​ ​Card​ ​in​ ​the​ ​freezer​ ​for​ ​one​ ​day​ ​try​ ​it
out.​ ​There’s​ ​no​ ​better​ ​time​ ​to​ ​start​ ​than​ ​the​ ​present.