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Do you control money, or does it control you? It used to control me…

I was someone who was born without the “saver” gene (just like 98% of us!). I spent years living pay to pay, always with good intentions, but never feeling like I was getting ahead. As my income grew, so did my financial obligations… nagging credit card debt, lines of credit, and student debt. My credit score was decent, but I was always a bit stretched. Intellectually, I knew what to do. Spend less, save more, be smarter with money and invest. I read several books on the subject. I would do well for a while, and then I’d be back where I started. It was like trying to lose the same 20 lbs. over, and over, and over again!

I often scratched my head at what I was doing wrong; I mean, I rarely frequented expensive restaurants, my social expenses were reasonable, I wasn’t a clothes hound (but I did buy stuff), I had a limited selection of footwear, and I often brought my lunch to work. Isn’t that how we get spending under control? Well, it just wasn’t enough. And while I was making the payments, it seemed like I carried debt around on my shoulders like Atlas. The more I earned, the more debt I had. Revolving credit, like credit cards and lines of credit, was my downfall. My dreams always seemed out of reach. Running my own business? Impossible! I could never afford to. There had to be a better way!

So, not only did I go in search of the “tools” to complete my money success toolkit, but I also realized that I had to plug the hole in my toolbox. First, I stopped blaming everyone else for my lack of financial education, and took responsibility. I’m the one who got me into this mess, and I am the one who will dig myself out of it. Of course, all of this would have been easier if I were taught better money habits at an early age. But, few parents, teachers and mentor have that knowledge to offer. A-ha! Therein lies part of the problem. At school, we are taught skills to earn an income (usually at a j-o-b), but not the skills to manage that income. After all, it’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep. And your mindset. But I’ll get into the mindset part in another post.

Well, I choose to look ahead, not in a rear view mirror, and decided that I’ll work on myself first, and then reach out to help others. And helping others is why I created Healthy Wallet.

Keep in mind, fixing money challenges is not like fixing a leaky faucet (even though it feels like your money is dripping away!). Whereas a leaky faucet can be often repaired in one try, improving one’s money skills is a lifelong pursuit… and it can be a tough program to stick to for people who have struggled a long time or have deep emotional issues with money. I have spent — and continue to spend — time working on myself daily. I pat myself on the back when I do well and learn about myself when I slip up… but, I don’t dwell on it or berate myself. It’s just like someone having finally lost those 20 lbs., making conscious choices every day to keep them off through proper eating habits and exercise. You might have a night of overindulgence, but the goal is to get right back in the saddle the very next day. That’s how you stay on course. Without those basics, you can never successfully climb the wealth ladder.

My passion is to improve people’s personal and business financial health . I am particularly excited to help business owners, because the value they create helps move society forward. They are people living their passion, delivering products and services needed in the marketplace, creating jobs and helping communities.  If the Healthy Wallet team and I can help lay the groundwork for them to get a better handle on the money part at home and at work, there is a better rate of start-up success, leading to more fulfilled dreams, more jobs, improved communities and a better economy worldwide.

Not only would you be much happier if your financial houses were in order, but our economies would be stronger for it too. Instead of being slaves to money, your money will work for you. This applies to everyone regardless of financial goals, whether the goal is to be a multi-millionaire, or just wanting to feel financially secure and sleep soundly at night.

  Mortgage Agent Lic. M16001744 -- Mortgage Architects, Lic. 12728, Head office: 5675 Whittle Road, Mississauga, ON L4Z 3P8