Prairie Post (West Edition)

ASK THE MONEY LADY

Dear Money Lady Readers: Do You Want to be a Millionair­e?

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Have you ever said to yourself: “I’ve never been a millionair­e, but I know I would be great at it!” With the house prices now reaching an all-time high, you may indeed now be a millionair­e, and if so, congratula­tions! For the rest of us, we are still struggling to get there, and we can broad-stroke Canadians into two groups, spenders and savers, who oddly enough, are usually married to each other.

Now before you decide to toss this column aside, I am not going to advocate penny-pinching and coupon clipping. Saving twenty cents on a can a soup is one thing, but it will never get you to retirement as a millionair­e. Now with inflation and the sky-high gas prices, it is easy to understand why families are stressed out. Most people, on paper, make a decent income, but the average Canadian couple still lives pay-cheque to pay-cheque even though they bring in a six-figure income. They claim that they can’t save anything and that their life is completely normal – is it?

There is only one true way to improve your monetary situation and change things around to find ways to save. This is the key to saving thousands of dollars every year and guaranteed will make you a millionair­e by retirement. The trick is “mindful spending.” I know most of you think you already do this all the time, but even the greatest budget minded savers often fall off the wagon and spend too much on everyday life. In order to really make this work, you need to keep a journal either on paper or on your phone/computer and log every single purchase every day. I know I am asking a lot. But stay with me and try this for 60 days. Guaranteed you will find the leaks and holes of where your money is wasting away, and most likely, you will also find some personal changes you can easily do to save more, (without even sacrificin­g too much). Ask yourself these 10 questions. This will get you started, and remember they are not designed to judge you; but rather help you identify the behaviors that trigger overspendi­ng.

1. Do you show without a list? Do you have a list, but buy more than what is on the list?

2. Do you shop on-line frequently? Do you spend more when you’re alone?

3. Do you subscribe to things and then forget about them?

4. Do you buy things “just in case you need them” at some future date?

5. Do you buy more than you “meant to” at a certain store or on-line?

6. Do you become unsatisfie­d with what you have and want to upgrade (home, cars, electronic­s, clothes, shoes).

7. Do you buy things in bulk, even when you don’t need that much?

8. Do you buy what you see friends or neighbours wearing or using?

9. Do you spend money on experience­s – like dining out without keeping track of how much you spend or how often? Do you spend more when you are with others?

10. Do you buy something simply because it was on sale or seems like a good deal for the future?

Spending is emotional and doing this exercise may help you find the triggers that evoke an emotional inner response to spend more than is needed or necessary. We all spend money to buy things that we think will make our lives better or even to make us a better version of ourselves. Advertiser­s know this and are very skilled at convincing us to buy now. “You deserve an upgrade of your old stuff (even though it still works fine) to get something newer, faster and more improved, don’t you?” Remember, the secret to having everything, is believing that you already do.

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