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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Change the way you think about money...

For me, one of the most important factors in my ongoing financial journey has been changing the way I think about money.

I used to live paycheck to paycheck, and apart from a company pension (which was obligatory at my place of work, so there wasn't any choice on my part whether to join or not) I had no savings and no desire/discipline to put money aside. That changed when I started thinking more about my life and what I wanted from it.

Without getting too philosophical about it, you only get one chance in life (depending on which spritual ideals you subscribe to). Think about how you want your life to be. Do you want to travel? See the world? Spend time with family and friends? Retire to a place in the sun? Party and live the life of luxury? Drive sports cars? Help others by giving your time and/or money?

No matter what it is you want from life, money is merely a tool; an enabling factor, and like any tool, you need to learn how to use it. Stop thinking of money as a thing and start thinking of it as just a number. When I "let go" of money in this way and concentrated on thinking about what was important to me in life, it enabled me to make better financial decisions using the goals of travel, helping others, learning and seeing the world as motivating ideals.

Now, for me personally, I enjoy games. I also enjoy numbers, so I turned money into a game. I'm sure we're all pretty pissed with the banks and financial institutions right now, so perhaps use these negative feelings as motivating you towards winning the "game". For example, I use a cashback credit card for all my purchases and always pay it off every month. The bank pays me to use their card. Now, I realise that the amount of money is very small, but it's an example of trying to win the "game".

I'll give some more tips in future posts, but for now, start thinking about what it is you want from life and try to think of money as nothing more than a tool or a number in an account (even if that number is negative right now).

It's just a number.

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