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Life’s secrets, according to you…

Start saving from the moment you get your first paycheque, no matter how little it is

Best financial advice? Never confuse your net worth with the numbers in your bank account — you’re not taking any of it with you. You’re worth as much as any millionaire out there. And if one day, you happen to become one of those people who make millions a year, remember this — you’re no more important than the person who makes nothing. Don’t ever forget that.

A sign of true character is how you treat those who have nothing to give you in return. As the saying goes, we’re all ending up in a box about the same size, so remember that. It’ll help you maintain a healthy perspective. My parents taught me that life is just one giant board game. Play a good game. Do the best with what you’ve got. Never take more than you give — and in comparison to the rest of the world, we’ve been given so much. Leave the board in good shape. Don’t chew on the corners. And one day? One day you’ll have to pass on your chips. Holding on tighter won’t help you at all. Your time at the board isn’t up to you. But your moves while you’re here, are.

Here forthwith, are your remaining responses for the best financial advice you’ve ever received:

  • Don’t go into debt unless it’s an investment, like your education, a home, or something that you can get back in the long run.
  • Start saving from the moment you get your first paycheque, no matter how little it is.
  • You can’t take it with you.
  • Balance your chequebook and never spend more than you have.
  • Financial advice — what’s that?
  • When it comes to saving, or paying off debt, every penny makes a difference. Nothing is worse than the feeling of: “I have so much to save for, or pay off, where do I even start.” Just start anywhere.
  • Invest in yourself first.
  • I pay no attention to finances. I should, though…
  • My mom told me to always have my own money so that I’d be able to take care of myself. I fear I take it too far sometimes, and can be very stubborn and too independent. But that has always stuck with me and has served me well. I know that I can make it on my own and support myself and my daughter if I have to.
  • It’s OK to be in debt if it’s for the right reasons.
  • Pay off your mortgage prior to building up a nest egg for the future.
  • Give up on small dreams today and save to make big dreams come true.
  • Don’t buy it if you can’t afford to take care of it.
  • Invest in fun, because it is the most important part of life.
  • I was given a piece of a puzzle that was meant to go into my wallet, so every time I reached into my wallet, I would see the piece of puzzle and it would remind me of a question I was told to ask myself at that time. The question was, “Is this a want or a need?”
  • Save, and spend. In that order. Save for a crisis, and for the future of course, but don’t forget to live for today. What’s the point of all that education, and building up a decent career, if all you do is wait for retirement to have some fun?! Sometimes the right answer is to run off to Disneyworld and to hell with the cost — we’re building memories over here!
  • Follow your gut. That, and pay off your credit cards in full every month.
  • Put away money for your retirement. I started in my early 20s and I’m so glad that I did.
  • Track your spending.
  • When saving for a big purchase avoid impulse buying by saying to yourself, “Do I want those shoes MORE than I want a house?”
  • Lead with your heart and the money will follow.
  • Live within your means. This advice has served us well.
  • I don’t think I have ever received any good financial advice.
  • Save 10 per cent, give 10 per cent and wisely allocate the other 80 per cent.
  • Never let your pride get in the way of doing what it takes to support yourself. Always know that if your world fell apart tomorrow, you have the skills and the resources to make your own way. Never depend on someone else to support you.
  • After I spent some time complaining about insurance costs, my dad said, “Insurance is something you pay for and hope that you NEVER need.” And that is true.
  • Being advised to purchase life insurance, set up a will and start a college fund for our kids.
  • Don’t go into credit card debt. Have I paid attention? Sadly, no.
  • You may have to pay more for land that adjoins you, but if you want it, go for it. In a few years, the price will be there anyway.
  • When I was 26 years old, a man told me that you will be at least 40 years old before you have anything, and he was right.
  • Open an ING savings account. There are no fees. And contribute monthly to RRSPs instead of one lump sum per year. Oh, and read the book The Richest Man in Babylon.
  • Budget yourself. It’s like magic money appears when I follow that advice.
  • Acquiring land has always been the best decision I have ever made. I cannot consciously take all the credit for these purchases, as my wife always pushed me to buy land which has increased our net worth substantially.
  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • You can’t take your money with you to heaven, so you might as well treat yourself a little while you can.
  • Set goals first, and then track your progress. This works for all things. Be committed or forget about it.
  • Never steal money.
  • Don’t ever brag about what you have.
  • Learn to count!

More from the Grainews website: What’s the best financial advice you’ve ever received?

Let’s see… what do kids need to know about money other than to have lots? You will probably want a new car someday, say, one that sells for $40,000. You’ve got enough for a down payment, so what’s the next step? If you make payments for five years, you’ll end up paying for it twice, when you consider the interest you’ll be paying. By the time you’re old enough to purchase a car, the days of low interest may be history. Why not set aside the amount of dollars you would be paying each month, save for the same five years and pay cash for the car? Telling you this will not make me popular, obviously, and it may be one of the reasons my grandkids don’t really listen to me. Believe me, five years goes by in a hurry. Read Andy Sirski’s column in Grainews. By the time you have enough money saved, you may find that a new car really isn’t important. You may decide to use it for school instead.

Give what you can away, because you can’t take it with you when you go, but the things we do to help the people on Earth will last a lifetime.

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