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Laying Your Financial Foundation

Understanding money matters is a vital skill for life success. Developing a healthy relationship with your finances starts with the desire to get educated and the discipline to continue to expand that education.

Of course, just like most lessons, sometimes you need to fail to truly learn – so, it’s important to be patient with yourself in your quest to master the mechanics of money. Consider the following as the first steps towards establishing a solid economic base upon which to lay the building blocks of your financial future.

Schedule money dates Allocate at least one hour a week to monitor and adjust your finances. During this session: update your budget; review upcoming expenses; pay bills (although you should automate those where possible): study accounts and statements; as well as address any other pressing financial matters.

Read about personal finance Don't try to learn everything in one sitting – you’ll just overwhelm yourself. Rather, break up your financial education into smaller chunks that are easier to consume. Dedicate 20 minutes a week to this task - this could even be part of your money date (see above). Choose one topic and read about it until you understand it before moving onto something else.

Talk to people you admire Seek out mentors who prosper in their financial lives. Ask them — with respect and sensitivity — about their successes and failures. Be sure to pay close attention to their tales - plenty of financial mishaps can be averted by learning from the mistakes of others.

Seek expert advice Everybody needs professional help in their life from time to time – there’s no shame in it. A financial adviser can assist you to get – and stay – on track with objective, trusted advice and support, as well as keep you accountable in the process.

Establishing a healthy respect for your personal finances demands dedication, commitment and constant practice. Not just to keep money under control, but to use it as a tool to create freedom, empowerment and options in your life.