Do you ever day dream of winning a big lottery jackpot? Smiling triumphantly on the 6:00 o’clock news, holding your four-foot-long personalized cardboard cheque with lots of zeros in one hand and five neon pink lazily floating, “CONGRATULATIONS!!” helium balloons in the other hand? Hmm, wouldn’t that be a perfect quick-ticket solution to our money problems?

Yeah, sure, but it’s not exactly a sure bet. Most of us know the reality of winning the lottery is statistically highly unlikely. In fact, think about this scenario for a moment:

You’re standing on the 50-yard line of a football field, blindfolded, and holding a pin. A friend releases an ant onto that same football field. Your chance of piercing that ant, while blindfolded and holding that pin (in your hot little hand) is approximately the same chance as winning a Lotto 6/49 jackpot – one in 14 million.1 Really.

What a waste of time, effort and money! Perhaps you’re already spending upwards of $10 per week on those magic lottery tickets, whilst dreaming of your big payoff… someday down the road.

Please read, “The big payoff” below and I will enlighten you on this score my friend.

Reality into resolve

We certainly weren’t born knowing how to manage our money. Sadly, many families still won’t even talk about such matters at home. And in school, at least when I was growing up, financial fitness was never taught there either. So, what are you to do?

Forget all excuses and stop dreaming of a big lottery win – especially if you are experiencing trouble in the here and now. Call us and let’s take action together instead!

Budget planning

Budget planning can allow you to take control of your finances by determining where your money is going, why you may be in debt, and teaching you how to deal with the problem. As corny as it may sound, budgeting really is the key to unlocking your financial success. And contrary to what you may think now, it’s not all about drum-tight restrictions on your fun or where you’re spending your money. It’s really about knowledge and empowerment… and hey baby, you deserve that!

Imagine being in the driver’s seat in a world where you don’t worry about paying the bills, saving for retirement, or providing for your family because you have a plan and you know everything is in order. Security and peace of mind, not to mention freedom of choice – what’s wrong with any of that, pray tell?

Emergency fund

Have you ever been broad-sided by major car or home repairs, unexpected dental bills, or worse – job loss? Of course you have! We all have!! That’s life. Bad stuff happens to good people, like us. Start an emergency fund today, even if you can only save $10 a month and you think you are living paycheque to paycheque – just do it! Then, hold on to that money… no matter what! It is not your mad money fund or your, “I deserve a new purse/big screen tv fund.” Resist all such temptations. The next disaster is surely coming. Don’t whine later on and say, “I was doing fine until….”

Start saving an emergency fund now. This is the best way to prepare for the inevitable bumps along the road of life and avoid being forced to rely on credit cards which can compound your problems overall.

Debt management

Did you know that over 74.5 million Visas and MasterCards are in circulation in Canada today?2 Yikes! Although we all readily embrace the convenience and flexibility offered by our credit card’s “short-term” loan, it’s also true that they can pose a great, big, heaping helping of temptation to those of us who have difficulty with the practice of delayed gratification.

Here is some good advice for dealing with debt:

  • Pay your balance off in full sooner than later and avoid high interest fees.
  • If you can’t pay the balance in full before the monthly due date and you have to carry a balance, don’t use a credit card. Apply for a much lower line of credit or personal loan from your financial institution instead.
  • If you must carry a balance on your credit card, pay a little more than the minimum monthly amount required plus the month’s interest to reduce the overall period of indebtedness and interest accrual.
  • Don’t treat your cards like extra cash in your pocket – borrowed money is not the same thing as earned income.
  • If you owe money on several credit cards, use a snowball approach to motivate yourself with small victories of debt reduction by paying off the card that has the smallest balance first and then move on to the next smallest and so on – just don’t ignore any of your other outstanding card balances while you’re doing this. You may be surprised how quickly a snowball can extinguish your debt fire.

 

The big payoff

Now, if you really want to WIN BIG, consider taking the $10 a week you spend on lottery tickets and invest it instead. You could have $100,314.56 after 35 years (earning an 8% return) or $166,742.59 (if you were earning a 10% return). And if you increased your weekly investment to $12 at a 10% return, you could squirrel away $200,091.10 after 35 years.3 REALLY!

Are you getting the picture now? And if I am still alive in 35 years when you are sitting on that satisfying pile of money you’ve earned, I promise to personally come to your home and present you with my heartfelt salutations…. and five neon pink lazily floating “CONGRATULATIONS!!” helium balloons!

There’s no magic to wealth creation. Begin by paying off your debts, then start investing, always remembering to “pay yourself first.” This method is a lot more satisfying and profitable than paying your provincial government lottery.

What can Latimer Financial do about it?

Call us today and we will work with you to:

  • create a realistic budget
  • explore options to deal with debt
  • avoid spending extra hundreds or even thousands in interest costs
  • manage all of your bills and living expenses.

 

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1  CBC news online: Lotteries: What are the odds? Last Updated: Monday, November 9, 2009. http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2009/11/09/f-lotteries-what-are-the-odds.html

2  Canadian Bankers Association CBA credit card statistics as of October 2011. http://www.cba.ca/en/media-room/60-backgrounders-on-banking-issues/123-credit-cards

3  CBC: Lotteries: What are the odds? http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2009/11/09/f-lotteries-what-are-the-odds.html