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How Much You Make Doesn't Matter

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Many people think that if they only made more money, they’d be free from worries about money. I wish that was true. If it was, then three-time Pro Bowl cornerback and ex-Raven, Chris McAlister wouldn’t be dead broke and living with his parents.

Cornerback Chris McAlister was alleged to have made more than $50 million over his ten-year career. Now he says, in court documents in a child support case filed by his ex-wife, "I have been unemployed since 2009. I have no income. I live in my parent's home. My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so." I’m sure you can think of other people that should be wealthy, but aren’t. The first ones that come to mind for me include rapper MC Hammer and ex-Chicago Bulls player Randy Brown.

If you can’t manage $30,000 you can’t manage $30 million. The key is to find small opportunities that make a big financial difference:

Recognize when you’re being manipulated – The advertising industry is set up to make you want things that you don’t even need. Traditional advertising isn’t working as well as it used to because people are avoiding commercials, so more and more advertisers are turning to using product placement. Notice when you see specific products mentioned or shown in your favorite tv shows, music videos, movies, etc. Do you want something because it enhances your life or because it’s the cool new thing?

Get what you want at bargain prices – It’s important that you purchase the things that you enjoy, but consistently paying full price for those things doesn’t make sense. Now, you can find deals on everything from travel to groceries. With a little planning you can save hundreds of dollars per year.

Start where you are – Every little bit of money that can be squirreled away, should be squirreled away. There is no magic number to start building your Emergency Fund or start contributing to your retirement account. Even if you can only put away $10 a week, getting into the habit of saving is what’s important.

It’s the little things that we do every day, the small decisions that we make, that determine our net worth. Regardless of how much money you earn, it’s your habits that determine your wealth.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She has written three books on personal finance, contributes to multiple online media platforms, and is a foster care alumni. She's been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. Visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com to find out more about her work.

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0 # Guest 2011-09-27 08:16
Good article Shay...I've been telling my son this for years. Maybe he should hear it from someone other than me.
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