We get exposure to numbers all the time and the ones who know their numbers or are willing to learn will be living rich lives. That is a fact. The best thing is that it’s easy to practice your number skills and hence change your financial future.
Why numbers really matter…
I wish I didn’t have to say this but it happens all the time and I really feel I need to say something about it. We all have to deal with numbers in many different scenarios throughout our lives and most of the time these numbers relate to money (or something that has to do with money). You have to know your numbers because it’s always the ones who know the least that pay the most, for everything all their lives!
If you are living a life without understanding or knowing your numbers, you always overpay and people sell you stuff you don’t need or can’t afford etc. Just think about how many homes have you bought, how many cars, bikes, computers, phones, insurances, etc. What impact do you think this will have (or have had) on your life and finances if you live till you are 90 years old and this has been going on since you were 10? My guess is that if this is you, you might have paid on average 10-20% more than the people who have practiced their number skills. Imagine what you could have done with that 15% of all the expenses you have ever had!
The simple test…
Let’s assume you are in a shop and the jacket you need (not want…) for winter seems to be on sale and it has a 30% discount tag on it. The original price is 299 USD. The question is simple: Do you know how much the jacket is with the discount included or not? Can you do these numbers in your head? Do you use your phone? Do you ask how much it is (or maybe that is embarrassing)?
This is actually one of the greatest things with a sale as it gives you free training of number skills every time you see one of these tags. I tend to be price aware, hence I get quite a bit of consistent training which means I am pretty good with numbers. Guess what, the more I practice, the better I get and the more I enjoy being around numbers!
If you don’t know your way around numbers, it really is time for you to do something about it as it will change your life completely. I want you to love numbers because I know that the better you get, the better you will become at taking care of your own and your family’s finances. Most likely you will never have to worry about money every again!
So when is this important in daily life?
As you might know I am travelling a lot and I am doing numbers in my head all the time. I couldn’t tell you how many times I would have gotten the wrong amount back or paid too much, had I not been able to do the numbers in my head prior to paying! So if you are the one who just hands over money abroad (or even in your home country), having no idea how much it is in your currency, nor how much is should be it’s time to make a change and take control!
The great thing with being in control is that it also means it becomes easy to compare different alternatives when buying something and that can mean HUGE SAVINGS. A good example is Eat healthy stuff but be smart about it and pocket the difference and Are you giving away HALF YOUR Pension in fees?
How to take control
As with most things when we don’t know or are not that good at it, one just has to practice. I prefer practicing my number skills in real life as I can do it daily and you can do the same thing. Before paying for your groceries, just add up the number in your head (it doesn’t have to be exact) and a rough number is better than no number! This means you can do it with small things you buy and start out with just a couple of items and then you just keep on going. Most of us will have plenty of chances to practice every week. First you might add the stuff together and then if you pay cash, also know how much change you are expecting. When you get the exact number for your purchases and you hand over your bill, do a quick rough calculation in your head, you will soon become very good at this!
The same thing goes for discounts and percentages as they are super important to understand. If your home is your biggest purchase and you have a mortgage for 300,000 USD and you pay 1% more than you should (or could), that equals 3,000 USD per year, every year! You probably have to make around 5,000 USD to take home 3,000 USD. This is one of the easiest ways to have much more money in your pocket every month. Make sure you pay as little as possible by always getting a competitive rate, in particular on large expenses (but ideally on all)!
What to do to become a master of numbers
Next time you go shopping, challenge yourself and check with the calculator on your phone and if you wish to step it up, challenge your friend/partner (or whoever is with you). By continuously practicing your number skills, there is no way you won’t improve and become a master of numbers! By doing this, you will enjoy numbers even more than you do now and that is so closely connected with your financial situation and your relationship with money. Love numbers and money will start loving you and become your servant in life, please don’t become a slave to money.
The other simple thing to do to improve your number skills is of course just to download a math app on your phone and train any and every time you get a chance. You can start with an easy one and then just increase the level as you become better and better. Why not use you NET to your advantage and improve the quality of life by just learning to love your numbers and I am sure this skill will serve you for the rest of you life.
This is so simple yet so instrumental in our every day lives that I sincerely hope you realize what a difference it makes by being in the know versus being in the unknown. As an example of how all the small things can add up, have a look at this post if you don’t believe me: How to save +1000 USD in a few hours
One small step a day, that’s how easy this is and no one has to know how good (or bad) you are with numbers as you can practice with yourself before challenging a friend!