personal finance | November 29, 2012

David Chilton: Start Saving Early, Live Within Your Means

"Beyond pay yourself first, I still say 'start young' is the most important personal finance advice, by far," says Dragons' Den host David Chilton. "It's getting young kids to save, whether they're in their 20s or 30s." The personal finance expert and author of the smash-hit books The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns shared his basic building blocks of good financial health in a recent interview. His personal success story has made him well-respected in the realm of financial planning, and his charming and accessible demeanour makes him a trusted voice for anyone looking for advice on balancing their books and becoming a better saver.

He says that it is important to remember to pay yourself first and start putting away money into a savings plan for retirement as soon as possible. He also warns that one of the biggest impediments to managing finances and saving is living above your means. "Living within [your] means is what financial planning is all about," he says, "it's still what we struggle most with." As he explained in a previous interview, you shouldn't feel the need to "keep up with the Joneses," and should instead be realistic about how much money you can afford to spend so that you have some left over to save. The longer you are saving, even if you can only afford to put away a little at first, the longer you have for you money to grow, he explains.

While this may seem like straight-forward advice, Chilton explains that these basic principles of smart saving and realistic spending are the core practices in any effective financial strategy. In his books and his sought-after talks, Chilton doesn't propose any get-rich-quick schemes or fancy strategies. Instead, he relies on the tried-and-true basics that have been proven to work—and will work for you. While the root of his talks are about money, they also touch on personal life goals. He teaches audiences to believe in themselves, to learn from their mistakes, and that with a few simple tweaks, you can achieve what you want out of life.

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