As I make progress towards becoming debt free, I am making it a priority to educate myself more about money. I want to have a better understanding of handling finances, financial mindsets and many other useful topics. My favourite way of doing this is reading. This is a part of my journey that I’m particularly keen to share with you as I believe you could get a lot of value from it. This month I would like to share The Slight Edge.
Finance book of the month – The Slight Edge
This month, I’m sharing a book with you that is not specifically based on finance, however it has everything to do with each of our financial journeys. Let me explain.
The slight edge is not just the title of Jeff Olson’s book; it is an attitude to life. It encompasses the principle that small daily habits, both positive and negative, have a long lasting effect on our lives. Throughout his book, Jeff conveys the importance of having an understanding of these daily habits and the power they have in determining whether we are each on the road to success or failure.
As an example, consider eating habits. An individual can make the decision to eat healthy food or unhealthy food. If they make the choice to eat a healthy diet for one day, this may have no real impact on their weight or fitness. However, if they eat well every day for a year we all know that this will have a very positive impact on all aspects of their health.
By the same note, if an individual chooses to eat a very unhealthy selection of food one day they will see no instant impact. Eat an unhealthy diet every day for an entire year however and they will definitely witness it having a very negative impact on their health and wellness.
Daily Debt Habits
We can of course apply these same principles to debt. Say we decide one day, to pay £10 towards our debt. It feels like it has very little impact. What if we turned that into a positive daily habit and paid £10 towards our debt each day? We might not see much of a difference in our totals after a week or even a month. However, one year down the line our debt total will have been reduced by £3650. You don’t need me to tell you how incredible that would feel.
For the benefit of your debt journey, I think it is also healthy to recognise the negative daily habits which have led us to this moment in our lives. For myself, it was snap shot borrowing decisions and the “oh I can pay it off later” attitude which resulted in my debt total. Instead of looking to the future and the impact that those decisions would have, I put more emphasis on my need for money now, in that moment.
Maintaining Progress and Success
Whilst many of us are able to grasp the importance of positive daily habits at a basic level, it is the next point that Jeff makes that has really stuck with me and that I will be taking forward in my own financial journey once I become debt free. Jeff explains that in life the majority of us sit on a sort of rollercoaster of success and failure.
As we work towards a goal we adopt positive habits that we know will help us to get there. Using a budget, tracking spending and using the debt snowball are all great examples of this. Once we reach our goal we celebrate our achievement, as we should. Then, however, we fall out of practice. When we do this, we are at danger of going backwards and falling into negative habits once again. There is a key point here in our journeys where we need to remind ourselves of the incredible impact our positive habits have had on our lives, and keep practising them despite having already achieved our initial goal.
I could go on for many more paragraphs talking about The Slight Edge and it’s incredible message. I encourage you to read it, absorb every page and really take on board Jeff’s advice. You are entirely capable of reaching success. It just starts with one positive habit today.
You can find The Slight Edge here on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to use it. Thank you!)
I absolutely encourage you to begin reading (or listening to audiobooks) as part of your debt free journey. Not only do you learn something as a result, but it also allows you some time to switch off from your debt and all the other goings on in life and just focus on the book in hand.
You can read my previous Finance Book of the Month post here.