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Impulse spending hard-wired, says Wealthy Barber author

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 21, 2014 - 4:25 PM |
 Dave Chilton, the author of the “Wealthy Barber” book series, will be the guest speaker at a June 5 fundraiser in benefit of Maison Vale Hospice. Supplied photo.

Dave Chilton, the author of the “Wealthy Barber” book series, will be the guest speaker at a June 5 fundraiser in benefit of Maison Vale Hospice. Supplied photo.

Advises people to use cash to keep to their budgets

It's a little-known fact that Dave Chilton — the author of the “Wealthy Barber” books — lives in a 1,300 square foot house.

“I'm one of the least stuff-oriented people I've ever met,” said Chilton, a resident of Kitchener, Ont. who also runs his own financial planning business and is an investor on the CBC show "Dragon's Den."


“I think one of the reasons I'm such a happy guy is that I don't care about stuff like that. I'm not tied up in it.”

But Chilton's lack of interest in the material things of life is something of a rarity. He said it's hard for people not to be tempted by impulse purchases, as it's actually hard-wired into our brains.

“All the recent research on behavioural science shows that when they wire people up with functional magnetic resonance images, we get a big burst of positivity in our brain when we are able to give into instant gratification,” Chilton said.

“Credit lets you buy things right away. It's hard to fight that temptation off.”

Chilton said he has many different tips for how people can avoid impulse spending in his books, but in general, he advises common-sense strategies, such as using cash to make purchases.

“I'm now seeing a number of people who have gone back to cash because it's a forced discipline,” he said. “You actually see it before it leaves your wallet. You recognize it's finite, and there's a certain pain associated with paying.”

Chilton is bringing his insights to Sudbury June 5 as the guest speaker at a fundraiser in benefit of the Maison Vale Hospice.

The event, organized by Allain Labelle and Dr. Brian Clarke, takes place starting at 6:30 p.m. at Ristorante Verdicchio.

Chilton said he's happy his talk will help support the hospice, as it's a place that helps people “through the most difficult of all times.”

Those attending the fundraiser can expect more than just Chilton's advice on how how ordinary people can achieve financial success. He said he also plans on sharing some of his experiences on "Dragon's Den."

Participating in the show has been a good experience, Chilton said, as he enjoys researching the businesses pitching to the dragons, and seeing what he can do to help.

Chilton said one of his favourite pitches was from Hand and Beak Greeting Cards, which involves entrepreneur Mary McQueen using paper shredded by her pet bird, Luigi, to make collages on greeting cards.

He bought a 25 per cent share in the company, and partnered with the greeting card publisher Hallmark to market and distribute the product to consumers.

Chilton said the reason the CBC approached him to appear on "Dragon's Den" was because of his partnership with Janet and Greta Podleski, the Canadian authors of the popular “Looneyspoons” cookbook series.

Beyond their books, the sisters have gone on to star on their own television cooking show, and even have their own kitchen gadgets and frozen food in stores.

“I've had a lot of luck in my life, but I don't think I've had anything luckier than those guys falling into my life,” Chilton said.

“The most positive aspect of that partnership was how nice the sisters are. They're just great people. They treat everybody kindly. They really want to make a positive difference. They're great entrepreneurs.”

Tickets to the fundraiser, which cost $100, are available by phoning the hospice at 705-674-9252.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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