Several years ago, a financial advisor sparked controversy by stating that people weren't getting ahead in life because they were spending $5 on a daily coffee. The backlash was intense.

But I think the financial advisor was on to something. Could that $5 you spend each day on coffee be better used to build something for the future? No matter where you are on your financial journey, it's always important to be aware of how your money can work for you.

There was a period in my life when I was barely making ends meet. Because I wasn't money-smart enough to save for large items, I instead treated myself with $5 splurges. What I wasn't paying attention to, though, was how often I thought, "it's just $5."

And let me tell you, $5 does make a difference. That $5 coffee, that $5 monthly upgrade on your cable package, or that $5 extra perk on your cell phone plan adds up. If you continually think, "it's just $5" before you know it, you could potentially be spending upwards of $1,800 annually, $5 at a time.

When you're working to rebuild your credit, saving for the future, or working towards a goal, $1,800 annually can make a big impact. When I committed to taking control of my finances, every time I thought, "it's just $5," I put that extra money towards my debt or in savings instead of treating myself. In time, things changed for the better, and I saw real improvement in my financial situation.

The next time you're on the fence about that $5 upgrade or latte, ask yourself if that money could work for you elsewhere. You might be surprised how often you decide to skip that daily latte.