Do you feel like this about money?
Or like this?
How would you like to feel?
Chances are, no matter how well you've been doing over the past couple of years, you have some stress around money, even if it's the stress of hearing about it from other people or on the news. The truth is, how you feel about money and how much money you have is up to you. There are systematic actions you can take that will ensure you have an abundance of money, if not now than in the future.
When is the best time to put a financial plan in place? Twenty years ago. The second best time is today.
As a personal transformation expert, one of the areas I affect change in people is helping them feel differently about money and act differently about money, their money.
To accumulate money and personal wealth at any level, you must engage in the following habits until they become part of who you are:
- The Habit of Saving means you pay yourself first. Take 10% (start with 1% or 5% if you must) and put it away. When you have the equivalent of six months of expenses in savings, take the additional money you save each month and invest it for long-term growth. Cash is king and those who have it can capitalize on opportunities. Those who don't are at the mercy of those who do. Even if you save $25 a month, in a year you'll have $300 more than you do now. If you save $5000 a month you were spending on "whatever," at the end of the year you'll have $60,000 you didn't have before. Whatever end of the spectrum you're on, become a saver rather than a spender. In time, saving becomes a fun, fun game to play.
- The Habit of Living Debt-Free means you pay off your debt, then stay out of debt. It's easy to go down the credit rabbit hole. It's instant gratification that ends up costing you so much. The weight of debt is psychological and costs you so much more than the actual money. If you're in debt, set up a repayment program and then get busy making money and focus only on how much you want to make. Oh yes, and stop using credit!
- The Habit of Simplification means you ask "do I want it or need it?" Do you really need 500 channels? A bunch of stuff you neither use or need? To eat out every day? Just asking. If not, get rid of what you don't really need, stop mindlessly spending, and save that money - whether it's $10 or $10,000.
- The Habit of Being Conservative means you act in flush times as you do in scarce times. In flush times, it's easy to hire more people, buy more things, take on more debt and responsibility. I've seen my clients begin to make more money in recent times, but still being conservative in the ways they are spending and investing their newly-realized capital. Perhaps if we had all been more cautious in the flush years, that would have made 2007 to the present much easier.
- The Habit of Using Experts means ... you use experts. It's useful to have a financial advisor, insurance provider, CPA, and estate planning attorney. This team of people, your team, helps you to make sound decisions. They aren't emotionally involved and will make recommendations based upon the bigger, long-term picture and your ultimate goals. You may also need a business attorney, intellectual property attorney, bookkeeper, business valuation expert, and investment banker. Build your structure and your team to support where you're going, not where you are. It's never too soon to put your team in place.
- The Habit of Positive Expectation means you act, think and talk positively. Here's my own personal policy: "I talk and think only of abundance. If you have a tale of woe, please keep it as I don't want it." I'm constantly focused on my goals, objectives and outcomes to the point of just not having time to entertain drama, idle chitchat and gossip. If you're on a mission and focused on achieving your big vision, you won't either.