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8 Things That Keep You From Becoming a Millionaire

8 Things That Keep You From Becoming a Millionaire

Not everyone is destined to become a millionaire. In fact, nobody is destined to become anything at all. A person’s potential for success may begin with the circumstances into which they were born, but whether or not they actually become successful depends on the choices they make and the life they choose to live. Although it may be more difficult for some than it is for others to become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, it is certainly possible for all of us to, at the very least, live in such a way that maximizes our potential for success. Those who want to see dollar signs in their future should avoid the following:

1. Lack of purpose

Every single rich person in the world wakes up knowing exactly why they’re getting out of bed in the morning. Too many of us go to bed at night having not accomplished anything during their waking hours, simply because they didn’t see a purpose for doing anything at all. This sense of purpose must come from within. If after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Steve Jobs stopped working and took on a depressing, “What’s the point?” persona, you wouldn’t be holding the iPhone you’re probably reading this on.

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2. Lack of ambition

Along with a sense of purpose, you also need to have ambition. The truth is, even if you know your purpose in life, there are seven billion people in the world. It’s more than likely others have the same purpose as well. You need to separate yourself from the pack by being more ambitious than your competitors. Be the one that knows what they want, and knows how to get it. Otherwise, you’re just another pipe dreamer who believes success should just be doled out to anyone regardless of how hard they’ve worked for it.

3. Not being a life-long learner

Learning doesn’t end once you graduate from high school or college. Or at least it shouldn’t. Think of all the advancements in technology we’ve had since you were a high school student. Now imagine where we’ll be in another twenty years. Do you really want to write all of these advancements off because you don’t want to learn something new? Especially at a time in which it’s incredibly easy to pick up a handheld device and read almost every single piece of information ever known to humanity, shunning learning will only further the divide between your current self and your potential.

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4. Lack of self-discipline

Even if you love to learn, you know what you want to do, and you know how to do it, you still need to be self-disciplined in order to find true success. Most self-made millionaires practice discipline in all aspects of their lives. They eat healthy, they don’t live above their means, they exercise diligently, and they put their all into everything they do. They understand the long-lasting detrimental effects that compromising their self-discipline can have, so they continue on the straight and narrow path every day of their life.

5. Procrastination

People procrastinate when they’re afraid their hard work will not pay off, or they’re afraid they’re not good enough to complete a task efficiently. Successful millionaires are completely confident in their ability to get things done, and they also know that if they put a task off it’ll still be there tomorrow morning, and there will be less time to do it in. And, of course, other tasks will have piled up during the time that was wasted avoiding the original task. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by using every waking moment to your advantage.

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6. Lack of persistence

Pink Floyd says it best:

“Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done,
Don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one.”

In other words, your work is never truly done. Tasks will continue to pile up whether you choose to complete them or not. Putting your feet up will only cause you to be overwhelmed in the future. Successful millionaires understand this, which is why they never truly leave work behind. They might take lavish vacations and eat at fancy restaurants, but they always have their phone close by in case something comes up that requires their immediate attention. Just because you did a good job today doesn’t mean you can slack off tomorrow and expect the same results.

7. Toxic friends

Friends can either help build you up or they can absolutely tear you apart. If you find yourself surrounded by naysayers who have no ambition in their lives other than to keep others down, you need to ditch them immediately. They may be fun to be around at times, but they serve no purpose in your life if your goal is to become a success. On the other hand, surrounding yourself with people who are more successful than you gives you ambition to do better each and every day. When you set out on your life’s path, take care in who you bring along with you.

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8. Unfulfilling jobs

So many of us are stuck in dead-end jobs that only serve to make ends meet. You might think to yourself “this is only temporary” at first, but then one year becomes two, then two becomes five, and the next thing you know you’ve missed your opportunity to move on. Don’t let it happen. You might face a financial setback initially, but in the long run you’ll be much happier, and you’ll feel much more confident on your pathway to becoming a success.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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