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7 Common Mistakes On The Journey To Being Wealthy

7 Common Mistakes On The Journey To Being Wealthy

Wealth has often been used synonymously with being rich. However, the two are not the same. Being rich is only a small element of your overall wealth. When we talk of wealth in this context, we are speaking about the passions, freedoms, experiences, relationships, desires and actions that money can’t buy.

There are so many people in our society today who die in the pursuit of riches, never realizing that they were some of the wealthiest men on the planet. It is obvious that money should be saved, invested and not wasted. However, there is also a certain degree of self-awareness that must be reached to attain wealth.Below are seven mistakes many individuals make in their pursuit of wealth.

1. They spend time on things that don’t align with their true wealth.

According to author Bronnie Ware, one of the top five regrets of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” It’s easy to get caught up in what society defines as wealth: successful businesses, money, power, prestige etc.

In reality, wealth is whatever you value most. That could be family, travel, solitude, adventure etc. However, you have to be self-aware enough to understand what your true wealth is and prioritize that over the labels and definitions of popular culture. No two people will have exactly the same wealth, because not everyone wants the same things out of life. The wealthy will not spend so much time, money and resources on something that is not an absolute passion.

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To redirect your life and focus, take a few minutes to actually write down your wealth like you would a budget. Make sure you are writing down thing you love to do (ACTIONS) and not material things like boats, planes, fancy cars etc. that most people put on their vision boards.

2. They have too many goals.

One major money mistake people make on the road to wealth is having too many goals. In other words, having too many things you want to accomplish is actually a distraction. Mike flint, is a pilot who has flown four United States presidents. He was also the personal pilot of Warren Buffet for ten years.

He asked Buffet for tips on prioritizing his career and building wealth. Buffet told Flint to write down his top 25 goals and then circle his top 5. As flint confirmed that he would start working on his top-five list right away, Buffet inquired about the second list. “It’s not as urgent, so I ll get to it later” He said. To which Buffet replied, “No Mike, you have got it all wrong. Everything you didn’t circle just became your avoid it at all cost list.”

Take a few more minutes and clean up the distractions that you have created for yourself by setting to many goals. Write down your top 25 life goals and circle your top 5. The remaining twenty just became your distraction list. They should be set aside without attention until your top 5 have been accomplished. If not, your lack of focus will cost you in the long term.

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3. They don’t know how to live “Sophrosyne”

To live Sophrosyne is to have a healthy state of mind, characterized by self-control, moderation, knowledge and balance with a deep awareness of one’s true self, resulting in true happiness. Sophrosyne is simply living simply, knowing the difference between wants and need. It can also be reflected in the two most famous saying by the philosopher Plato; “Know thy self” and “Nothing in excess.”

Spending too much on wants is a money mistake seen in the poor and middle class. Most people chase wealth as an excuse to live in excess. They display their insecurities in lavish homes and cars. These things aren’t wrong, but they shouldn’t be the driving force. Sophrosyne should not be confused with self-denial. Make a goal to set aside some money for a splurge in moderation.

4. They don’t pay themselves first

When trying to create monetary wealth, the obvious first step is to create a budget. However, most people don’t truly understand how to write and follow a budget that will create wealth. Most people create a budget either by calculating how much they need to pay for all their needs, wants and bills and still make it to next month, or, they figure out how much money they have to spend that month and budget to spend it all on their bills, needs and wants.

This budget ensures survival, not wealth. To really get ahead you have to create a budget that pays you before it even considers paying a bill or buying a want. You must then pretend that money doesn’t exist. It’s not vacation money or new car money. This is your nest egg and you are going to have to sit on it awhile and watch it grow before it is ready to hatch.

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5. They don’t take risks

So, you have saved a hefty sum and your nest egg is ready to hatch. This is where you are going to have to be very strategic in trying to turn your rainy day savings into a stockpile you could retire on. While saving and not overspending are good habits to have, they can become money mistakes if you don’t eventually put your money to work for you.

Any great capitalist will tell you that the key to creating great wealth is being willing to take a risk. Men like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and Carnegie are perfect examples of risk-takers. They saw the possibility of a need and even though they knew it came with great risk, they had the vision to know that the reward was greater. These men were driven by a resolution greater than money. For them, creating wealth meant creating a legacy. Money was only a consequence of the actions they took in the pursuit of purpose and passion.

Any investment you make is going to be a risk. However, you can offset some of that risk by learning and gaining knowledge.
“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing” – Warren Buffett.

6. They don’t understand the value of a reputation.

The dynamics of commerce in our culture today is quickly changing and the wealthy are quickly beginning to realize that your reputation and integrity is legal tender. Gone are the days of stomping on the little guy or back stabbing people on your way to the top. This old way of thinking is a big money mistake.

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In today’s online world, individuals and Businesses rely on reviews and rating when choosing a product or service. When people want to know about the services you provide, they automatically take to the internet to find out what people say about you. In this sense, your reputation is legal tender. One bad review could mean ten lost customers. Two bad reviews could mean twenty lost customers, etc. This means you have to consciously work to develop and sustain good relationships if you want your business or brand to succeed. While you must focus on your daily task to deliver quality products, do not forget that people will go where they feel the most valued. Take some time to build great reviews for your brand or business. Also take the time to work on mending broken relationships.

7. They don’t know how to delegate.

Many people open businesses to make money and be rich. However they never learn how to delegate work. This mistake can tend to be very costly. The wealth that is the freedom of owning your own business is replaced with the stress of thinking that the business cannot run well or smoothly without you.

This way of thinking will ensure that you burn out from stress. Do not confuse delegating work with micromanaging your employees. You must be able to trust their abilities to lead. Find out what the passions of your team are and see if there are any problems within the business that they are inspired to take action and lead change. This system helps you delegate work without ever having to delegate it. You will begin to see more work being done and accomplished around you.
If not addressed, the sum of these mistakes will begin to add up in cost. Take this moment to reflect on your perceptions .Are you on a path to wealth, or have you just trying to be rich.

“The joy and fulfillment found in the process of achieving your dreams and living with passion is often confused with the result of being rich. Do not measure your life’s journey to success with the fickle accompaniment of monetary and riches. Your journey should be measured by the memories gathered, not the receipts; the moments spent in passion, not cash; and happiness shared, not bought.”

Featured photo credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=wealth&biw=1024&bih=455&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=N_PFVOnkDsSpNsOzgMAK&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=warren+buffett&imgdii=_&imgrc=EzFApNykGWqXWM%253A%3BTDFlL1x4wJ60-M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fonthemoneyradio.org%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2014%252F10%252Fotmr_warren-buffet_II.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fonthemoneyradio.org%252Ftag%252Fwarren-buffett%252F%3B3000%3B2000 via google.com

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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