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How Millionaires Manage Their Money Differently?

How Millionaires Manage Their Money Differently?

Wealthy people manage their money differently than everyone else. They make different decisions and have an entirely different way of thinking about money. But even if you’re not wealthy, you can still manage your money like the wealthy do. It’s step one of becoming wealthy. There are 10 specific ways wealthy people manage money differently than everybody else.

1. The wealthy forget about instant gratification.

Humans are wired for instant gratification. We love it. But evolution made us that way long before our modern monetary system came about. The desire for instant gratification doesn’t help us when we’re trying to become wealthy; it hurts us. Stop making decisions that will make you happy now, but mess up your future wealth.

2. The wealthy understand the difference between wants and needs.

“We need a bigger house,” you may say. Don’t confuse wants with needs. A common mistake poor people make is to disguise wants as needs as a way to to justify them. Then you feel better about making a poor financial choice. Wealthy people understand the difference between what you need and what you want. Know the difference between a want and a need and don’t lie to yourself about it.

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3. The wealthy invest automatically.

There are ways to automate investment, such as payroll deduction to a retirement account, which is great, but the mentality of investing is more important. Automatic or not, wealthy people believe so strongly in investing that they do it as habitually as you brush your teeth in the morning. There’s no question about how much they invest, they know how much they must invest because they set goals (we’re going to get to that) and know how much money they need to reach those goals.

Roy Sheppard, millionaire and finance expert says, “Save 15% of everything you ever earn for the rest of your life.”

4. The wealthy understand the cost of debt.

“What are the monthly payments?” is what poor people ask when considering a car purchase. That’s the wrong question. A better questions is “what is this car really going to cost me?” When you multiply the monthly payment by the number of months of the loan, you’ll see a shocking number that’s way more than the cost of the car and that’s before depreciation, taxes and other expenses. This is the number you have to be comfortable with. Better yet, be uncomfortable with it and keep your old car.

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5. The wealthy start with a goal and work backward.

Know what you want and what it’s going to take to get it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll get something that’s the result of a bunch of decisions made for instant gratification. Most likely that will be poverty. Decide what you want your life to be like, figure out how much that will cost and do exactly what you need to do to get there. 

Josh Simon, 28-year-old real estate millionaire, says, “Figure out how you would like to live in retirement, come up with a number, then work on a strategy to realize that number. ”

6. The wealthy live within their means.

The great thing about investing automatically (see number 3) is that it basically takes care of this one. If you start by investing as much as you must to reach your goal, you can take what’s left over and do whatever you want with it. By making saving a priority, you can’t spend more than you can afford to. The important thing is that you spend way less than you make. To reiterate: spend way less than you make.

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7. The wealthy make short-term sacrifices

Think bigger than right now. Think about the future effect your decisions will have on your life. The whole point of getting wealthy is to have more of what you want. But sometimes you have to trade off what you want now for more of that or something better later. Think bigger than what you want right now.

8. The wealthy get help.

Know what you are good at and leave the money management to a professional. Focus on the unique value you bring to the world to make money to invest. Don’t be completely clueless about managing money either. Understand the basics at least well enough to know what your financial advisor is telling you. The information is cheap and easy to get. Wealthy people have written lots of books about it.

Millionaire entrepreneur, Vladimir Gendelman says, “I know how to build and grow businesses, but I leave my money management to a professional financial advisor.”

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9. The wealthy do math.

We’re not talking about trigonometry and advanced polynomials; just simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — third grade stuff. Wealthy people run the numbers when they make a decision. For example, poor people believe that when a car begins to have problems, it’s better to get a newer car so they don’t have to spend as much for maintenance and repairs. This is not necessarily true. You can spend thousands of dollars a year repairing a car and be financially way ahead when compared to buying a car. Think about all the expense of a car purchase. Do the math.

10. The wealthy take advantage of opportunity.

Wealthy people know that things like IRA’s and 401k’s are tax-free or tax-deferred growth and they take full advantage of them. When an opportunity like that arises, take advantage of it. If you also do the math (number 9), you’ll see exactly how beneficial this is.

Managing money like the wealthy is learnable and it’s not hard. If you want to be rich, manage your money using thise 10 principles and you’ll be on your way. You’ll have to make some sacrifices in the short-term, learn some stuff and work hard to earn the money you invest. The result is a really cool tool that lets you do a lot of good in the world and have a blast doing it, which is all anybody really wants. If you can’t handle all ten, just remember this: spend less than you make.

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Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal 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. 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 to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

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

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal 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’s for. It could be anything, including your child’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 that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals 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 beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as 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.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

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

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a 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.

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

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-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.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, 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 spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

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

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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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 manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

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. 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 counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

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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5. 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.

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

6. Maintain a Journal

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

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.

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

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s 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.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

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[2].

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 compared to equity instruments.

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3. 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.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

    4. 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 and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    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

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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