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What’s The #1 Thing Stopping You From Becoming Rich Right Now?

What’s The #1 Thing Stopping You From Becoming Rich Right Now?

A lot of people talk about getting rich, and yet there are only a small percentage of people who actually achieve it. So what’s stopping people from becoming rich?

Well it isn’t knowledge. Thanks to the internet and libraries, there is a ton of knowledge available on how to build your wealth. Whether you’re interested in business, real estate, or the stock market, there is a ton of advice from experienced experts to guide you along the way.

The Biggest Reason Most People Never Become Rich

No matter which route you take to build your wealth, there is one important factor that will determine your success or failure…

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Your financial control

This is basically your ability to spend less than you earn, while using the difference to grow your wealth.

How Most People “Control” Their Finances

I have a friend who’s a financial planner, and she finds that most people are suffering from money troubles. No matter if her client’s income is $30,000 or $500,000 a year, they’ve grown their lifestyle to match their income (or exceed it).

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She tells the story of a woman that was earning $10,000 a month and estimated her spending at “about $3,000 per month.” The woman suddenly got quite embarrassed when my friend inquired about the bank account that held her extra $7,000 a month she was saving. Of course there was no bank account, and she was really spending $10,000 a month.

And that’s the reality for most of us… we spend everything we earn. The question is whether we’re spending it on things that will really get us what we want in life.

How To Build Your Wealth

There is an age old – yet often ignored – principle in personal finance called Pay Yourself First. The idea is to put at least 10% of your income away as soon as you receive it. This money goes into your financial freedom account, and you simply live off the difference as you build your wealth.

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Now before you scream at the computer, “I can’t afford to put aside 10% of my income,” hear me out. There was a time when you were in college or had a low paying job and you managed to live on that income. Then, as your income has increased over the years, so has your spending.

Forming Your Financial Freedom Habit

Paying Yourself First is simply a new habit and once you get started it becomes quite natural. You’ll actually be amazed that you don’t miss the 10% at all after a while. You’ll also be amazed by how quickly your financial freedom account grows.

The amount isn’t as important as the habit you are forming. If you think 10% is a stretch then start with 1% and increase it from there. I have heard of people starting with just a few dollars a week, yet the habit they built allowed them to grow their financial freedom account significantly.

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How To Sabotage Your Progress And Never Be Wealthy

The worst thing you can do is say you’ll start building this habit when you make some extra money. If you can’t look after the amount of money you have now, then you won’t be able to look after a bigger amount later. It all starts with the habit and the money will follow.

As the amount grows, you need to be disciplined and keep it locked away in your financial freedom account. No dipping into it for emergency bills or must-have purchases. Especially don’t touch it if you believe you really need a vacation (start another account for that).

You’re Making A Decision Either Way Right Now

You can decide to be wealthy or you can decide to be like most people that struggle financially. Whatever you decide is fine, and it’s completely up to you.

However, if you want to be wealthy, then you need to start your financial freedom account right now. It’s the easiest and simplest way to guarantee you’ll be wealthy in your lifetime.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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