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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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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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