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Why Money Might Not Be As Important to You As You Think

Why Money Might Not Be As Important to You As You Think

Pop quiz: Name three aspects of your career or business that are more important to you than money.

Okay, just name one.

It’s not easy, is it?

We’re not trained to think this way. Since childhood, we’ve heard repeatedly from authority figures that getting a job or launching a business is all about “providing” or “earning a steady income” or “making a living.” All of which mean money — and only money.

I’ve probably given this more thought than most people have, for one reason: Simple math. I remember as a kid thinking about what a massive portion of my life I was going to spend working — eight hours a day, five days a week, for decades. So it occurred to me I’d better find a career that I’d actually like, or at least not hate.

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So as I began looking for my first job, I made a list of things that I would gladly trade for more salary. It was one of the most valuable exercises I ever engaged in for determining my quality of life.

I’ve added to it over the years, and below is my current list of factors that are more important to me in my career than earning more money. Ask yourself if any of these would apply to you as well.

I’d gladly trade more money for…

1)   The ability to do something I love for a living

2)   The freedom to work flexible hours

3)   The freedom to work from anywhere, including home

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4)   The freedom to dress any way I choose while I’m working

5)   The opportunity to work with people I like and respect

6)   The ability not to have to manage anyone

Some of these might seem trivial — working from home and dressing in shorts and t-shirts while working (which I’ve done more or less every day for a decade). And some might seem like the exact opposite of what we’re taught about professional advancement — like not wanting to manage people, not wanting to “climb” any “ladder.”

Write your own list of things you’d trade for money

I think it’s a great exercise to write down your own list, for several reasons. First, it’s a great way to hone in on what really matters to you in life. I think you’ll be surprised at how low money actually ranks on your list. If you don’t believe me, imagine a recruiter called you to offer you a job that paid twice (or three times, or five times) what you earn today. Now imagine the job…

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1)   Had a two-hour commute

2)   Demanded you be in the office 10+ hours a day and often on weekends

3)   Was a high-pressure environment where supervisors berated the weaker performers

4)   Wasn’t something you enjoyed doing Now spend a minute thinking about all of that extra salary you’d be earning. Would it be worth it, if it meant giving up so much of your life to a long drive, long hours in an environment where you didn’t feel comfortable doing something you didn’t enjoy?

Ask yourself: How much money would I need to give up the best thing about my job?

Thinking about this from another angle, consider the highest-ranking non-monetary item on your list — or, if it’s easier, consider the thing you like best about your current job or business. Maybe you live close to your office, or you have a very flexible schedule and can disappear when you need to take some personal time.

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Would you give that up for another $5,000 a year? How about $10,000?

When you think of it this way, you can see just how much competition money has for things that really matter to your professional happiness.

Money is how we all keep score, and it makes sense that by default it’s where you’d put your focus and your energy — and your frustration if you aren’t happy in your career.

But when you realize that your professional life can be shaped by many key factors other than money — doing what you love, working with people you respect, setting your own professional path — you’ll find it a lot easier to start reshaping your career the way you want it… without worrying so much about sacrificing salary. You might even realize you’re a lot closer to achieving professional fulfillment and happiness than you thought, when you were focused primarily on the size of your paycheck.

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robbie hyman

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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