Most of us would like to be wealthy. Unfortunately, few of us ever will.
It’s not impossible, though. In fact, winning your financial freedom is relatively easy. It simply requires sustained effort and an ability to do what others are unwilling to do.
Financial security is not a passive process. Most of us won’t win the lottery, nor will we ever be first round draft picks. Money won’t fall into our laps. For us mere mortals, wealth building requires action.
Sitting back and doing the same old things won’t get it done. Let’s see how you can start building the wealth you deserve.
Think long term.
“The poor think day to day, the middle class year to year, and the wealthy decade to decade.” – Keith Cameron Smith
Life is about choices. Every dollar we spend is a choice.
Do we chose the thrill of short-term excitement – the sharp black designer shoes, the Madden 2012 video game, the expensive nights out?
Or, do we chose long-term stability and financial security?
The choice is ours.
Don’t get me wrong, extremes are never good. A miserly life spent only focused on saving for the future is as insane as one obsessed with immediate gratification at the altar of consumerism.
Life requires balance. However, it’s just too often we chose the immediate over the long-term. Sometimes it pays to purchase the Coach stock instead of the leather Coach handbag.
Recently thousands lined up for the latest and greatest consumer thrill: the iPad 2 from Apple. But consider this:
In 2004, if you’d taken your $299 and purchased Apple stock instead of an Apple iPod, you’d be holding a cool $7000 right now.
Even better yet, if you’d spent your $2700 on Apple stock in 2003 instead of buying an Apple desktop, you’d be sitting on an even sweeter $98,000!
It’s all about choices.
Don’t follow the crowd.
Followers seldom lead. Instead, they often get slaughtered.
When I was a kid, my mom warned me against blindly following the crowd. Does this sound familiar to you? – “I don’t care what everyone else does. If everyone else jumped off a cliff would you jump too?”
As adults, we have no problems following the crowd, right off the cliff to our financial deaths.
Wasn’t it the crowd that declared credit was the normal way of life? Cash was old school, credit cards en vogue.
Didn’t the crowd tell us:
- home values always go up.
- interest only loans aren’t a problem.
- it’s okay to finance a car for five or six years.
- nobody orders just basic cable anymore.
- we live in a fast paced society, so eating out all the time is okay.
Yes, the road less traveled is lonely, but it often leads to financial freedom.
Realize when you spend money you’re actually spending your time.
Think about this. Most of us make our money from working. We essentially exchange time on the job for a paycheck. This is time we’ll never get back, tiny parts of our lives forever lost.
Cash is only a representation of our time, – a visible placeholder for the time we spent earning it.
When we dole out cash for a purchase, we’re really doling out little pieces of our time.
This puts things in perspective. That black dress will cost you 20 hours on the job. The tailored suit will set you back 25 hours. Purchasing the Lexus instead of the Honda Accord – 1200 extra hours at work!
With this in mind, it becomes harder to spend frivolously. You’ll want to get the best possible return on those non-refundable minutes, hours, and days at work.
Find like-minded peers.
We become like those whom we hang around the most.
Your weight is likely to match that of the people closest to you. Your ambition tends to mirror those around you. So too do your expectations, work ethic, and habits.
Financially, your wealth is likely to match that of the people you hang with the most.
Do you love shopping with the sister friend who enjoys splurging on the latest fashion trends? Your bank account will show it. Do you enjoy spending time with the free-spending fellas? You’re spending habits will match.
Should you jettison your best friend, your cousin, or your boo for the sake of wealth? Definitely not, but consider enlarging your peer circle to include like-minded people that are eager to get their money right.
And today it’s easier than ever to make the connection. Twitter, Facebook, chat rooms, blogs, financial ministries, book discussions and investment clubs are all at your disposal.
Or, partner up with an accountability buddy – someone who shares your financial goals. Push each other to reach them together.
Understand you have more than you think – just stop wasting it!
We’re lucky. In the global view of things, we’ve hit the lottery. We live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Even the poorest among us are wealthier than the vast majority of the rest of the planet.
We have more than we think, more than we’re aware of.
The problem is, we waste it. Experts predict most Americans simply squander 10 to 15% of their salary. Wasted food, unused services, useless junk, and hidden fees are just some of the ways we fritter away money.
Ironic since experts also tell us that saving 10% to 15% of our income is enough to provide for a pretty comfortable retirement.
Now it’s your turn. What suggestions do you have for attracting wealth? What tips do you follow that help you build your financial empire?