A budget is not a constraint on fun but rather a way of ensuring that you use your finances as responsibly as possible (via Entrepreneur). The first step is to determine how much money you are bringing in every month and how much money is going out (via Entrepreneur). How much are you spending on groceries, rent, utilities, car payments, and other necessities? How much are you spending on other things that may be fun but not necessary? Determine how much money you can responsibly spend on fun things and limit yourself to that much each month.
Most people in America have just one income stream, coming from the full-time job that they work. But many people who have become millionaires or are heading in that direction have multiple income streams (via Debt.org). These include rental income, investments, money from performing odd jobs and freelance work, and royalties on publications (via Debt.org). When one income stream goes out you won’t be completely in the red. Further, you’ll be earning more money each month and that money can go into investments and savings.
Many employers provide benefits that employees may not be aware of or may not understand the value of (via Medium). Not taking advantage of a matching program for retirement savings is throwing money away. Those employer contributions will gain compounded interest for decades and help set you up for a comfortable retirement (via Medium). Whatever your employer offers for health insurance is worth examining, even if you have insurance through your partner. There may be other benefits, as well, such as help with student loans, as well as personal matters, including adoption assistance and family leave pay, plus dental care, gym allowances, et cetera.
There may be some good debts or unavoidable debts. But if you want to grow your income and become a millionaire, you need to change how you think about debt (via Medium). Many people rely on student loans to go to school, which allows them to earn a higher income. But what other options are available to help you go to school? Look into all avenues before you take out student loans. Also, do whatever you can to avoid credit cards and other forms of debt (via Medium). Buying a used car is better than a new one if it helps you stay out of debt.
Do you spend time with people who think they need to spend hundreds of dollars a month getting their hair and nails done to feel good about themselves? If so, you are much more likely to adopt those habits and flush your financial goals down the toilet. Start spending time with successful people who have taken the time to develop habits that help them achieve their financial goals (via CNBC). You may be surprised to find that those keeping on top of their finances have modest homes, unimpressive wardrobes, and budgets on both their time and money (via CNBC).
Many people trying to get ahead financially find themselves derailed every time a crisis arises. The reason? They do not have an emergency fund, so they have no cushion to fall back on whenever they miss work or put new tires on their cars. To avoid this predicament, save with the initial goal of socking away enough money to cover three months of expenses (via Medium). This emergency fund will keep you from having to reach for your credit card and then pay interest (via Medium). Remember, this fund is for emergencies.
Once you have a savings account with enough money to cover at least three months of expenses, you’ll want to look at options for investing (via Medium). There are many different forms of investment, from high risk to low risk to guaranteed interest. The best approach to investing is to have a diverse portfolio so that you can earn interest in high-earning, high-risk accounts and lower-earning, lower-risk accounts (via Medium). Your money will be able to grow without you having to do anything. Those wealthy set up transfers to automatically invest more money every month instead of just putting in one initial investment and expecting it to last for life.
Many people are terrified of approaching their bosses with the idea of negotiating their salary (via CNBC). They fear retribution, such as an unpleasant conversation where the boss tells them what they are really worth. People interviewing for a job might be even more hesitant to negotiate a good salary because they are more concerned with getting a foot in the door, with the anticipation of getting a raise down the road. If you want to increase your wealth, one of the most important things to do is increase the amount of money coming in every month (via CNBC).
People who want to appear rich show off by flaunting the latest styles, driving an expensive car that they may not be able to afford, and continually upgrading their phones and computers. People working to grow their finances and hopefully become millionaires are not concerned about what other people think about their hairstyle, clothes, and car (via CNBC). Instead, they are more concerned with putting their best selves out there by showing up for work and making decisions that will grow their money, not their toys (via CNBC). If you have a habit of showing off, decide if you want toys or wealth.
90% of the time that you waste is probably spent scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts on your phone. And how much time do you waste playing useless games that do nothing but distract you from what you really need to be doing? Reduce the number of apps on your phone by deleting social media and games (via Inc). The time you used to waste on your phone can be spent more productively by reading, spending time with people who add value to your life, or learning a new skill. These habits will make you more successful and help you become a millionaire (via Inc).
You may be thinking that if you want to grow your finances, you need to be spending more time working and less time sleeping. However, getting adequate sleep every night is critical to sound judgment and good decision-making (via Inc). Running around constantly, trying to work as much as you can and squeeze as much out of every single minute, can actually be counterproductive because you will send your mind into overdrive. Instead, value your rest, knowing that you are recharging your brain and setting yourself up to make those minutes that you are working matter even more (via Inc).
If you want to pretend that you are rich, use your credit card or the money that should go into savings to go out to eat several times a week. But if you want to be savvier about how you use your money so that it can grow, you will need to severely reduce the number of times that you go out to eat (via Inc). Instead, buy ingredients so that you can cook meals at home, which will cost about one-quarter the amount of what you will spend going out to eat (via Inc). On that note, also avoid programs that deliver ingredients to your home to make specific meals, as these programs cost about as much as going out to eat.
There are probably many ways to save corners off of your food bill (via Inc). Don’t ever shop when you are hungry, as you will be much more likely to make impulse purchases instead of buying the healthy foods you planned. Start purchasing in bulk, which will be much cheaper than buying in smaller quantities (via Inc). Limit the amount of red meat you buy, as red meat is more expensive than vegetable-based protein. Stop buying bottled water, and limit the sugary drinks you buy, especially from places like Starbucks.
Credit cards can be way too tempting for some people, and those who are wealthy avoid racking up credit card bills. Not only do they tend to live very modestly, but they also use cash (via Inc). Using cash instead of cards prevents you from overspending, and as a bonus, you won’t have to worry about interest on credit cards (via Inc). Having to touch the cash you are using to pay for something will make you have to think through what you are buying and determine if it is really worth the amount you’re physically handing over.
Online shopping can be a great way to get the best deal possible, but many people routinely go overboard and browse Amazon to buy things they don’t need and didn’t even want five minutes ago (via Inc). If you want to stop leaking money out of your bank account every month, close your Amazon account and get back to brick-and-mortar stores (via Inc). Even if you are paying slightly more per item, in the long run, you will actually be saving a lot of money by reducing the number of impulse purchases that you’re making.
No one wants to admit that they have a toxic relationship draining the time and energy out of every day (via Inc). Instead, many people would continue in the destructive habits that perpetuate these relationships than admit how much they have lost and cut the person off. Successful people who are getting ahead financially make a point of associating with other successful people and dropping those who are draining them (via Inc). If you have a toxic relationship in your life, drop that person and embrace positive change.
If you have a habit of eating a lot of junk food, watching television, and ordering takeout, you should not be surprised that you are unmotivated and lack the energy to make positive changes in your life. In addition, you will be more likely to have to miss work because of sickness. If you want to get ahead in your life, especially with your finances, adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, exercise, and meaningful social interaction (via Inc). Try going vegetarian five days a week, and you will be amazed at how much more energy you have (via Inc).
Most of your colleagues probably dread going to work every day and do the bare minimum necessary to get their paychecks. If you want to be a candidate for a serious raise that will put you on track to turning your paycheck into wealth, you need to start going above and beyond (via Inc). The best way to do so is to become a problem solver willing to tackle challenges with the approach that solutions are to be found (via Inc). If you have a habit of complaining at work, drop it right away and adopt a can-do attitude.
Believing that you are a failure who will never get ahead will cause you to make choices that reflect that belief. In this way, negative self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy (via Debt.org). Telling yourself, “I’ll always be broke,” will cause you to give up and, in self-resignation and defeat, break out the credit card to buy something unnecessary that will make you feel better. Instead, talk to yourself about the positive steps you are taking to get control of your life so that you are no longer in financial bondage (via Debt.org). Changing your beliefs is an integral part of altering your habits, transforming your destiny.
If you’re like most workers, you know that you are worth more than you are getting paid but are also afraid of talking with your boss about getting a raise (via Inc). Be bold and open up a conversation with your boss about your current position and what they expect from you to promote you and increase your salary. You may already be doing many necessary things to receive a promotion (via Inc). Thus, the key is to get the courage to have the conversation. And when your boss tells you what you need to do to get promoted, do it.
Plenty of workers feel that what they are doing at work all day doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, and they believe that the company would carry on just fine without them. In turn, they may be concerned about layoffs, especially when rumors of downsizing begin. If you want to set yourself apart and make sure that you don’t get laid off, make yourself indispensable (via Inc). Being indispensable means that your boss and coworkers know that they can count on you, and you will come through when things are tough (via Inc). Be a problem solver, not a complainer, and someone people look up to.
If you want to become rich, you need to make your mornings work for you. Start waking up early, ideally three hours before you need to clock into work, and consistently wake up at the same time on days that you do not have to work (via CNBC). Take the time to digest the daily news, cook yourself a healthy breakfast, and have meaningful interactions with your family (via CNBC). This pattern will be a much better way to start a productive and meaningful day than gulping down a cup of coffee and rushing out the door with your shoes untied.
Making a million dollars is a lofty aspiration that can make you feel overwhelmed and defeated when you do not achieve it quickly. Break down your big ambitions into smaller, achievable goals that you can attack with a clear plan of action (via CNBC). Maybe you cannot set aside three months of emergency expenses immediately, but you can save a certain amount of money each month. That amount will add up so that eventually, you will make a dent in that emergency fund. Other meaningful goals include setting a budget and sticking by it and investing a certain amount of money in a year (via CNBC).
The single best thing that you can do to increase your financial portfolio and pave the way to early retirement is to pay off your debts (via CNBC). These include more than just student loans and credit cards; you also need to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible. People who have been able to retire around the age of 50, rather than 65, tend to have one thing in common. They have paid off their mortgages and are entirely debt-free (via CNBC). The amount of money they need from one month to the next is significantly lower without a mortgage payment.
One life strategy that can dramatically increase your chances to become rich is taking notes (via CNBC). In fact, people who plan for the future are nearly 300 percent more likely to become millionaires, and Bill Gates swears by the power of taking notes any time that inspiration strikes (via CNBC). When you think of something that you are unable to deal with at the moment but that does need your attention, write it down into your phone to come back to later.
You may be overpaying on your taxes. People who are on top of their finances take full advantage of all tax deductions that are available (via Medium). These include deductions for payments on a student loan and mortgage interest, child tax credits, business deductions, and anything else available (via Medium). Take some time to learn what tax deductions and credits are available so you can take advantage of them.
If you want to expand your financial portfolio, you need to grow your financial literacy (via Medium). In other words, you need to keep learning. People who regularly read books and not just news articles are much more likely to achieve their goals than people who rely on YouTube videos for their information. Read up on trends in finance so that you can stay on top of things, but also read about other topics that you are interested in. Learning new things with reading will help set you above your peers and make you a more desirable employee (via Medium).
One of the most important steps you can take to set yourself up for financial success is to build a comprehensive financial plan (via Savology). A financial plan is more than a budget that considers your income and expenses. It also accounts for things like how much insurance you have, including life insurance and your major goals. Do you want to buy a house? If so, how much of a place do you think you will be able to afford, and when will you be able to make a down payment given your current financial habits? A financial plan will address these concerns (via Savology).
If you’re confused about getting started with a financial plan, financial advisors can help (via Savology). No matter how savvy you think that you are, you need to talk with a financial advisor if you are trying to get on track to become rich. A financial advisor will be able to help you understand the market, which is an essential measure of how your investments may or may not perform, and also the housing market (via Savology). They will help you determine either the value of your home (if you have one) or what home prices may look like in the near future.
There are many different ways to get tempted to spend more money than you have coming in. Alternatively, maybe you want to spend more money in an area than you have allotted for in your budget (via Savology). The challenge may come in the form of shoes or camping equipment on sale but that you have no budget for or risky investments that look like a great deal. Either one could be a massive pitfall because those shoes actually won’t pay for themselves, and that risky investment could very easily fail. If you are trying to get your finances together, make sure that you don’t overspend (via Savology)!
Just about every kind of account you open will have fees associated with it (via Savology). A basic checking account will have overdraft expenses that could increase $40 per infraction. A savings account can give rewards via interest, but the bank may charge you if you do not keep your balance at a certain level (via Savology). Investment funds also tend to charge fees, either monthly or yearly. Be aware of the costs associated with each account you have, and make sure you consider them as part of your budget. And whatever you do, don’t ever overdraft your account.
You’ve probably heard that you should shop around for other purchases that you want to make, whether groceries, clothing or even larger purchases, such as a home or a car (via Savology). And you can usually get a better deal on a mortgage if you shop around between lenders. Make sure that you also shop around for things like insurance, investments, and other major financial concerns (via Savology). Not all insurances and investment funds are created equal, and getting the best deal (without being cheap or skimping out on the essentials) could make all the difference in your financial success.
Suppose you owe money on anything. Then do whatever you can to pay more than the minimum amount every month (via Savology). If you owe money on your car, call the bank holding the loan to increase your payments each month. That way, you will shorten the life of the loan and pay less because of interest. Do the same thing if you have a mortgage, student loan, or other significant debt (via Savology). Also, try the debt snowball when you work aggressively towards paying off one debt. Then when that debt is paid, you apply all the money each month from that debt towards another one.
Financial experts recommend putting at least 10% of your money into savings each month, yet many people fail to do so (via Savology). They bemoan that they do not have enough money left at the end of the month to put into savings, so they neglect the most critical aspect of their financial well-being. The best solution is to pay yourself first. Immediately deposit 10% (or more) of the amount into a savings account whenever you get paid (via Savology). Remember that a savings account is not for touching; it is for growth to achieve your financial goals throughout your lifetime.