It’s time to save money for your future
Many aspiring entrepreneurs dream of starting a business with a small sum, to turn into a million-rand juggernaut. After all, every business has to start somewhere. If you’re looking for advice or inspiration, there are plenty of entrepreneurs out there who have turned themselves into household names while achieving their financial dreams.
Is saving easy money? From a distance, it appears to be. But, when it comes down to it, it’s challenging especially when starting with a low amount.
The first question you need to ask is how to start, because most of the time starting is the hardest part about saving for any goal.
Here are ten pieces of worthwhile advice on saving from people like you who made a fortune:
Consider every purchase in terms of cost per hour
Having the discipline to save 70% of your income, could seem impossible, especially considering that the prices of basic needs like bread and milk keep rising. But, that’s exactly what JP Livingston did to be able to quit her job at 28 – with USD2 million in the bank.
Her top piece of money-saving advice comes down to a shift in mind-set: Don’t take prices at face value, but consider them in the context of how many hours of work it would cost, a strategy she picked up from Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s book, “Your Money or Your Life.“
“If you think about how much you earn and you divide it by the number of hours you work, you get the amount of money per life unit,” explains Livingston. For example, if your cost per hour is R100. That means it would take you 20 hours of worth of work to afford your R2000 worth of groceries, which certainly puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
“If you think of things as not just what you save that day, but having that money work for you and compound, it will totally change the way you spend money,” she continues.
Related: How To Start Saving Money Today
Pay off your debt
“People who have a lot of debt and loans don’t have the cash flow to save in the first place,” says Scott Wellens, founder of FortressPlanningGroup and host of the “Best in Wealth” podcast.
He continues to advise that if you have debt, you’ll end up paying interest to the credit companies instead of earning interest on your savings.
“The best way to start saving money is to get out of debt as quickly as possible and have the discipline to stay out of debt. You will be surprised at how much money can be saved on a monthly basis if you kick debt out of your life,” he advises.
Invest in your future by paying off your debts; this is a guaranteed return on investment because you’ll have more flexibility with your financial decisions.You’ll know what to expect and, as you pay off each debt, you’ll have more money to achieve your financial goals with.
Track your expenses
You need to have a clear view of your accounts, how much you earn and how much you spend on expenses.
“Too many adults do not have an accurate view of their income and expenses,” says Bily Xiao engineer-turned-advisor and founder of WealthMobius.com.
He says that if you measure your income, you can improve it. “So start tracking, take stock of how much you’re saving, identify low-hanging fruit of expenses you can cut, and start setting some incremental goals to increase your saving. Make use of great tools like Mint.com (syncs with your financial accounts) or YouNeedABudget.com (more manual and private) for tracking,” he explains.
Do the math and figure out which deal is truly the best for your finances in the long run. Not only will this technique help you to save money, but you’ll be able to reduce the amount of interest you earn paying items off each month.
Keep a careful eye on your savings
Kristy and Bryce Shen were able to save USD1 million by age 31. They quit their jobs as computer engineers to travel the work, thanks to a diligent habit of tracking their money. “I think tracking is absolutely paramount,” says Shen. “That’s one of the things that would help people a lot financially.”
“Even if you blow the budget once or twice, it’s not a big deal. Everybody makes mistakes. I made mistakes, too,” explains Shen. “Being able to track it allows you to see: ‘Hey, look! I’m going in the wrong direction. It’s not going towards my financial goal.’ So then you just move back toward the right path, and then you’re good to go.”
Don’t lose your happiness to saving
When embarking on this goal don’t forget to live your life. Yes you want to achieve your goals, but you don’t want to make yourself miserable while doing it. “I went so hard-core that I made myself really unhappy during the process,” says Mad Fientist during an episode of his “Financial Independence Podcast.”
He kept a meticulous spreadsheet, which helped him to organise and monitor his spending, investments, and net worth, while saving 70% of his after-tax income.
Yes, you have to be patient, determined and persistent, but avoid becoming consumed with saving that it isolates you.
“I just didn’t want to do anything that involved spending money,” he says. “I just wanted to get there as soon as possible.”
He advises that you need to focus on the power that you’re receiving along the way with the money you’re saving up. Use that power to make your life better along the way. “Don’t sacrifice happiness for that final number in the bank,” he advises.
Optimise your earnings
The key to building wealth is optimising your earnings says Chad Carson, who lives off passive income from 90 rental properties. “Particularly in your first 10 years, if you make mistakes of buying emotionally on your residence as opposed to buying in a very calculated manner by making your residence a house-hack or a live-and-flip, or just renting and investing that somewhere else, the magnitude of that mistake is huge 20 to 30 years from now,” explains Carson.
Carson lived in one room while renting the other rooms of a property to cover the bond repayments. With his costs covered he used his salary to build a nest egg and buy more rental properties in his hometown of South Carolina.
Now, he spends just three to five hours a week managing his rentals from Ecuador, where he lives with his family.
Automate your savings
When trying to save seeing that money in your account can be tempting, but if you create a debit order from your account to an investment account you can save every month without being tempted.
“Determine how much you can afford to save each week or month based on your personal income and spending,” says Jamie Pomeroy, Financial Advisor at Merchants Bank.
“Once you have established a budget and have clear short- and long-term goals, one easy way to get in the habit of saving money toward those goals, is to simply automate it. Set up regular and automatic deposits into your investment and savings accounts,” Pomeroy explains.
Re-acquaint yourself with being frugal and develop a side business
Joe and Ali Olson now spend their days traveling around the world with their 1 year-old daughter. They were both public school teachers, and they were able to quit their jobs with USD1 million in the bank, retiring after just eight years in the workforce.
They started out by buying properties for a steep discount. They initially lost money, but when the market turned they began turning a profit. By the time they quit their jobs they owned 15 properties.
They managed to live on USD20 000 a year without any major sacrifices. But even as they saved, their lifestyle didn’t succumb to inflation. They continued to save 75% of their income and resided in their 37- square-meter home. “We cultivated a concept of gratitude about everything,” Ali said. “And once you’re grateful for everything you have, to try to get more seems silly.”
Embrace the challenge
Peter and Simi Adeney were both software engineers. They stashed two-thirds of their combined USD134 000 take-home pay in savings. After 10 years they had USD600 000 in investments and paid for a house worth USD200 000.
But the road to financial independence isn’t easy. In fact, it’s loaded with challenges.
“What it boils down to is enjoying hardship and practicing voluntary hardship every day,” reveals Adeney.
“We’re trained in this country to avoid difficult stuff. And so that’s the first thing I think you need to get rid of if you want to get anywhere that’s different from the other people.”
He continues to say that even if you’re just starting out, cutting down on the extravagant purchases makes the whole process efficient. “Suddenly, you can earn more money and you can spend less money because you engage in this quest to make your life better, which happens to involve doing difficult stuff.”
What are you waiting for?
Between, Justin McCurry and his wife they managed to save up over USD1 million in nine years. Their net worth continues to grow thanks to their investments and currently sits at USD1.7 million.
“When you’re still young, how you save doesn’t matter as long as you’re actively putting away money one way or another,” explains McCurry.
“Figure out how to invest it as you go along. The planning aspects of it, how much you need to save, your budget, your withdrawal rates, and all that — that’s a lot easier to figure out later in the game,” he advises.
Time is one advantage you’ll never get back so if you’re planning to retire early, don’t worry about knowing everything there is to know about taxes and investments. “Start saving today, and then get smarter at tax planning as you learn more, as you go along,” says McCurry.
If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30
Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.
Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.
So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.
From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.
Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.
5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success
You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.
I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?
Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.
I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.
It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.
You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.
It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.
3. Ambition and big dreams
Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?
I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.
4. Learn from mistakes
Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?
Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”
5. Focus on niches
This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.
You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.
Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life
There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see it every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.
Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfilment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?
For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.
Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives. If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.
Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.
Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.
Which area do you tend to focus on more: What you have or what’s missing from your life?
I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.
Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional wellbeing and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to feel deeply grateful for your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfilment can be found.
Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?
If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.
When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:
Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.
Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.
When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?
If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?
Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?
Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.
I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85% to 90% of those assembled raise their hands.
How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side-effect.
But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like ‘life is not worth living,’ that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.
Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.
When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit to what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.
So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.
Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.
If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.
Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.
Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.
Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behaviour on those they respect, enjoy and love.
The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.
Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by. It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad, or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.
Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.
It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.
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