What’s your personal finance strategy? If you asked me a few years ago, I would probably laugh it off: “I’ll leave that for tomorrow.”
Dumb move. If you don’t have a personal finance strategy, there’s a chance you will never get wealthy. The average millennial earns $40-$50K a year and has $20-$40K in student debt.
But the high achieving millennial earns up to 7X more than the average. The same is true for people of all ages. The difference between average earners and above-earners is huge.
Once I realized that, I got serious about money. But I didn’t focus on making more money—a mistake that many of us make. We always think more cash is the solution to everything.
“All my problems will be solved once I have a little bit more cash on hand.” Sorry to disappoint you, but that will never happen. As your bank account grows, your problems will too.
What’s a big goal or dream that you have? Do you want to start a business? Become a fulltime author? Travel the world? Become financially independent? Change careers?
I bet you’ve thought about it, and at some point thought, “I’m not sure I can achieve that.”
If you’re anything like me, you always think about risks that are involved with making a big move in life. And that’s not a surprise. We’re collectively risk averse. We truly hate risk. I’ve never met someone who said, “I love to lose everything!”
But what can we do about our risk aversion? If you think about it, most of us are put off by fear. You think of doing something, consider the risks, and decide not to do it. Here are some examples.
I’m not hungry for money. Compared to several years ago, when I had less money, I still have the same life.
I wake up, drink my freshly brewed coffee, read a good book, and then start working until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Then, I put on my shorts and t-shirt and start working out.
Sometimes I listen to music during my workouts, and sometimes I don’t. After working out, I have dinner with my family. We watch a TV show or movie after we eat. And then, I get back to working or reading.
You see, it doesn’t take much money to live a good life. Benjamin Graham, one of the most respected investors of all time, once told his apprentice:
“Money isn’t making that much difference in how you and I live. We’re both going down to the cafeteria for lunch and working every day and having a good time. So don’t worry about money, because it won’t make much difference in how you live.”
What’s your money strategy? Do you even have one?
If not, it’s not uncommon. Until two years ago, I didn’t have a financial plan, whatsoever.
Even though I’ve been reading about money, finance, and investing ever since I made my first few bucks as a teenager, I never created a financial plan.
But now, I think every single working professional needs a financial strategy. How do you spend your money? How much do you save? What are your thoughts about debt? How do you invest your money? How much money do you need to retire?
These are questions that every person who makes money must answer.
Let’s face it. If you want to retire comfortable (I’m not even talking about living a luxurious lifestyle), you need to get rich.
Do you have a long list of goals, desires, and wants for your life? Do you want to learn more? Earn more? Improve your skills? Get the most out of your relationships? Live better?
All those things are good. Life is about moving forward and making consistent progress.
However, there’s one important thing about all this working, hustling, striving, and achieving more: You can’t do everything at the same time.