Getting rich is a dream share by most people, but only a tiny group are aware of the steps needed for acquiring wealth. Becoming rich requires good habits, patience, and like buildings, it requires a good foundation.
Although getting rich is not easy, by implementing the steps mentioned here and cultivating an unbreakable will, your chances of success will increase exponentially.
Understand where you are right now
If you are like most people, you probably spend most of your time thinking about the future, or even worse thinking about the past.
Although it is good to have dreams, it is more important knowing where you are right now.
Good sailors always know where they are heading, but more importantly they know where they are at any given point. If not, they are lost, and no matter how well they know their destination, they will not get there.
Start by making an audit of where you stand financially right now, this will allow you to get a realistic picture of your current situation.
Make sure to write everything down. Your monthly income, rent, car insurance, groceries, assets, debts, whatever might be, only then you can start creating your financial future.
Make a Budget
Before you spend your money on clothes, shoes or anything else that you don’t really need, create a monthly budget that covers all of your basic expenses.
I found this great budget spreadsheet by redditor welliamwallacein that will help with this.
Fill it out with your information and print it so that is easily accessible when you need it.
He also provides the following graph where he talks about “Flow” and how money is like a stream of water and every expense that you have takes away from that stream.
It is also a great idea to start carrying around a journal, or a budget app in your phone where you can input all the money you earn, as well as where your money goes.
Whatever method works for you, make sure you stick to your budget and plan ahead for situations where you are tempted to buy things.
A great tip for impulse buyers is to carry a shopping list every time you go to the store. Did you ever go to the store for a bag of milk and came out with a basket of 20 items?
It’s estimated that 70 percent of all groceries purchases are unplanned. Think about that for a second.
You probably did not need half of those things but ended buying them anyway. A shopping list gives you a clear idea of what you need and eliminates unnecessary purchases.
Another great tip is to get in the habit of asking yourself questions like, do I really need this? Will this make me happy in the long run? Will this change my life? This type of questions will help you see the big picture and help you let go of small things in order to get to where you want to be.
Reduce Living Expenses
Life gets expensive, and everyday costs can add up to a lot of money. In order to become rich you must be aware of these costs and take the necessary steps to minimize them.
A good starting point is to remove unnecessary routine purchases. While this might not make a big impact to your saving wallet, it is important and easy.
Is the coffee shop on your way to work necessary?
Start making your own coffee instead of buying it full price at Starbucks. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Can you bring your own lunch instead of buying it?
Eating out is very convenient but it is significantly expensive compare to making your own food. Cheap foods like McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants are amazing for your wallet but horrible for your health.
Instead, look at other options to make eating outside more convenient. A great idea is to cook several meals in one day so it’s easier to just pack and go.
Are you a smoker?
This is the perfect time to let go of unhealthy habits you might have and save a ton of money that you could invest in a healthy habit like a gym membership.
According to smokefree.org:
“If you smoke a pack a day you will spend more than $5,000 a year on cigarettes.”
That’s a lot of money that you could be investing in other things.
This are a few of the questions you can ask yourself to save money, I am sure you can find more ways and if not here is a great list that might help you out.
Address your utilities.
Having a roof over your head comes at a price. No matter where you live in the world, renting or owning a house is expensive. That doesn’t mean it has to be more expensive than already is.
Here are the most important ways you can save money at home:
Heating and cooling
Keeping your house at a comfortable temperature will get expensive. When you leave the house, set your thermostat to an “away” setting. Make sure you understand how to properly use your thermostat.
Avoid using heating and A/C when it’s not essential. To stay cool, open your windows or use a small personal fan. To stay warm, wear several layers of clothing, wear a blanket, or use a space heater.
Consider investing in ceiling fans – you can get these for as little as US$20 and they dramatically reduce cost of heating and cooling by circulating the air more efficiently.
If your expenses are already low, and you will not be staying where you are for long, consider electric blankets and mattress pads.
Turn off the lights when you’re not around. There’s no reason to leave the lights on if you’re not in the room or in the house.
Turn off your computer/laptop when you are not using it.
Open the drapes during the day for light instead of burning electricity. Only use electricity when you need it.
Clean the radiator on the back of your refrigerator, if it is dirty, this will improve the efficiency of one of the larger consumers of energy in your household.
Invest in a shower-reduction kit. They work by reducing the flow to the shower head and the change is barely noticeable.
You could also learn to take quicker showers – an inexpensive egg timer is a good way to help.
Repair leaky toilets and faucets – this is an enormous waste of water and easy to fix.
Reduce your lawn watering to minimum needs.
If you have a pool, keep it covered when it’s not in use to reduce evaporation.
If you are not using the faucet turn it off — e.g., when brushing teeth do not leave faucet running.
Cable and telephone
I usually recommend people to forgo cable altogether and just get Netflix instead, that way you get to watch only what you want, no commercials and you save a ton of money. Just make sure you have unlimited internet at home and decent streaming.
The same goes with home phone, with the invention of the smartphones, a lot of people are eliminating the extra cost of having a landline when they have they cellphones with them at all times, it just doesn’t make financial sense.
Cell phone saving plans
Some mobile phone plans are genuinely good and money-saving; but make sure that you shop around first for the deal that best suits you.
Pay yourself first
“A part of all you earn is yours to keep.” Develop the habit of saving 10 percent of everything you earn and you will see your money grow steadily. It should be at least 1/10 no matter how little you earn, you can save much more if you have the means.
“Wealth like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first dollar you save it’s the seed from which your tree of wealth will grow, the sooner you plant that seed the sooner the tree will grow.”
Saving money will not only allow you to become financially independent and stop you from living paycheck to paycheck but will also give you peace of mind.
If you seriously cannot save 10 percent and all your money it’s already going to the most important bills, then try saving only 1 percent.
Calculate how much is 1 percent of all you earn, set it aside, and make it your goal to cut the same amount throughout the month in activities where you don’t really need the money. Then slowly built to 10 percent.
Invest your money
Saving money is great, but not enough if you want to be wealthy. Invest the money you save and earn even more money from it. That money you invested will continue to earn you money regardless of what you’re doing. This is what’s known as passive income, and is what makes people rich.
Also it’s important that you are smart when it comes to what you are investing in, and do your homework beforehand.
Invest in YOU
The money saved can be use to invest in your personal growth, consider spending your money in books or audiobooks, seminars, or workshops.
This is smart investing since you are the most important person in your life and the most valuable tool you have at your disposal.
Reinvest your profits
Once you start making money from your investments don’t go spend it in the first thing that pops into your head, if you want to be a millionaire, guess what, this money will also go into investing.
Big companies are a great example of this principle. Even with their billions of dollars they make sure that the first thing they spend their money earned is by investing in other companies.
Maybe you are sitting down thinking, but I am not a company. I totally disagree, if you want to be successful, start seeing yourself as a company and you must be the CEO that takes it to greatness.
Start thinking different
I am just going to drop a very famous quote here by Albert Einstein
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Guess what, if so far you have lived paycheck to paycheck, you have to realize that the type of thinking that got you here will not get you there (to riches). Like Einstein said, you got to change your thinking patterns if you want to be what you are not.
Simple. Not really. But you gotta start somewhere and by analysing every decision, every habit and by start making the necessary choices you will get there, is not a question of if, is a question of when.
Use Momentum in your favour
Don’t forget about the compound effect or momentum, this basically means that although you won’t see any benefits in the beginning, once you get momentum going, your life will skyrocket.
The same thing happens when a rocket ship launches. The space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of flight than it does the entire rest of the trip. Why is that? Because it has to break free of the pull of gravity, once it does , it can glide into orbit.
You will need a lot of energy to break your inertia and get your new enterprise on the way, but once you get momentum going you’ll be hard to stop.
“Small, seemingly insignificant steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference” – Darren Hardy
To conclude this article I want you to remember this formula
Small smart choices + Consistency + Time = Radical Difference
Real and lasting success requires work, and lots of it.
By the end of this article I want you to know in your bones that the only path to financial freedom it’s through a continuum of, mundane, unsexy, unexcited, and difficult daily disciplines that compounded over time will get you the results that you desire.