The 7 Simple Habits of Financially Successful People

Financial education is non-existent in American schools. I remember learning how to write a check and balance a checkbook in Home Ec, but there were no courses about mortgages, budgeting, taxes, or living within my means. Not at school, anyway.

My parents taught me about being frugal. There weren’t any overt lessons, just leading by example in their daily lives. They didn’t do anything extravagant — no big vacations, no fancy clothes, no new cars. In fact, my dad drove the same car throughout my entire childhood. He bought it brand new two years before I was born. I learned to drive on this vehicle, and it had something like 200,000 miles on it when it finally died.

With so little financial education readily available, it’s no surprise that few people know how to manage their finances. So how do some people kill it, while others struggle?

The 7 Simple Habits of Financially Successful People

1. They check their statements every month.

Unless you’re completely off the grid, you get statements from your various accounts every month. Whether available online or actual paper statements, you have access to a monthly accounting of what’s going on in your finances. How often do you check them?

My husband starts each day with a quick peek at the statements. Bank, credit cards, stock investments, etc. He tracks everything going into and out of each account, every single day. While this may seem excessive, he feels uncomfortable when he doesn’t do it.

He discovered our credit card number was stolen a few years ago when a weird charge showed up. We were able to shut down that card quickly, before it turned into a big problem.

Keeping tabs on your accounts doesn’t have to be a daily thing. Weekly or even monthly is fine — but many people just don’t even bother to ever check it.

When was the last time you checked your monthly statements?

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2. They plan their estate.

Nobody likes to think about dying. Planning your estate can be a depressing task — which makes it extremely easy to put off. Repeatedly. Like, forever.

But without a will, you have no control over what happens to your things. Your house, your car, even custody of your children all becomes subject to the intestacy laws of your state, which may not bear any resemblance to your wishes.

Don’t let this happen to you. Make a will so that your assets go where you want them to go. Even a handwritten holographic will will preserve your intentions.

Include custody directions if you have children or animals. The best course of action is to have a conversation with the person you are giving custody to — you don’t want it to come as a surprise to them.

Be as specific as you want in your will. You earned this wealth. You helped it grow. Direct your heirs on how to handle your possessions, so your legacy can continue.

3. They create (and stick to) a budget.

Financially savvy people have a plan for their money. Dave Ramsey calls it “giving every dollar a name.” You make a plan for how you are going to spend your money each month, rather than just hoping you’ll have enough to pay all the bills.

But say the word “budget,” and people freak out — it sounds like a restriction. Look at your budget as a tool. You don’t have to give up everything simply because you make one. Instead, you are creating a blueprint for how you want to spend your money.

4. They live below their means.

Spending every dime that comes into your pocket is one of the best paths to financial ruin. Having no cushion doesn’t allow you to roll with the punches that may come along. Lose your job or have an unexpected bill, and it could take you months or even years to recover.

Living below your means allows you to save and invest the difference between what you earn and what you spend. If life throws you a curve ball, you won’t get knocked off your feet.

Living below your means doesn’t mean that you are giving up everything fun. By using a budget to plan your spending, you can include money for entertainment, clothing, or even just a miscellaneous category to spend as you see fit.

But instead of spending $500 one month and $700 the next, you plan — and stick to — your budget, which allows you to save and invest.

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5. They pay themselves first.

Paying yourself first means to set aside money to invest or save — BEFORE you spend any other money. All too often, people spend spend spend, then save or invest whatever is left over. If you have no budget, have no idea how you spend your money, and have a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality, your leftovers are meager — if anything.

When you are creating that budget, create a line for investing. Make that the first thing you put money into every week or every month. Funnel any unexpected money — like a bonus or a refund — into this category, too.

6. They invest.

Financially intelligent people invest for their future. But say the word “invest,” and people panic.

You don’t have to be able to pick stocks like a pro to invest. In fact, investing heavily in individual stocks is a recipe for disaster.

Having a diversified portfolio is one of the best ways to spread out your risk. Index funds — a collection of funds designed to mimic a specific index — give you broad market exposure. An index fund is a passively managed fund, so the fees are significantly lower than traditional, actively managed mutual funds.

Real estate is another way to diversify your portfolio, and having a passive source of income through rental properties or even REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) is a great hedge against the ups and downs of the stock market.

Bonds also provide a low-risk investment option, but their return is also lower than what you can find through other investment vehicles.

7. They are money conscious.

I went out to dinner with friends one night. We went for sushi, but I don’t like the idea of eating raw fish. There are a lot of options at a sushi restaurant, and I ended up with cucumber and avocado sushi, which is significantly less expensive than the fancy dragon rolls and rainbow rolls that my dinner companions were eating.

At the end of the night, we split the bill evenly. I didn’t eat nearly the same amount of food, but enjoyed my time with my friends and was OK with splitting the bill evenly amongst all of us. It wasn’t going to break me financially, and it wasn’t something I did frequently.

It wasn’t something I did frequently, but it WAS something they did frequently.

At the time, I was married with no children. Both my husband and I worked and lived frugally, far below our means. But my friends were all single, living alone, and making far less than my husband and me.

They felt they “deserved” these meals out and went out at least once a week to equally lavish restaurants, spending similar amounts on their meal. Every. Single. Week.

They had no concept of their spending. They felt no compulsion to save any amount. They didn’t invest. They weren’t conscious of their spending.

So I didn’t talk to them about it.

Who wants to listen to someone lecturing them about money? They didn’t care about their finances, and me hopping up on a soapbox to try to sway them to my side wasn’t going to have the desired effect.

Being money conscious doesn’t mean you never spend any money. It doesn’t even mean you never spend frivolously. It means you are conscious of your spending, conscious of what things cost, and conscious of how your actions affect your future.

Being financially successful doesn’t mean you give up fun. It means you have a financial plan and you stick to it. You make saving for your future a priority, and you structure your life to reach your goals.

If you aren’t currently financially savvy, start with one of these steps. Then add another when you feel ready. Your very first step, the most difficult thing to grasp, is that you need to make a change.

Source: biggerpockets.com ~ By: Mindy Jensen

Purse Power: 10 Tips Every Woman Must Know About Money and Wealth

Over the next decade, it’s reported that women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the ostentatious transfer of wealth in our country’s history. Evaluations range from $12 to $40 trillion dollars. Will you be in the number and what is your plan to get there?

According to Wealth Activator and Strategist, LaShawne Holland, “Let’s face it, we’re not about to earn our way to wealth. Earned income alone doesn’t lead to wealth for the majority of Americans. Somehow, we think that if we work harder, smarter, longer, we’ll achieve our financial dreams. But our paycheck alone, no matter how big—isn’t the answer. We need to hold a purse of our own.”

Holland says that jobs are not designed to make you wealthy; they’re designed to make the owner of the company wealthy. As a little girl, her grandmother use to say, “God bless the child that’s has her own.” She has developed winning wealth strategies for hundreds over the past 20 years and has witnessed the evidence that there is power in knowing and controlling your OWN numbers.

LaShawne shares ten (10) wealth tips to empower your purse:

1. Build A Wealthy Mindset. You will not grow beyond your thinking. If your thinking and money mindset is toxic, your wallet will be too. Consider your thoughts around money. Do they help you grow or keep you stuck? Are they negative or are they abundant? Your thoughts become your realities. Think wealthy thoughts!

2. Get Clear On Your Wealth Vision. Most people stay stuck in their finances because they make their financial problems bigger than the vision of what’s possible for them. It’s inevitable that you need a vision for what you’re going to do in your life and in the life of your family. The critical component that most people lack is—a financial vision. So many people that I talk to on a daily basis don’t have a vision for their life, family, and certainly not finances. They have wants. They have desires. They have wishes, but they don’t have a vision, that includes actionable strategy to get to their desired destination or manifestation.

3. Create An Environment For Wealth Attraction. In order for anything to grow successfully and be sustainable, you need the right environment for success. This means spending time with people that desire to grow in the same direction, developing successful financial habits, and position your personal development so you can be the right person to grow your purse power. It’s not good enough to be in the right seat on the bus. You have to be the right person, in the right seat, on the right bus. Your environment matters.

4. Stop Killing The Golden Goose. Don’t spend 100% of your income. Remember the old childhood fable of the Golden Goose? Oftentimes, we kill the financial strength of our ability to grow wealth because we spend 100% of what we make. You have to put money away for your golden years, plan for personal development, have money set aside for your continued education, and have a planned living expenses account. Furthermore, make sure that they are in different vessels, not in the same pot.

5. Believe You Are Worthy Of Wealth. Your beliefs empower your actions. If you don’t believe you are worthy of wealth, don’t worry, wealth will never visit your house. You were created to be brilliant and abundant, but neither will shine through if your belief system is broken in these areas.

6. Compound at an Elevated Rate. You have to invest in a cash cow. A cash cow is something that is going to grow and build wealth for you. It could be a business, real estate, the stock market, insurance products, or precious metals or semi-precious stones or commodities. It’s something that can grow and appreciate in value and be worth more tomorrow than it is today. Learning and understanding the concept and principle of compound interest empowers your purse. Compound interest is interest added to the principal of a deposit or loan so that the added interest also earns interest from that point on. This addition of interest to the principal is called compounding. One of the ways to give your purse power is to compound at a high rate.

7. Eliminate What’s Subtracting and Not Multiplying. In other words, if it’s not multiplying, it’s dying. Find out what are the financial culprits like consumer debt. Consumer debt depletes the power of your purse and limits your purchasing power in the marketplace in things that multiply.

8. Save Money For Purchasing Power, Not Saving Power. With today’s low interest rates (even with the new hike, still a drop in the bucket), it’s almost not worth parking your money in a savings account expecting it to grow exponentially. But I am a believer in saving to be able to position your money in the market to grow. I often advise people who don’t have a huge amount to invest to save and take what you save to purchase investments, so your saving account is really your purchasing power account for investing.

9. Have A Wealth Plan. Without a wealth plan, your purse will be powerless. Your man is not a financial plan. You empower your purse when you have a written plan to make, multiply and leverage your money. What are your goals for growth? Are they written where you can see them daily? What steps do you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly to reach the goal?

10. Win With A Wealth Coach. It is vitally imperative that if you want to accomplish something, that you find someone who is accomplished in the area that you want to accomplish. What does this look like? It’s really about finding that person who has already broke the barriers and burst through the blind spots of success. It’s about learning from someone that has done what it is that you desire to do. This is amazingly important because in the personal finance space, there are a lot of people who are journalists. There are a lot of people who are talking heads on television that say they are financial experts but haven’t created wealth in their own life. You want to see those who have proven evidence of results in the marketplace. So, finding a mentor is discovering that person who can show you the shortest path to get “there.” Results-driven mentors and coaches have the ability to turn decades of learning into days. They accelerate your path.

You have to desire change, choose to change and commit to the changing process. Then, and only then, will your purse burst at the seams with unstoppable financial power.

Source: huffingtonpost.com ~ By: Patrice Tartt

 

10 Major Differences Between Rich and Poor People

10 Major Differences Between Rich and Poor People


I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I know both sides very well.

Growing up poor, I knew that I wanted to be rich. At the age of 24, I earned my first million dollars. I came a long way and studied the subject all of my life. Over time, I have discovered that if you’re not living in prosperity, you’re living in poverty.

Wealth is a choice that we must all make. Bill Gates once said, “It’s not your fault if you were born poor, but it’s your fault if you die poor.” There’s no reason why you should live in poverty. Wealth is waiting for you, but you have to make up your mind if you want it in your life.

For a long time, I struggled to believe that I could eventually become rich. It wasn’t until I observed the differences in thoughts and actions between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

Here are 10 major differences between rich and poor people:

1a. Poor people are skeptical
I distinctly remember a former coworker of mine saying, “Those mechanics are a rip-off! They’re always looking for the weak people. They’ll charge you when you’re not looking!!” He thought that everyone unjustly wanted his money and that everyone is out there to get him.

1b. Rich people are trusting
Surprisingly, a great deal of rich people leave their car and house doors open. Conversely, in areas of poverty, you’ll find that this behavior is highly unlikely to happen. Rich people have the tendency to trust those they meet (within reason) and give others the opportunity to be themselves.

2a. Poor people find fault
People who are poor are always looking for the problems instead of the solutions. They end up blaming their environment, circumstances, jobs, weather, government, and will make an extensive list of excuses as to why they cannot be successful.

2b. Rich people find success
Rich people understand that everything happens for a reason. Rather than letting life happen to them, they take direct action and make big things happen. They put aside all the excuses and eradicate their blame lists because they have to do what must be done.

3a. Poor people make assumptions
When it comes to knowing the truth, poor people often make assumptions. If they want to reach out to a celebrity, they might say, “They probably don’t have time to talk to me.” Instead of checking the facts or asking questions, they never make a true attempt when it comes to getting what they want.

3b. Rich people ask questions
Many rich people ask the question, “What if?” For instance, “What if I wrote an email to the president and he or she answers?” If you begin to ask questions, you will save yourself a lot of hassle. The power is in the hands of those who ask the right questions. They don’t answer your questions, question your answers.

4a. Poor people say, “They” and “Them”
In the grocery store, the woman at the register said, “They never have enough cashiers. I don’t know what’s wrong with them.” Obviously, this woman did not take any ownership and responsibility over her job. She certainly did separate herself from the job that was paying her.

4b. Rich people say, “We”
At one of my favorite restaurants, the server said, “We take great delight in cooking our steaks in real fire.” His sense of pride and ownership stimulated me, which allowed me to give him an honorable tip. Surely, you will be rich when you invest more into what you believe in.

5a. Poor people want the cheapest way
I was once shopping with a friend who only wanted to buy if they could find the cheapest clothing. They would rush to the clearance rack and pick up clothes that they didn’t even want, but ended up buying because of a “deal.” Unfortunately, they ended up never wearing it since they only bought the price.

5b. Rich people want the best way
Rich people will go the extra mile to find quality material. They don’t limit themselves to price and often seek service while they shop. Rich people want organized services and will never settle with items that are worthless and unusable.

6a. Poor people think money is more important than time
Millions of people all over the world are trading their precious time for money. You can always get $500 back, but you can’t get 50 hours again. Nonetheless, the majority of people trade time for money and never realize their true potential because of it.

6b. Rich people know that time is more important than money
Rich people never trade time for money. Moreover, they seek fulfilling experiences that dramatically alter their lives. Their careers are more focused on doing what they love and helping others, instead of merely clocking in for a meager paycheck.

7a. Poor people compete
When a poor person sees an opportunity, they find out how others are doing it and emulates them. Most often, they never consider another way of doing it. Instead, they settle in the belief that doing what others are doing is the best thing they can do for themselves.

7b. Rich people create
My rich neighbors were disgruntled when they found that their Porsche did not come in a specific shade of green, which they deeply wanted. Because of this, they decided to custom build their green Porsche with unprecedented specifications. I’ve never seen such a thing!

8a. Poor people complain, condemn, and criticize
Most poor people have learned how to be poor from their predecessors. Their family members have conditioned them to believe that everything is “wrong” instead of right. If you’re ever heard someone ask, “What’s wrong?” you’ll know what I mean.

8b. Rich people praise and enjoy their blessings
Rich people know that they have many privileges and they don’t take it for granted. Because of their appreciation of gifts, love, and circumstances, they are able to generate more. Many times, what gets praised gets prospered.

9a. Poor people seek amateur advice
They often listen to the opinions of others and seek approval from acquaintances. They believe almost everything they hear without questioning authority. They accept opinions as facts and prohibit themselves from doing research once satisfied with an answer.

9b. Rich people seek expert advice
Those who are rich have learned to think for themselves. If they cannot figure out something, they seek expert advice. Usually, they pay for the advice and are given a wide variety of options. They learn the experts only make suggestions, which means that they aren’t particularly confined to a specific action.

10a. Poor people have big television sets
Poor people take a lot of time to drift off to sporadic images of which they often have little to no control over. They use their free time to avoid the art of thinking (which is the most challenging task) and zone out to what many have conformed to believe is “entertainment.”

10b. Rich people have big libraries
Wealthy people are educated and read a lot of books. They use their knowledge in a way that benefits them. Instead of drifting off in random activities, they seek to get within their minds to understand themselves, others, and the world in which they live. In fact, as your personal library increase over the years, so will your home. I can attest to this!

To get a true perspective on how to become rich, you must study rich people. After all, you become what you study. If you’re currently surrounded by people who aren’t yet rich, just do the opposite of what they do. Soon enough, you’ll be able to reach your financial dreams!

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By: Daniel Ally

6 Powerful Words That Entirely Changed My Outlook on Success

“We become what we think about.”

This is a simple yet highly inspirational quote from The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. From what is classified as one of the most important motivational recordings of all time, this insightful saying certainly carries a deep message.

Your Mindset Creates Your Reality

The main idea of this quote is that what you set your mind on will be what you will achieve in real life. Hence, if a person focuses solely on success, this is exactly what they will attract, and if someone always looks towards the negative side of things, the opposite happens.

This is simply because what our minds concentrate on will often reflect into our actions. So if you consistently think about failing, naturally your first instinct won’t be on how to succeed, but in thinking that it is normal to fail. Confucius once said, “The man who says he can and the man who says he cannot are both correct.”

Smart guy.

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Envision Your Goals

This is exactly the reason why it is so crucial to carry your goals around with you at all times. From literally taping them onto the visor of your car to making a beautifully aesthetic rendition for your wall to keeping them in your wallet (which is my favorite to do) or even just adding it as a simple reminder on your device, it is a good idea to keep your goals in mind on a daily basis.

Make sure you know what you want to achieve and ensure that your mindset is always pointing toward the road of success. So even if you are faced with a tough day ahead, by always keeping your goals firmly ingrained in your mind, you will be able to overcome any obstacle in your path and find even the slightest ray of sunlight in an otherwise seemingly dark day.

Counteract Negativity

Don’t ever feel down if you aren’t in the best of places. There is no doubt that everyone faces some difficult situations at times, and everyone is bound to have negative thoughts.

However, keep in mind the first point covered in this article and counteract these tendencies by ensuring that you maintain a positive mindset. Even if this sounds difficult to achieve, still try to just take some time off and do what you love doing best. Whether it is by getting into a dreamy trance listening to inspirational podcasts or cozying up by the fireplace reading your favorite book, don’t ever forget to take time to look after yourself. After all, the most important factor to success is you. Without you, there is no positive mindset, and with no positive mindset, there is no success.

Now Go And Be Great, because you deserve it!

Source: biggerpockets.com ~ By: STERLING WHITE

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