Want to know the secret? It’s pretty simple on paper, but hard to execute, it goes a little something like this:
Make as much money as you can and then save as much of it as possible.
MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU CAN
Sounds stupid right?
Some people forget that you have to make money to be able to save it.
This means if you’re working a part-time, minimum job at 20 hours a week, you are not working to your full money-making potential.
To make more money, it doesn’t mean you need to have the best degrees from the most prestigious schools or to have started out with a silver spoon in your mouth by having the best family connections.
At any job, in any industry, you can always be on the lookout for better paying jobs by switching companies, negotiating your salary, and looking out for opportunities right in front of your nose.
All of this, comes at a price however — it means you need to hustle and work hard for the money.
You can’t sit back and be lazy and whine about how smart you are if only you had the job to prove it.
Get out there and get the job to prove it.
..THEN SAVE THAT MONEY
Once you’ve made as much money as you can, you shouldn’t forget the other side of the equation which is to save it.
So unless you’re a lottery winner (in which case, what are you doing on this site? 🙂 ), you should always watch your expenses, because no one became rich without knowing where the money was being spent.
And you know what? I’ll bet the smartest lottery winners manage their money too and they don’t spend foolishly as if the money will never disappear.
YOU CAN BECOME RICH WITHOUT A LOT OF INCOME
People who make 6-figure incomes may not be wealthy at all if they spend 100% of their income, and likewise, people who make modest incomes may be quite rich because they’ve lived carefully their whole lives to save a substantial amount.
People who make a lot of money are also not necessarily the most financially responsible, so don’t assume that just because someone is a doctor or a lawyer, that they are rich.
There are plenty of examples where you find people making pots of money, only to realize that since they thought they made so much money, they could spend it like crazy, and they were spending far beyond what they made each and every month.
Or even celebrities! They make millions a year, but may not save any of it. *cough* Nicolas Cage *cough*
So don’t get it mixed up that people with a high income, are always the smartest at managing their money, it could very well be the other way around.
WEALTHY PEOPLE FOCUS ON THEIR NET WORTH NOT THEIR INCOME
People who want to become rich, focus on their net worth — net worth is simply how much they have (assets) and how much in debt they are (liabilities).
They know that if you have a huge $1,000,000 mansion but have an outstanding mortgage of $999,999 on it, then your net worth is only a measly $1.
Whereas if you have $20,000 in the bank with absolutely no debts whatsoever, your net worth is $20,000 and is far better than the million-dollar mansion situation.
Simply put, the wider you can increase the gap between how much bacon you bring home, and how much you avoid eating all of it, the richer you will be.
This is why net worth is a far better indicator of wealth than income — it really shows you how good you are at making money as well as spending it carefully and wisely.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO LIVE LIKE A MONK TO SAVE
When I first heard the word ‘save’, I thought about a financial prison where I would be forced to deny myself the simplest of pleasures.
I thought I’d be stuck wearing the same outfit day in and day out, and be forced to buy 1-ply tissue paper because 2-ply was $0.05 more per roll.
The thing I realize now about saving, is that it should be a permanent part of your budget.
Frankly, once I set aside however much I want to save each month, I am able to spend the rest of it guilt-free because I know I’ve safely secured my own future.
You don’t need to do this by having to make your own soap (unless you choose to), or to start living on ramen noodles.
So each time you get your paycheque, pay yourself first by setting aside at least 10%-20% of your income into savings into short-term, retirement and/or emergency funds.
Then if you’re finding that your budget is already too tight to buy 3-ply tissue paper rolls you really like, then you need to go back to the wealth equation and make more money, by picking up a part-time job or increasing your skills so you can get a promotion and/or ask for a raise.
IT. IS. YOUR. MONEY.
Basically, your money is your money. Your. Money.
This means that you decide what you will spend and save for your own future — no one else is responsible for that except for you, and that’s the way it should be.
Personally, I always try my best to maximize the gap in that equation between my income and my expenses. I earn like a princess but try to live like a pauper.