People in general are ignorant about money, so it’s no surprise that generations coming up are having problems with it.
It’s almost a waste of breath to even talk about it because it seems so basic to someone like me, but it’s really not basic based on the numbers.
Bankrate.com says 68% of Americans save little or nothing.
Yes, there is disparity in our country and in the world, but the problem is not that people who are poor that do not save, the problem is that people that have money don’t save either.
That’s the real tragedy.
You don’t have to make a ton of money to save or become financially independent, but you are going to have to train your mind to think about money differently if you want to become independent.
That being said, if you want to become someone like me and be able to tell people to fuck off at will because your meals don’t depend on it, here are some recommendations I have, in no particular order.
Do not take on payments of any kind - The only rapper worth listening to in this regard would be Juicy J. Since he’s one of the few rappers still around that actually even represent something real, he knows what he’s talking about. In his song “Stop it” He said. “Make money, no vacations, pay cash, don’t make payments”. Seriously, what else do you need to know? That says it all right there and he’s right. Think about it. You have to make payments on something, it’s because you CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY IT NOW. If you can’t afford to buy it now, why do you need it later or at all? You probably don’t. Cars are the biggest waste of money that people in the free world spend their time on. It’s not just the payments, it’s the maintenance and ongoing expense associated with that new vehicles. It’s new so you have to wash it, it’s new so you have to take it to the dealership to have it fixed, it’s new and you don’t own it the bank owns it so you have to take out full coverage insurance which is more.
Save money you don’t see - Any amount really. $100-$500 is a good number to have automatically deducted from your bank account every month and sent to another bank account that you do not see. It could also go to a Roth IRA investment account where you can invest it. Bottom line is that it should be going to a location where you don’t see it everyday. If you see it you will be tempted to spend it or come up with some dumb reason why you think you need to spend it. You need to be saving it, not just for a “rainy day” but so the money can grow.
Know the difference between a PURCHASE and an INVESTMENT - A car or a camper is not an investment. Neither is a house if it is not a rental property. Yes, your house may go up in value if you live in it for 10 years and it appreciates, but technically it is a liability because it is not paying you, you are paying it. A used car or camper salesman will say “protect your investment”. Vehicles are not investments. They are purchases.
If you must make a large purchase make sure that purchase is an INVESTMENT - The dumbest thing you can do is get a huge amount of money and go spend it on something like a car or shopping spree. Any large purchases should always be on things that will make you more money until you are to the point when your investments throw off enough interest or residual that you decide to spend it.
Stop going out with people you don’t care about - Partying can be one of the biggest money pits and I have been embarrassed and ashamed of myself on more than one occasion reviewing my bank statements and seeing how much I spent at the bar in a given month. Some of it was fun but a portion of it was me just going through the motions of being out of the house and being part of a scene that wasn’t contributing to my evolution. Really think about if you need to go out every night of the week with your so-called circle of “friends” that center their entire lives around the bars. Some of these people may be real friends but there is a point at which there is a law of diminishing returns and this is the point where you need to cut back.
Carefully weigh your education options - I think all debt that doesn’t net you a profit is stupid including education debt. The reality of the education system is that unless you are going to school to receive some specialized training such as becoming a doctor or lawyer, you’re better off taking the money you would spend on a 4 year degree traveling the world and then starting your own business when you get back. Experience trumps education in every area and that is an immutable law, yet every year troves of fools sign away their financial future for the next 25 years to a private university they think will set them apart from the competition. It won’t. In business, the only thing that matters is experience and how whatever experience you have can provide another person or employer value, period. I dropped out of college when I was 19 and I am better off that most of the people that I know that attended 4 year universities. They are still paying off student loans and have no appreciating assets. I have a shit load of experience, assets and can tell any number of people to fuck off it I don’t want to do something. That’s the type of freedom you need to try to attain and one wait to get it is by becoming financially independent.
Live way below your means - Layman’s terms for spend less than you make. Living below your means is a lifestyle choice and mindset more than anything. If you have a 2-bedroom apartment, do you really need that second room or can you rent it out? Do you have extra bedrooms in your house? Maybe you can buy your toilet paper in bulk to save a few bucks here and there. You get the point. Figure out ways to reduce your consumption and increase your production. That’s the best way to look at it.
Don’t let other people manage your money - If you don’t know how to invest in whatever you think you should be invested in such as real estate or stocks, start teaching yourself. There are all kinds of books for dummies out there on investing. Buy one of them. Nobody is going to manage your money better than you. Pretend your dollars are like your children. Would you let a stranger raise them? Hell no you wouldn’t. You need to apply that mindset to your money. This is a huge area where people make critical mistakes that can cost them small fortunes. I know all kinds of people that entrusted their entire portfolio with hundreds of thousands of dollars to some 22 year old that worked at the local brokerage office. Huge mistake. They found out the hard way back in 2008 when that dumbass told them to “keep the money in the market, things are going to be fine” Well they weren’t and nearly overnight many people lost all they had worked for at a time when they needed it most because they let someone else look after their money. It’s not just the fact that people are inexperienced; it’s that human nature dictates that people always do what’s in their own best interest. If you’re a fund manager and you get 1-3% of a person’s portfolio regardless of what happens, you’re going to get paid something regardless of the size or speed at which it grows. Don’t subscribe or let people sell you on that mindset. Mind your own money.
Purchase accounting software - I use QuickBooks online. It’s $40 a month and that’s how I know that I spent almost $2,000 on alcohol last year at 7-eleven. You can’t make a change if you are not measuring your progress. Accounting programs allow you to import all of your bank accounts, credit cards and really get an in depth analysis on where your money is going. You’d be surprised at how just knowing where you’re spending your money will effect your behavior in the future. It’s a positive thing. If you’re a business owner you should already be doing this but if you’re not it will help you identify where you may be losing money or where you could make more. Looking at my numbers frequently allows me to determine what I should focus on my energy on. For instance I once cross-referenced my accounts receivable against a detailed time log I created for each task relative to my entire career. I found out that if I spent more time in certain areas I could double my income if I focused on this instead of that. This is why I am so adamant about the numbers. They always tell a story.
Don’t help people - Here come to the rotten eggs and tomatoes. When you run a business, try to become financially independent or function as a miser people might think that you have a surplus they can tap into. You don’t. You’re not a charity organization. Friends will never ask you for money and if they do they are not your friend. A boss knows who’s hurting and makes moves to help those people on their own accord. I give a lot of money to charity but nobody knows who I’m giving it to or when. I do a lot of shit anonymous because I don’t want to taint the process or create a sense of entitlement amongst spectators.
Teach people how to fish - I have created alot of prosperity for other individuals because I don’t want them coming back to me. lol. I want people to take the knowledge I have and get the fuck off my lawn. I won’t tell you everything I know because some of the knowledge I have is worth money, but I do put plenty out there that can help people. I have endless examples of this. As a producer that is one of my strengths. I take ordinary things and make them extraordinary. I go from good to great or from zero to 1 as I talk about in Key Concepts. The wild thing is that it’s not that hard to do a little bit better than everyone else and when you do this other people can learn from that process as well.
Never buy into multi-level marketing or get rich quick schemes - There are Fake Gurus all over the internet that talk about this shit on a daily basis and it’s only getting worse the more they figure out how many people they can con through an instagram feed. Anyone who shows you a picture of a Ferrari as their primary selling point or motivator to get you to listen to them is deceptive. Not just deceptive but unoriginal which is just as bad as being deceptive. While there are some people such as some Fake Artists who become overnight sensations because of something infamous they did, that is not sustainable. Sales training programs and “I started on my couch and now I’m rich” bullshit are games deceptive Fake Guru shylock sales people use to get you to give them money. They are experts and saying they are experts, but they are not actual experts in whatever it is they are trying to sell you such as real estate. Same thing with nutritional supplements. If you want to improve your health, stop looking at social media all day long. You don’t need essential oils to help you stop doing that. If you have to invest tons of money on an initial order of a “revolutionary product” without having a line of customers willing to buy that shit first, then you are being scammed. Period. Making an initial investment on startup costs associated with opening a Quiznos or Wingstop franchise is entirely different than buying cases of green juice powder that’s going to improve your sexual stamina. You get my point. the bottom line is that multi level marketing companies or anything that sounds like one are a form of Fake Guru and they traffic in deception. Huge segments of the law abiding 1st world population has been conned into participating in these movements only to lose all their money doing it. Nobody wants to buy your green juice.