Everyone knows someone who doesn’t have a regular job, but seems to galavant around, doing whatever their heart desires. They’re traveling to distant lands for weeks at a time, while you’re stuck in a job with a boss you’d love to take out to the woodshed, but instead find yourself smiling flatly at him because you have rent to pay.
What’s the difference? Why shouldn’t you lead this life? What are their strategies? Well, you’ll hear the same patterns of financial success throughout this website, the key is adopting and employing them if at all possible …
1. They live below their means— At some point in their life they’ve kept their monthly expenses way below what they could afford. They didn’t buy that new sports car, they didn’t order alcohol with dinner, or maybe they just ate at home. Point being, they put that money away so they could spend it later.
Note- there is a difference between this and being “cheap,” which I used to be. It’s living below your means but without balance and it’s not that pleasant to around. There has to be the right balance, and while it’s hard to quantify, it’s important to figure out where that line is.
2. Mailbox Money— this can come from investments which pay out every month. From residuals- actors, writers, producers receive this. Each time a re-run of Seinfeld airs, Larry David and Jerry get paid. What they make is on the extreme end, but there are various ways to gain “mailbox money.”
3. They own a business — They worked their ass off and created a business which produces on its own. Normally people work diligently to have achieved this and I applaud them for their success.
4. They probably don’t have kids— It’s hard to save money with children. It’s also hard to get time away from them. They anchor you down. I love my son dearly, but if you are looking for a lifestyle of freedom, at least consider delaying having children until you’re older.
5. Their mind is always open for ways to make more money– You get what you focus on. Be open.
6. They take advantage of savings offered— Look, you want to buy an extravagance like Starbucks Coffee. Sometimes they have Groupons for 50% off. Or go to restaurant? Why not use it there. You can go overboard and spend more time looking for deals than you actually save, but if you see see an appealing money saving coupon, you’d be smart to grab it.
7. They don’t don’t put a lot of importance on material possessions— I had a friend who made a million dollars a year. He also had a Rolls Royce, a Porsche, a McLaren, and a massive house. Suffice to say, he was always in a state of stress and needing to make more money. New, shiny material objects generally soothe the ego for a moment, and shortly after leaving you wanting more; an unquenchable thirst. If you’re goal is freedom, examine your relationship with material possessions.
8. They people they hang around people who aren’t spendthrifts— Hang around someone, you either start to influence them, or they you. I have friends that when I’m around them, are always going to suggest expensive restaurants, events, or even pressure me to upgrade my phone or car. You have a goal of freedom, either limit your time with them, or influence them to your paradigm.
9. + 10. They are able to delay gratification— you’ll notice many strategies on this list have a common thread- the ability to Delay Gratification– from waiting to have kids, to the time consuming building of a business, to putting off the fancy purchase. It takes discipline. You take that money you save, and invest it and let the money work for you.
Remember, I’ll repeat this over and over. Investing means delaying consumption today, so you can consume more tomorrow. That’s the key, and the reason you aren’t spending money nilly-willy is so that you can consume your savings in the way of free time (this is my personal choice) or maybe for your it’s your dream house, or putting your kid through an Ivy League University.
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