THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
In a humorous joke with an unknown author once said, "Everyday I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work."
Personally, I wake myself up every morning to go to work because I have a certain lifestyle that I prefer to live and because it pays the bills. Another reason is that I actually enjoy work because it challenges me during upheaval times, I enjoy the camaraderie of working together with my colleagues, and it provides me with a certain sense of purpose.
If you're like me, despite our best efforts, there is only so much money to go around and when three-fourths of this country is living paycheck-to-paycheck, it proves to me that a website like Dollar Otter can survive because our country needs help and most importantly needs guidance.
Do you like to read? If so, I highly recommend you read Napoleon Hill's Think & Grow Rich. He was challenged while being a reporter to come up with the reasoning on what is it that makes people successful.
His journey starts with the idea of successful people need to have a burning desire.
If we have a burning desire to achieve financial freedom, then you and me should take every step possible to accomplish this goal and be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get there. This desire means we will do anything to achieve it.
And with that, here are 4 Ways to Change Your Financial Situation.
1. Find a Path to Make Money
You probably are thinking "I already make money. I have a job." I am referring to finding a way to make more money either through a part-time opportunity or finding a way to monetize something you are good at.
When I started my debt-free journey, I had a full-time job that demanded 40-60 work weeks and thinking about working more was not at that top of my "To Do List". But you need to get serious about this if you want to break those chains of DEBT. I decided to teach part-time. This part-time opportunity gave me some extra capital to pay down debt and gave me some breathing room.
Often times, people will seek ways to make money by starting up a blogging site or a website business. I do not recommend this for several reasons:
- There will be start up costs which you cannot afford at this time
- You will not be making money for the first several months which means all these hours put into operating an online business will have zero monetary value at the beginning
Ok Nick? So what then? If you are looking to work online, then I recommend a freelance job to get you started. Working as a freelancer at least trades your time for a paycheck. I also recommend Ultimate Guide to Making Money from Home as well as, reading the blog on 5 Best Part-Time Jobs.
2. Manage Your Finances
I always harp on this topic because most people don't stick to a budget and for a variety of reasons but the primary reason is laziness. Time for TOUGH COACH TALK. You need a budget and must stick to it. Sometimes we have to give up that movie night or that cup of coffee. Whatever your vice may be, we have to make sacrifices occasionally to get to where we want to be.
To simplify things even easier for your, I have several financial budgets that I have designed for several different circumstances in people's lives. You can get one for yourself for under $1. I keep it under a dollar primarily because it has to pay me back for my time but also because if it was free, you wouldn't have skin in the game. If you purchase it, then you are more likely to do the budgeting. Go to my Etsy Store for your choice of planners. My favorite is the Month-to-Month Planner for $0.79 because it keeps track of all my bills on one page and I can easily review to the prior month.
So how do you budget accordingly if you have no debt? Can you freely spend whatever you want?
If you are currently debt-free, then a good rule of thumb is divide up your income into percentages of a pie chart. The largest part of the pie is approximately 55% of your salary and this should be focused on necessities such as utilities, rent or mortgage, transportation, and food/groceries.
Next, another 10% should be focused on the priority of building an emergency fund. This fund should eventually be built to withstand 6 months of your income during "emergency situations such as layoffs, etc".
Third, an additional 10% should be invested for long-term investments, ie IRA, 401(k), SEP, 403(b).
Fourth, you should start planning or prioritizing 10% towards education. Whether its for yourself or your family, one should always be educating and improving. I try to read regularly so I visit a book store often to purchase a book that intrigues me because I want to continue learning. I am also a member of Mentorbox which is a $7 a month plan. No endorsement here.
Fifth, you should find a way to give back. If your religious, then giving back to your church may be important such as tithing. Perhaps you have an organization or charity you wish to give. This is not only rewarding to others but giving usually ends up with you receiving more whether monetarily or self-fulfillment.
Finally, with all this stress of just thinking of money and budgeting, you need to have a reward system in place. So with this, place 5-10% into an entertainment/fun stack. Your night may consist of a movie and FroYo or Putt-Putt. This amount may fluctuate depending on how the above percentages move but it gives you a decent format to follow.
3. Invest in Yourself
One of the most rewarding things you can do is to invest in yourself. Sometimes college is one avenue. After I completed my Master's I continued to seek new ways to learn because technology is always changing. Find something you enjoy whether it is wood working, gardening, fitness, etc. Doing things you enjoy will not only strengthen your ability to learn but is a great stress reducer as well.
To go back to our Napoleon Hill reference, he recommends we continually remind ourselves twice a day on How, When, Why, What is the purpose to our success. When it comes to changing your financial situation, it takes a burning passion and desire to make the changes you want in life.
Maybe the "Why" for you is to provide a better life for your family. Perhaps the "When" is a time you decided to start TODAY to get started. I highly recommend his book.
People are usually in debt or haven't achieved financial freedom because they refuse to change certain habits. Above are my three recommendations to make such changes and I hope this has motivated you to get started. Happy Monday!