To become financially secure in your future, you must realize there are three key, very distinct components when working with money. The obvious one that most people focus on is the “art of making money.” Getting a good education, getting a good paying job, and receiving a paycheck can be easily accomplished. This is the one element that usually gets 90 percent of everyone’s focus. The art of mastering wealth creation is really becoming efficient with not only making money, but understanding that this one component is useless in your quest to obtain financial freedom unless you master the skills of the other two: The management and proper investing of the money to create genuine cash flow you can actually take to the bank and bring home.
It is critically important to understand the latter two, better than the first one. Compounded over time, even someone who makes relatively little money can become a millionaire if they manage what they make wisely and invest it with a high level of expertise and create cash flow. Cash flow is the essential ingredient to mastering wealth creation. Recently a report of a woman was released how she left the university she attended 60 years earlier in the 1940’s after passing, millions of dollars. She was a receptionist or secretary for most of her life. How did she leave millions? She lived within her means, managing wisely, and chose her investments carefully and made millions. This is happening less and less today, with the rise of inflation and the de-valuation of the US dollar. I have seen Individuals earning six figure incomes, annually, waste away their lives buying beyond their means, and struggling in their retirement, while others that earned half of what their peers did, are living a lavish lifestyle, after managing and investing wisely throughout their lives.
What money you make is generally determined by your actual earning potential; how much you and your employers, or company determine and agree you are worth in the marketplace, how much you are capable of generating from your craft or trade, or how much profit you have from net earnings from your business. A simple way to determine this is to look back and see what the highest tax return is that you filed in the most recent years. Generally when deciding that you need to increase your earning potential, there are things you may consider doing. The most common:
· Work more hours in a given week, work overtime, or take a second job.
· Learn to do the same amount of work in less time or more work in the same amount of time.
· Go back to school for further education, learn another trade, update your training.
· Move to an area that will pay more for the skills you already have or take a job that pays more.
The second component, the actual management of your money, is affected by the amount of money you create each week and the amount of cash flow you create. First, you must make enough money to cover your living expenses and have some left over, once all of your bills are paid. The more you have left over after you have paid your bills, the greater the chance that you may have sufficient cash flow to invest.
If you maintain the same lifestyle and you are able to live comfortably and the bills are paid, you should have more money. This extra money or cash flow, is now the amount you will have to save or begin looking for investments to create more cash flow. By managing your money wisely, and then creating a master budget of your expenses will help you in visualizing your cash flow. You will be able to “find money” or “create money” to invest with.
Some of the major areas where you may be able to “find money” that you can access to invest in the future are:
Pay off any credit card debt you have right now, beginning with the highest amounts first. Stop funding credit card institutions and banks that prey on average Americans and start paying into your personal financial freedom.
Then stop purchasing things on credit – Get rid of your credit cards, and only purchase the things that you can afford using the cash that you have earned from the cash flow. STOP buying on credit!
If you are using cigarettes, alcohol, and participate in any type of gambling, bingo, or lottery etc. – Quit!! These are unhealthy and eat away at your financial future. For example, a carton of cigarettes is nearly 80 dollars. If you are smoking a carton every week, you are wasting nearly $4000 every year on this single bad habit! Over 30 years of a lifetime of smoking that will cost you over $320,000.00, not to mention the health cost. Quit… so you may invest in your future and live a healthier and have a more profitable lifestyle.
Stop eating at restaurants and fast food outlets. If you’re too busy to cook, you’re too busy. If nothing else, go to an outlet store like Sam’s Club and purchase frozen meals or look for less expensive alternatives to spending $20 to $30 dollars a meal. This may sound crazy, it’s still cheaper than eating out. For every fast-food meal you eat out calculate $8.00 extra you just spent on a single meal Fives days a week, 50 weeks a year would be $2000.00. Figure it out. For every sit down meal add on $8.00 – $20.00 to each day, depending on where you go. That adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of the year.
Ask yourself, are you making a monthly car payment on a car that the bank owns? If you’re leasing, you really own nothing. Here’s a guideline to help: Put down enough cash so that your monthly payments are only 5% of your monthly take-home pay. Buy a used second car if your household really needs two vehicles. Pay cash for the second. My most recent automobile was a higher end used car in great shape, but had higher miles. It cost me $4000 cash, I drove it off the lot, and I drove it for 38 months. Total cost to me was about $105.26 a month for each month I owned it. That’s about a third of the cost of financing a new car would have been at the time.
If your going to the movies, attending sporting events, taking expensive vacations, getting fashionable haircuts and buying expensive clothes – Cut back for a few years and build your investment nest egg rather than pursuing immediate gratification.
I think by now you get the idea. By managing your income, and freeing up cash, you will create cash flow and have the money necessary to invest in your financial future.
Evaluate whether you can avoid “extras” like cable, cell phones, pets, car payments, entertainment and unnecessary travel until your debt isn’t consuming you every month. The harder you work at this, the faster you will get to the point where your debt isn’t funneling your life away and you have enough cash flow put aside that emergencies don’t completely stress you out.
Your goal should be to try to create an income of $100,000 – $250,000 so you may create an adequate cash flow of ten to thirty percent of your income. As long as you maintain a reasonable lifestyle, you should have a fairly easy time putting money aside for investments and building a strong portfolio that will lead to almost certain financial freedom.
If you live like a millionaire, even though you can afford the monthly payment, you will never become a millionaire. Better to maintain a modest lifestyle and actually become a millionaire than try to keep up with the neighbors (and more likely try to outdo them).
Once you have improved your cash flow upwards of thirty percent of your income. you are now in agood position to begin choosing your investment strategy. There are three main types of investments: Savings, Bonds, Stocks are in one category, Real Estate is the second and starting a business would be the third.
The lowest returns are generally found in savings, bonds and stocks. You will probably generate a minuscule one to seven percent over time. Real estate brings higher returns: from twelve to possibly fifty percent over time with the current state of the economy. Becoming involved in a business has the potential to have the highest return of all.
A business can return hundreds to thousands of percent return in money and profits. This is where self-employment and network marketing come in. Whatever you may become involved with whether self-employment, network marketing, starting a business or becoming a direct sales professional, you must connect with these THREE KEY ELEMENTS:
1. Must have a passion for what you become involved with and can maintain an excitement about it and commit to it for a length of time.
2. Must develop a high degree of expertise in your choice to establish yourself as a leader in your field.
3. Must bring to the marketplace what your consumer or customer really wants in their life.
Remember in any business, the higher the potential return, the higher the risk is going to be for you. The bottom line of any decision will always be, never invest more in any one venture than you can afford to lose.
The key to getting good returns on your investments is to develop a high degree of expertise in an area that you have some personal interest in. Just like the other ways you make money, the higher the degree of expertise and talent you bring to what you are selling or promoting or service or product you are offering to a consumer or prospective business partner, the more you will be rewarded. Take the time to do your due-diligence and research to determine which of these vehicles will be the most appropriate for you and find the opportunities that you understand and will enjoy participating in your future.
By choosing investments that you understand and enjoy, you will experience much higher returns and reduce the risk and have fewer losses than if you simply attempt to find opportunities that present the highest rates of return. As the potential rate of return increases, so does the risk. In order to minimize the risk of doing business today in this economic climate: increasing your expertise will increase your likelihood of financial success.
If you’re not actually interested in the opportunity outside of the return, the likelihood that you will engage in all of the research and due-diligence necessary to be successful will probably remain low resulting in failure. Wherever your cash flow is right now is where you will need to start. By understanding the need to increase your cash flow and by starting today, you significantly increase your ability to succeed in each of the three areas of increasing cash flow.
There are no short-cuts. You must become as educated as you can about what you’re doing with your money and develop better habits, direct more effort in managing and investing your money to improve your finances now, so that you have the opportunity for more freedom in the future.