Numbers don’t lie & winners keep score! We’re taught this from a young age with our grades in school, our achievements in sports, it’s an inevitable part of life. No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s extremely important to actively manage your finances. I personally work with a lot of young business professionals, and this is the advice that I give them.
Just like anything else in life, money grows when you have a plan for it to grow. You must set goals and plan out how you will achieve them, the same way you would if you were on a diet. The reason that most people struggle with this is because they are winging it. Too many people just blindly spend their money without ever establishing a plan, setting financial goals, or sticking to a budget. Living paycheck to paycheck? You need to sacrifice some things about your lifestyle or it will be an endless cycle!
The 1st rule to becoming financially stable is that as soon as money is paid to you or your business, set aside the money that you’ll owe Uncle Sam for taxes. This is a non-negotiable deduction. Set up a separate account for your taxes & don’t touch it! The account should be completely off limits and the only time you deduct anything from it is when it’s time to pay Uncle Sam.
The 2nd rule is to pay yourself. Treat your savings account like a bill. Just like you pay your utilities and car payment every month, you need to have a set monthly amount that you’re contributing towards savings. It starts with your budget. Look at your total income, subtract your current financial commitments with other bills, and from whatever is left, decide on a non-negotiable percentage that you are going to contribute to savings each month.
Now that you’ve got your tax and savings accounts set up, make it so that they are not easily accessible. You can have the bank put a 3-7 day hold on the accounts for accessing the money. This makes it so you’re unable to make impulse decisions based on emotions that ultimately hurt you financially. We’ve all had a good or a bad day where we’ve decided that we should “treat ourselves.” There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, but it can’t come from these accounts.
The 3rd and final rule is to have detailed savings goals and to keep them a priority. Keep yourself behind on your spending. Before you make any major purchases, there should be a set number that you want to hit in your savings. When I bought my first high-end car, it was around three years after I had the money to buy it. The same goes for my house. I had secured the money to build my house about three years before I ever started the process. Live below your means! This will allow for unforeseen circumstances where you may need some money to fall back on.
Plan, Execute, & Stay Disciplined! Watch your money grow.