Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Lifestyle

I think that lifestyle is probably one of the most important factors in building future wealth.  Think of yourself in the beginning of your career as a small start-up.  Is it smart for a start-up to buy brand new cars or expensive homes for its founders as soon as it starts earning a little bit of money or is it smarter to take that money and reinvest it in order to grow and become an even stronger business?  A lot of people get this part of building wealth backwards in that as soon as they begin monetizing their education or talent they feel they have now earned the right to start spending nearly one hundred percent of the profits or even more!  No business, no matter how dedicated or talented its founders may be can afford to have such a large draw down in capital and still expect to grow much less survive.  The media is partially to blame for this tendency to spend too early because it always focuses on the glamorous lives of people that are already successful and rarely focuses on people that are still in the process.

Getting to the point of profitability is only half of the battle...the other half is staying there and the best way to stay profitable is to reinvest every spare dollar that you can manage.  Saving money to invest is not easy especially with how much everything costs nowadays but it is absolutely necessary if you intend to ever increase your means.  So long as you've worked hard enough to obtain a basic education and a decent paying job you've got everything you need to be successful.  The next step is to find ways to live below your means so that you can invest your savings which will allow your means to rise over time.  If you are always living above your means it is basic math that one day you will go broke...everybody stumbles in life and if you are not building a strong cushion to absorb these eventualities you are just fooling yourself.

Saving is so hard, I get it, but you can make it easier on yourself by changing the way you think about the definition of success.  Is success really owning a luxury vehicle and strutting around town in designer clothes or is that possibly what you may have been led to believe?  For instance, when I think about someone that is physically fit it is usually because they eat right and exercise regularly.  They are not constantly thinking about when they are going to be eating their next cheeseburger...it doesn't even cross their mind because they actually enjoy being healthy.  I think that it is the same way with being financially fit in that you cannot constantly be thinking about how to spend your next paycheck and expect to ever have very much money.  You actually have to enjoy saving and investing more than you do spending. 

Learning to not desire the typical luxury items and services that many people consider necessary purchases is probably the most powerful change that you can make to your lifestyle that has a direct impact on your chances of becoming wealthy. You'll free your mind to start thinking more about investing instead of just spending.  Ironically, deciding that you'll never purchase a Lexus in your lifetime may be the one decision that allows you to someday be able to afford to buy hundreds of them.  I know that there is something that you have in your mind right now that if you changed could help you save so much money.  What are you waiting for...stop saying I can't and start saying I CAN!