Have you ever wondered why some people seem to naturally have more wealth, better jobs or retire early to a life of ease? Everything they touch seems to turn to gold. While that is rarely true, there are a few financial tricks to realizing what you want in life a little sooner than others might. They are not really tricks but more common sense tools that, once applied, will keep you off of the roller coaster of financial instability. Without learning and practicing them, you could find yourself sailing in rough financial waters of uncertainty until retirement years, with nothing left to show for your work.
Saving for retirement does not mean you can’t enjoy life right now. In fact, now is all we have to enjoy. So my number one rule for enjoying financial freedom while you are still young enough to enjoy life is: Live like you will die tomorrow and invest your money like you will live forever.
If you have never invested before in real estate, stocks, or other assets, then you are not realizing how acquiring money for the long run can become a reality. However, it is not simple or easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. Investments that take months and even years that show steady growth and profit are the investments you should consider, not the ones that promise a profit overnight because they don’t exist.
Think of money like a tree that has to planted and cared for properly. With a little patience and maintenance, it will produce beautiful blooms and foliage. Planting a tree one day and thinking it will be full grown by the next is unrealistic. Look at the investments you choose the same way. Choose a few good stocks that show growth or purchase real estate at a good price and increase in value. When the market is good, sell the real estate at a profit, or retire and live off the interest you make on the stocks.
My second suggestion to financial security is: Listen to your own voice. There are many unscrupulous people in the world who would love to separate you from your money. Whether it is a too-good-to-be-true offer, a full gamut of real estate deals that promise to make billions, huge returns on a particular stock, or free money from the government, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always listen to your own inner voice of reason and let no one separate you from your hard-earned money.
Wealth is created when the economy is struggling and it is realized when the economy is booming. Sounds weird, but my third tip for realizing financial goals early in life is: Buy and invest in bad economic times. During these times, unemployment is usually high, people tend to panic and sell underpriced real estate. Sometimes they are forced to sell because of the loss of a job, a move or an illness. No one wants to suffer in bad economic times, but unfortunately, many people do. Don’t panic during these times. Stay busy by working. If you have lost your job, find another one doing anything that will bring in money. Times will get better and you can find a better job. Put whatever extra cash you have to work for you and watch it grow.
Set goals for yourself that include: Not working for someone else after a certain age. If you decide that you want to retire by 50, then decide what it will take for that to happen when you are 30. Be realistic with yourself. Unless you win the lottery, retiring too soon can be financially devastating and you could find yourself in search of another job. Most people who want to retire early have many common goals that include being debt-free, donating to charity, traveling or helping their family. However, you can do these things while you are still working. So during your working years, choose to do something that you enjoy and find fulfilling. Don’t spend those years having to do something you dread every day. Invest your money and know the approximate amount you will have to retire on in 20 years if you start today. It is an attainable goal.
Acquire and create no debt. I am not referring to a home investment, but, the piled debt that consists of credit card purchases with nothing to show, or furniture that should have been paid for when it was purchased. Items like this will cause you to have to pay interest that only increases debt and paying interest is giving someone else your money while you use theirs. Don’t give your money away in interest when you can pay cash for your purchase. Having credit is good, but there is good debt and then there is bad debt. Learn the difference and where to draw the line in your budget. Only then will you start to become the master of your own financial destiny.
The trick to accumulating more money is: Spend less. Most people do not understand what being frugal means. It is not becoming a miser, but just protecting what you have earned. Being frugal is spending less, but not sacrificing the quality of life you enjoy. It is a balance that will leave you and your bank balance happier. Determine what mode of savings works best for you, but don’t deprive yourself of what you actually need. Pick and choose what you will spend your money on from week to week. Set aside a certain amount to invest and don’t use it unless you suffer an emergency that requires it.
Money is only a tool in this world. Using it correctly will get the job done and your financial goals accomplished. Using it wrong will produce a shoddy, sloppily-built financial future. Every material thing we enjoy is renewable, from the clothes we choose to our financial investments. The only thing that can never be replaced is the amount of time we are allotted on this planet to live our lives. That is why it so important to use the resources that you have been given to “spend” your life enjoying what you do. Money will help you do that if you use it correctly.
Don’t be envious of what other people have. Gaining wealth can become an evil habit if you don’t use your money wisely. Most people would rather be wealthy than create debt by trying to look wealthy. The problem is, most people will end up doing it anyway and have nothing to show for their money except a fake facade.
Money is not a key to happiness. Money creates security but it will never make you happy. Decide what makes you happy, and then spend your money accordingly, but with reason. Years ago, there was a popular saying, “The man who dies with the most toys, wins.” I really don’t think that material possessions are what is on a man’s mind when he is on his deathbed. Remembering these few tips and using your money just as you would any other tool in a tool box through good investments, saving, and protecting your money from debt could allow you to be more financially secure with a better quality of life to show for your work.
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