- Pay yourself first.
There’s no other logical way to start creating financial independence and abundance. Commit to putting 10% (or as much as you can afford) into a savings account each payday, or after a windfall if your income is irregular. Become aware that expenses miraculously expand to fit the exact amount of money we have in our account, so hide a little bit away first, and your expenses will be none the wiser!
- Set a realistic budget – and spend less than you earn.
Remember what’s important is not how much money you earn, but how you manage it. Those little things do add up, so plan your spending and you won’t get caught out. A twelve-month cash flow projection will help you understand and plan your financial situation. Make some changes to the way you manage your money. Things won’t miraculously change for you today, unless you do something different to what you did yesterday.
- Your credit cards are a cash flow tool, not a crutch.
Stop contributing to the banks’ profits, and cut those cards up! Commit to only using your credit card if you’re short of cash, and then pay the whole thing off as soon as you are paid. If you’re only paying the minimum amount due each month, all you’re paying is the interest – which won’t make even a slight dent to the total! Think about reducing the credit limit on your credit card, and start getting that balance down.
- Accept that get-rich-quick schemes don’t work.
Get educated instead. The key to financial wealth is understanding the planning and management process, understanding your spending patterns, and making a plan for yourself. Stop looking for a quick fix to your financial problems. Don’t invest in a scheme, invest in yourself! Start learning about yourself, your spending habits, finance, and investing. Build yourself a future.
- Find your own Unreasonable Friend.
This could be a coach, a friend, or a colleague – anyone in your life who will be tough on you when you need it most, and will hold you accountable to your financial goals. Meet with this person once a fortnight and prepare to be questioned!
By Kate Hurdley, Personal Success Coach & Director of Inspired Excellence. (Adapted from financial strategist Belinda Cheong’s presentation at an Inspired Excellence seminar on wealth creation).