At one time or another we’ve all aspired to become wealthy. The freedom that comes with financial independence—having the ability to create, build, travel, invest, live purposefully, and change the world—doesn’t have to be a dream. With great determination, proper planning and a commitment to strategic action, the chances of becoming wealthy are greater than you think, even when the world is stuck in an uncertain economic climate. Here are a number of tips to get you started on accumulating money today:
GET RID OF DEBT
• Free yourself of high-interest credit cards. Get motivated and start targeting one debt at a time. Consolidate your cards whenever possible by transferring higher interest balances onto cards offering lower interest rates and save money. Call your credit card company and request a lower interest rate. If you feel uncomfortable with this process, use services such as truebill.com to assist you in the negotiation. Make higher minimum payments to decrease your balance faster.
• A plan of action to pay off non-mortgage debt such as car payments, unsecured loans and student loans should be put in place immediately.
• Make it a goal to use cash as much as you can. Studies have shown that consumers spend more when using a credit as opposed to cash. In fact, half of Americans spend more than they earn.
MONETIZE ON YOUR POSSESSIONS
What’s in your home? We all have items we own that are simply taking up space. In fact, you don’t even remember many of them until you begin taking inventory. Sell those items and rare pieces to people that may be in need of or have a desire for. Post items such as clothes, shoes, books and art to sell online. Yard sales, garage sales or flea markets are all great places to sell your treasures. Not only are you clearing the clutter, you’re making money to use toward reducing your debt.
SIMPLIFY YOUR SPENDING
Limit your spending by resisting the urge to spend lavishly. A designer purse or an expensive date is a debit to your personal economy, so avoid them. Give up those harmful habits that add up to big dollars over time. Reduce your daily spending on unnecessary pleasures like exorbitant beverages and costly sweets—once in a while is okay but you’ll be surprised to see the difference this can make in only a few weeks! Prepare your tea and coffee at home and get into a rhythm of doing your own cooking.
INCREASE YOUR INCOME
Earn extra money to pay off those bills! You can increase your income easily with a side hustle i.e. putting your talent or skills to good use by providing products and/or services either online or offline. Virtual job portals like Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, Upwork and others are always accepting individuals with varied talents. Seasonal jobs, temporary work or commissioned assignments are also within your grasp. Set a goal and work towards it. Every extra dollar counts, literally.
START A BUSINESS
Be your own boss and start a business – it’s easier than you think! There is no limit to the income you can earn, and you can enjoy quite some tax benefits too. Write off tax deductible business expenses and decrease the overall taxable income. The independence and control allows for the wind beneath the entrepreneurial wings for innovation and expansion. You can have more generous contribution options with your retirement plans. Depending on your success, retirement could even come early.
There are several ways of making money in real estate. When you purchase a property it appreciates, increasing its value over time. By making improvements the value will increase over time and can lead to a bundle when you decide to sell. Invest in an income-producing property (where rent is collected) be it residential, commercial or a multi-family unit, and receive a hefty, monthly cash flow. There is no limit to these purchases so as your properties accumulate, so does your net worth.
“Flipping” is a term used to describe the process of buying, “fixing” and selling properties in a short period of time and receive a significant windfall. You can always turn a property into a vacation rental and earn income on a short-term basis.
INVEST YOUR MONEY
Investing in the stock market is an option potentially offering the greatest reward. Long-term investing comes highly recommended though it involves a lengthy wait of 10 to 20 years for your money to compound. Investing in mutual funds is less risky and enables you to buy a bundle of stocks at once by a mutual fund manager. It is also advisable to invest a percentage of your income for retirement.
BUILD AN EMERGENCY FUND
Build an emergency fund for liquidity amounting to 3-6 months of expenses. Should some unexpected incident occur like a job loss, unexpected illness, a pandemic, home or auto repair, etc. you would neither be overwhelmed nor at risk of losing any or all your hard-earned possessions.
THE END GAME
Acquiring wealth can be a realistic goal requiring time, commitment and a financial strategy. Remember, the greatest investment you can make is in yourself. Network with millionaires, attend seminars, read books or listen to podcasts, and give, give, give! Develop money saving habits and stick to them because when you stay focused on the end game is when you start realizing your fullest potential. You can do it!