Streaks are so powerful in just about every area of life. Once you start a streak and begin seeing success or results, it becomes harder to stop. I’m on day two of a three day juice fast and while I am hungry at times I don’t want to mess up two days of hard work by blowing it on a pizza. The same thing goes for exercise. Once you start seeing results you start naturally eating healthier and then you see even greater results. I get this way about spending money. Once I’ve gone a few days without spending anything, I get even more motivated to keep being frugal and save. Find a way to make streaks work for you.
If you want to build wealth, the first thing you need to do is what I call ‘get your mind right’. Stop thinking about your next paycheck or your 401K balance and figure out your Net Worth. Simply put, Net Worth is your assets minus liabilities. If you want to become financially independent and grow your wealth, the first thing you should do is figure out your Net Worth! I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, there are lot of helpful articles on how to do this:
My favorite tool to calculate and monitor your net worth in real time is Personal Capital. You simply connect your accounts (like Mint), and then anytime you log in online or on your phone app, it will give you your real-time net worth.
Sometimes I don’t realize how tired I have been until I am no longer tired. Last week was a real drag and I struggled to make it through each day. I was unmotivated to get much done at work or clean my messy house. This weekend we went away to the mountains and I got one good night’s sleep. It’s amazing what a little rest can do. I came home last night, unpacked all the bags, did laundry, meal prepped, and then ran two miles. All within 3 hours. This morning I have powered through a ton of work that I procrastinated on all of last week. I need to do a better job making sure that I slow down to rest so that I can speed back up again when I want to.
If you want to achieve any goal in life, you will need to do the work to make it happen. There is no magic pill. I am continually surprised at how many people think they will magically have enough to retire, or that the weight will just melt away, or that their health will improve if they just do this one thing. I guess they do it because it’s easier than the truth.
It takes days, months, and years of a commitment to put one foot in front of the other and work towards achieving a goal. You will fall off the wagon sometimes and have setbacks. But, this is how I trained for a marathon when I could not run a half mile without stopping. It’s how I saved enough that we are on track for early retirement. It’s thousands of big and small decisions based on wanting this rather than that.
I have bought at least 40 pairs of designer jeans over the 20 years I have been working. At about $200 a pair, that’s at least $8,000 worth of jeans. But the real cost of the jeans is when I calculate what I’d make at 7% annual interest over 30 years. The answer is $60,898. Ouch.
You might not buy designer jeans, but you might have a different money vice. Maybe you buy tech gadgets, $5 daily lattes, designer handbags, or cars. The same thinking applies.
I used to think that having lots of money and being able to spend it on luxurious things was cool. Clothes, restaurants, travel, you name it. For most of my working life, the more I made the more I spent. One day I woke up. It literally happened in a day, something just clicked. Turns out, finance is cool and money is the most powerful tool you have to help you live your best life. The life where you get to call the shots. But you need to learn about it. This blog is about my personal finance journey. I will share what I have learned the hard way in hopes that it benefits someone else.