By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Nine Secrets To A New Financial You In 2008
It also doesn’t matter that the housing market is still in a slump and gas prices are crazy. Starting today, your focus needs to be on how to make more money and how to manage what you have coming in.
Stop reading or listening to all the negative economic news; it does absolutely nothing for your spirit, or your bank account, and will keep you far away from becoming a millionaire.
Before I get into the nine secrets, I want you to first take a self- assessment test. Ask yourself the following questions:
– Do I have the true DESIRE to become wealthy?
– Am I willing to do whatever it TAKES — legally — to become wealthy?
– Is it more important for me to have a flat screen television with all the latest technology or would I rather be wealthy?
– Is it more important for me to spend $5,000 on a vacation or would I rather be wealthy?
There’s no secret to becoming wealthy. It’s simply a matter of the day-to-day choices you make that determine whether you will become a millionaire. Eventually, you can have the flat screen television and spend $5,000 on a vacation. But, if you have to use your credit cards to get these things, then it means you can’t have them right now. Your focus needs to be on investing in assets that create enough cash flow to allow you to buy the luxuries for cash, not on credit. That’s what millionaires do.
So, here are the tried-and-true 9 Secrets To A New Financial You In 2008:
1. Make a committed decision to become wealthy. So many people talk about wanting to make more money or get out of debt, yet, they aren’t committed enough to make it happen. And it’s not a priority. You got to WANT this! Your spouse can’t want it for you, nor can you parents. It’s all up to YOU. So make the decision right now that you are going to learn how to invest and make your money work for you.
2. Develop a written financial blueprint. Nothing happens without a plan. The written financial blueprint will serve as your roadmap and force you to do something. It’s amazing to me how we’ll spend more time planning our vacations, yet won’t take the time to plan our money. This year, sit down and write out exactly how much you need to earn, and how you are going to invest. Write down everything you want to financially happen in the different stages of your life-retirement, new baby, kids off to college, etc…
3. Put saving money on automatic pilot. Stop torturing yourself by trying to use your willpower to save money every month. Just have 10 percent of your net monthly income automatically taken out of your check and into a savings account every pay period. If your company won’t do this, set it up with your local bank or online banker, such as ING Direct, which happens to pay out one of the highest yields on a savings account. And they don’t require a minimum to open the account. www.ingdirect.com.
4. Think twice before you spend money. Managing your cash flow every month is key. There is no need for you to be a walking billboard for designer clothes, shoes, sunglasses, or jewelry. The celebrities are not your role models; so don’t try to emulate them. Do you really need a Beyonce gold cell phone? I don’t think so.
5. Lay off the credit. If you can eat it or wear it, don’t put it on your credit card. Let’s go a step further, don’t put anything on your credit cards that you can’t pay off in two or three months. If you have a ton of debt right now, focus your energy on paying if off as quickly as possible. Remember, the interest you are paying, could be going toward a piece of investment real estate, that gives you an extra $500-$1,000 in income every month.
6. Make money with your money. It takes money to make money, but you don’t need thousands of dollars to get started. Open an account with a mutual fund company that has no-load funds or a discount brokerage firm such as www.sharebuilder .com and start with $50 or $100 and consistently invest that amount every month. Build a diverse portfolio of stocks, mutual funds, bonds and real estate.
7. Earn passive income in your own business. Entrepreneurs are four times more likely to be millionaires than those who are employees. And you don’t need to be a CEO of a fortune 500 company. It can be a part-time Internet business, or a catering business. Find something you are passionate about, do some homework and see if it can be a profitable business.
8. Contribute to your employer retirement plan. I read that only 25 percent of employees are contributing to their 401(k), 403 b), or tax deferred retirement accounts. BIG MISTAKE. If you haven’t noticed, most companies are doing away with pension plans, so your retirement falls on you. And please don’t depend on Social Security. It will not be enough. Put the maximum into your employer plan, especially if they have a matching program. That’s Free money!
9. Last, and actually most important; Get mentored by millionaires. You need a coach, an advisor to walk and guide you through this. You can’t do it alone. You need to form a good working relationship with someone that has done it and can show you how to do it. There is no need for you to reinvent the wheel, you can learn the mistakes and the strategies that they used to become millionaires and follow them, so that you too can become a millionaire. These are the role models you want to emulate.
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