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Statistically speaking, 30% of folks rely on Google for financial advice, but half of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck (statistic via Lexington Law). Friends, not sure about you, but I think this is CRAZY. I’m no money guru (yet), but if there’s one thing I could guesstimate, I’d say man cannot live on Google alone…especially if said man wants to make it to millionaire status. 😉 J and I are both big on personal development, and with that, maximizing our financial aptitude – both together, and individually. Our goal is always to be debt-free, and to just be as savvy as possible to best benefit our family, for both now and later. We both came from reaaaaally modest backgrounds and knew financial struggle well, and we never wanted money to be a point of contention or argument under our roof (while still teaching fiscal responsibility, of course!). I’m stoked to be bringing this post to you today with my friends at Lexington Law, who are leaders in credit repair, to share 25 money tips that millionaires swear by in everyday life.
So often I think for many of us, we think of a million dollars as something to be won on the Powerball or to be inherited by a privileged kid in the Hamptons. We don’t necessarily view it as something we can actually attain ourselves, through some hard work and serious strategy.
But friends…it’s possible.
From this week’s WORKWEAR post – because you better #werk to be a millionaire. 😉 Let’s do it!
- Live below your means!!! First and foremost, rule numero uno. EVERY single millionaire swears by it, and for good reason. The quickest way to being stuck in the money mud is by going too far in over your head on expense biggies. Hence why being “house poor” is not the way to go! (“House poor” being when you take on too expensive a mortgage, and can therefore afford nothing else in life besides your monthly house payments). Mark Cuban agrees with this mindset; he said, “The biggest enemy are your bills. And the more you owe, the more you stress.”
- Always (always always!) have an emergency fund. (We talked more about those here!). No matter your socioeconomic status, it’s important to do whatever you possibly can to have a “rainy day” fund that’s untouchable…except for rainy days. Emergencies aren’t – you know – expected. So put away a few bucks every month to ensure you’re covered in case of emergency. Bethenny Frankel agrees, saying “You can’t put yourself in a position where, if the s– hit the fan, you couldn’t pay all of your bills at one time. If the world came to an end, I would be able to pay for everything. I might not be left with much, but I can afford what I have.”
- “Create a nest egg and don’t touch it.” The wise words of billionaire Sara Blakely. 😉 Just like you’re putting away into an emergency fund, always work towards saving a little pot of your own.
- Grant Cardone says to “Save $100K and invest the rest. You need to prove to yourself that you can go out and get money. Saving $100,000 shows that you have an ability to make money and then to keep it. Most people can’t do either of those things. Once you can earn and save, then you can start building wealth.” Warren Buffet would agree, since he recommends thinking of investing as a long-term strategy.
- Before you splurge on a big purchase, sleep on it. Give yourself 24 hours before maing a purchase. It’s all about being smarter with your money, so eliminating any silly spends is key.
- Invest in what you know. I lovelovelove Ashton Kutcher’s advice on this; he said on a talkshow that he thinks people should “Invest in the things that you know. If you drink beer all the time — if you go to microbreweries and you try all kinds of them — you probably know which ones are the best, and my advice is always to invest in what you know.”
- “Don’t be afraid to ask others for money.” – Spike Lee
- Start small in saving what you can, but strive to get up to saving 20% of your income. Better yet, put everything in auto-save mode, so that a set amount is automatically transferred from your checking to savings account.
- Get up early, and get to planning. Not directly correlated to money, but most millionaires are up and at ’em before the sunrise, doing things to better themselves holistically – like practicing a set morning routine. They set the tone of their day intentionally instead of letting the day set the tone of their mood.
- Know your expenses like the back of your hand and cut out anything unnecessary. Time to get serious – if it ain’t a necessity, let it go. This might feel painful at first, but just make sure you’re disciplined in your own financial situation. You should always know what’s coming in, as well as what’s going out!
- Set money goals and work them backwards. This way, you know exactly how much you need to make and when to hit your goal on time. (This is how I goal-set in general, and – it works!)
- BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET. Specifically, try out 50/30/20 rule. That is, allocating 50% of your income on living essentials, like rent, transportation, utilities, groceries, etc. 30% can go towards “personal spending,” like shopping, entertainment, or anything that generally makes you happy. The last 20% to saving, just like Grant said above! 😉 For more on budgeting, check out this post on building a short-term budget, and this one on building a long-term budget.
- Live a generally healthy lifestyle. Healthy body, healthy mind. It matters!
- Max out your retirement fund. J + I are working on this now while we can, and it makes SUCH a difference. Remember way back when we talked about the impact when you start in your 20’s versus 30’s? A few years can add up to THOUSANDS of dollars – but revisit that post to see actual graphs and dollar signs. Unreal! Lexington Law also offers 5 alternative suggestions to a 401(k), so read up!
- Pay off any debts ASAP. Lexington Law says to always always always keep your credit utilization ratio under 30%. Friendly reminder: that ratio is how much of your credit you’re using each month, versus how much you technically have. So, if your credit card limit is $10,000, you should never be using more than $3,000 before making payments, etc. Lexington Law are the leaders in credit repair, so heed their advice, friends!
- Use cash instead of a card whenever possible to avoid debt at all costs (literally). The goal should be to have a debt-to-income ratio that is UNDER 36%. Higher than 50% would mean that you’re spending more than half of your monthly income paying off debt, which could really impact the rest of everyday life. Thanks to Lexington Law for that helpful tidbit – I hadn’t even heard of a debt-to-income ratio before, so you really do learn something new everyday! (Although hopefully you’re learning a LOT of new things today – ha!)
- Pay attention to interest rates, and make smart investments accordingly. Interest rates make a huuuuuge difference, because interest can compound. On something like a mortgage, you can end up paying DOUBLE a listing price by the time your mortgage is done, all thanks to interest. Lexington Law has a really comprehensive guide to interest rates here in case you’re curious!
- Get equity. 9/10 rich folks swear by it.
- Resist sunk-cost bias. If you see something heading in the wrong direction, even if you’ll lose money by leaving, leave. You’ll lose MORE by NOT leaving.
- Keep a broadly diversified, low-cost investment portfolio. If you’re not investment-savvy (yet), consider working with a financial expert or advisor to make it happen.
- Read, and read to retain. Especially when it comes to any financial literature!
- Drive a used car. Really! Cars lose so much value the second they’re driven off the lot, and then another 20% in value in the first year being driven.
- Spend on things that help you earn and services that save you time. I thought this was such a practical piece, and to always remember when considering purchases for personal development.
- Have multiple income streams. This means adding some passive income into the picture! Lexington Law has a great resource on exactly this; it will allow you the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime, and it’ll also help pay off debt faster. They’ve got a list of passive revenue stream ideas here, to check it out if you’re in need of another. What I lovelovelove about their list is that it breaks down so succintly different options whether you’re more interested in and able to invest time or money on the front-end. So there is no excuse, and there’s really something for everyone.
- Invest in yourself. Lexington Law has 22 ways to start, so start today.
Have you started any of these practices yet? And have you heard of Lexington Law before?
If you’re already utilizing any tools or habits not already on this list, let me know in a comment below – let’s be millionaires together! 😉
*Thanks to Lexington Law, a brand I lovelovelove, for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions + thoughts presented are entirely my own. Thank YOU for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!