You are either a slave to money or a master of money.
This was a huge problem for me, I had no idea what money was coming in and money clue what was going out. I knew that I had to pay rent, but that is where it ended.
How much was I spending on food?
I was living paycheck to paycheck until everything fell a part. Lost my job, relationship over, homeless. I never want to have that feeling again and I do not want you to have that feeling. I want you to have options.
When I was a slave to money:
- More money was going out than coming in.
- I did not want to know what my financial position was.
- I was not making enough money, because I was afraid to ask for my true value.
- I was not investing in myself: reading, writing, speaking, learning.
- I was not investing in the stock market.
Cash Flow = Income – Expenses
Get honest with yourself. What is coming in and what is going out.
The goal is to grow that gap.
- How much is coming in? Income
- How much is going out? Expenses
– Where is that money going? Food, rent, transportation, shopping, travel etc.
– What are your fixed expenses? Rent, cell phone, water, electric etc.
– What are your variable expenses? Entertainment, shopping, travel
What is essential versus nice to have?
This is your budget. Everything has a budget. Businesses have a budget. Non-profits have a budget. Governments have a budget. The Queen of England has a budget. Every person has a budget, they may just not know what that budget is.
A budget is not limiting. It is not about restriction or denial. It is simply an accounting of your current financial position. This is why public companies prepare a balance sheet and income statement. If they are going to grow they need to know where they stand.
You get rich by investing. Investing in yourself. Investing in a business. Investing in the stock market and real estate. The more investments you can make the wealthier you will become.
Where do you get the money to invest. This is so frustrating. In the beginning, I desperately wanted to be an investor. I read about Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos. But I did not have any money to invest. So much is made about “picking” stocks. Choosing winning stocks that are going to make you rich. Hold up.
Before you can choose a winning stock you need to have the money to invest. You need to focus on your income. You have to increase the difference between your income and expenses. This gap is where you will find the money to make those precious investments that are going to make you rich.
This is what I did. I went back to living with my parents and putting up with all of their craziness. I stopped eating out and looking at how much I was spending on groceries. I stopped traveling. I started getting rid of junk rather than buying more junk. I picked up jobs on the side of my primary job.
Do you really need all of your expenses?
Cut out the crap you do not need.
If you do need certain things: Food, rent, electricity, cell phone. Can you get that cheaper?
Negotiate your insurance, cell phone bill, electric bill, internet, rent. Challenge all of your expenses to see if you can get them reduced.
Never pay full price. You can get pretty much everything second hand. Buy clothes at the clearance department store. Buy the fruit that grocery stores put on sale each week. Buy a used luxury car from your friend. Everything can be purchased at a discount and you do not have to sacrifice quality.
Ask businesses for a discount. You do not know if you do not ask. They can only say no. Rejection is a part of life.
Income is your most important asset.
Focus on your income more than your expenses. High income is how you reach financial independence. How you can escape the chains of corporate America. Everyone needs to reach financial independence so they can quit their job and retire one day.
Money = values
Where you put your money is what you value. People will spend anything on their children. People donate to church. People spend on entertainment, travel, home. When people spend money they are putting their value on display.
The more money you have the more money you have the more you can craft the life that you want.
Increase that income:
- Second job
- Side hustle
- Invest in real estate
- Invest in the stock market
- Get a raise at your job
- Get new skills and a new higher paying job
- Create your own business
The more investments you have the more streams of income you have.
Mastering cash flow means making smart decisions over and over.
Money is a practice. Practice growing that income and then investing the difference from expenses. The more you practice the closer to mastery you will become.
Then one day you wake up and you will have reached financial independence. It is not about perfection, it is about growth.
Now go and become the master.