A man I knew had an MBA from Harvard and an engineering degree from MIT. Smart guy. When he retired, he started doing what he liked best: teaching college courses in economics and business planning. But when he taught economics, he also taught personal economics. This is the philosophy that he started his classes with: Decide how you want to live now, versus how long you want to work.
This means that if you spend everything you make now, you’ll have no choice but to work longer and harder. But if you start investing in your financial future now, you’ll have many choices. You can retire early, travel more, continue your career or start a new career later in life. Once again, it all comes down to choices. Think tomorrow today… and live better tomorrow.
Here’s the next thing to think of when you’re planning your future of wealth: Be careful with your credit cards. Selling money is big business. You probably get invitations in the mail to sign up for a new credit card a couple of times a month! Having some credit cards is important. Especially if you travel. They’re safer and easier to track than cash.
But be careful; credit is the easiest way to get into debt. When you buy something with a little piece of plastic, you don’t feel the effect until you get the bill. So make sure that whatever you buy, you’re still happy with your purchase after you get the bill.
Make sure that whatever you buy, you’re still happy with your purchase after you get the bill.
Here’s another point to remember in becoming financially independent: It’s hard to get rich quickly. It’s easy to get rich slowly. It doesn’t happen overnight. With conservative investments, it takes a while. It takes discipline to keep adding value to your future, a little every month. It takes time to build your fortune and become wealthy.
There’s a saying about investing: “Time, not timing.” It takes time. If playing the stock market is what you do, then you know that timing is a whole different ball game. But for the average person, it’s time.
A study was done a while back that analyzed stock market investments. The study took two scenarios into consideration. In the first scenario, stocks were bought at the very worst possible time and sold at the very worst possible time. Bough high and sold low. And after 40 years, the average return was around 10 percent. Scenario one dealt with time.
In the second scenario, stocks were analyzed over a 10-year period. Stocks were purchased at the best possible time and sold at the best possible time. After 10 years, the average return was… about 10 percent. The second scenario dealt with timing. So timing might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Be patient in building your financial independence. It will come small steps at a time. It’s hard to be patient sometimes, but it’s just like achieving your goals: It happens one step at a time.
What about those situations when patience has nothing to do with becoming wealthy? What about those trust-fund babies who are handed their financial independence on a silver platter? They never have to work a day in their lives, if that’s what they choose. Their first car is a Porsche. Their first house is a mansion. Their first job is at their father’s company. What about those people born rich?
Some guy says, “It isn’t fair that I’m working like crazy all day, all week, all month, all my life…. It just isn’t fair! I’ll never have that kind of money.” Well, some things aren’t fair. Inheriting money might not seem fair. But what does that have to do with you? Really?
If your dream is to have greater wealth than some people you know, then you’d better start working harder and smarter on your own goals, your own visions, and stop pondering what’s fair and what isn’t. Start examining what’s keeping you back instead of what’s keeping them ahead. Start looking at what you’re doing. There are plenty of stories and examples and experiences of people who began their careers destitute and had enough resolve to do it until they had more than they ever dreamed of. Study the experiences of others who built their way to the top instead of those born there. And you’ll not only reach the top, you’ll truly deserve it.
Adapted from Leading an Inspired Life
This post originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.
Photo by @jijieforsythe/Twenty20