Here it is. My quick list of ways to win with money.
- Spend less than you make.
- Invest early.
- Live on a budget. For a great free budgeting program go to: EveryDollar.com All you need for set up is an email and a password.
- Don’t compare your wealth to others. Make goals that match your values.
- Make a very high income.
- Write down your financial goals.
- Work hard.
- Be disciplined. See my previous post.
- Save 10% of your income for retirement.
- Be united with your spouse about money.
- Educate yourself about money.
- Be content.
- Know your values.
- Create passive income streams.
- Invest in Real Estate.
- Own a business.
- Give to causes important to you.
- Define your financial priorities.
- Treat debt like a dreaded disease. Use the snowball method to attack your debt.
I just recently read the book, Stop Acting Rich…and Start Living Like a Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley. He shares tons of statistics about millionaires and millionaire wannabes. He calls those who act rich ‘aspirationals.’ These are folks who have little in investment wealth but wear the badges of wealth anyway. He shares that aspirationals very seldom become millionaires because they can barely afford driving the status symbol cars (Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche). Many aspirationals finance such vehicles through leasing because they cannot afford to purchase/finance the total cost of the vehicle. He calls someone a millionaire someone whose total net worth is 1 million dollars and only 1/4 of that wealth includes home equity.
Below are some telling quotes from the book: What percentage of the millionaires who live in homes valued at under $400,000 are happy? More than 9 in 10 (91 percent) indicate that they are extremely satisfied with life. Yet only 1 in 20 has a wine collection. Happy people tend to live well below their means. I have found this to be the case in all of the studies I have conducted.
The demographics of this group, millionaires who live in homes valued under $400,000, are quite similar to those of the millionaire next door profiled 14 years ago. Ninety-two percent are married. In 90 percent of the cases, the male head of household is the major breadwinner. Fully 62 percent of those who are married have never have never been divorced. The median value of their home is $293,214. Their median realized household income from all sources in 2006 was $152,193, or more than one-half the current value of their home.
This book reveals that hundreds of millionaires live way below their means. While they could afford to live more extravagantly, they simply feel no need to impress others. Their satisfaction comes from high levels of achievement. The author warns to not fall into the trap of becoming an ‘aspiration all.’ These are folks who are consumed with appearing rich while their balance sheet (investments) reveals they are in fact not millionaires. The book also reveals that millionaires are generous people. There is a strong correlation between donating to charitable causes and overall satisfaction with life. In conclusion this book is a good read if you want to know how millionaires live lives of value. You will find that many millionaires live below their means and invest wisely. I liked a quote from Henry David Thoreau shared in the book: “That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”
Many personal finance blogs give much attention to earning, investing, saving and managing money. Today’s topic is giving away your money to meaningful causes. What is a meaningful cause varies from person to person. There are literally thousands of non profits to donate money to. If your faith is an important part of your life you can give to your local church. Why should you give your money away? You worked hard for it and the choice to give some of it is a personal decision. There are no doubt millions of families and children that are far less fortunate than the typical American family. I just read on http://Www.pretendtobepoor.com that almost half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day. We would be well served to take time to count our blessings to live in the U.S.A. However, you don’t have to go beyond our borders to find those in need. I work in a local school and it well known that 1 of 5 students in U.S. Schools is food challenged. Take a minutes to count your blessings. Take another minute to ask yourself how you may give to others. Expressing gratitude is a worthy action in your life. If you are concerned about where your donated dollars go a great site to visit is http://Www.charitynavigator.org There is a search box where you can type in your charity of choice and see what amount of each dollar goes toward administration, program expense, and fundraising. Charities are given a 1-5 star rating. Giving money to great causes can be a great experience when it comes to blessing others. If you have a family taking time to discuss giving as a family can prove to be a valuable endeavor.
Do you give to causes that are important to you? Please share how you give money in comments.