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The Mastermind Within Podcast
26 minutes | a year ago
Mindset is Everything: The Power of Positive Thinking
Having a good mindset, a positive attitude, and using the power of positive thinking can help you achieve all of your goals. In this post, you’ll learn how to have a strong positive mind, the benefits of positive thinking, and how you can use affirmations for positive thinking. I have an exercise for you to do tomorrow morning when you wake up. Before you moan and groan about exercise, I’m not talking about some sort of physical exercise. Instead, a mental exercise. When you wake up tomorrow morning, say to yourself, “I’m a positive person.” 3 times. “I’m a positive person.” “I’m a positive person.” and once more: “I’m a positive person.” Then go about your day the usual way you would. Mindset is everything. Having a strong mental game is as important as having skills or talents. Positive thinking has been proven to lead to more success than negative thinking. While this probably sounds good in all, let’s dive a little deeper here into the power of positive thinking. In this post, I’m going to share with you the benefits of positive thinking, talk about affirmations, talk about how thinking positive thoughts has changed my life, and share with you how you can have a strong, positive mind. The Benefits of Positive Thinking There are many benefits of positive thinking. Some of the benefits of positive thinking includes: Increased life span Better coping skills in timing of hardships Better psychological and physical well-being Increased willpower when looking to achieve our goals Positive thinking and having a good mindset and outlook on life can be very beneficial for trying to create a life you want and deserve. Our minds are incredibly powerful and can quite literally create its own reality. The power of positive thinking can manifest itself in living the life that you want to live. Telling yourself you are a positive person will result in you becoming a more positive person. You are what you say you are. Saying, “I’m a negative person who can never accomplish anything” is a reinforcing trap. Saying this sort of thing will result in you being a negative person who will never accomplish anything. Likewise, telling yourself, “I’m a positive person who can accomplish anything” will lead to accomplishments beyond your wildest dreams. The human mind has a way of creating it’s own view of the world and through this view, that is the world. One way in which you can create a good mindset for yourself is with affirmations. In the next section, I’m going to share with you how you can use affirmations and give you some examples of affirmations for positive thinking. What are Affirmations and How You Can Use Affirmations in Your Life Let’s start simple. What are affirmations? An affirmation is a statement of truth. Affirmations strengthen us because we can “trick” our brains into thinking what we want in this world. An affirmation is as simple as the following statement, “I’m a nice person.” An affirmation also could be more involved, such as, “I’m a person who is looking to become better in my relationships and I’m focusing on asking better questions.” Typically, the statement you choose will be something you want to change in your life. If you want to become a nicer person, tricking your brain by saying, “I’m a nice person”, will result in you becoming nicer! By using affirmations, we can trick our powerful brains into becoming who we want to become. “Every time you choose the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are shaping your identity, becoming the type of person who does what is easy, rather than what is right.” How to Write an Effective Affirmation Writing effective affirmations, for yourself, is easy. First, turn inward and think for yourself for a minute. What do you want to change in your life? Who do you want to be? What are you struggling with? Right now in my life, I’m struggling a little bit with focus and balance. Taking this struggle, I can flip it around into an affirmation which will bring my brain to focus on what’s important. Here’s my affirmation for the day: “I’m able to focus for long periods of time and get my work done.” Notice a few things: I started my affirmation with “I” Taking control of your life is critical to becoming better. I wrote in the present tense Right now, I’m focused – not, I’m going to focus (if I’m going to, I never will) The affirmation was positive Positive thinking is incredibly powerful and will lead you to where you want to go. Using the three bullet points above as a loose framework will help you write affirmations for yourself. Examples of Affirmations for Positive Thinking Back at the end of 2016, I got really into affirmations. Recently, I was digging through my drawer of old notebooks and found some of my affirmations. Below are some of those affirmations. 12/11/16 “I am charming, easy going, and can get along with many types of people. I”m capable of brightening the lives of other people with my great smile and big heart. I will ask good, penetrating, and thoughtful questions at work and at home to gain a better perspective on life. At the end of each day, I will reflect on the questions I asked people to better understand my interactions and to increase my ability to connect with others.” 12/12/16 “I am persistent, diligent, and detail oriented in my work. I want to climb the ladder at work. By doing the work I have done, I believe I can get there. More responsibility brings more money and options, and I want more money and options. To get there, I need to ask good, penetrating and thoughtful questions. I will do what is right, not what is easy, and will achieve this goal.” 12/16/16 “I am the owner of what happens in my life. I want to meet and hang out with amazing, beautiful women. It’s time to align my goals with my actions. I want a beautiful family. By being charming, easy-going, and kind, I will accomplish this. 12/17/16 “I am patient, I am kind, I am aware.” 12/18/16 “I am reliable, I am friendly, I am determined to succeed” 12/21/16 “I am capable of coming up with creative ideas” 12/27/16 “I’m an investor. I’m building financial wealth. Is today the day I find an opportunity to make a deal?” (I was reading The Millionaire Real Estate Investor) After spending a month doing these affirmations, I was feeling much better about my situation, but still had a lot of work to do. I was looking to find a girlfriend, and later did in 2017. A hope of mine was for a raise at my corporate job. 16 months later, I had received 2 promotions. Finally, I wanted to create a blog and business, and since have. These affirmations allowed me to tap into my powerful brain and manifest my wants and goals. Now, it’s your turn. Tap Into Your Powerful Brain and Influence Your Life With Affirmations Becoming a better person, and someone who is more successful in what they do, will take time, but it can be accomplished. Here’s the thing: you have a powerful brain. By thinking critically about what you want, asking good, penetrating, and thoughtful questions at yourself, and getting answers will result in some action items to implement. With these action items comes a call to become better as a person and a shift in your mindset. With affirmations, you can influence your life and become who you want to be. Now, let’s talk about how you can develop a strong mindset for yourself. The Power of a Good Mindset and How Mindset is Everything Having a good mindset and a strong will to want to work towards your goal is something great to strive for. Having the grit to want to keep going is something rare and can set you apart from the rest of the herd. Success in this world comes from action and consistency. Consistent efforts added up over time WILL lead to amazing success and results. Many people, myself included, deal with a lack of consistency. Think about exercising. Maybe you exercise 3 times one week and only 1 the next. Maybe the week after 0 times and the week after that 2 times. The results you want probably won’t come from this routine. With mindset, this inconsistency can be avoided. Saying “I’m a person who is consistent and does not procrastinate.” will affect your actions. It’s a tough world out there, but with our words and powerful mind, we can accomplish a lot. While things may not have gone to plan in the past, that’s okay. Having a strong mindset is accepting the past for what it is and moving on to bigger and better things. How Thinking Positive Has Changed My Life When I was younger playing sports, I didn’t have a strong mental game. I’d let things get into my head and couldn’t let them go. My dad always harped on me to try to not let those emotions get the best of me. I had to look inwards and seek out the answers. I had to tap into my powerful mind to control the emotions of anger and sadness and funnel them towards performance. It took a number of years, but over time, I was able to control my emotions and understand that bad things happen. Good things also happen. If I could stay level headed – not get too high or too low – I’d see more success. Change is really hard. In physics, the first law of motion, put simply, is an object at rest will stay at rest. To start moving, energy and force must act on that object; otherwise, it will stay at rest. Change is beautiful. Have you ever started to work on something new and felt worse about yourself? I can’t think of a time where I actively pursued growth and didn’t become better. Over time, I got better. It was beautiful, fulfilling and fun. Change is okay. Resisting change is a recipe for sadness. If something is not going well, you have the ability to change and you are free to do what you can to make the situation better. How to Have a Strong, Positive Mind Make no mistake, taking control of your life and becoming success is tough. Developing a strong and positive mind will not happen overnight, but you will be able to go it over time. Improving over time will be tough, but is possible with getting into the right mindset and understanding the right thoughts will get you to your goals. Without community and helping others, the personal growth and change is empty. There are three concepts I want to talk about with regards to change in this article: the herd mentality how you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with the fact that you have the ability to change your situation Let’s dive more into each of these. Think Critically, Don’t Accept the Herd One of the things which is absolutely CRITICAL for success in life is critical thinking and determining what is important in life. Something I’ve been seeing a ton lately in the media and blogging space is the comment: “the stock market always goes up! keep dollar cost averaging!” Many of these people are the EXACT same people who were bashing the run up of cryptocurrencies. There are a lot of things on my mind which are outside of the scope of this post (namely, inflation, how energy – not money – drives the economy, and debt fueled corporate buybacks) and I don’t want to fear monger either. With this said, when you are on the side of the majority, sometimes it’s good to do a little research and reassess your position. Confirmation bias is at play here as well (another concept I won’t get into in this post but worth mentioning). Naturally, humans form tribes, migrate in groups, and perform cooperative work. It’s in our DNA to follow the group for safety and sustainability reasons. Because of the herd mentality, we can sometimes get trapped in thoughts which control and restrict us. In terms of change, those following the herd will not change for fear of losing their status in a tribe. If your tribe isn’t progressing as you’d like to be progressing, maybe it’s time to make a change. You are the Average of the 5 People You Spend the Most Time With Something that I’ve struggled with in my life is making friends. After I grew up a little and found a great group of friends in high school, and then in college, I found myself falling into ruts and not getting to where I wanted to be in life. Building extreme wealth is one of my goals in life, and many of my friends did not share this same goal; they were happy with getting by comfortably, but not willing to push the envelope. Over the past few years, I’ve started to shift my friend circle to include more entrepreneur types, people who are interested in pursuing different extremes, and people who are on the way to financial freedom. Not only has this motivated me to become better, it’s exposed me to new ideas, new views, and my worldview has changed for the better. Many of my friends didn’t understand my choices or decisions. “Come on, let’s play some Xbox tonight! Stop reading!” You may have noticed this as well, but there are certain people who don’t want to see you succeed or who are haters. People who live like this have a scarcity mindset – living in abundance is foreign to them, but not to us. You can win and I can win – and when we both grow, we are capable of so much more. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with in all areas of life: physical fitness, career, emotional intelligence, street smarts, wealth, etc. I’ll never forget where I came from, but I’ve realized that to achieve my goals, I needed to make a change. Now, I have to value my time, I’ve changed my habits, and I’m raising my average by hanging out with people more successful than me. There’s an unstoppable force living inside of you Change for the sake of change is not what I’m recommending. Change for the sake of change, if rooted in rash decision making and not thinking for yourself, will not lead to success. The human brain is incredibly powerful. You have a potential inside of you which is unstoppable. Through simple daily disciplines, through critical thinking, and through tweaking habits in your life for the better, you will be successful. YOU have the power to change your situation. Make no mistake: CHANGE is really hard. Like a rock rolling down a hill, the first push is really hard to do and the rock only moves a few inches. The next push, a few more inches. Another push and a few feet. After a few more pushes, the rock is rolling down the hill with little effort on your part. Change is beautiful. Motion is beautiful. The rock is rolling down the hill without much effort and isn’t stopping. My main recommendation for you in this post is to understand change is okay. It’s okay to do things a little different than others; it’s okay to think differently than others as well. Change is difficult, change is beautiful, and change is okay. Thinking critically for yourself and seeking a better life will be fulfilling. The post Mindset is Everything: The Power of Positive Thinking appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
13 minutes | a year ago
9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year
Saving more money might seem like a tough thing to do, but with the right knowledge, you can save a lot of money in a short period of time. In this post, you’ll learn a number of ways to save thousands of dollars a year! There are many ways to improve your financial situation: increasing your income, decreasing your spending, getting out of debt, etc. One of the easiest ways people can improve their situation instantly is to cut costs and lower their expenses. It doesn’t cost anything to stop spending money – just a little willpower. Today, I will be sharing with you nine ways to start saving money – and all of these are strategies you can put into action today. Let’s get into these 9 ways to save more money starting today. 9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Starting Today There are a number of ways to save money each and every day. I’ll give you nine in this article that you can take a jab at working on right away: Destroying your Debt Meal Prep and Eating in Couponing Planning Ahead for Vacations DIY Projects Using the Library Unsubscribe From Subscriptions Practice Smart Banking Taking Public Transportation Let’s go into more detail for each of these money saving methods. Destroy Your Debt Debt is a huge expense for many people. For me, it’s my biggest expense: my mortgage payment is $1,702, and I need to pay it every single month. For me to live in my house, since I’ve financed it with a mortgage, I’m paying around $20,000 a year to service the debt. That’s a lot of money each and every year for 30 years. Unfortunately, many people, including myself, currently have or have had student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. The first way to save thousands of dollars is to destroy your debt. Pay a little bit extra on the principal of your loan and you’ll be able to pay it off earlier. Check out my these ways to get out of debt fast, and you’ll be on your way to debt freedom – plus, getting out of debt is pretty awesome psychologically speaking! Meal Prep and Eating In Eating out is really expensive. Baked in to the price is the cost of the food, the cost of the workers making your food, the cost of the property and all that entails, taxes, etc. A meal for one person these days can easily run you $10+ a pop – and that doesn’t even include a tip. Alternatively, meal prepping, bulk cooking, and eating in can help save a lot of money. For example, in Minnesota where I live, I can get a dozen eggs for $1. I typically will eat 4 eggs, and add in a banana and apple and call that a meal. This “meal” will cost me about $2. Now, if I wanted to go out for breakfast, this same meal would probably cost around $13. Added up every single day of the year, and all of a sudden that $10 meal becomes $3,650! Try eating in just once more per week and see how much more money you can save. Use Coupons Saving a dollar on 10 items each week can add up over a year. Saving an extra $10 a week is over $500 a year! Just the simple act of looking at a coupon book and seeing if there are any deals on what you usually buy can help save a few hundred bucks per year. My mom is an avid couponer. She spends a few hours each week looking through ads to make sure the family can save a few bucks here and there. Over many, many years, these savings add up! Plan Ahead for Vacations It’s no secret that transportation, especially air transportation, costs a lot of money. One way to save more money on vacations is by planning ahead and buying your airfare in advance – whether that’s many months or even close to a year. I went to Las Vegas at the end of June. It was a last minute decision on my part – and for that, I paid the price. For a flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, on such short notice, I paid almost $650! If I had been able to check ahead, say, six months in advance, my flight would have been far less – around the $200 figure. That’s a $450 difference! Imagine the amount of savings if you had a family or partner. It’d make this savings even more significant: $450 savings across 4 people is some serious moolah! DIY Projects Going to the store and buying a new desk, bench, or storage rack can be a little bit spendy. If you’re handy (or even into learning some new skills), why not go to the hardware store and buy a few 2×4’s and get the job done yourself for cheap? I did this last year: I went and created a ton of storage space for myself with a few 2×4’s and just a few hours of work. There are so many ways to DIY simple projects, and even if you don’t know how YET, you can always learn something new, especially with things like step-by-step YouTube videos, books, and internet articles. Use the Library Going to the library, getting a library card, and using it to further your education can go a long way in saving money on books and learning materials. Books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble typically cost anywhere between $10 to $20 a book. Most libraries have any book you could ever want, including other forms of popular media like movies, television shows, ebooks, audiobooks, etc This year, I’ve spent $250 on books from Amazon. While I’m happy to do it because it’s bettering myself, I also find myself thinking about how that money could be better served. That $250 could’ve been put into the bank, or used to fund an investment! Going to the library and renting your books and movies could help save a few hundred bucks a year. You can also find other surprising ways to save more money by using the library; I’ve heard of libraries that rent out things like kayaks, cooking equipment, and even zoo and museum passes. Get to know what your library offers and you may find endless ways to save! Unsubscribe Monthly subscriptions are dangerous for someone trying to keep their expenses low. Each and every month, you are on the hook for another payment. What is necessary in your life? Do you really need that subscription to your favorite magazine? What about the $60 a month subscription for new clothes (something my old roommate had)? Take a tally of your current monthly subscriptions, and make sure you’re not missing any! Figure out what is necessary and remove what isn’t. Bank, ATM and Overdraft Fees A recent study puts the cost of transacting in cash at $200 billion a year – because of different banking fees. If you need cash, find an ATM that is in your network and take out cash for free. ATM fees typically are at least $3 per transaction. If we pay attention to where we are, we can usually find an in-network ATM. But what if you can’t? It’s always worth calling your bank and asking for a fee to be reversed. They should understand, and if you’re nice and polite, they should do it for you. Overdraft fees are another hassle, and they make the least sense to me – if you keep money in your bank account and you’re keeping track of how much you’re spending, you shouldn’t be overdrawing your account. Finally, there are so many free checking account options out there, either through basic packages at banks or credit unions, that it doesn’t make sense to pay bank fees to use your own money. Stop paying to bank, and remove a few hundred dollars in expenses over the next year. Public Transportation Cars are super expensive. Not only that, but add in insurance premiums (especially if you have a nice car), maintenance, gas, and parking, and a person can easily spend $5,000 to $10,000 a year or more just in transportation costs. I personally spend a little over $2,000 on my car a year just for check-ups, insurance, and gas. Instead of driving to work each day, I take the bus. It costs me $50 a month but is much less stressful than driving – plus, no wear and tear on my car! Another alternative is riding your bike to work – as many people of the frugality mindset do. Plus, it’s great exercise! Ways The Mastermind Within Community Members are Saving Money One of the great things about having readers is being able to ask them about their strategies for financial success. A number of people contributed to the question of the best ways they save money. Dylan, a friend and blogger at Trail to FI, saves money by staying home! Here’s what he had to say about saving money: Don’t go shopping! The easiest way to avoid temptation is to not put yourself in the situation where you might be tempted. I used to browse daily deal websites and end up buying gadgets that I didn’t really need. Now I just don’t visit those sites. A number of people say they use automation and a strategy of paying themselves first. Cynthia, an avid reader, says she can’t spend what she can’t access. On the first day of the month, we transfer a specific dollar amount into our savings. We live below our means and we drive modest cars. We use a budget and we save 10% in retirement accounts and 35% in after-tax accounts. Another reader, Diego, does the same: Save it before you see it. State specific quantities in your one-year and five-year goal planning. Monitor, track, and document these goals (very important!) and re-assess the quantities if needed. Check your progress for the yearly goals every 3 months and every year for the five-year goals. It seems that there are many different ways to save money – I love hearing about what other people are doing to become better and improve their situation! Save More Money Today With These Ways to Save Money I hope you can incorporate at least one of these tips into your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year. Maybe, you will take all nine and look to cut costs and eliminate what is not necessary. There are so many ways to either increase your income or decrease your expenses. Figure out which one you would prefer and you’ll be on your way to increasing your savings rate, net worth, and your financial situation. Take a stand and start saving some more money today! The post 9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
22 minutes | a year ago
Get Out of Debt Fast Using Simple Debt Payoff Methods
Getting out of debt is a great goal. When starting on your debt pay off journey, things can look tough. By making a debt pay off plan, and using the debt avalanche, or debt snowball, method, you can get out of debt faster and get on to living your best life. What would life be like if you didn’t have debt? How would you spend your time? What would the freedom feel like? Being in debt restricts your ability to be free. Being debt free allows you to do what you want – without being tied to the expectations of a bank or another individual. Many people ask, “How can I become debt free? What are the steps to becoming debt free?” In this post, I will be answering those questions, talking about what debt actually is, and providing you two great strategies for eliminating your debt. You will learn how to become debt free using the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods. Let’s destroy that debt! What is Debt? First, what is debt? Debt is money that you owe someone else. That someone could be a bank, another business, or a friend or individual. For repayment, there are terms and conditions associated with certain kinds of debt. For example, banks lend individuals hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house and allow those individuals to pay back the money over 360 months (30 years). In addition, there is an interest rate associated with your debt. This interest is the “cost of the loan” to you – no one is going to give you money for free! Each month, you will have a payment and this payment will be part principal pay down, and part interest. A Debt Payment Example Let’s say you have a $20,000 loan with a 6% interest rate and a 10 year term. Using an online calculator, your monthly payment will be $222.04. Over 10 years (120 months), this will cost you $6,867.01 in interest. If you pay $100 extra a month, you can cut the time you are paying off your debt to 6.25 years (75 months) and you will pay $4,008.09 in interest. By paying an extra $100 a month, you will save yourself $2,858.92 and will be debt free 3.75 years ahead of schedule! As shown above, by paying extra each month, you can save money and reduce the amount of time to debt freedom. In addition, once the debt is gone you effectively give yourself a raise; you have more money falling to the bottom line each month for you to save, invest, donate, spend, etc. Another thing to note: debt is legally binding. If you don’t pay back your debt, there are many negative consequences that can happen: Your credit score will tank and it will be more difficult to have a high credit score. Creditors report your delinquencies to the credit bureaus which are responsible for determining your credit score. You could be sued. Creditors gave you money for you to use and then pay back over time. If successful, the creditor and court can have your paychecks garnished until the debt is repaid – which means you take home less money each month. You might have to declare bankruptcy. Even though you will be able to get out of your debt, your credit will be ruined and your ability to get new credit will be destroyed. Being responsible with your debt is very important because there are actually some benefits of having debt. Is all debt bad? Is there such a thing as good debt? In general, I believe debt is bad – and many other personal finance bloggers and experts believe debt is bad as well. That being said, I do think there are cases in which debt can be a good thing. (Remember, personal finance is personal – some people hate debt and believe all debts are bad.) There are two conditions to meet for my classification of “good debt”: First, look at the underlying asset you are buying or receiving. If this underlying asset has the potential to appreciate, or increase in value, in the future, then it’s acceptable, “good debt.” Some assets I’m referring to in this case would be a house (houses have potential to appreciate over time, and provide you shelter), education (you have to be careful here, but more education can result in higher pay), or a business (a start-up loan). Second, look at the interest rate. There is an opportunity cost calculation to do. Follow the financial theory: if your after-tax return on investments is greater than your after-tax cost of debt, then it’s acceptable to keep your debt. Everything else is bad debt. Credit card payments with an interest rate of 20%? Bad debt. A home loan at 4%? Potentially good debt. A student loan at 8%? I’m going to go with bad debt. There is, of course, the option to refinance student loans to get a more favorable interest rate. A car loan at 2%? This one is tricky – cars are depreciating assets, but the interest rate is so low it’s probably fine. Again, personal finance is personal and depends on your goals. If wealth is your goal, it’s okay to carry some debt. If freedom is your goal, crushing your debt should be your #1 priority. Strive to be Debt Free and Free Yourself The word mortgage is derived from a “Law French” term used by English lawyers in the Middle Ages meaning “death pledge“, and refers to the pledge ending when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure. Literally, mortgage = death pledge. “A man in debt is so far a slave.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Debt is horrible: it is mentally draining, financially draining, and affects your entire life if you are weighed down by the large barbell of debt. I want you to experience amazing freedom. Make getting out of debt a goal, and I’m certain you will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders once you reach that goal. Think about it: with no debt, you wouldn’t be a slave to the bank, or to anyone. You’d have more money at the end of the month, and with more money, you’d have more options. Unfortunately, today, I had to wake up and go to work because without my income, I couldn’t pay my mortgage. Until I sell my house, or pay off my mortgage, I have to continue working. Two Strategies to Become Debt Free There are two main strategies to become debt free fast. The two methods for becoming debt free are the debt avalanche method, and debt snowball method. These methods are pretty straightforward. First, compile a list of your debts and their interest rates. After compiling this list, you will then pay a little extra towards a certain debt as determined by whichever method you pick. By paying a little extra each month, you will be able to take advantage of some huge interest savings (as we will see a little bit later in this post). The Debt Avalanche Method Using the Debt Avalanche Method, you pay off your debts by paying extra toward your debt with the highest interest rate first. . Once you have paid off the highest interest rate debt, you put the entire paid off debt’s payment plus the same extra amount towards the next highest until all debt is paid off. For example, let’s say you have two debts: one at 20% interest rate, with a minimum payment of $200, and balance of $2,000, and the other debt with a 10% interest rate, a minimum payment of $150, and balance of $1,000. You decide you can put an extra $50 towards your debt a month. Using the Debt Avalanche Method, you would put $250 towards the first debt and $150 to the second debt. Over time, the first debt will be paid off faster than it would if you just paid the minimum payment. If the first debt is paid off before the second, then you put all $250 towards the second debt, for a total of $400 a month, until the second debt is paid off. The Debt Avalanche Method is the mathematically optimal debt pay down strategy. The Debt Snowball Method Using the Debt Snowball Method, you pay off your debts by paying extra toward your smallest balance debt first. Once you have paid off the smallest balance debt, you put that payment towards the next smallest until all debt is paid off. Many people like the Debt Snowball Method because psychologically, you can generally see your debt accounts disappear faster. If you have a $1,000 loan and a $5,000 loan, it feels good to have the $1,000 loan gone. Let’s go back to our example with two debts: one at 20% interest rate, with a minimum payment of $200, and balance of $2,000, and the other debt with a 10% interest rate, a minimum payment of $150, and balance of $1,000. Again, you will put an extra $50 towards your debt a month. Using the Debt Snowball Method, you would put $200 towards the first debt and $200 to the second debt, because the second debt is smaller in balance. The Debt Snowball Method is not mathematically optimal, but is still better than applying no strategy at all. Your Savings by Paying Extra Each Month I created an example where the user had 2 credit cards, a mortgage, an auto loan, and a student loan totaling $246,500. By paying an extra $25 a month and applying a debt pay down method, in this example, there is potential savings of at least $49,915! How is this savings achieved? Looking at the left hand side of the figure below, you can see in the Avalanche method, we are paying off the highest interest rate debts first. Looking at the right hand side of the figure below, you can see in the Snowball method, we are paying off the smallest balance debts first. By paying just a little bit more, debt can be eliminated quick, and our user became debt free with some solid cash savings. I’ve also included some statistics if you increase your extra debt payments by $100. The difference is fairly substantial just by paying an extra $100 a month! In our example, the user started out with $246,500 in total debt. If no method was used, it would take 290 months (just over 24 years) and cost $371,109 to become debt free. By paying $25 extra a month, the user is able to save nearly $50k, and chop off 140 months (nearly 12 years) off their payment plan! If the user could find an extra $100 in their budget, they could save an additional $12,000 and be debt free 158 months sooner! With either choice of debt destruction method, you will save money, and be on your way to financial freedom! Destroy that Debt! Become Debt Free While the tone of this post was mostly to eliminate your debt, there are times when having debt makes sense. Remember, personal finance is personal, and if it makes sense for you to take on debt for a certain period of time, then as long as it fits into your future goals and plans, then do it! Right now, I have $12,000+ sitting at 0% for 3 years for some windows I got back in November. While yes, it’s a $12,000 expense, since it is 0% interest, I don’t pay an extra dime on interest, and when I pay it off in full in 28 months, I’ll be quite happy. I ran the numbers and it made sense to me. Those windows have made this Winter in Minnesota much nicer, and they have also increased my home value. Debt is something that can be used wisely and something you should be very careful with. You now have a great resource for answering the questions: what is debt, is there a difference between good debt and bad debt, and how you can become debt free using the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods. Readers: what is your opinion on debt? Are there good and bad debts, or is all debt bad? What debt elimination method do you like better? Erik How to pay off debt. Debt snowball or debt avalanche. What is debt snowball. What is debt avalanche. Easy ways to pay off debt. Debt freedom. Quick ways to crush debt. Money tips. Personal finance tips. #money #debt #debtsnowball #debtavalanche #debtfree How to pay off debt. Debt snowball or debt avalanche. What is debt snowball. What is debt avalanche. Easy ways to pay off debt. Debt freedom. Quick ways to crush debt. Money tips. Personal finance tips. #money #debt #debtsnowball #debtavalanche #debtfree How to pay off debt. Debt snowball or debt avalanche. What is debt snowball. What is debt avalanche. Easy ways to pay off debt. Debt freedom. Quick ways to crush debt. Money tips. Personal finance tips. #money #debt #debtsnowball #debtavalanche #debtfree The post Get Out of Debt Fast Using Simple Debt Payoff Methods appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
21 minutes | a year ago
Have a Growth Mindset and Be Unafraid to Say I Don’t Know
“I KNOW!” “Erik, stop running to the corner away from the basketball. Run to the ball!” “I KNOW!” “You don’t know otherwise you wouldn’t do it!” I didn’t know. After each 9th grade basketball game, my dad would tell me what I could improve on. He’s been coaching for 20+ years, and playing sports his whole life. I was 14 years old and still learning about life. I thought I knew. I didn’t. In this post, I’m going to talk about why having a growth mindset is essential for personal growth and improvement. Adopting an I Don’t Know Mindset for Personal Growth I’m a smart guy. This isn’t me bragging, this is a fact. I can pick new topics and skills up quickly, I received A’s in school, and am able to connect with others on many different levels. I have 2 math degrees, am a reader of hundreds of books, and someone who is always looking to grow and improve my situation through what I’m learning on a daily basis. I spend hours each week learning new things and apply them in my daily life. Yet all of what I just mentioned doesn’t matter. I’m self-aware. In particular, I’m self-aware that I know very little. That’s right. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t know much about anything. That’s why I push to have what I call an “I don’t know mindset” (also called a growth mindset) in life and to live without ego towards my ideas and thoughts. Dr. Carol Dweck, a pioneer in growth mindset research, defines it as “the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.” Basically, the knowledge that even if you don’t know everything (none of us do, of course), you can always learn more and continue to develop and cultivate skills and knowledge! “The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and I am no quite sure that I know that.” – Socrates The Dunning-Kruger Effect and Perceived Knowledge There are so many things I do not know. As humans, we tend to overestimate what we think we know. There are two concepts I want to share with you now to illustrate my point. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is shown in the chart below: When starting out in a new field, we start to learn a little bit and become very confident in our ability to perform. Think about when you first started learning math. What was the first thing that was taught? Counting! 1, 2, 3, 4… We were confident because we could count, but then came addition. Then came subtraction, and then came word problems and all the other mumbo jumbo math stuff I don’t want to talk about here. As we learned more, it became more difficult, and we became more weary of our ability to perform. As our level of experience grew, we tend to be less confident in our abilities. Many of us stay at the initial level because we feel confident where we are in our knowledge. There are so many people in America who think they are experts on what’s going on in Washington DC, or in the C-Suite at their company, and yet don’t have political science degrees, MBAs, etc. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect at work. As You Start to Know More, You Realize You Know Less What’s interesting to me is that as you learn more in a subject, you realize you actually don’t know anything in the subject. In addition, you realize how much more there is to know and find out. We go from “I know nothing” to “I’m an expert” to “I know nothing” as our actual level of knowledge increases! See this illustrated in the chart below: Like I mentioned above, there’s quite a bit I know and am looking to improve my knowledge on. What I’m realizing more and more though is that I really don’t know anything. Adopt a Growth Mindset and Become More Successful Would there be a point to learning if you knew everything? No. There would be no point to being curious or asking questions about the world or other people. Frankly, life would probably be pretty boring. I’m suggesting working on adopting a growth mindset, or an “I don’t know mindset” for success. How can you do this? There are a few strategies that I’ve employed over the years to adopt a growth mindset myself. Live without an Ego There are 7 billion people and counting on this Earth. Do I really matter in the grand scheme of things? Does anyone actually care what I think? Am I better than anyone? The answer to all of these questions is NO. Believing that everyone is unique and no one is below you will allow you to live without an ego and put yourself in the proper mindset. Ask Questions to Clarify the Situation Where are you from? Why did you pick that major to study in college? What excites you about life? Why are you doing this job and not that job? How many kids do you have? Where is your favorite place to visit? Ask 100 people these questions and you will get 100 different answers. Many of my mistakes at work came from a misunderstanding of the problem. Would you please clarify this piece? I think I know what you are saying, is it this? Is this problem similar to this other problem? Asking questions like these will help you get clarity into the situation and shows that you are open to growth and understanding. Become More Self Aware As I’ve learned more, I’ve realized that I’m right with my intuition and thoughts quite often. That being said, I’m also cognizant that even if I’m right, there can be something I can add to my knowledge base. I don’t want to fall prey to the Dunning-Kruger effect! Instead, I want to have a growth mindset that says “I don’t know everything, but I am always learning new things.” Realizing when you are right and when you are wrong will allow you to navigate various situations with ease. For more information on becoming self aware and increasing your emotional intelligence, see these books for emotional intelligence. Always Look to Learn Something in Every Interaction One thing I’ve tried to do is whenever I go to a new website, pick up a book, or start talking to someone new is try to play investigator and try to learn something from that person. Everyone and everything has a story. There are many reasons she is like that or he is doing this. Asking questions and getting to the root of the situation is a great strategy to add to your repertoire. Confidence is Still Key One clarification point I’d like to make here is if you know something, I’m saying if you really know it, then be confident. Self-doubt and a lack of confidence will hinder your ability to succeed. If you know something, it’s important to share what you know and help others. Whenever a knowledge gap exists, there is an opportunity to teach and learn. If you are at work and your boss asks you a question, don’t say “I don’t know” if you know the answer. But if you don’t know the answer, instead of lying, make sure to say, “I’ll get back to you with a clear answer.” This is an example of using a growth mindset because while you’re admitting that you don’t have the answer, you’re also communicating that you will look into it and figure it out. Conclusion Adopting an “I don’t know mindset” will help you grow. Being curious, asking questions, and uncovering the details for yourself will allow you to become more knowledgeable and valuable over time. Even experts never stop learning – there is always something to learn and add to your portfolio of knowledge or skill set. I ask that after reading this post, that you go out and recognize how you act when you are in conversation with someone who incorrectly says a phrase or fact. I’d ask that you also recognize if you start to talk about a subject you don’t know too much about and talk about it like you are an expert. While I do believe there exists a learning and teaching opportunity whenever a knowledge gap exists, being able to say, “I don’t know if I’m knowledgeable in this area to speak on the matter”, and then to go and figure out the problem or idea at hand will set you up for success more often than not. The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all. Be curious, be courageous and be tenacious. Cultivate a growth mindset. Readers: when you approach a new problem, do you assess it from various angles? Are you set in your ways? When is it okay to say “I know”, and move on? Erik Save Save Save Save The post Have a Growth Mindset and Be Unafraid to Say I Don’t Know appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
16 minutes | a year ago
Increase Savings Fast by Reducing These 3 Big Expenses
Saving more money can sometimes seem impossible, but with the right saving strategy, you can save a lot of money. I like to focus on the 3 big expenses – housing, transportation and food – to save more money fast. In this post, you’ll learn how to save more money fast and increase your savings by focusing on these 3 areas of spending to improve your financial situation. There are a number of ways for a person to improve their financial situation: increasing your income, increasing your savings rate, decreasing your expenses, or getting a windfall, to name a few. My goal is to increase my income, though I’m always cognizant of the big three expenses: housing, transportation, and food. These are called the big three because, typically, they will be your three biggest yearly expenses (shocking right?). Reducing expenses in these areas will have the biggest impact on your financial situation. Yes, it’s easy to look at that $4 latte each day and think dropping that will help reduce your expenses, but honestly, $4 a day is $120 a month – not a crazy amount of money. Switching houses or apartments could result in a $500 per month saving with little to no effort – and you’re still caffeinated. 🙂 I believe we all should be cognizant of these three expenses. Here are some tips and tricks for saving more money on your three biggest expenses. How to Reduce Housing Costs In real estate, the main determinant of housing cost is location. “Location, location, location!” you will hear, and it’s true. The areas where there is higher demand, due to better schools, better jobs, and better attractions, will be more expensive than areas where there is lower demand. An obvious way to reduce your housing cost is to downsize to a smaller house or apartment. In the metropolitan area I live, a 3000 square foot house might cost in the range of $350,000 to $450,000. A 1500 square foot house, on the other hand, might cost in the range of $200,000 to $250,000. This immediate cost savings of $100,000 to $200,000 adds up quickly when you consider savings on interest, property taxes and insurance. For a 30-year home mortgage at 5% interest for $400,000, you can expect to pay nearly $375,000 in interest over 30 years. Compare that to a $200,000 home, also at 5% interest and over a 30 year period, and you will only end up paying $186,000 in interest. That’s a savings of nearly $200,000 over 30 years – just in interest! Another way to reduce housing costs is to share your housing space with roommates. When you are single, this is easy – just grab a friend or two and divvy up the rent and utilities to share with your friends. If you are married, and/or have kids, then it might be a little bit more difficult to get roommates. Luckily, there are other ways to share space, while also reducing your housing costs. House Hacking I’m a huge fan of house hacking. I bought a single family house in 2015, and rented it out to three friends while I also lived there. Because of this, I earned over $39,000 in 2 and a half years – just by house hacking! My rental income from the last couple of years. While this sounds impressive, there have been dozens of other more successful house hackers. One of my fellow personal finance and real estate bloggers, Guy on FIRE, has amassed a nearly $500,000 net worth by age 30 through house hacking and real estate. By buying a multi-unit property (such as a duplex or triplex), you can have the privacy of a single family home, and rent out the remaining units to cover your mortgage and reduce your housing costs. Using AirBnB Another way to save more money on housing costs is to rent out your unused space through AirBnB. I’ve never stayed in an AirBnB and I’ve never personally rented out space using the platform, but I know of many people who are successfully doing this. One of them is my friend Financial Panther, who rents out one of his rooms on AirBnB. He makes a pretty good amount each month, which is helping to cover part of his mortgage. There are many ways to reduce housing costs, and depending on your level of comfort with renting out your house to others, there are various solutions you can try. How to Reduce Transportation Costs Unless you work from home, or are a hermit, there’s a good chance you use some form of transportation. Going to work, going to the gym, traveling to see friends and family – there’s always somewhere to be and people to hang out with. Saving money on transportation is similar to housing in that if you want to own a car, buy something that is used and affordable. You’ve probably heard that when a new car rolls off the lot for the first time, the car loses 10%+ in value, just like that. Therefore, if wealth is a goal of yours, buying a new car for $40,000 might not be the best choice, since in the first day of driving, you lose $4,000. Buying a used car for $20,000 or less might be a better choice for reducing expenses in the long term. I bought a used 2014 VW Jetta for $13,000. It runs like new, and gets 37 mpg on the highway. I love it and since I own it in full, and drive it a few thousand miles a year, I’m going to get my money’s worth over 15-20 years. I could have bought a nicer car, but then I might still be paying for it many years later. Riding Bikes and Taking Public Transportation As the push for green travel takes place in many cities around the world, biking and public transportation continue to be a great option for people who want to reduce transportation expenses. I take the bus to work every day and pay $50 a month for the bus pass. If I was going to drive, this would result in wear and tear on my car, $10+ a day in parking costs, and additional gas costs from filling up once or twice a week. All of this totaled up could add a few hundred more dollars to my monthly expenses. Instead, I’ll pay my $50 and get a little bit of reading done on the bus! Other people bike every day to work, get their exercise, and save the $50 I’ve been spending monthly to further save money on transportation costs! I applaud the people in Minnesota who bike to work in the freezing temperature. It’s bad enough standing at the bus stop in 0 degree weather! By driving something a little more affordable, using public transportation or riding your bike, you can reduce your transportation expense, which can be another way to increase your savings fast! How to Reduce Food Costs Reducing food costs can be as simple as eating out less. When you go out to eat, there are a lot of added costs hidden within the price you end up paying: the service, the overhead of the restaurant, the tip and any additional tax. I know this, and we all know this: eating out consistently is expensive. I eat out for lunch at work. Typically, I go for a fast food type place (think Chipotle or something similar) and look to keep my daily lunch expense under $9. This quickly adds up over the month (20 working days times $9 each lunch is $180). Throw in any snacks I have at work, and during a working day I will spend $10 or more. I generally do not go out to eat for dinner, and don’t drink much anymore. I’m saving some money there, but those work lunches are my main deterrent to having a bare bones food and drink expense (and maybe I’d have bare bones then!) Like I said, cutting the number of times we eat out a month will reduce your food costs. By eating in, cooking meals in bulk or meal planning, you can save a few hundred dollars a month. There are many resources out there for how to meal plan, bulk cook, or couponing to save at the grocery store, and I won’t go into these – I just want to make you aware that these are possibilities to reduce your food costs. How The Mastermind Within Community Members are Managing their Big 3 Expenses One of the great things about having readers is being able to ask them about their strategies for financial success. A number of people contributed to the question of how they are managing their three big expenses. Cynthia, one of my readers, said the following about housing expenses: Our wealth began to snowball when we paid off our mortgage early. There is nothing like being truly debt free. Congrats, Cynthia, you are one of the lucky ones! Not paying interest to the bank can add up in your brokerage or savings account! Gwen, a blogger at Fiery Millennials, uses a three-prong strategy to attack these three major expenses: I’m house hacking, I meal prep during the week, and I drive a 2005 car as to not be indebted to the bank and put my cash to good use in the present. Another house hacker! I’m so impressed! Dom, a blogger at Gen Y Finance Guy, uses a term he calls “Relative Frugality” to look at his three main expenses: We simply practice what I have coined ‘Relative Frugality’. We don’t spend so much time managing the expense side of the equation as we focus on increasing the income side of the equation. The overall goal is to save 50% of our after-tax income and live on the other 50% guilt free. It’s a free ticket to enjoy lifestyle inflation. One thing we did intentionally do on the housing front was bought a house that at the time was 50% less than the bank said we could afford, but was still 3X the size we probably needed. The mortgage with insurance and property taxes makes up less than 10% of our gross income. It’s cool seeing what different goals and scenarios people have, and how they are applying the strategic plan to their situation! Conclusion Being aware of how much you are spending on your three main expenses is step 1, and looking for ways to reduce these costs will help you get a handle on your expenses and increase your savings fast. Moving to a cheaper apartment, house hacking, cooking in bulk and riding your bike or the bus to work are all great ways to reduce your expenses quickly. As a current bus rider and previous house hacker, I’ve experienced the great benefits of these cost-cutting tactics. I hope you can take what you’ve learned here and make some changes to see bigger savings in your future. The post Increase Savings Fast by Reducing These 3 Big Expenses appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
22 minutes | a year ago
How to Live Life Intentionally with Proactive Behavior
Are you looking to learn how to live life intentionally? Do you want to take action, reach your goals, and find success in your life? In this post, you’ll learn how to live life intentionally, learn how to think proactively, and read about a 5 step plan for success in life. Are you in control of your life, or are you just letting life pass you by? Are you living intentionally, or living unintentionally? Does life happen for you, or does life happen to you? One of the most effective ways to take control of your life is through intentional living and proactive behavior. I try to practice proactive behavior in all parts of my life – trying to play catch up is stressful and takes away from getting after my goals and dreams. Instead of reacting to situations, I prefer to wake up and try to do what I want to do with my life. By proactively thinking about what to do next, I can make a plan for my life and then take action towards my goals. Doesn’t it feel good to set your own schedule and do what matters to you, instead of following someone else’s schedule and dreams? Luckily, becoming more intentional and forward thinking in your behavior and actions isn’t too difficult. In this post, I will share some tips on how you can take control of your life through intentional actions, how you can live life intentionally, and how to use proactive thinking to make smart decisions. First, let’s talk about intentional living. “You have complete control over the direction that the rest of your life takes.” – Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge What is Intentional Living and Why is Living Intentionally Important? Before talking about proactive behavior, let’s talk about intentional living. What is intentional living? Intentional living is living your life in a way you have consciously decided to live it. Living intentionally involves coming up with dreams, goals and a plan, and living out that plan. In addition, these plans and goals are usually informed by your values and beliefs. Put simply, intentional living is living the kind of life that is meaningful to you, and makes you feel like every day matters. Unintentional living is the opposite of intentional living. Unintentional living is going through life without a plan, letting life happen to you, and not taking control of your situation. Days, weeks and months can pass by if you don’t live intentionally, and this is where proactive behavior comes in. What is the Difference between Proactive and Reactive Behavior? What is proactive behavior? Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. Proactive people generally do not need to be asked to act, nor do they require detailed instructions. Proactive people practice intentional living. Reactive behavior involves acting after an event occurs, rather than acting in advance of the event. It means waiting for something to happen, rather than making something happen. Why are some people reactive in their behavior? What would happen if they changed started practicing proactive behaviors? Would they take control of their life and achieve wild success? “Your philosophy creates your attitudes, which create your actions, which create your results, which create your life.” – Jeff Olson People who are successful in life are proactive and make things happen. Proactive behavior helps you take control of your life by making intentional choices about what you want your life to look like, and following through with your behavior to make that life vision a reality. Not only does this lead to a positive end result, but it encourages personal growth along the way as you navigate and problem-solve. What are Some Examples of Proactive Thinking and Behavior? Now that you know what proactive thinking and proactive behavior is, now let’s talk about some examples of proactive thinking. Proactive behavior is all about living life intentionally and with purpose. One part of life which is very important to be proactive in is your personal finances. Part of living life to the fullest is having a handle on your personal finances. Only 39% of people have $1,000 saved up in the United States. With $1,000 or more in the bank, the stress of an immediate emergency decreases. This $1,000 can be saved with planning ahead and taking control of your financial life. A Stressful Time Caused by Reactive Behavior A few years ago, I was house hacking and had 2 roommates. One of them was a great guy but was very reactive in his nature. He is someone who loves to get out in the world and do things with his time and money. Being a part of a few different sports teams and going out on the weekends, I didn’t know the exact nature of his finances, but given his struggles to pay me on time for monthly rent, I could tell he was paycheck to paycheck. At the time, he had a decent job, and from a simple Google search, was probably in the $40,000 salary range. With this sort of salary, I would have hoped with a $700 monthly rent payment, he could not be living paycheck to paycheck, but after some bad luck, it was a certainty. During the Spring, playing kickball, he ended up breaking his hand and with this must have came a significant hospital bill. “I’ll pay you the 10th after I get paid.” I wasn’t going to kick him out for being late, but I had a lot of thoughts on the situation. Saving Money is Possible Through Intentional Actions and Proactive Behavior Make no mistake, bad luck happens to the best of us. At the same time, with planning and proactive behavior, what if he had $1,000 saved up to help deal some of his expenses? As a single and employed Millennial, saving $83 a month for 12 months is certainly doable to get to $1,000. Double that saving from $83 to $166, and in 12 months, you are approaching $2,000 in savings. This is just one example of how proactive behavior and intentional living will lead to success. Let’s think a little bigger now, talk about questions and your dream life, and discuss about how you can apply the practice of proactive behavior in your life for success. “Try not to become a person of success, but a person of value.” – Albert Einstein Two Questions to Answer for Creating a Great Life First, a principle: without questions, there are no answers. Figuring out your dream life or my dream life can’t be solved without breaking it down into smaller questions which get at the core of who you are, how you enjoy your time, and what you like to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I believe there are two question sets which will get you started towards creating your dream life. The first part of the two sets of questions is: When are you most happiest and what are you doing when you are experiencing this joy? This is a simple question. When do you feel happiest? What activity or thing are you doing which brings the happiness? For me, happiness comes from creation and helping others. I love creating content, building things, and solving problems. If life was a huge puzzle, I’d love it (which it kind of is, but the pieces are constantly changing 🙂 ) Happiness also comes from doing things on my own terms and having the freedom to create what I want when I want. The second part of this set of questions is: How often are you able to do these activities, and what’s holding you back from experiencing them whenever you’d like? If you are already doing what makes you happy all the time (from the first question), then the second question doesn’t really make sense. In my opinion, life is all about pushing towards doing what makes you happiest and understanding that while today might not be where you want to be, over time you can get there. In my situation, I don’t have the level of savings and/or passive income to be helping others and creating what I want, when I want. At this point in my life, I go to a corporate job at 8 AM and leave after 5 PM. While I’m making great money, there’s still an entrepreneurial itch which is always in the back of my head. Currently, I’m working on building up my savings with the intent to move to something more flexible in the next year or two. We will see, but it’s a work in progress and that’s okay. Things can change and I’m going to stay patient. I can influence this through my actions, but whatever happens is meant to happen and should be accepted. Over time, I’ll get to where I want and need to be, and I hope you will as well. Now that you have these thoughts in your head, below are 5 concrete steps for you to take control of your life and live intentionally. 5 Steps to Take Control of Your Life and Become Great When beginning to think ahead about your life, your family, your job, your business, etc., we first need to start with questions and goals. First, let’s identify what you want with your life. We both only have one life and limited time. In my life, I want to be doing things I enjoy and that are bringing joy to the people around me. After understanding your goals and dreams, then it’s time to come up with a game plan, and take bold action. With this plan, you will be living life intentionally and proactively. Through your proactive behavior, you’ll be on the way to reaching your goals. Here are 5 steps for intentional living taking control of your life through proactive behavior, and creating a great life for yourself this year: 1. Identify Your Goals and Dreams What are your goals? What makes you happiest? Where do you want to be in 1 year? As we discussed in the last section, there is a lot that goes into answering these difficult questions. However, with a picture of what you want, you can start to work towards your dream life and ideal situation. Split your goals, thoughts, and dreams into multiple buckets: social financial spiritual physical emotional work fun Some example questions for you may be: Do you want to get a promotion or change in responsibilities at work? Would you want more money in the bank? Are you looking to retire earlier than 65? Would you be happy if your business made an extra $1,000 a month? Do you want to be able to take more vacations with your family? Are you looking to start a new hobby? What things stress you out? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? After asking yourself these questions, KEEP GOING! Let your powerful brain do some more work! After getting some answers to the questions which matter to your situation, now it’s time to work backwards. You are trying to create a great life for yourself and these questions will help you form a more concrete image of that life for before you create your action plan for success. 2. Create a Happiness Game Plan You know your goals, now it’s time to come up with a game plan. You have your dream. What do you have to do to MAKE it happen? Let’s take the example of losing 10 pounds. If you want to lose 10 pounds, it’s time for more questions. Let’s see how this line of thinking plays out: How is a person’s weight determined? A person’s weight is determined through a number of factors, but changes come from daily habits and a simple equation: calories in minus calories out. If weight changes come from calories in minus calories out, then how do I decrease this amount for myself? First, what does this equation look like for you today? What gets measured, gets managed! After measuring where you are at on a daily basis, are you in a calorie surplus or calorie deficit? To lose weight, how can you decrease the surplus and increase this deficit in a healthy way? (exercise, diet, fasting, etc.) After you’ve asked and answered these questions for yourself (and there are probably 3+ more levels to go if you want to go that deep), again KEEP GOING! Let your powerful brain and body work towards your goals and dreams! After coming up with your game plan for success and happiness, it’s now time to take ACTION. 3. Be Intentional in Life and Take Action It’s great to know what you have to do, but if you never take action, you will never achieve your goals and dreams. Intentional living is all about taking action and working on bettering your life situation. Sitting on the couch and watching Netflix is fun and relaxing, but it probably won’t lead to a very fulfilling life. Taking action involves getting out and into the world. Start today with your actions and live intentionally. You’ll be pleased as you start to see your dream life come to fruition. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-Tzu “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson 4. Be Consistent With Your Actions Humans overestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can do in a year. Have you ever started on your goals only to stop? Did you end up reaching your goal? Each day, if you can spend at least 10 minutes working towards your goals, you’ll be amazed at your progress. At the end of one year, you will have spent 3650 minutes, or 60 hours. 60 hours over a year? How much closer to your goals would you be after 60 hours? That’s the power of consistency. Consistent actions over time WILL lead to massive success. 5. Reassessing and Tweaking Your Game Plan Over Time From time to time, you will need to see if you are still on track. I stay accountable to myself monthly. You can do a personal check-in weekly, monthly, or every few months. It’s up to you. If you aren’t on track, make the necessary changes to your actions and daily habits to ensure you are working towards your goals. It’s okay if you realize you aren’t on track; this doesn’t mean you failed. All this setback means is you now have the opportunity to pick back up where you left off and keep getting better! Just because you eat one unhealthy meal doesn’t mean your whole healthy eating plan is ruined. It just means you ate one unhealthy meal. You can always continue eating healthy for your next meal, and it will in fact be beneficial. This outlook works for every part of life. Being self aware on your path to the life you want and deserve will help tremendously. Living an intentional life requires patience and understanding, and also will require some flexibility. The life you want won’t happen in a day, but over time, through tweaks and consistency, you’ll get there. 🙂 Welcome Success by Becoming Proactive and Living Intentionally You have the keys to your life. It is up to you to unlock your full potential and lead a great life. Through proactive behavior, you can take control of your life and create the success you crave. Planning, strategy, or thinking ahead are examples of proactive behavior, and with these thoughts, you will become more successful than the day before. Things take time and a level of patience will be required. At the end of the day, through proactive behavior and having a plan, you will be where you are supposed to be in the next few months. Start with your goals and asking questions. Continue asking questions until you’ve formed a plan for the actions which should set you up for success. With this post, you now know how to live life intentionally, how to use proactive thinking and proactive behavior to set goals, and how to create a plan for success. Get after it and make sure to update me on your fantastic progress! 🙂 “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Hal Elrod “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Readers: Do you take a proactive approach to life? Are you in control of your life? What is stopping you from achieving your goals and dreams? Save The post How to Live Life Intentionally with Proactive Behavior appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
27 minutes | a year ago
7 Steps to Financial Freedom and Personal Finance Success
Achieving financial freedom is a big goal, but a goal that can be achieved through consistent efforts over time. Becoming wealthy is possible with the right formula and process. In this post, you’ll learn about steps to financial freedom and financial success. Are you looking to become financially free? Does financial freedom sound amazing to you? What if you could become financially free? What if you could skip your commute and spend time with your friends or family uninterrupted all day? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Make no mistake, financial freedom is quite a lofty goal, but is possible. If you decide financial freedom is what you want, there are a number of personal finance habits you can cultivate to become wealthy. If you want to become better with your personal finances, you’ll definitely want to read this post all the way through. In this post, I’m going to share with you a seven step plan to get to financial independence – the ultimate personal finance goal. First though, let’s talk about what financial freedom is and why becoming financially free should be a goal of yours. What is Financial Freedom? Before talking about the steps for achieving financial freedom, let’s talk about what financial freedom is and why you should care about financial freedom. Financial freedom, or also known as financial independence, is the ability to do what you want with your time and energy without having to worry about money at all. Being financially free could mean having enough money saved up in bank accounts and investments where you don’t need to work anymore. Financial freedom could also mean owning a number of businesses which provide you with enough cash flow where you have your bills paid each month without having to work. Becoming financially free is something everyone wants deep down (whether they consciously know it, or subconsciously know it), but not everyone knows how to get there, or knows why it would be empowering. For me, financial freedom means being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. No silly corporate meetings, no talking to pushy co-workers, no commutes – only working on hobbies and my passions. What do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to wake up each day and do what you are passionate about? This is what financial freedom is all about. Now, let’s get on to the steps to financial freedom. The 7 Steps to Financial Freedom You may have heard of the seven steps to financial freedom before. Maybe you haven’t. There are two versions of the seven steps to financial freedom I’ve come across over the past few years. One is by Dave Ramsey and the other is by Tony Robbins. Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom The first seven steps to financial freedom is from the one and only, Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey, for those of you who don’t know, is a personal finance and money management expert with a radio show and many courses and workshops that help people get their finances in order. Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps to financial freedom are: Baby Step 1 – Build a $1,000 emergency fund Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the debt snowball Baby Step 3 – Save 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement Baby Step 5 – College funding for children Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give I like these, and completely agree that for most people, these steps are great for building wealth and reaching financial freedom. If a person doesn’t have $1,000 in the bank, then that should be goal number one on the way to financial freedom. Next, pay off your consumer debt and start saving for the future. Finally, become fully debt free and share your wealth with the less fortunate. If you follow these steps, you will be wealthy – I have no doubt. Tony Robbins’ 7 Steps to Financial Freedom The second set of seven steps to financial freedom are from Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins wrote Money: Master the Game a few years ago and goes over his seven steps to financial freedom in it. Tony Robbins’ 7 steps to financial freedom are: Step 1 – Make the most important financial decision of your life (Decide to be the investor, not a consumer.) Step 2 – Become an insider: know the rules before you start investing Step 3 – Make the game winnable through knowledge Step 4 – Make the most important investment decision of your life (dollar cost average, asset allocation) Step 5 – Create a lifetime income plan (consider insurance and annuities for income) Step 6 – Invest like the 0.001 percent (model the portfolios of hedge funds) Step 7 – Just do it, enjoy it, and share it! I read Money: Master the Game a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. While there was quite a bit of fluff, there were many actionable tips and takeaways for me to implement in my life. Step two of Tony Robbins’ steps is all about managing fees, how financial advisers may not be the best route to go, and buying and holding are all things to know and consider before investing. Finally, he talks about alternative routes to income and wealth once we have a substantial nest egg. It’s one thing to have a lot of money, but it’s another to have a lot of money that is protected from disaster. I want to be unique with my content and ideas. Both of these plans have a lot of merit, and I’ve built off of them and created my own seven step plan to financial freedom for you. The Mastermind Within’s 7 Step Plan to Financial Freedom Coming up with a seven step plan was tough. Everyone’s situation is different – and with anything you read or consume, it’s important to take a step back and see how it can fit into your life. All I can share and point to is my seven step plan to financial freedom. The following list is what I’m personally trying to do to grow my wealth, and get on the way to financial freedom: Build an emergency fund Pay down consumer debt Save 10% of my income Learn about investing Invest in yourself and grow your income Stay consistent Give back with your time or money Let’s go into each of these in more detail. Step 1 for Financial Freedom: Build an Emergency Fund An emergency fund is most important for your personal finance success. It’s truly tragic – around 70% of Americans don’t have $1,000 in their bank account. What happens when the furnace or AC goes out in your house? What happens if your car breaks down, or you get sick? There’s so many unplanned emergencies to account for. Having a safety net will be beneficial for your financial well-being, and will also be great for peace of mind. Saving up 3 to 6 months expenses, or even having $5,000 saved is a great starting point for your emergency fund. Step 2 for Financial Freedom: Pay off Consumer Debt Debt sucks. Debt is a restriction on your life, and does not allow you to live the life you want and deserve to live. Getting out of debt is possible by spending less money, and applying debt payoff strategies. After getting your debt knocked out, you can start focusing on offensively building your wealth. Step 3 for Financial Freedom: Save 10% of your Income After building an emergency fund and destroying your debt, the next steps are to start saving. Take 10% of your income, and start saving it for the future. After paying off your consumer debt, take that money and start directing it towards investment and savings accounts for the future. Get your savings rate up! Step 4 for Financial Freedom: Learn about Investing You need to learn how to invest. Financial freedom isn’t going to come through investing in CDs. The only thing guaranteed about a CD is you are guaranteed to lose money due to inflation! (Okay, in some situations and rate environments they are okay – but not right now) Do you want to be an active investor or passive investor? Active investors should look at starting businesses or buying real estate. Do you want to sit back and watch your money grow without much work? Stick it in the stock market. These questions are worth asking yourself. After figuring out your goals, next learn about the different fees, downfalls and traps in your chosen market. For example, paying a financial adviser 2% over 30 years could amount hundreds of thousands of dollars lost! With these information, you can wisely grow your wealth and become wealth over time. Step 5 for Financial Freedom: Invest in Yourself and Grow Your Income The best investment you can make is in yourself. Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become. If you are looking to make more money and be successful, then you will have to work on yourself. If you increase your income, you will be able to save more. By saving more, you will be able to increase your investments. All of these steps go back to investing in yourself and improving as a person. Step 6 for Financial Freedom: Stay Consistent Paying off debt and then going back into debt isn’t going to help on the way to financial freedom. Saving $5,000 in one year isn’t going to amount to much. BUT, saving $5,000 a year for 30 years and investing it in something returning 5-7% a year can grow to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consistency is the key to everything. Step 7 for Financial Freedom: Give Back No matter how wealthy you become, there’s one thing you should always remember: IT DOESN’T MATTER UNLESS YOU SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. Giving you time, money, and knowledge can help others achieve their goals and dreams. We make a living by what we earn. We make a life by what we give. With these 7 steps, you will be on your way to financial freedom. However, if you are still struggling to get past step 1, below are 2 easy steps you can take for personal finance success. 2 Easy Steps to Take for Financial Success Make no mistake, becoming better with your money and personal finances can seem tough. However, there are two easy steps you can take for overnight financial success: Tracking your income and expenses Learning about personal finance Step 1: Track Your Income and Expenses What gets measured gets managed. Knowing where you are financially is so important to financial success. Consider the following example of two people: Mark tracks his income and expenses every month, and Lisa doesn’t track her income or expenses at all. Mark wants to retire in 15 years, and has identified that by saving $500 a month, he will reach his goal with average market gains. Lisa also wants to retire in 15 years, but doesn’t know she needs to save $500 a month, and as a result, is only putting $250 into her retirement account each month. Mark saves $400 a month right now, but has identified he can cut $100 out of his food spending each month and put that towards retirement. Lisa spends $300 a month on random shopping expenses (of which she doesn’t know the dollar amount), and doesn’t realize that she doesn’t need these random shopping expenses. Who do you think will be successful? Mark, who tracks his financial situation, or Lisa, who doesn’t track her financials at all? I’m going to guess Lisa will be mighty disappointed at the end of the 15 year period. How to Track Your Income and Expenses Each Month Each month, I pull all of my transactions from my Mint account into my income statement spreadsheet. I categorize my transactions and see exactly where my spending and savings rate landed during the month, and look to see if there are any trends forming. You could download these transactions from your bank directly, you could use similar tools to Mint, or you can analyze your income and expenses through your online banking application – all are acceptable. For me, I see the importance of tracking my income and expenses by looking at my spending in various categories. I typically spend $300-400 on food and drink a month. I know this as I’ve spent $300-400 a month for the past 18 months consistently. Some months are worse than others, and in those months, I may spend closer to $500 on food and drink. If I didn’t know how much I was spending on food in a given month, maybe I’d continue to spend that amount month over month, or even start spending more. Let’s say, somehow, I started spending $300 more a month on food and drink because I wasn’t tracking it. Now, all of a sudden, I could end up spending an additional $3,600 a year ($300*12 = $3,600) on food and drink, just because I’m not keeping track of my expenses! That’s a lot of money that could be better served somewhere else. Tracking our cash flow also makes us think more about our finances. If I wasn’t tracking my expenses, I wouldn’t have this mental trigger to keep my spending down on food and drink. There are a number of tools and apps you can use to track your income and expenses. If you aren’t already tracking your income and expenses, and you don’t want to click through to my other post, I have a spreadsheet for download which you can get by putting your email into the box below. Step 2: Be Consistent, and Learn with Books, Blogs, and Podcasts Consistency is the key to being successful in this world. Consistency involves working, learning, and growing a little bit each and every day on the way to your goals. It’s not enough to invest $100 one time and let it sit. It’s not enough to cut expenses one month, and then revert back to your previous spending habits. I can guarantee you short term success will not lead to long term success unless the short term actions are internalized and made into long term habits. Consider this example: would you rather receive $1 million dollars today, or would you rather take a penny, but have it double every day for a month? Naturally, most people would say, “Give me the million bucks!” But if we step back and actually analyze the other side, we can see what a big mistake that might be. The first day, you have 2 cents, the second day, you have 4 cents, the third day, you have 8 cents… two weeks in, you have $81.92. Well, guess what? At the end of the month, you’d end up with over $10 million dollars. You only started off with a penny, what happened? Yes, you started off with a small amount, and for a long time, you didn’t have much, but 30 days later, boom, $10 million bucks – much more than $1 million!!! This is the same concept as the power of compounding over time. If you save $10,000 a year for 30 years and achieve a 7% rate of return, you will become a millionaire. This is a mathematical fact. It’s the power of consistency and compounding at work. Applying Consistency and Learning in Your Life The penny example we just went through above can be applied to the base of your knowledge on personal finance, not just investing or savings. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a personal finance expert. I have no idea the intricacies of Roth IRAs, 403(b)s, or how 1031 exchanges work in real estate. That being said, I know that I could learn any of these things if I wanted to. There are millions of words published in text and voice out in the world and on the internet. While hopefully this site will be a great starting point for you, there’s so much more out there. For example, there are so many personal finance resources which all have something to offer. Reading these different personal finance blogs, listening to podcasts, and reading books are great ways to increase your financial knowledge. If you want to become an expert on the stock market, take a step today. Maybe you want to build your understanding on different forms of debt – take a step today. For you, if there is anything you want to accomplish this year, or in life, just take a step. That’s all you can do initially. No one goes from 0 to 100 in an hour or a day. But, by going from 0 to 1 to 2 to 3, you can get there over time. It’s about taking baby steps to start, and as you get more comfortable, you can increase the pace – in other words, you sometimes have to slow down to go fast! What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter, and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in. Start Tracking and Improve Your Financial Situation Tracking your income and expenses, and having a hunger for knowledge, will get you firmly on the path to financial success. Start with identifying your why, then start tracking your income and expenses with a spreadsheet or online tool – and continue to learn about personal finance, investments, and building wealth! Having these two steps in mind will guide you on your path to your financial goals. Over time, by having your why and a plan, you will be able to make smart financial decisions and stay on the path to personal finance success. Get on the Path to Financial Freedom and Become Financially Free With the information presented in this post, you now have three different, seven step plans to financial freedom to draw inspiration from and put into action. After reading this, take a step back to reflect on these different plans, and how they may align with your own plan. If you aren’t quite yet on the path to financial freedom, implement the 2 easy steps to take to become better with your finances, and you’ll be in a better place financially soon. Take action today and get on your way to financial freedom! The post 7 Steps to Financial Freedom and Personal Finance Success appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
29 minutes | a year ago
Become the Master of Your Money with these Six Easy Steps
Becoming financially successful can be done if you have the right mindset and game plan. Mastering your money is a great goal, and through finding success with your money and finances, you’ll be able to live life the way you want, stress-free. Being a master of your money is an incredibly empowering feeling. Having a strong financial foundation can remove the feeling of the helplessness, which so many people experience. While it may seem tough, mastering your money can be done. While you might feel uncomfortable talking about money, having a shaky financial situation can take a toll on your well-being. Money is commonly cited as the leading cause of relationship issues in the USA. Money is also the top cause of stress for an individual based on respondents from 22 countries! You can get a handle on your money starting today, and become the master of your money. You may be thinking: What exactly do you mean by becoming a “master of your money? How can I master my money?” Mastering your money is coming to the realization you are in control of every aspect of your finances. Make no mistake, improving your financial situation will not be easy. However, there are a few easy steps to take to get a handle on your finances, regardless of where you’ve been or where you are currently. Following these six easy steps will allow you to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed, allowing you to get things back under control. Whether it’s making money, spending money, or saving money, YOU are the master of your money – and your life! In this post, you’ll learn about the following easy to take steps to get control of your money: Educate Yourself on Personal Finance Understand the Current State of Your Finances Categorize and Track Your Income and Expenses Set Goals and Use Affirmations Automate Your Finances Understand How Your Money Can Grow Over Time with Investments Let’s dive into each of these steps to help you master your money. 1. Educate Yourself on Personal Finance Becoming financially literate is the key first step to mastering your money. This is easier than ever in today’s day and age with an unimaginable amount of information available to you online and in books. If you are new to personal finance, it can be very intimidating. There are hundreds of terms made up my financial advisers and other “professionals” which seemingly are made up to confuse you. You don’t need to know all of these terms, and can start with the basics. In the next section, you’ll learn the five most important things to track and calculate for yourself. Also, by learning more about personal finance, you can learn what to do, and what not to do with your money. People often say that the best way to learn is from making mistakes. I say the best way to learn is from others’ mistakes. Luckily for you, there is a vast amount of people from all walks of life who share their experiences (including mistakes) on the Internet. Check out this list of 200+ personal finance resources that I have curated. There are different forms of media for people of all tastes; the list includes books, blogs, podcasts, and more! 2. Understand the Current State of Your Finances Have you ever been on a road trip and not knew where you were? If you’ve been lost, then you probably didn’t know where you were going. If you don’t know where you are going, you certainly aren’t going to get there. With personal finance, if you don’t know where you are, then you will not be able to master your money. Becoming a master of your money involves becoming aware of the current state of your finances. If you are a beginner, then you may be lost and not knowing what things to track. However, the list of financial accounts to track isn’t too bad to pull together for yourself. In a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper, think about and write down the following things you own, and which affect your financial life: Assets Assets are things you own, and items with value (investments, houses, cars, cash, art, precious metals, etc.) Liabilities Liabilities are things you owe to someone else (mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, etc.) Income How much money is coming into your bank account on a monthly basis? Expenses What are you spending on different categories each month? You’ll learn about this in a later section in this post. Credit Score What’s your credit score? You can obtain one per year free from Annual Credit Report. With these five pieces of financial information, you will have a great understanding of your financial situation. After finding these five pieces of financial information, you can do some calculations to further improve your understanding of your finances. Calculating Personal Finance Metrics to Master Your Money There are four main personal finance metrics you should be calculating to get a better understanding of your money over time. Your credit score is a standalone piece of information which you can track over time. While credit score is important, this calculation is handled by the different credit agencies. You don’t need to worry about it. The four personal finance metrics to track are net worth, income, expenses, and savings rate. Net worth is simply your assets minus your liabilities. Essentially, your net worth is what is left over if you sold everything and paid off all of your debts. Don’t be discouraged if your net worth is small or negative. You are taking control which means you will be able to improve it! Next, we have income. You can find your income from your most recent paycheck, or if you are someone who works gigs, you can add up the number of deposits to your bank account from your bank statement. Next, we have expenses. Expenses are the total amount of money you spend during a month – will help you identify any weaknesses in your budget. You can track your expenses however you find most effective. I split my expenses into some broad buckets, and then dive deeper to get a better understanding of where my cash is actually going each month. Discretionary Spending Food and Drink Shopping Recreation Travel Hair Home Improvement Cash Withdrawal Utilities Internet Gas Electric Water Mortgage/Rent Principal on Mortgage Interest on Mortgage Home Insurance Property Taxes Private Mortgage Insurance Auto Gas Auto Insurance Maintenance Auto Loan Principal and Interest Parking Other Insurance Health Insurance Dental Insurance Umbrella Policy Life Insurance Other ATM Fees Other random charges and fees Taxes Federal State Social Security Medicare The last metric to track is savings rate. Savings rate is simply the percentage of your net income remaining after paying your gross expenses. With these four metrics, you can now start searching for ways to improve these over time. 3. Categorize and Track Your Income and Expenses Over Time The next step in mastering your is to continue to track your income and expenses over time. If you have never tracked your expenses before, you may be shocked by results! You need to be fully aware of your spending if you want to master your money. Tracking your expenses doesn’t have to be complicated. The level of detail you go into when itemizing your expenses depends on your preference. Remember, personal finance is personal! As shown in the last section, tracking your expenses can be general or detailed. The minimum level of detail you should include in expense tracking is broad categories, such as automobile, utilities, or food. You can get really detailed if you so choose. For example, automobile can be split into gasoline, insurance, and maintenance. More detail gives you more insight into your spending, but it also requires more work! There is one notable tool that makes expense tracking a breeze. Mint is an app that allows you to sync your bank accounts to their secure platform. You can use it to automatically sort your expenses to varying amounts of detail. The only thing you will have to manually track is when you make transactions in cash! Now that you have an understanding on your finances, let’s talk about growing wealth and becoming the master of your financial future. 4. Set Financial Goals and Use Affirmations By this point, you’ve started learning more about personal finance and have calculated your net worth, savings rate, and credit score. Now, it’s time to focus on the future. Setting well-defined financial goals is a must for mastering your money. Setting financial goals is a great way to start your financial journey. First, it’s important to start with you why, and ask yourself what you want: Do you want to take more vacations? Spend more money on entertainment? Buy a bigger house? Put your kids through college? Whatever your reason, having this result in mind will help with setting your goal. Below I’ve listed some common examples of financial goals. Note: each one has two components: a monetary component and a time component. Saying you’re going to do something isn’t good enough; you need to tell yourself when you’re going to do it by! I will achieve a net worth of $100,000 by age 30 My debt sucks, and I will pay down $20,000 of my student debt in the next three years I will increase my net income to $80,000 annually by age 32 Saving more is important to me, so I will increase my savings rate to 25% within the next two years I will improve my credit score to 700 within the next two years I will save $10,000 by the time my daughter is 10 years old to have a good base for college. Having these goals in mind will help create the future you want and deserve going forward. Use Affirmations to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Financial Success Would you say you have a strong money mindset, or a mindset which needs improvement? A very quick and easy way to improve your money mindset is through affirmations. What are affirmations? An affirmation is a statement of truth. Affirmations strengthen us because we can “trick” our brains into thinking what we want in this world. An affirmation is as simple as the following statement, “I’m good with my money.” An affirmation also could be more involved, such as, “I’m a person who is in control of my money, improving my financial situation for the future, and building wealth over time.” Typically, the statement you choose will be something you want to change in your life. Improving your finances is more than just making real world changes. Mastering your money also involves making changes to your mindset! Affirmations are one such mindset change. It is a truth that you repeat to yourself, and it can have a tremendous effect on your subconscious mind. Each day starting off, do some affirmations and positive thinking exercises to help improve your money mindset. Now, let’s talk about two slightly more advanced, but important, ways to continue to master your money. 5. Automate Your Finances One of the most effective ways to master your money is to automate your finances. What does automating your finances mean? Automating your finances involves using technology to help meet your financial goals. It might sound scary, but it’s easy to step up and will help tremendously. Automating your finances is as simple as: setting up direct deposit to your bank accounts setting up transfers to transfer money to investments scheduling auto payment on your debt and utility bills With all of this, you can make sure you don’t miss a payment and are transferring money into your savings accounts. Automating your finances is very efficient. No more spending time paying bills and worrying over whether you forgot anything; you just need to spend a few minutes looking over your statements each month making sure what you’re being charged is accurate! Also, automating savings contributions will help you if you are one who suffers from making impulse financial decisions. You can’t spend the money you intended to save when your bank is automatically putting it away for you. Take care though if you are automating savings contributions. You need to make sure you have enough remaining after saving money to cover your bills! 6. Grow Your Money Over Time through Investing The final step to take when mastering your money is understanding your investments. It is possible to grow your money over time through smart investing. There are a number of assets you can own to become wealthy: stocks bonds real estate precious metals businesses cryptocurrencies cash There is certainly a learning curve to all of these assets, and some may not make sense for your goals. However, if you want to grow wealth, master your money, and become financially free, understanding how to grow money is critical. What I do mean by understanding your investments is that you have to be aware of: how much money you have contributed to your accounts the estimated return on your investments the allocation of your money across different assets classes what type of account you’re holding the assets in the cost of investing (fund fees, trading commissions, tax obligations, etc.) There are some people who don’t even know how much they’ve contributed to their 401k or other retirement accounts. There are others who don’t even realize the exorbitant fees they might be paying on their mutual funds. This isn’t a good situation to be in. Know what you own!!! Once you know what you own, you can see where the room for improvement lies. Saving money is powerful on its own, but your savings are missing out on potential growth if you don’t properly invest! Master Your Money and Become Financially Successful Becoming a master of your money follows a similar process as becoming a master of anything. You need to spend a great deal of time studying and learning. You need to adjust your mentality to ensure that you act intentionally and positively. Finally, you need to take action and put your newfound knowledge to work. Becoming the master of your money may not happen overnight. However, by putting in the work, you can get a great handle on your financial situation. Now, get out there and take control of your finances! Readers: which step has been best for helping you master your money? What financial resources are some of your favorite to understand personal finance better? The post Become the Master of Your Money with these Six Easy Steps appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
34 minutes | a year ago
15 Steps to Take to Become Great in Life
Taking control of your life and creating a lifestyle you want to live is possible and a great goal. If you want to create something with your life, and become something in life, then you can do so with the right action and behavior. With the 15 steps in this article, you can become great in life and become the person you want to be. What does your dream life look like? Are you living your dream life? What if you could become the master of your life, and do whatever you wanted? Becoming the master of your life is possible, if you want to take control of your life and achieve your wildest dreams. What’s your purpose? What are you passionate about? Do you have a bucket list? All of these questions can help you form a picture of your dream life, but getting to your dream life will require a journey and effort. No one is an overnight success. However, you can do anything you put your mind to. Are you ready to become the master of your life? Do you want to become great in life? Let’s begin. 15 Steps to Take to Become Great in Life Creating a great life for yourself will take some time, but it is possible with effort and focus. Life mastery is pushing your limits to become better each and every day. Some days will be better than others, but over time, you’ll be achieve your wildest dreams. Below are the 15 steps you can take to become the master of your life, and to create a fantastic life for yourself. Be Proactive and Live Intentionally Tap into the Power of Positive Thinking Work to Live with an Abundance Mindset Set Goals for Success Apply the Concept of Compounding in Your Life Manage Your Spending and Live Within Your Means Explode Your Income Get Your Diet Right Exercise and Get Your Blood Flowing Learn How to Become a Better Learner Learn Emotional Intelligence and How to Cultivate Strong Relationships Understand it’s Okay to Say “I Don’t Know” Remove Noise and Focus on What Matters to You Network with Mentors and Those More Experienced than You Find Balance in Work, Play and Rest Let’s dive into each of these steps in greater detail below. 1. Be Proactive and Live Intentionally The first step to becoming the master of your life is changing your mindset and attitude towards your life. No longer are you going to react to what your environment and surrounding is giving you. Instead, you do what you want and live with purpose. Proactive behavior is all about planning and taking action on your plans. If you want to get in shape, get rich, or get into a relationship, no one is going to be able to accomplish these things except for you! You are the only person who has the power to control how your life. You have the keys to your life. It is up to you to unlock your full potential and lead a great life. Through proactive behavior, you can take control of your life and create the success you crave. Related full articles about proactive behavior and action: Living Intentionally with Proactive Behavior Consistency and Action: The Most Important Habits for Success 2. Tap into the Power of Positive Thinking Our minds are incredibly powerful and can quite literally create its own reality. Using positive thinking can manifest itself in living the life you want to live. Telling yourself you are a positive person will result in you becoming a more positive person. You are what you say you are. Saying, “I’m a negative person who can never accomplish anything” is a reinforcing trap. Saying this sort of thing will result in you being a negative person who will never accomplish anything. Likewise, telling yourself, “I’m a positive person who can accomplish anything” will lead to accomplishments beyond your wildest dreams. Using positive thinking can help guide you on your path to life mastery. Related full article about positive thinking: Mindset is Everything: The Power of Positive Thinking 3. Work to Live with an Abundance Mindset In life, rarely are situations win-lose, where you can win, and I lose (or vice versa). Many situations in life are win-win, where through helping others and giving selflessly, we both can gain and improve over time. Living with an abundance mindset is all about understanding there is enough to go around for all of us, and having the patience and understanding to share and give. Related full article about living in abundance: Benefits of Living with an Abundance Mindset 4. Set Goals for Success If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Setting goals helps put a bulls-eye on the wall for you to aim at with your actions. By setting goals, you can start to put structure to your future. For me, I love action based goals. For example, one of my goals right now is to do some exercise each and every day. My want is to be in shape and to look better physically. With a little bit of exercise each day, I know I’ll be able to reach this want and goal, and will be successful. What do you want? How will you get there? It’s time to set a goal! Related full article about goal setting: How to Set Goals You Can Actually Achieve 5. Apply the Concept of Compounding in Your Life Simple consistent actions WILL lead to success over time. When starting off, it’s very tough to see any progress. However, the power of compounding is incredibly powerful. Think about pushing a massive rock – at first, you can barely push it. But, after pushing more and more, all of a sudden, the rock starts to move and turn over on itself. As time goes on, you barely have to push. That’s the power of compounding and consistency. So many people fail to get to that breaking point, and instead give up. Consistency WILL bring success and clarity to your situation. You need to commit to consistency if you want to find success and master your life. Related full articles about compounding: Applying the Concept of Compound Interest in All Areas of Life 6. Manage Your Spending and Live Within Your Means From my experience, I’m most happy when I have money in the bank, and when I’m making purchases on things which bring me direct joy. Living paycheck to paycheck, or having debt, is no fun. If you want to master your life, you need to get a hold on your spending and live within your means. Saving money isn’t hard, but it does require discipline. By saving more, you can have money in the bank to take a vacation, buy a car or house, invest in a business or a new lifestyle, and live the life you want. Related full articles about saving money: 9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year 5 Simple Steps to Save Your First $1,000 This Year Increase Savings Fast by Reducing These 3 Big Expenses 7. Explode Your Income There are two ways you can improve your financial situation in the short term: earn more money, or save more money. While saving is great, there is a lower bound to how low you can drop your expenses. On the flip side, with earning potential, there is no bound to how high you can grow your income. Becoming the master of your life includes mastering your money and becoming more valuable towards others. With a higher value, you can attract more responsibility and work, and with more responsibility and work, you can demand more pay. Exploding your income is important because our time is limited. If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, with more savings, you could make a lifestyle change or take a lower paying job. With growing your income, you can achieve these goals faster. Related full article about increasing your income: The Complete Guide to Earning More Money in Your 20s and 30s 8. Get Your Diet Right Have you ever heard of the saying, you are what you eat? Putting garbage into your body will result in having a garbage physique and mental state. Getting your diet right is a piece of mastering your life because food is what fuels you to take action on your goals. Everyone will be different in what kind of food they can eat, but getting your diet right involves eating healthy foods and drinking a lot of water. For me, eating healthy means eating a high fat, high protein diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables mixed in. Also, for my health, I’ve experimented with fasting and do intermittent fasting. Experimentation is important for your diet, but it is certainly a very important piece of becoming the master of your life. 9. Exercise and Get Your Blood Flowing Just like diet, exercise is another important piece to life mastery. For me, I try to do a little bit each day. I enjoy doing bodyweight exercises, biking, walking, rock climbing, and playing basketball with friends. I don’t have a gym pass, and don’t subscribe to the thought that you need to be a meat head to be in shape. Instead, doing a little bit each day, 30-60 minutes of activity will be good for your health and wellness. Getting your blood pumping will help with brain activity and will also keep you strong. Related full article about fitness: Why I’m Using Rock Climbing to Become Strong and Fit Doing 100 Bodyweight Squats Every Day for a Month 7 Workout Supplements to Help You Get Your Dream Body 10. Learn How to Become a Better Learner On your journey to realizing your goals, at some point, you most likely will have to learn something new. What if you could learn something and make it stick in the next week? Wouldn’t that be great? It is possible to learn how to become a better learner. By understanding how to become a better learner, you can develop the confidence to venture into new subjects and pick them up fast. Related full article about learning: How to Be Better at Learning 11. Learn Emotional Intelligence and How to Cultivate Strong Relationships Humans are social creatures, and with many situations, we have to interact with other people. At work, for example, you most likely have to interact with a number of people: your boss, your co-workers, your clients and customers, etc. Being able to communicate, understand emotions, and navigate through different social situations is very important for success in this world. Communication and emotional intelligence are two skills which are arguably the most important skills to improve upon. Working on these will take time, but they certainly worth improving and building over time. Related full articles about relationships: 10 Emotional Intelligence Books to Read for Personal Growth The Best 3 Personal Growth Books for Millennial Success Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Summary 12. Understand it’s Okay to Say “I Don’t Know” “The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all.” – Socrates The quote above is a great example of this life mastery step. Being eternally curious, and looking to learn more and more, will lead to success over time. Understanding that there are holes in your knowledge and understanding of things will be beneficial for your growth. Being closed minded and living in an echo chamber is not helpful for achieving your goals. Get out of your comfort zone, embrace uncertainty, and say “I don’t know”. It’s freeing and a lot of fun! Related full article about growth: Have a Growth Mindset and Be Unafraid to Say I Don’t Know 13. Remove Noise and Focus on What Matters to You There is so much noise in the world: news outlets, social media, advertisements, the list goes on and on. What’s important to you? Is grandma’s constant Facebook posting important to you, or can that be ignored? Focus and removing distractions will help you do what matters and get you to your goals and dreams faster. Multi-tasking is possible, but focusing in on one task at a time is far superior. By removing noise and distractions, you can accomplish what you need to and get on to the next step. Related full article about removing noise: Tips for Removing Distractions and Becoming Successful 14. Network to Gain Perspective and Understanding One of my favorite quotes is “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” For me, I know I don’t know everything, and don’t have a full perspective on my goals and life. However, I can ask others who are more wise and knowledgeable than me to help me on my journey. Through networking and meeting other people, you can gain a better perspective and learn about how to better your skills and knowledge. Related full article about networking: How to Network and Perform Informational Interviews 15. Balance Work, Play and Rest Balance is so critical in life. While it seems you need to work every hour and day of your life to be successful, leading a fulfilling life involves balance with time for play and rest. If you notice above, I’ve included diet, mindset, money, relationships, and exercise in the steps to creating your dream life and becoming the master of your life. While work and action is very important, sleep, rest and having fun is equally as important! Our bodies don’t build muscle in the gym! Our bodies build muscle during rest! Apply this same concept to your work, and you’ll go far. Related full article about balance: The Importance of Balance: 8 Tips to Live a Balanced Life Become the Mastermind and Creator of Your Dream Life for a Great Life With the points and articles listed above, you can start to take the next steps to create and live the life you want and deserve. Self improvement is a life long endeavor, and life mastery is an extreme goal. Getting to your dream life won’t happen today, it probably won’t happen tomorrow. It might not even happen this year! Heck, I’ve been taking steps towards “improvement” over the last 8 years and STILL feel I’m not to my goals yet. However, with the right guidance and consistent efforts over time, you can and WILL achieve your goals. Are you ready and motivated to take control of your life? The post 15 Steps to Take to Become Great in Life appeared first on The Mastermind Within.
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