In Being Financially Free article, I invited you to pause and ask yourself 3 important questions:
3. What would need to happen during these X years for you to get to your financial goal?
I already covered the first couple of questions, “Where are you now, financially?” and “Where do you want to be in X year, financially?” Today, let’s have a frank conversation about what needs to happen during these X years for you to get to your financial goal.
You are a mature intelligent woman. You’ve done so much… You’ve gone so far… You work hard yet your income is barely sufficient to meet expenses…and your net worth is unsatisfactory… What can you do?
Should you give up your dream of becoming financially independent one day? Accept a future of increasingly meager existence? Grow bitter and curse the luck (and people) for putting you in this situation?
Or…choose to take responsibility for your finances and make changes?
That last question was rhetorical, of course. But sometimes, I wonder if people, especially women, really understand their options. There are things that happen in life that you can’t control. But you can control the way we respond to them…
I understand that when you’re almost halfway through your life and still feel uneasiness and uncontrolled contraction inside when you think about your financial future, it may seem like Greek to you when I talk about becoming financially independent. I get it… It may not be easy for you to see what’s possible in your life from a place where you are right now…
However, I am confident that if you have even modest intelligence and a positive attitude, you CAN become financially independent in 7 to 10 years (or less) if you’re willing to invest your time, effort and money to make it happen. It will just take a bit of time and patience. And it will require that you change some of the thoughts and feelings you have about wealth and your relationship with money.
So, what would need to take place during the X years for you to change your financial life?
Here are my suggestions for you to consider:
1. Accept the fact that you’re solely and completely responsible for your current financial situation.
Before you react defensively, read that sentence again. I didn’t say you are the cause of your situation. I said you are responsible for it.
By taking responsibility for your current condition, you also assume responsibility for your future. Nobody can change your fortune but you. And nobody else will. The sooner you accept that reality, the sooner you will begin to feel financially powerful.
I’m not giving you a pep talk. I’m telling you the truth. I’ve done it myself, and I’ve met dozens of other women who’ve done it too. There are simple adjustments to your thinking and behaving that you’ll need to make, but they are extremely powerful. They work instantaneously. Without them, you cannot move forward, even by an inch.
2. Set realistic expectations, take measured actions and focus on making progress.
Progress, not perfection. You need to have a way to manage your money that will allow you to become richer every week, every month, and certainly every year.
Yes, it’s great to think big and have big dreams… But it’s also very important to take small, attainable right now steps, which, cumulatively, will get you to your desired financial destination. I am sure you’ve heard of compound effect — reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.
That’s why when I meet a woman who looks for some secret get-rich-quick technique like 6 or 7-figure overnight-business strategy, or incredible hot stock tips, I think to myself, “I don’t think she will become wealthy…”
I believe that the journey to millions of dollars is earned $100 at a time. Your financial life right now is like a car that needs an engine upgrade. You may want to be driving it at 100 miles per hour. I understand… However, it can’t go from zero to 100 miles per hour in no time! The law of inertia is against you. Start with where you are at the moment…10 miles/hour…then 20…and then 30. That’s how you accumulate lasting wealth – gradually at first, then at your preferred speed.
3. Develop a habit of paying yourself first in a form of savings! Savings are your wealth seeds, investing is the fertilizer for growing your wealth.
With every paycheck you get, first, put some money toward saving (start with comfortable percent of your net income and keep increasing it), then cover your necessary expenses by funding your “lifestyle” aka spending account(s): bills, mortgage, play and donation money.
Once you fill your 3-6 month emergency fund, keep growing your savings in your ‘financial freedom’ accounts, which include your investment accounts. Only after you have “paid yourself” by saving should you add to your “spending” accounts.
4. Commit to adding to your income with a second income (or multiple streams of income).
I want you to realize that your net investable income (the amount of cash you have after spending and saving) is the single most important factor in determining how quickly you will become wealthy.
Be creative, always contemplate additional sources of income. Make an honest count of the number of hours each month you devote to non-productive activities (e.g. TV, social media, etc.). Devote them to wealth-building instead. Let go of a comfortable ‘victimhood’ thinking, educate yourself, get help and guidance. Become the master of your money – it’s not too late and you don’t have to do it alone!
It’s not fun to realize, in the midst of your life, that you haven’t acquired the wealth you want. But you are not in your 80s and still have plenty of time to increase your income and grow your wealth. You have a wonderful life ahead of you and your financial past doesn’t have to be your destiny…unless you allow it to be. NOW is the time to dare and change what’s not working in your life.
Yes, YOUR TIME IS NOW, not some day.
To your Health, Wealth and Freedom!
With Love and Gratitude,