Being “wealthy” can mean different things to different people. I believe it means having the time and money to live the life you want. I am great at giving advice; I am not always so great at taking my own advice (know anyone like that?). After many years in the financial sector I have been exposed to several financial stumbling blocks that prevent people from achieving wealth
Regardless of our upbringing, education, profession or lifestyle, most of us are not where we want to be financially and our reasons are probably more similar than different. The good news is that it is never too late to become wealthy.
Instant Gratification: The instant gratification of buying things feels great. Even if you don’t necessarily buy pricey items, if you consistently buy stuff you really don’t need, it still adds up fast (R300 trip to Checkers for toothpaste?). But the shopping high only lasts until the guilt and regret set in or the credit card statement arrives. Most of us are guilty of living beyond our means and using credit cards more than we should. The problem is that as long as we continue to spend more than we have, we can’t start building wealth.
You are not planning properly: As we say in the financial industry: those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Creating a financial plan may seem overwhelming or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you do-it-yourself or decide to work with a financial professional, the process simply starts with prioritizing your goals and writing them down. Put that list where you can see it often, reminders go a long way in helping us stay on track.
You started late: With every year or month that goes by without saving, your chances of becoming wealthy decrease. Time and compounding interest are your two best friends when it comes to growing money. Just like exercising, the hardest part of saving is starting. Even if you’re in debt, making little money or have a lot of expenses, you can still save something, even if it is a small amount. The sooner you get yourself into the habit of saving, regardless of how much. But you need to start. Now!
Its easier to complain than commit: “Life is too expensive.” “I’ll never get out of debt.” “I don’t make enough money.” I’ve probably heard every excuse for why someone isn’t saving, investing or planning in general, and I’ll admit I’ve used a few of them myself from time to time. It’s easier to be lazy and let bad habits fester than to commit to (and follow through on) changing them. Stop the complaining, excuses and finger-pointing persist. Instead, take responsibility for your bad habits and focus on what you can do to change them. Then do it.
Did you find any of this advice helpful?
PS. Look out for my next blog on why you are not wealthy