Why are some people wealthy, while others struggle to survive, living pay check to pay check? You can take two people from the same background, even the same family, with the same education and opportunity, and they will get different results. One will succeed, and one will fail. Why? Watching members of my own family get different results even though they were given the same information taught me valuable life lessons about building wealth.
My grandparents were hard-working, blue collar immigrants. They openly shared their good money habits with their four children. They all lived under the same roof and received the same information. Three of the four even had the same career, yet, their results were drastically different. I want to share my observations with you so you can learn what works when creating financial freedom.
Here are 5 proven secrets you need to know to be be wealthy:
1. Be Grateful
My grandparents spoke with love and appreciation for the opportunities available in their new homeland. My parents complained about money even though they earned plenty. Their lack of satisfaction led them to fund their lifestyle with money they didn’t have, accumulating a lot of debt. They fought over money and blamed each other for their results. Their constant bickering caused me unbearable stress. When you show appreciation, you get more of what you want. What are you grateful for today?
Here’s an easy way to show gratitude. Start and end each day stating out loud what you appreciate. It can be your health, family, friends, a thriving business. State your gratitude intention in the present tense. Here is an example…”I am so happy and grateful now that…. and you fill in the blank.
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” – Dave Ramsey
2. Be Generous
My grandparents regularly gave to their favorite charities and helped neighbors in need. Having the courage to be generous when you are struggling shows the Universe you’re confident in your ability to create what you need. Where can you show generosity today? How about donating your time, talent or money to a cause that matters to you? Sharing your passion in a special way often provides a renewed sense of purpose that gets your creative juices flowing.
3. Create A Plan and Take Daily Action Toward Your Goals
Only one of my grandparents children had a plan. My uncle and his wife lived within their means and had a lovely lifestyle. He didn’t earn more money than the others. My uncle made choices that gave him better results. His siblings spent more than they made, all the time. They thought they were living the good life, but the stress of being over extended and not having any savings took its toll financially and emotionally.
Do you set goals? Here’s an easy system to stay on track. First, create a written list of your goals and prioritize them. Write each one on 3 x 5 card that you read aloud daily. This will provide triggers that stimulate action. As you hit your targets, check them off your list. You will feel a rush of satisfaction that inspires you to keep going.
4. Have Honest Money Conversations
Nonnie and Grandpa were comfortable talking about money. This is the secret successful people have in common. Money doesn’t make them uncomfortable. They are comfortable with money. Developing a comfort level with money starts with knowing how to talk about it without getting emotional.
To have a successful money conversation, start small. Think of a money topic that is light, such as planning a vacation. If you have someone that is part of the planning process, make a vacation planning date with them. Start with general questions like where to go, when, and for how long. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, decide on a budget. Once this system becomes second nature, money conversations will be a breeze.
“Never spend your money before you have earned it.” – Thomas Jefferson
5. Live Within Your Means and Include Savings In Your Budget
My grandparents didn’t earn a lot of money in their day. Because they managed well and were consistent savers, they left their children a small inheritance when they passed. In contrast, one of their children died penniless. One lost everything and is living in government housing for the elderly. One had to downsize considerably, barely hanging on financially.
Their one child that copied their money habits retired comfortably. He enjoys financial freedom, experiencing life on his terms. His outcome proves your decisions and behavior create your results, not the size of your pay check.
What money choices will you make? This is essential – know your numbers. Use an online app or a spreadsheet. Include your take-home (net) income and any other income sources (dividends, interest, etc.).
Next list your expenses. Separate them by essential, and discretionary categories. Include savings in your budget. If you want to increase your savings, look for ways to reduce your discretionary expenses. Don’t forget subscription expenses. These are often overlooked and can add up fast. If you have subscriptions to goods or services you’re not using, consider cancelling them to save money.
As you can see, achieving the level of wealth and financial freedom isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you practice these 5 simple habits, you will be on your way to attain your money goals. Remember, live your life by design and not by default.