The most financially successful people are not the ones that have made the most money; they are the ones that have made the most of their money. Doing that involves having both a plan and a strategy to achieve financial success.
1. Manage your emotions. We would all like to believe that we are logical and rational creatures, but the reality is that money like many things in life is more emotional than it is logical. Being aware of any hot buttons or financial stressors is important because those things can become barriers to your financial decisions.
2. Manage your cashflow. The key word here is margin. Whether you run a business or are just trying to pay the mortgage and save for the future, creating as much margin for yourself as possible is the key to unlocking more cashflow success. This may mean reducing credit card usage or aggressively paying down debts.
3. Create a plan for yourself. This does not need to be something as heavy as a “financial plan.” Start by creating bite-sized goals that can be measured in weeks or months. The old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” As you build momentum, work on formulating a comprehensive plan to achieve your financial goals, such as investing a small portion of your savings every month.
4. Ensure value alignment. When someone says “work-life balance” is important, but then spends hundreds of dollars a week at happy hours, this shows that their financial habits are not aligned with their core values. When we live as value-centered individuals and our finances reflect this, both our savings and our spending should move us towards experiencing a lifestyle built on values. Recognizing this and working to shift things into alignment can play a pivotal role in transforming your financial picture.
5. Push yourself. Expand your comfort zones when it comes to saving and spending. Can you set aside another $25 or $50 a month for six months? If you systematize things as much as possible, you’ll find it much easier to build larger habits and set higher goals.
6. Stay patient. The story of the tortoise and the hare is apropos – when you have a plan, stick to it. Everyone encounters things that will come along to knock you off track, but don’t let setbacks blow up your plan. Know how to pivot and stay the course and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go.
Ultimately, discipline is the foundational element necessary for long-term success. Wealth isn’t measured by how much you have, but by the quality of life you can achieve by using what you have wisely.