There are things we can do for financial success, and then there are things that we think will lead us to financial success but the results of our relative ignorance usually lead to no profits at best, and financial ruin at worst.
Here are six steps to take that will lead to a brighter financial future, as well as a better life in general!
- Building an emergency fund
It goes without saying that building an emergency fund will help you during an emergency. It will help to tide the hard times over until we can start working or receive some form of income again.
The fund can be anything – you can even start more than one emergency fund. We believe that having 2 to 3 would be extremely useful: one could be for living expenses if you’re laid off or cannot work due to medical reasons, another could be for the general hospital trips and medical funds for injuries, and the last could perhaps be used for anything else. It’s your choice really, but always have at least one emergency fund on standby!
- Pay off your credit card debts
Credit card debt is a liability that while can be relatively easy to service, can also be one of the deepest pits we fall into. Thanks to credit cards, it makes spending money too easy for anyone and everyone. One of the core rules of being financially successful and free is to pay off your debts.
Of course, credit card debt can also be an asset if it is wielded well (for example, investing in something that will offer decent returns) but you must be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when doing this. A single misstep can result in catastrophe.
- Take a job you love
With everyone wanting to become entrepreneurs, having a job would seem like a rather overlooked and less popular choice. However, let’s be honest for a moment: how can you be an entrepreneur when you have absolutely no experience in the working world? Sure you can read a ton of books, but books are not the equivalent of real life experiences.
Having a job you love has its benefits too – when people see you enjoy your work, supervisors will notice. There will be a greater chance at networking and promotions too. In this case, it’s all a matter of finding what you love to do, and doing it.
- Open an investment account and start investing
Investing would place you a notch above the common employee simply because you now have an additional source of income when compared to the normal person.
While investing is fun and can most definitely pay for itself in the long run, proper research and practice is essential when it comes to it. The stock market is not a forgiving place – a wrong move and you could see all your equity vaporize before your very eyes.
Take some time to read some investment books, reading pages online on investment and practice trading on demo accounts. This will help build some confidence before you start using real money to invest (Real investing is when the heart-stopping moments start!)
- Plan for the future
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
This maxim cannot be stressed enough.
Planning for the future would usually mean in terms of years – what you would want to achieve in five, 10, or 15 years time, followed by actionable steps in the months and weeks to achieve what you want.
All the great entrepreneurs and business people were serial planners – they made sure that everything would go according to plan. If plan A failed, there was always plan B, C, and the list go on.
While I’m not saying to micromanage every single moment of your life, it would be good to have a few goals to achieve by the end of every week or month that is in line with what you want in the long run.
- Take a vacation every day
Want a holiday every day?
Taking a vacation every day doesn’t literally mean what it does, but have you ever seen a day where Bill Gates felt like his work at Microsoft was merely work?
This statement is in line with point 3 – if you love doing something, then it won’t be treated as a job.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily relate to work. It can relate to an intense passion for let’s say, woodworking or coding. Blocking off the time to do what you love will reap huge rewards – a year’s worth of coding practice could very well lead you to form a new company on coding and research, or a corporation could headhunt you for your skills and offer a very generous compensation package.
Keep working on yourself and what you love, and eventually, someone will want to pay you for your love of it!
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