I use to hate money, no joke a physical disdain for it. I felt like I never had enough of it, I felt I could never make enough of it, and I was constantly thinking about how to get more of it. My entire relationship with money and my finances was ass backwards, I thought that in order to get more of it I had to work harder and longer.
- I was afraid of money and if you’re afraid of something you’ll subconsciously do things to avoid it and the pain associated with it.
- My own limiting beliefs: There is never enough, I don’t know how, or can’t make more of it, I can’t afford this, that, or the in-between.
- Not willing: I wasn’t willing to step outside my comfort zone to learn and explore opportunities that would improve my knowledge and understanding of how money actually works.
- Giving it away: I only saw money as something I gave away, to bills, debts, other people. I never saw it as something I deserved and was rewarded with.
It wasn’t until I actually decided to start educating myself about personal finance that my entire mind-set changed. Instead of working for money I wanted my money to work for me.
Becoming wealthier is much more than just income coming in versus expenses going out, I like to consider money a source of energy and something that we should all be investing time in to learn about and understand. Unfortunately, relationships with money and wealth building are things we are not really exposed to or taught in traditional forms of education, it is more than likely something you will have to develop on your own and experiment with.
There’s a great quote and I wish I could remember who it’s by but it goes like this:
I know all about the war of 1812 but I’m not sure how to balance my checkbook.
I’m all for getting a grasp on history but really, what’s more relevant and important in today’s society? So if we’re not going to be taught these sort of things in school it is up to you to spend time educating yourself and I believe with the all mighty dollar it starts with your personal relationship with the green stuff.
YOU VERSUS YOUR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Bill Gates didn’t or don’t work for their money, they don’t even believe and never have believed that this is how money should operate. The wealthiest men and women ever understand that your money should work for you. While traditional thought would have you believe that in order to make more you have to work more, its people like this that understand that you just have to work smarter and view money a little different from everyone else. Here are a few ways in which the wealthy think a little differently about money then the rest of us:
- The wealthy: Create their life – The rest of us: Life happens to them
- The wealthy: Play games to win – The rest of us: Play NOT to lose
- The wealthy: Think big – The rest of us: Think small
- The wealthy: Focus on opportunity – The rest of us: Focus on our obstacles
- The wealthy: Admire, talk to, and are excited for other wealthy people – The rest of us: Resent, are jealous of, and don’t spend time around wealthy people
- The wealthy: Promote themselves and hold strong opinions – The rest of us: Feel promotion is selfish and straddle the fence
- The wealthy: Embrace both giving and receiving – The rest of us: Feel receiving is a selfish act and one they’re not worthy of
- The wealthy: Feel money-making should be based on results – The rest of us: Feel money-making is based on time
- The wealthy: Think in terms of having it ALL, you can have both a great career and a close connection with your family, you can build wealth and have time for fun and play, you can make a good fortune and do work you love – The rest of us: Think that in order to have one you need to sacrifice another
- The wealthy: Make decisions and take action despite their fears – The rest of us: Let fears and limiting beliefs affect our decisions and the actions we take…or don’t take.
THE WEALTH MINDSET
Before we dive in I want to establish the difference between money and wealth. Money is just a number, that’s it. If someone asks you how much money you have you can tell them, “I have twenty bucks.” Wealth on the other hand is the ability to manage balance your time and finances so that you can have the most rewarding experiences.
I know you’ve heard this quote before, “Money is the root of all evil.” If anyone ever says this or anything that might resemble it to you, run from them and run far. Good people do good things with money and bad people will do bad things with money. Those that use this quote are telling the universe that they don’t want money or wealth. If something is evil, chances are you don’t want it, you’ll do anything you can to stay away from it.
- Dracula=Evil (do you want to meet Dracula?)
- The Joker=Evil (do you want to meet The Joker?)
- Dr. Evil=Evil (do you want to meet Dr. Evil?)
- This song=Evil (I’m sorry, I can’t stand it 🙂
The poor, middle class, millionaires, and billionaires all view money and wealth very differently. Each class has its own unique relationship with wealth and the biggest differences can be seen in each groups mindset.
Very important: The terms poor, middle class, millionaires, and billionaires are not being used to signify that one is better than the other, smarter, or have more value as a human being. The terms are only used as a way to describe their MINDSET/RELATIONSHIP with money and wealth. The following is adapted from a write-up done by Dane Maxwell after reading the book Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller (note: A great read and one of my 52 in 52).
The poor: Are dependent and rely on a third-party to take care of them, getting wealthy is all a matter of luck and chance.
The middle class: (right now I consider myself here, but I’m working on it) Hard work and being self-sufficient is of primary concern. Safety and security are of the utmost importance when it comes to personal finances and the path to wealth is through exchanging time for money and the way to maximize wealth is by increasing the amount made per hour. Typically have one source of income (their job) and are unsure of or unaware of other ways to produce wealth. They view increases in income as being allowed to spend more on things they want. The middle class often look for a second job as a means to increase wealth.
The millionaire: Just like the middle class, being self-sufficient is a primary concern the only difference is that millionaires stress having multiple streams of income. As stated above the middle class view money as a source of security while millionaires view it as a source of freedom.The millionaire believes that becoming wealthy is a matter of science and predictability and spend their time trying to be the best at one thing while outsourcing or recruiting others to do the things they suck at. The millionaire views time as his greatest asset and considers it more valuable than money.
They are very diligent about sticking to budgets and keep track of every penny in and every penny out. They seek to maximize money-making without sacrificing their time. If they ever exchange time for money it’s because they absolutely love what they do and would essentially do it for free if someone didn’t find value in their work.
The billionaire: The biggest difference when it comes to billionaires is that they spend their lives trying to assemble a team (think Dr. Xavier and the way he put together the X-Men) that can do all the heavy lifting and hard work. They take advantage (not in a bad way, but in a smart way) of other people skills and value others expertise in areas that they might be lacking. As Dane put it, the middle class spends a lifetime trying to impress other people with credentials and proving that they are the smartest while the billionaire puts together a teams of people who is collectively much smarter than them. Billionaires understand that their job has more to do with managing people than it does a business.
MORE, MORE, AND MORE
Have you ever felt that in order for you to be happy your financial situations must change? I know I’ve had battles with that thought many times. If I just had more money I could do this, I could do that, I could be this, I could be that. That’s a mindset that has been ingrained in us for years, to constantly be wanting more. The more we have the better, right? But what happens when you get that “more,” you still want more… that’s what happens. You want more money, you want to lose more weight, you want to buy more clothes, you want more free time, the list goes on.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying to improve their current situation but instead of wanting more what about focusing on getting better? Gradual, steady, and continual improvement on a daily basis. It’s easy to fall prey to short-term thinking; becoming wrapped up in acquiring “good” things now at the expense of great things later. This goes back to that marshmallow study we’ve discusses in previous posts. The kids that were able to resist receiving one marshmallow right now as opposed to two later on were shown to have better life outcomes, measured by SAT scores, body mass index, educational attainment, and other life measurements.
This goes for short-term struggles as well. Seeing mishaps and mistakes as temporary and not dwelling on them as something you are destined to experience over and over again help you to create a life that you are excited and enthusiastic about versus simply maintaining one that you are not.
YOU CAN’T DICTATE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION BUT YOU DO HAVE A SAY IN YOUR FUTURE RESULTS
T.Harv Eker in his book Secrets of The Millionaire Mind has a wonderful quote,
You can not change the fruits that are already hanging on a tree but you can change the roots in which they are grown.
Simply put, your current situation is your current situation and you can’t change that but you have complete control over your future and that will be determined by the seeds you start to plant now. Creating a budget, just getting in 5 to 10 minutes of a workout, preparing meals for the next day, telling someone you love them for no reason; those are all seeds and when done consistently enough they lead to big HUGE trees (I apologize for the cheesy analogy).
And don’t think for a second that these things only matter to you. These decisions and choices have a trickle down affect on the people around you. Form your kids, to you friends, to a stranger that might see you buy a cup of coffee for someone else for no reason. These things exponentiate and grow over time, just like your money can earn interest so too can the actions you take on a daily basis.
All our lives we’ve been conditioned to think a certain way, about finances, nutrition, love, how to live, one of the reasons I started writing here at Limitless365 is because I wanted to find out if these ways of thinking were actually my beliefs or someone else’s.
When I think about making money, finding love, getting healthy, or gaining wealth (as defined earlier), I now think more about my experiences within those realms. When I think about making money I’m no longer thinking about the things it can buy me or what I get from it. I consider it a means for me to experience new things and a way to share, connect, and share those experiences with others. The science and research backs this up.
“…The researchers discovered money is indeed a major factor in day-to-day happiness. No surprise there. You need to make a certain amount, on average, to be able to afford food, shelter, clothing, entertainment and the occasional Apple product, but what spun top hats around the country was their finding that beyond a certain point your happiness levels off. The happiness money offers doesn’t keep getting more and more potent – it plateaus. The research showed that a lack of money brings unhappiness, but an overabundance does not have the opposite effect.
According to the research, in modern America the average income required to be happy day-to-day, to experience “emotional well being” is about $75,000 a year. According to the researchers, past that point adding more to your income “does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness, or stress.” A person who makes, on average, $250,000 a year has no greater emotional well-being, no extra day-to-day happiness, than a person making $75,000 a year. In Mississippi it is a bit less, in Chicago a bit more, but the point is there is evidence for the existence of a financiohappiness ceiling. The super-wealthy may believe they are happier, and you may agree, but you both share a delusion.
If you don’t already have it, money can improve your life and make you happier, but once you have enough to go to Red Lobster on Tuesday night without worrying about paying the water bill that month, you’re good to go….” alternet.org
A few years ago I took a trip around the world and guess what, it cost me money but not as much as you would think. I didn’t need to stay in fancy hotels, fly first class, spend on lavish dinners – the greatest experiences were found in walking around aimlessly, mingling with the locals, and embracing different cultures.
Money is only as valuable as the experiences it brings you. Experiences create happiness. Money is merely a tool used to achieve greater experience. – Mark Manson
While there is nothing inherently wrong with buying a 100,000 dollar automobile versus a 15,000 dollar one, I suggest asking what the purpose behind that purchase is. Both will get you from point A to point B all the same, scale back a bit and you have yourself 85,000 bucks to go have yourself some amazing experiences with loved ones.
USING MONEY MORE WISELY
What are you passionate about, what do you want to learn about, what experiences do you want to have, who do you want to share them with? Those are the places your money should be going. Outside food, shelter, and your health what else do you actually need? T.Harv Eker breaks down personal finance into a formula known as “JARS.” You essentially breakdown your income into six separate jars:
- Financial Freedom: 10% of your income used to purchase and acquire passive income (another definition).
- Long-Term Savings: 10% of your income used for home, children, etc…
- Education: 10% of income used not only on formal education but self-education through courses, seminars, books, etc…
- Necessities: 55% of your income on bills, mortgage, food, and necessary expenses for survival (be careful how you classify necessary).
- Play: 10% o your income on simply making yourself feel good!
- Give: 5% of your income on others, charities, buying someone lunch, etc…
That’s great Justin but what now? Get out a pen and a pad and get to work! Define what each of these things mean to you and if you know how much money is coming in divide it up accordingly. One thing I have done is started to create separate accounts for each category.
Author, psychologist, and holocaust survivor Victor Frankl stated in his book Man’s Search for Meaning that a fundamental element that we are all in search and need for is our life to have purpose. Align your finances more closely with your purpose and you will never feel poor again.
In 30 lessons for living: Tried and true advice from the wisest Americans we learn life long lessons about building wealth:
- Do not stay in a job you dislike
- Focus on intrinsic rewards
- Participate in experiences and take jobs for what you can learn
- Keep searching, no matter what
Are the your actions, decisions, and conduct whether it be related to money, love, health, career/purpose, or creativity serving a greater purpose, one that is bigger than all of us?
How are you going to contribute today?
How can you begin to spend and earn more wisely today?