This little article probably works best for younger people. But heck, if you’re over 40 and looking for a simple system, use it. It works for everyone.
A brief background of how this system came to be: When I was 25 I decided I wanted to be wealthy. Wow! Shocker. Anyway, I recognized it wouldn’t come immediately. So I put a plan in place. A simple plan that, like anything that succeeds, needs your dedication. I grew from having a net worth of about 1k to now (5 years later) having a net worth of tens of thousands. By 40 I expect it to be hundreds of thousands. And by 50, millions. Lofty goals, I know, I know.
Why did I want to be wealthy you ask (you probably didn’t actually ask because we all want to be rich but anyway)? Basically I want working to be an option not a requirement. Personally, I’ll always work. I’m not a big ‘lay on the beach’ person but to each their own. Secondly, I never want to rely on anyone else for money. To beg or be riddled with anxiety because my future is dictated by someone other than me. And ultimately, I want to open an animal shelter and live out my days tending to creatures who need it the most. Hows and whats lack importance without whys. Without our whys we would never follow through. So figure out why you want to be rich. You’ll need to remind yourself of it when you want to spend.
For me getting rich is happening. No matter what. It’s my goal and that’s that. It can happen for you too. I’m not special. I wasn’t born wealthy (middle class helped though, I won’t front). I never considered myself super disciplined. I’m not an expert (no one is, we’re all students forever). I jacked my credit up badly when I was in that magical 18–22 age range. I’ve been sued. I’ve lived life on the run from collectors and foregone bank accounts. Those days are done. I survived them. You will too.
Quick side note: Don’t worry about giving away 10% to charities…YET. You need to build yourself before you can help others. I routinely donate now, I didn’t 5 years ago. I will donate even more time, energy and money to charitable causes in the next 10 years. But I come first. Not in a selfish way, but in a “I know I’m useless to you if I’m not where I need to be” way.
Now enough potatoes, we’re on to the meat.
These first 3 points are actually mandatory, get to a level that you can accomplish these 3 things if you can’t currently. I don’t care what you have to do, get a second job, slash your spending, whatever…get here. Don’t make excuses, make money.
10% to your 401k, preferably a Roth, especially if you’re young. Tell the company handling your finances to get aggressive.
10% to investing. AKA a stock fund. Don’t go crazy trading. Purchase more stocks with your monthly 10%. Real estate and rental properties are gold and probably should be your goal with this account after a bit.
10% to fun. To be spent either monthly on dinners/happy hours/pedicures/petting zoos (they’re fun!) or accrued for big fun such as a cruise.
50% to necessities (the more you can cut this total cost down the better) This would include rent or mortgage, gas, food, cable, utilities.
The other 20% I put into my general savings account and mostly try to leave it alone but I don’t beat myself up if I spend a bit of it for things such as Christmas gifts, car maintenance, etc.
The great thing about this system is it’s based on percentages, so it doesn’t matter how much you make or even if you have steady pay or fluctuating pay. If you’re a waiter and have you a great day and make 500 bucks…250 to the necessities envelope, 50 to your 401k, etc.
Oh and here’s your quick tips to keep that credit score high (or raise it): If you have good credit skip ahead to the bullet points. If you have bad credit do this first then the bullet points…have anything over 7 years removed by contacting the credit bureaus. Pay off anything else and get it in writing from the creditor that they will report you as paid. Get a secured credit card and then follow these steps J
· Payment history accounts for 35% of your score so pay in full and on time genius.
· Amounts owed tie up 30% of your score so keep your balance to 30% of your limit. Example, your credit card has a 1,000 dollar limit, you don’t charge more than 300 a month.
· Length of credit history is another 15% of your score…this just takes time clearly.
· New credit is 10% of your score. Chill on the credit lines, no need to open 10 new accounts in a year.
· And types of credit used is the final 10%. Variety is the spice of life. A nice mix of loans and credit cards does a FICO score good.
There you go, a very simple guide to gaining your freedom. The concepts are simple, the math is simple, it’s all so very simple. Yet most people don’t get to freedom because it’s not easy. You have to do it. You have to commit to following it. You have to keep your WHY front and center.
Tell me why you want to be wealthy at at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @caitmackcs.