Incremental Wealth Part I
This past week, my memory verse was one that reassured me that one does not have to be ‘poor’ or go without in order to live a righteous life. The verse is: But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. – Deuteronomy 8:18
As I reflected over the scripture itself, I found myself being encouraged to use the talents in which God has gifted me to better myself, my family, and my community. In the ACEO Success Acquisition model there are 4 pillars that serve as the principles for this aforementioned acquisition: Worship, Wisdom, Wellness, and Wealth respectively. I’ve noticed I haven’t offered you all enough tips on how to avoid debt, become financially literate, and becoming financially independent. So I want to start off by providing some tips that have worked for me to get us started on this journey.
- Save 10% of What You Earn.
As a Christian, I’ve always been taught to tithe. Though I can’t convince all of my readers to give their first 10% of their paycheck to a church, I do encourage this recommendation. By committing to putting away 10% each month, you begin to build a reserve. I started this around the time I was 13, and it’s amazing how creating this habit of ‘paying it forward’ first has improved not only my financial situation, but spiritual as well.
- Don’t Charge an Amount NOT in your Bank Account.
I must admit, this is a principle that I’ve applied to my personal finances, and it’s served me quite well. I figure as long as you’re not purchasing a car, or a home, there’s really no reason to charge up a credit card to a balance that you can’t pay off immediately. By dragging payments out over months and months, you end up spending more money that you would paying with cash, or paying it off in the first month. Thus, when you are trying to decide whether to go out, or how much to spend, check your bank account first. If you don’t have it, don’t charge it.
- Avoid Get Rich Schemes
If it’s too good to be true, it is. Simple! There are hundreds, and thousands of “opportunities” if you will promising you great wealth, with minimal effort, and minimal initial investment. Learn how to discern between reasonable opportunities to increase your income, and those just meant to promise you quick wealth. Wealth is the knowledge by which to acquire abundant goods and services, not the amount of said goods and services that one possesses. That knowledge can only be obtained over time, and the wealth that comes with it can only be maintained with that knowledge.
- If You Need to Borrow for a WANT, Go without It.
It gets under my skin when people borrow money for things they absolutely do not need. If it’s not relative to a roof over your head, bills being paid, or food then chances are you don’t need it. Learn how to control your variable expenses by kicking useless habits, and by spending money on wants when your needs are lacking. If you’re going to impose this debt on yourself, also impose a deadline between you are the borrower on when you will pay it back. Stick to it.
- Don’t Spend a Check You Haven’t Received.
Bonuses, tax-returns, inheritances, expected lotteries. All examples of “boost income” scenarios in which people come-up quickly on an amount of income outside of their regular expected pay. These end up being those that can make or break the level of incremental wealth that you obtain in life. For these ‘unexpected’ or ‘boost incomes’ DO NOT spend every dime of it, before you even receive it. Use these as opportunities to quickly upgrade your financial situation. Invest 75% – 100% of these boosts. If the truth be told, you weren’t expecting what you’re receiving so by investing it, your day to day won’t change, however your long-term financial goal will be one step closer.
- Decrease Variable Expenses.
This can be a tricky one. On my budget sheet that I use I have a section called variable expenses. This group of expenses includes but is not limited to: gas, groceries, and utilities. From month to month these will slightly vary based off of time at home, visiting friends, traveling, and the seasons. Train yourself to be able to live off less. You can’t do much about your rent month to month, but you can control how much of your utilities you use, the amount of grocery store trips you make, and being aware of how much gas you’re burning. Try to find ways to cut $5 – $10 off per bill cycle. It definitely adds up!
- Take Advantage of Rewards Programs, & Coupons
My name is Trent J, and I am a couponer. I use apps, clipped coupons, Groupon, living social, Google offers, and have an Amazon Credit card that I receive great reward points on for my every day purchases. One thing that has shifted my perspective on my financial situation is learning how to invest in everything and spend on nothing. Every time money exchanges hands, I expect to be receiving something in return whether its reward points, money off another item, or buy in to other saving opportunities. Yes it is somewhat time consuming but a few minutes here and there, add up to incremental savings over time.
I hope these tips are helpful to you and your financial situation. As you know the principles of ACEO Global are Worship, Wisdom, Wellness, and Wealth. Wealth is an essential part of balancing our your success and happiness balance. Enjoy and share with others!
With Passion, Purpose, & Pride
Trent J ACEO