Some people might not think they can afford to commit to an investment program. This is understandable. The cost of living in America has been on a steady incline (even though they say there is no inflation) and wages have stayed put. Given the depth of the 2008 recession, that is still fresh in people’s minds, most people are just happy that they have a job. We get it. However there are some strategies we have implemented that can help you squeeze out more from your current budget and set aside money to invest.
Make a decision
First, you have to make the decision that you want a better life. Its one thing to say you want to invest. Its another to have a vision for what you want your life to look like 5-10 years from now. The key is to create a vision that is so large and compelling that you are willing to overcome the temporary discomfort for the larger goal. For me, this was getting through law school. I forced myself to move home to the dry inland empire where there was nothing to do but focus on school. I also stopped working and operated solely on school loans. This hurt, but its over now and the vision has come to pass.
Your goal might be to have $10,000 saved and invested. Don’t set a goal that you can achieve, set a goal that will stretch you. Set a goal so big that you have to seek out knowledge and resources to help you fulfill that goal. Otherwise even when you reach your little goal you will not be fulfilled. Make a decision that is is your duty and obligation to become financially secure, or you will spend the rest of your life making excuses for why you never became financially secure.
Find ways to cut back what you have
Second, you have to look at your current situation and see places that you can cut back. While I was in law school I had to temporarily do without cable, a cell phone, new clothes and I couldn’t go to Starbucks in the morning and afternoon. An interesting thing happened though. When I cut out all the luxuries I thought I needed, I didn’t die. I was able to live without all the things I thought I couldn’t live without and I went on to accomplish my goals. I do the same thing today. I cut back on things I don’t need, I do things I hate doing all because the vision is so big that I cut back the fat. I challenge you to do the same.
For you, this might mean cutting back on going out to dinner and learning to cook. It could mean bringing lunch to work. It could mean cutting out alcohol! It could mean getting one haircut a month. Or, my favorite, not buying every pair of sneakers that comes out. Whatever it is, the means are there. I promise you. We have been led to believe that wealthy people have the newest of everything and the highest priced everything. This idea was sold to America by the same people who profit when you buy. Don’t fall for the trap.
Find cheaper alternatives
One way to maintain your standard of living and preserve your cash is to find cheaper alternatives. Keep in mind that sometimes the cheaper alternative might take you outside the norm of your peer group. But, if your peer group isn’t wealthy, why would you want to remain in step with their decisions? For some, this might mean parking your car and taking public transportations. It could mean taking lunch. It could mean changing your cell phone plan, cutting the chord on your cable. Seek out the cheaper alternative! They are out there. If your budget is made out at $3,000 per month and you squeeze out 10 and 20 dollars, per bill, here and there you have created the cash you needed to invest.
Keep in mind that without struggle there is no progress. This quote isn’t just true for civil rights it’s true for every single attempt at progression you make in life. I encourage you to struggle financially while you are getting things in order so you can progress to the next level.
As Eric Thomas says, you have to want it as bad as you want to breathe. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. So get ready! We aren’t leaving any people behind on this movement toward wealth because none of us wins if we all don’t win. It is time to make the decision that you don’t want to continue doing what you have always been doing. Choose to be great!
If you need help looking at your budget and finding those things you can cut back on our experts are here to help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. (shoutout to the new professional email).
“Instead of saying I can’t afford it, ask HOW CAN I afford it”