Have you ever felt like if you just got your stuff together, that you’ll be so much richer (like, thousands of dollars richer) than you are right now?
Like, if you were more disciplined, or had more self control, you’d stop spending money on new clothes at the mall and stash it away in your retirement accounts?
Or if you can pay down the mortgage just a little bit, it’ll be easier to save?
You want to squeal with absolute delight when you see large numbers as you log into your bank account or your 401k. That there’s enough money in there to retire a few years early or even take a month off to travel the world.
It’s totally possible — people get to experience this as we speak — but it feels impractical, given your situation. With so much going on in your life right now, you can’t even imagine how you can grow your little nest egg to proportional amounts.
Long work hours, student loan debt payments and general adulting — there are what feels like a bazillion reasons to put off some of this money stuff for later. But you know what? It’s not as impossible as it seems.
Here’s the cincher: there are five simple actions you can take — like right now — to grow your net worth. The cool thing is that they don’t require long hours, just a few minutes of your time.
Ready to learn what you need to do?
Stop Your Brain From Exploding
According to research from Cornell University professors Brian Wansink and Jeffery Sobal, we make around 226 decisions every day just on food alone. However, when they asked research participants, these people estimated they made around 15 a day.
Let that sink in for a moment.
We make a crap ton of decisions in any given day. No wonder you’re tired! And if we’re thinking that much about something as simple as food, imagine what kinds of financial-related decisions you’re making.
Sure, it’s simple to stop yourself from going to Starbucks once or twice, but what if you were to sit down and map out your long term savings goals? Or you’re not sure what type of investment account to open that’ll help you maximize your tax savings?
Frankly, thinking about all of the above is enough to make me vomit.
Look, when making financial choices – especially if it’s complex – will totally cause your brainpower to obliterate to smithereens. And if you’re stuck in paralysis, that bank account isn’t gonna grow, is it?
Perfectionist or not, you’re better off doing things that are “good enough” for now for the sake of simplicity then keep building on it.
Instead of opening seven different savings accounts for different financial goals, work on saving for one.
Instead of freaking out how much to put in your 401k, start with a small amount then automatically increase it in small percentages.
Make less decisions and your brain will thank you.
Enlist the Help of Robots
Making less decisions means that you’ll need to enlist the help. Yes, robots and money are totally a thing.
Well the official term are robo advisors. These services act like financial advisors, except they’re not a real person and much cheaper.
When you sign on with one of these services, a robo advisor helps you automatically select investments specifically for you. Then the software will automatically make changes to your accounts depending on factors such as when you want to retire, how much you want to save and even help you reduce taxes.
There are also systems you can create that even automate your savings goal. For example, you can have your check automatically deposited to your main account and one specifically for a savings goal, like for a future home or your IRA.
Addicted to your smartphone? There some really cool apps that stop you from spending money. Some of these apps will analyze how much money you currently have and how much you’re spending. It’ll pop in to remind you that you may be spending too much, or make suggestions on eliminating certain expenses from your budget.
There are even ones that help you save money automatically by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saving the change. How cool is that?
Teleport Into the Future
Creating habits that benefit you is really hard. I know because I’ve failed at implementing new ones I’ve seriously lost count.
Instead of shaming yourself or using other torture inducing tactics, create what’s known as artificial hindsight. In layman’s terms, it’s looking at what decisions you may or may not regret in the future.
Here’s how it works:
- Imagine a future version of yourself – What do you look like, what are you doing, where are you living?
- Pretend to be this “future self” and think back to what you regret at having done or not done.
- Brainstorm ways that you can do now so that your “future self” can praise you for in the future.
All this to say, anticipate your future thoughts or emotions as it relates to growing your net worth.
As in, if you know you’ll regret buying that shiny new car because you could have used the extra thousand bucks to move to closer to work (and therefore saving more money), then you know what you need to do.
Act Like The World’s Best Boss
When you have a great boss, you and everyone around you will love their job. And when employees love their job, the entire company thrives. It’s a win win situation for all.
You need to think of money this way. You’re the boss and your money are your employees (or minions as I like to call them).
You want your finances to run like a well-oiled machine. Do that and you’ll will stop wasting money. You’ll start to find that you even have money for fun things too.
To start, make sure any money that’s coming in and out has specific purposes, or jobs. No penny goes unnoticed. Instead of of creating a boring old budget, label your money with job title such as travel, investing and mortgage.
Caring about the welfare of your employees ensures that the boss is taken care of as well.
Become the Next Bob Ross
Who here likes happy little trees?
In case you don’t know who Bob Ross is, he’s a painter from the 70s who rose to fame with his TV series. There are tons of Bob Ross memes, here’s one:
Part of Bob Ross’ appeal is that he described vivid scenes and painted them in front of you. Our brain works much better that way rather than imagining subtle scenes. Can you imagine if Bob Ross just sat there looking at you describing his paintings without showing you what he’s painting?
Sure, we’d rather buy that nice handbag instead of thinking that if you take that $50 and invest it, you’ll have a head start on your nest egg. But start imaging how relaxed you’ll feel sitting on the beach at 50 years old all because you didn’t purchase that handbag. Something this small can have big consequences.
Because growing your net-worth doesn’t require to make big leaps and bounds overnight. It’s not about sitting down looking at stacks of paperwork and getting confused about every single word of jargon you read. It’s about being smart and knowing that small steps compound to so much more.
But you already know that.
You know that once you automatically save $20 each paycheck and transfer it to your student loan payments, you’ll be debt free in less than five years.
You know that giving each dollar a job means you know exactly how much is going to be in your bank account at the end of each month.
Heck, you even know that channeling your inner Bob Ross is not crazy. That’s because you can see yourself sitting in your dining room, celebrating with a glass of champagne after paying off your last mortgage payment.
Growing your net-worth no longer becomes a fantasy. It’s something you can accomplish, right now.
Right freakin’ now.
Being a badass with your money is as easy as asking yourself what you want.
Download our values-based spending guide and figure out how to revolutionize your financial decisions ASAP.
(psst...we also send you occasional emails on how else to live beyond the dollar. You in?)
Latest posts by Sarah Li Cain (see all)
- Having “The Talk” With Your Parents With Cameron Huddleston - September 25, 2019
- Handling Work Conflicts Using Emotional Intelligence with Razwana Wahid - March 13, 2019
- What’s The True Price of Ambition? - February 16, 2019