Financial literacy is something that is new for a lot of people.
It usually takes a long time to acquire, but, the good news is that we can speed things up for you, saving hundreds of hours of frustration and confusion trying to shore up your personal finances.
It doesn’t have to be. As Ramit points out, when it comes to managing money, 80% (or more) of your long-term success comes down to your behavior around saving, spending, and investing,
The other 20% comes from knowing what to do.
So, why not spend 20% of your time on acquiring financial literacy, and put systems in place to reduce the 80% of the time needed on those good behaviors to save, spend, and invest.
Fixed costs – paying bills, such as rent, utilities, or debt
Investments – placing funds in retirement accounts, such as a Roth IRA or 401(k)
Savings – putting money away in an emergency fund, savings accounts, gifts, vacations, or for down payments on large purchases
Guilt-free spending money – spending on restaurants, clothes, or entertainment
2. Discover hidden income
Do you pay for car insurance or for cell phone service? Is it the same amount each month? Surprise! It doesn’t have to be. Bills that seem fixed actually aren’t.
In fact, you’re most likely paying much more than you should.
3. Start to invest — now!
“I don’t have time” and “I don’t want to lose money” are common excuses of why people don’t invest.
As Ramit points out: Nobody just LOVES spending time managing their money and, certainly, nobody likes losing it (time or money).
However, Ramit has done the heavy lifting by researching investment strategies that don’t take lots of time to maintain and can still pay off in a major way.
You don’t have to be a super-smart, stock-picking wizard to make money.
Here are Ramit’s three most important factors for investing:
Do your research.
Debt sucks. Credit card debt is one of the biggest barriers to living your Rich Life.
Debt prevents us from enjoying ourselves and investing in ourselves. If your net worth is in the red, it makes it hard to even conceive of creating a financial plan, investing, or making a large purchase.
Figure out exactly how much debt you have.
Decide which debt you will pay off first
Increase your credit score and lower your APR (and your monthly payments).
Choose the source of funds to use to pay off the debt
Luckily, there isn’t a single, universal sure-fire way to earn more money. Some people want to get a raise; others want to make extra money with a side hustle or by earning passive income. Still, others want to start a new business that will replace their full-time job or main source of income.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend years studying compound interest charts or weeks trying to find the latest hot stocks to get there. All that’s required is a growth mindset: a willingness to think about making, spending, and saving money in a different way than you have in the past.