Do you have something you hide from others?
…something about yourself that you don’t tell others because it makes you ashamed? You hope that no one ever finds out?
That’s how I used to feel about money. Hi, my name is Mey and I have a story to tell.
I used to have a terrible fear, it was the fear that would gnaw at me day and night.
I would be scared that someone would find out the truth about me, afraid that I would be discovered and shamed.
I was a 30 something Ivy League grad, which means I was supposed to BE SOMEONE.
I was supposed to BE SUCCESSFUL. I was supposed to have it all together…be the leader.
I was supposed to be so many things that I just wasn’t. I was getting uncontrollably in debt, unable to pay my bills without bouncing checks, paying high interest on several credit cards.
I was in financial ruins.
I had an attorney that would fight off debt collectors for me, and I was embarrassed.
I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t even want to face my situation myself. I would avoid opening letters in the mail, hoping the bills would disappear if I just didn’t look at them.
It was excrutiatingly painful to never tell anyone, pretend that I was in control…pretend that I knew what I was doing.
It was easy to be smart, and witty.
I was trained to be that way, my very expensive college education taught me how to act even when my very foundation was crumbling beneath my feet.
“pretend Mey” – that’s what I would tell myself, “pretend that everything is ok, so no one finds out” “so no one finds out how truly dumb I am with money”
I was living pay check to pay check, spiraling further and further into debt.
I was spending more money that I made, even spending beyond my credit limit.
I would only stop buying when my credit card rejected.
It only ended when I couldn’t borrow anymore I had hit my limit and now I was finding that I couldn’t even make all of my debt payments.
Now I felt the shame of not having enough money to pay everyone that I owed money to, and that was the last straw.
I began researching, learning, finding mentors who would help me. I gathered knowledge on how to create wealth.
I learned about words that before had no meaning to me: Net Worth, passive income, compound interest.
I also learned how to change my actions by getting to the root of my spending problem.
I spent 5 years applying as many wealth principals to my life as I could, pealing away my bad money habits.
I learned from millionaires.
I listened to successful business owners, sat in courses taught by some of the wealthiest people in the world.
I learned from books written by financial masters.
I read magazines on money and finances.
As I studied each wealth strategy, I would take it and apply it to my life.
I would see if it really worked.
My life was a wealth creation laboratory. I tested every wealth strategy that I came across, some worked like magic, some flopped.
Yet through all of it, I found 11 key wealth strategies that worked like gold. I used them faithfully to get completely debt free in 5 years.
That’s right since April of this year, I AM NOW COMPLETELY DEBT FREE!
And it feels wonderful!
I have extra money now, money that I spend time investing in the many opportunities that come my way.
I’m going to tell you the truth… HAVING MONEY FEELS SO GOOD!
And, keeping my money feels even better!
I am telling this story because I want to share these 11 key wealth strategies with you. I want you to learn them right now.
If I could do it, then you can do it too. You just have to learn the 11 key wealth strategies for yourself.
I want you to know that you’re not alone.
You don’t have to hide anymore. Now is your chance to take control of your life and your money.
I used these key wealth strategies and they changed my life forever.
In this blog post I share them with you in great detail, so that you can use them too, in your life, to create real wealth…
…to learn to enjoy, have and increase the money in your life.
I used them daily for 5 years and the results are amazing to myself and the friends and family who know my story.
I now have zero debt, actually became completely debt free since April of 2016.
In addition, I now have a savings account as well as investments that pay me passive income.
My Net Worth has improved by over $100,000.00 in 5 years.
Not only that, I also actively invested our money to make us more money during those 5 years.
It’s your time, to make that change, so that you can know what it feels like to be wealthy too. Learn the 11 Wealth Strategies, and practice them daily.
Wealth Strategy #1 – Pay Yourself First
Put aside at least 10% of everything you make (after taxes) into a safe account.
I call this account my Financial Freedom Account (learned this term from T Harv Eker’s excellent book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind) I actually do have a brokerage account which is titled “Financial Freedom Account”.
Safe accounts include savings accounts, TCD accounts, 401K accounts, IRA accounts, ROTH IRA accounts, brokerage accounts, a jar in a safe in your house.
Maybe you’re thinking “That’s all nice but I need all of my money to pay my bills!”
If that’s you, and you can’t afford to save 10% of everything you make, then start with taking $1.00 everyday, and save 10% of that dollar in a Financial Freedom jar (yes, put a dime in that jar EVERYDAY).
Why do this?
BECAUSE, it’s the habit of saving that is important. You might ask “How can I save when I’m in debt? Shouldn’t I pay off all of my debt first?” – NO!!!!!!!!
If you say to yourself that you are going to save AFTER you pay off your debt, then you are delaying your wealth.
I don’t care what debts you have or how much you owe at what rate.
YOU HAVE TO START PAYING YOURSELF FIRST TO BECOME WEALTHY PERIOD.
AND you can start paying yourself now, even with debt…especially if you have debt!
That’s what I did.
When I had the largest amount of debt in my life, I still started to pay myself first.
I had 5% withheld from my paycheck and it was put in my 401K (w/5% company match), and I took another 5% out every time I got paid and put it into my Financial Freedom Account.
Start right now.
Just go and have 10% of your paycheck diverted to your Financial Freedom Account.
If you work on commission, have 10% of your commission check diverted into your Financial Freedom Account.
If you aren’t able to set it up automatically, then every month, look into your accounts, and put aside 10% of everything you earned into your Financial Freedom account.
Figure it out, you’re smart =)
Wealth Strategy #2 – Invest Your Money Wisely
KEEP THE MONEY YOU PAY YOURSELF (FINANCIAL FREEDOM ACCOUNT) SAFE SO IT CAN MAKE YOU MONEY
The money put aside and paid to yourself in your Financial Freedom account is for you to hold, save, grow.
And as you invest it WISELY you will live off of the money that it makes. You become your own boss.
You free yourself from depending on other people for money!
Keep the money you save (the principal) FOREVER.
Only spend the interest, dividends, royalties, profits, etc.
In other words, get your money to make you money, and live off of the profit.
When you die, the account goes to your heirs or to charity or to your legacy.
INVEST vs SPEND
When I got into debt, it happened because I was spending instead of investing.
I paid for personal growth courses, training programs and so on, thinking that my education will give me the skills to make my money back.
I had always grown up thinking that education is the best investment.
Well, in terms of your Financial Freedom, spending is NOT investing. it doesn’t matter if it’s spending for education or clothes or a car to get to work.
Spending is not investing.
Once I understood this, I stopped spending and started investing.
That’s when I started making steady returns with my money, and stopped getting further and further into debt!
Always ask yourself, are you spending or are you investing?
What is the risk that I won’t get my money back and make a profit?
Is there a chance that I will lose all of the money that I invest?
When you ask these questions, you will be able to determine if you are investing or spending.
Choose to always INVEST the money in your Financial Freedom Account.
Wealth Strategy #3 – Track Your Net Worth
Do you know what your Net Worth is?
When I was deep in debt and kept bouncing checks in my bank account, I was extremely nervous because I worked at a bank and was afraid I would get fired.
So I went into my boss’ office and I let him know my situation and asked him for advice.
He told me to calculate my Net Worth. He gave me a paper titled “Financial Statement” – where I write down all of my bank accounts and how much money I had in each one.
I also wrote down how much everything I owned was worth (like my car).
Then I wrote down in columns each of my credit cards and how much I owed next to each one. I added up what I had (my assets).
Then I added up what I owed (my liabilities).
Then I subtracted “what I owed” from “what I had”. The number I got was my Net Worth.
At the time, it was about -$22,000.00 (that’s right, it was NEGATIVE), because I owed more money than I had.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR NET WORTH
I use Mint to track my Net Worth automatically.
Knowing your Networth is knowing how wealthy you really are.
Simply put, your Networth is a simple math formula:
Net Worth = What You Have – What You Owe
The first time I calculated my Net Worth, I was in the Negative.
What is a negative Net Worth?
It’s when you owe more money than you have.
When you hear about wealthy people in the news, they will tell you their Net Worth.
Net Worth is what the world uses to calculate wealth. Go to Mint and calculate your Net Worth now!
HOW TO TRACK YOUR NET WORTH
Put your Net Worth into a graph and track how you do monthly.
This helped me feel better when I had a negative Net Worth, because as I improved, the line in the graph went up.
What you track and focus on increases. Tracking your Networth will help it increase faster.
Wealth Strategy #4 – Renegotiate The Terms of Your Money
Call up your credit cards, your auto insurance, your phone bill (everyone), and ask for a lower rate/payment.
Start where you will save the most money.
Do it TODAY.
Here are the steps to follow to get results regarding asking your credit card company for a lower rate:
1) keep a notebook handy and write down the name of EVERYONE you speak to, the date, and the time, and what they said
2) if they say they can’t do anything, ask for their manager
3) tell the manager, by looking at your notes, who you spoke to on what time and what date, and ask again for a lower rate.
4) if they can’t do anything, ask for their manager (go up to the President if you have to, I did…)
This process was painful for me to do, however, I did it.
I had to fax a letter to the President of one of my credit card companies, and in that letter I listed everyone I talked to in that company, and on what day at what time, and just repeated my request for a lower rate.
That credit card company finally lowered my rate. EVERY ONE OF MY CREDIT CARD COMPANIES LOWERED MY RATE JUST DO IT.
Wealth Strategy #5 – Think Like a Wealthy Person
The biggest difference between a poor person and a wealthy person is their thinking.
I first learned this reading the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker (which I recommend that you read).
After some intensive training, I adopted the following actions to change my thinking:
1) Create a Wealth Goal and Write it Down – if you want to be wealthy, you need to create a wealth goal.
Use the SMART method of making your goal:
S – be specific
M – needs to be measurable
A – needs to be achievable
R – needs to be risky
T – needs a time limit
This was one of my first wealth goals – “I will have a positive Net Worth by July 27, 2013.”
S – my goal is specific, I want a positive Net Worth
M – I can calculate my Net Worth at anytime to see if it is positive
A – when I made the goal in late 2011, I had a negative Net Worth of around -$30,000, so it was achievable in 2 years
R – it was risky because I had been going negative for a few years already, so it was a challenge for me
T – my deadline was July 27, 2013
You need to make a SMART wealth goal for yourself too.
Be specific, what is your wealth goal?
WRITE IT DOWN Read your goal everyday to stay focused.
To participate in a 3 day intensive course on how to change your life for the better, and create a SMART goal with an accountability group, then sign up for the PSI Basic Seminar HERE.
2) Use Wealth Affirmations – another great tactic to create wealth is to repeat sentences and thoughts that will create wealth.
When I started, I said things like:
“I’m financially free.”
“I have multiple steams of passive income.”
“Money comes to me unexpectedly and often.”
For 643 more wealth affirmations, click here.
3) Change Your Beliefs About Wealth and Money
When I started to become wealthy, I first had to find the beliefs that were not helping me and replace them.
For example, I had the belief that “When I have a lot of money, I have to give it to my family.”
So I didn’t save money because my belief was that I would have to give it away to help my family.
When I realized that I had this belief, then I replaced it with a better belief – “I make money and I keep money and invest it wisely.”
Your beliefs will probably be different from mine.
My beliefs were formed by things that happened when I was a child.
Ask yourself “What were my experiences with money when I was a child?”
Then you will be able to see how you really feel about money and why.
Once you figure out your current beliefs about money, write down what you want your new belief to be.
Here is another example: A belief that would not help you would be “Money is the root of all evil.”
If you had this belief, you could replace it with “Money is good and a blessing because it builds schools, hospitals and many noble things.”
So, go ahead, and do a belief check, and change to better beliefs about money!
Wealth Strategy #6 – Increase Your Passive Income
What is passive income?
It’s money that your money makes for you.
It’s money that you do not have to trade your time for.
It’s money you would make even if you went on a vacation for a year.
This money would still be coming in without you working.
That’s passive income.
Most people create passive income through the interest in their savings accounts.
However, these days, that’s not much money at all.
So you have to be creative, and you have find ways to create passive income.
Some ways are bonds, dividends from stocks, royalties from books, affiliate income from websites and blogs, rental income, CD interest, profits from businesses you own (but don’t actually run yourself), dividends from the cash value of a whole life insurance policy.
You have to research and learn what works for you and it’s best to have lots of streams of passive income.
Wealth Strategy #7 – Reduce Expenses
Expenses are the things you pay for like taxes, rent, mortgage, electricity, phone, cable, food, haircuts, gadgets and toys.
Finding ways to reduce your expenses is giving yourself more money instantly, like an instant pay increase.
Here are some ways to do that:
At the lowest time of my financial life I kept going below zero in my checking account.
I would get a $30 fees for each check that I didn’t have money in the account to cover…and I worked at a bank so I was afraid that I would get fired!
I remember walking into my boss’ office and apologizing for going negative in my checking account multiple times that month.
Among other suggestions and advice, he told me to consider consolidating my debt.
So I applied for a loan and used the loan to pay off the credit card that had the highest interest rate.
This new loan had a lower interest rate.
Also, the loan had a payment schedule with higher payments than my credit card payments.
The reason the payments were higher, was because it was on a schedule to be paid off in 5 years.
You see, credit cards do not give you a payment plan that if you follow you will pay off in 5 years.
When they give you the minimum due on a credit card bill, they just follow a formula.
A common formula is: Minimum Payment = 1% of your principal owed + interest and fees
It varies by the credit card company, and is in the terms of your credit card agreement.
If you follow a credit cards payment schedule, it will take you a lot longer to pay off what you owe than 5 years.
It will take you longer because you will be paying less to bring down your debt AND you will be increasing your debt with all of the high interest.
Consolidating debt was one way for me to pay off my debt faster, so that I could reduce my expenses in the long run.
SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST DEAL ON MONTHLY EXPENSES
The best way to reduce expenses is to find the same service you need, and just pay less for it.
One example of this is to shop around for car insurance.
My husband did that and saved us $100/mo. Another example is to shop around for cell phone service, which also saved us $50/mo.
Go ahead and spend some time shopping around on your monthly payments.
STOP PAYING FOR PRODUCTS THAT DON’T IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
Another great way to reduce your expenses is to stop paying for things that do not improve your life.
Some examples would be television, alcohol, coffee, soda, processed food, cigarettes, etc
TELEVISION VS SPENDING TIME LOVING MY FAMILY & FRIENDS
I haven’t had television in over 10 years.
That has probably saved me at least $20/mo if not $100/mo.
It has also saved me probably $500-$5,000 since I have no need to buy a large HD TV and so on.
We go to the movie theater to watch movies with discount movie tickets bought in advance. or I just play with my son at home (priceless).
I go on weekly dates with my husband (priceless).
ALCOHOL & SODA & COFFEE VS WATER
I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or soda (or any drinks you buy), which has probably saved me at least $100/wk.
I know people who spend $1,000+/wk on alcohol and bars.
How many people do you know who spend between $2.00 – $6.00 everyday buying coffee or energy drinks?
I remember hearing a Millionaire explain in an interview that if we just took that $5.00/day and saved it, we would have $1,825 at the end of the year.
In 5 years, you would have $9,125.
In 20 years, you would have $36,500.
I drink water instead, which is free, and which makes me healthier.
PROCESSED FOOD VS WHOLE FOOD
You might say that processed foods are cheaper than whole foods.
Well, in my experience, people buy more processed food than they need.
People tend to over eat processed food and gain too much weight.
This also causes fatigue and illness, which can be very expensive in time lost, poor professional image and doctor’s appointments and medicine.
Since I don’t eat processed food, I save probably at least $100/week.
What do I eat for snacks?
Well, celery costs about $3.00 and lasts me for a week.
Berries, cheese and nuts cost about the same cost as processed food, and they taste better and are better for health.
The best part is that I look and feel great =)
CIGARETTES VS CLEAN AIR
I know cigarettes are addictive, so if for nothing else, quit to save the money and become wealthy.
Get on a plan to quit, and save your health, and breath clean air instead…which is free!
CONTROL YOUR SPENDING AND YOUR MONEY
Most people spend more money that they need to.
If you tend to impulse buy or spend money on things you don’t need then consider cutting up your credit cards and carrying only cash.
I actually put my credit cards in a file drawer at home so I wouldn’t use them.
Another method is to wait a whole day before making a large purchase.
Wealth Strategy #8 – Practice Gratitude
Are you grateful for a penny if you find it in the street?
If I find money, earn money, create money…I celebrate!
I am grateful for the money, all and any money.
I had to LEARN this skill.
Chances are, if you are having money challenges, you are not grateful for the money that you have right now.
I started this discipline by posting to the Gratitude Log.
My wealthy mentors take time in the morning to meditate on all of the things in their life that they are grateful for.
The more you are grateful for what you have, the more of it will come into your life.
Another great book on Gratitude is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.
She had this great method of being grateful for our bills! Why be grateful for bills?
Because, someone gave you a service before you paid them, and sent you a bill.
Getting a bill means that someone trusted you to pay them back for services or products that you already got.
Now that is something to be grateful for! Practice gratitude daily.
Wealth Strategy #9 – Practice Forgiveness
This one could be the most powerful strategy that I used.
When I finally forgave myself for a bad relationship, I was able to stop going into debt.
Because I realized that my overspending was a way I was punishing myself for things that I had done that I was ashamed of.
When I look back on my behavior now, I am amazed at how my emotions controlled my spending.
If you are in a lot of debt, or have money troubles, you probably have an issue that you feel guilt or shame about.
You probably have something that you need to forgive yourself for and move on.
You see, having little or no money is a sign that you don’t believe you deserve wealth.
You need to find out the cause of that belief.
Forgive yourself or whoever hurt you.
Let yourself heal and go on again with a clean slate.
This is the hardest strategy, and the most rewarding.
Once you truly forgive, then you will feel better, instantly.
This is a process that I do weekly, just to make sure I’m not holding onto any grudges or negative energy.
Wealth Strategy #10 – Get Support
Do your friends and the people you hang out with support you in becoming wealthy?
If you are not doing well financially, and you surround yourself with people who are doing better than you financially, then you can lift yourself up too!
How do you find support?
1) Read books by wealthy people.
2) Go to seminars, lectures and events on wealth and make friends.
3) Reach out to mentors with websites by e-mailing them and asking for support.
4) Subscribe to e-mail lists (like the one for this blog), that give support.
5) Make new friends who have what you want!
Wealth Strategy #11 – Give
Can you donate to our cause?
When you read that sentence, what feelings come up for you?
Do you feel defensive, resentful, or nervous?
Or do you feel excited, interested and willing?
When I was really bad with money, I never seemed to have money to give to charity and I didn’t like that feeling.
Then I decided to budget 5% of all my income into a Charity account. In the beginning, that was only my tax return refund.
That was actually quite a lot of money to me.
I remember having enough money to bid $300 and win a football signed by a Buffalo Bills player, at an auction benefiting the Special Olympics…AND I FELT RICHER THAN I EVER DID IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
Giving is the key to wealth.
Want more people to smile at you?
Did you ever notice that when you smile more to people more people will smile at you? Want more money?
Budget some money every paycheck to give to charity (not to your family…to charity).
Spend time planning on who to give it to, and enjoy that!
That is time well spent, and now you are wealthy in your heart and in your wallet!
I love blogging about wealth, and helping you become wealthier, it’s something that I love to do.
Would you like to learn how to do something you love blogging, and get paid for your value you give to others?
If the answer is yes, then CLICK HERE -> watch the free video -> get started =)