It’s what we all want, just a little more. Today I’ll show you how a coffee, an apple, and a cigarette will help you get just a little more Wealth.
A few years ago I had a customer that influenced my life with his philosophy on money. Realize, I grew up in a conservative family that only had one credit card and it was from Sears and Roebuck. We used it to buy my clothes at the beginning of the new school year. I got two pairs of Levy jeans, a pair of sneakers, one or two shirts, plus socks and underwear. My mother also sewed a few shirts for me. She was the type of woman who would also wash out zip lock bags and reuse them. As a family, we had enough, but not more. I grew up thankful for what I had and not really focused on having more.
Back to my customer. He showed me another way to look at things. I must admit, it seemed very foreign to me at the time. One day, he and I were talking about money and wealth. It was obvious he had achieved a level of affluence, nice home, fine cars and all the trappings. When I asked him, “How much money is enough?” He said “Just a little more”. Just a little more, what an interesting thought. He also believed money was the driving force that makes the world work.
Over the years, that concept of just a little more has come into play again and again. It can influence our lives in both good and bad ways. It’s the driving force for continuous improvement in everything from space exploration to pharmaceuticals. So, is good ever good enough? Fast ever fast enough? Is effective ever effective enough? What we want in almost every part of our life is just a little more. In the next few blogs, I’ll be addressing how to get just a little more health, success, love, and life, but for now I will focus on just a little more money.
In some countries a measure of a person’s success is calculated by the number of languages they can speak. In other countries it is the amount of land they own, and in others it’s the level of education. But in this country, the United States of America, most people would agree that the measurement of success is money. I believe that’s unfortunate but for the most part, true. The wealth in America varies widely from none to much. Let me give you some data and some examples:
U.S. poverty level $22,350
Average family income $49,777
Top 10% earn $93,000 or more
51.2% have no retirement savings
44% of households have credit card debt
Average credit card debt $14,743
People spend 47% more money when buying with a credit card than with cash
47% live pay check to pay check
More Americans will file for bankruptcy this year than will get a college degree
Consumer debt is over $2,500,000,000
Who Pays the Taxes?
Top .01% pay 33% of the taxes
Top 25% pay 82% of the taxes
Top 50% pay 96% of the taxes
The 10 wealthiest Congressman, who have more than $3,000,000,000 in net worth, all voted to keep the Bush tax cut (three were Republicans and seven were Democrats)
Who’s making the money?
High School Teacher: $43,000
Construction Worker: $70,660
Senior Chemical Engineer: $88,510
Family Doctor: $143,615
So the money isn’t spread evenly, nor in my opinion, should it be. I believe in pay for performance. A person’s income should reflect their impact on the good they do. If my theory were implemented, good teachers would make as much as good doctors. Why not? Look at the impact. I don’t want to use this particular blog post to preach about inequity in compensation. Instead I want to make you a wager.
If I were to ask my doctor, my attorney, a teacher I know and a secretary in our office, “How much money is enough?” Not one would say they have all the money they need or want. I wager they would say instead, “Just a little more, I could use just a little bit more.”
So maybe the question is: “How can I make more money?” I have some opinions I will share with you in a later blog, but for now I want to pose another way to look at money. Is making more the same thing as having more? I don’t think so. I think what you have left to save or invest to better your life is far more important than what you make. If I’ve peaked your interest, than let’s talk about having more. I believe the easiest way to have more is to SPEND LESS. Let me give you a plan to financial independence
Step 1 Latte Parley
One of the most successful companies in the world sells gourmet coffee. This company has amazing brand recognition and sells premium coffee at a premium price. Instead of buying a Venti Latte every day for 30 years, you decide to invest that money. At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $225,000. A
nice start but there’s more.
Step 2 Apple a Day Swap
We all enjoy a nice lunch, but in most cases we spend too much money on lunch and don’t usually eat a healthy lunch anyway. Instead of buying that expensive lunch let’s switch to an apple for lunch and invest our lunch money. At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $300,000.
Step 3 Reefer Madness
It’s unfortunate, but approximately 15% of the American population and 30% of the world population continues to smoke cigarettes. The impact on health is huge and results in nearly 500,000 deaths in America every year. What if you stopped smoking and invested that money? At the end of 30 years that investment would be worth over $275,000.
The total impact of these three life style changes would be a savings account worth over $800,000. If you invested that at 8%, the result would be an annual income of $64,000 per year for the rest of your life. You would be wealthier and healthier.
Another real life example: an administrative assistant invests 10% of their gross income every month into an investment account. This account is partially matched by the company or even the government in some situations. In 30 years, at historical earning levels, that investment is worth $1,000,000.
You can’t always affect your income quickly, but you can start spending less and saving more right now. What are you waiting for?
Take control ➡ Pay yourself first ➡ Start saving now ➡ Enjoy having just a little more money.
Next blog will reveal how to have Just a little more Health.