As you become a more independent man, there are a number of financial goals you should focus on. These goals will help you set up a secure and fun lifestyle. The earlier you plan and start achieving these goals, the happier your life will be.
You Need A F-You Fund.
One of the best decisions I ever made was to create a “F-you” fund. Basically, I set up a bank account and saved up 6 months of living expenses. This is not just your savings account, this is the separate fund you have for emergencies.
At one point, I damaged my spine and couldn’t work for 4 months – and this fund kept me from having financial difficulties. I have also used this fund when a boss really made me mad. And even before that I lived off of this fund when I started a very successful company.
When you have at least half a year of cash in the bank, you will find work is less stressful. It typically will add confidence to your communications and allow you to be more direct in your business life while still taking more chances to build your wealth.
The entire concept is, “I don’t need this..F*You…”.
And be able to back it up. That is where the power is.
Pay off your highest interest loans first. Pay off your credit cards, student loans, car loans, and mortgages as fast as possible. Try to pay cash as much as possible. If you can resist the urge to buy fancy cars and big houses on credit, after a few years you will find you have more than enough money to just pay cash.
Simple interest loans are how many banks and men have become wealthy. This is also the reason the government lets you deduct interest on mortgages – it influences you to buy a house, which makes all the big banks/politicians money.
An easy way to understand this is with Credit Cards. If you have $10,000 in credit card debt @ 18% interest (on the low side for credit cards) your interest is $150 per month or $1800 per year.
On a 6% student loan of $100,000 your interest is $500 per month or $6,000 per year.
On a 3% home loan of $250,000 your interest is $625 per month or $7,500 per year.
And that is just the interest. I have learned to live as close to debt free as possible and I lived cheap for years. It allowed me to pay cash for all the toys I wanted.
Start A Business
I have been a serial entrepreneur while still being an employee. For the last 10 years I have owned a primary internet company that has dozens of DBA websites. This allows me to deduct mileage on my vehicle, home office (office footage, internet, phone, etc.) computers, advertising, software, cameras, tools, products, content, trips, travel, food, conventions, etc.
Even when I was the president of a $36 million dollar company, I still owned and operated my own business. The tax deductions are worth the effort, not to mention the extra cash.
Don’t try to game the system, but hire a good tax accountant, learn the rules, and maximize your deductions.
I believe this is one of the reasons politicians that make 3 times what I do pay half as much tax as I do. They maximize their deductions.
While it is true the tax rate goes way up the more you make:
With using your deductions you are able to still grow your business while lowering your personal taxable income.
Cash is king, and if you are paying cash, you can usually get a discount. If you didn’t know, credit card purchases cost money. For the business taking your credit card, the credit card processors (banks) can take up to 7%. Most big businesses may be in the 2% range, but that is still a lot of money on $100,000,000 million.
A small plumbing business will likely give you a discount for cash. My lawyer did as well. Most small businesses will offer a significant discount for cash.
That’s not always true for businesses that have a private credit division. For example, Ford likes to offer credit for their cars, since they make more on the financing of the loan than the manufacture and sell of the car. So many dealers will make more if they sell you a Ford and get you into Ford financing. Still try to negotiate.
Negotiating also works for retailers we wouldn’t typically think of for negotiating. Not too many years ago I bought a 75 inch plasma TV from Best Buy. The original price tag was around $6,000. I paid around $5,300 for it (just over a 10% discount). It wasn’t on sale, and I was standing there with cash in hand. It was hard for the Manager to say NO (especially since I didn’t use a credit card).
Do Not Spend A Lot On A Wedding Or Engagement
I am not a man that sees a lot of value in being married – and that is from the experience of being married and loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars. We can talk about that experience another time. Even if you are a man that wants a wedding, do not allow a lot of money to be spent.
If you go look at a typical marriage, you can easily spend $20,000 having an average wedding with 100 guest. A destination wedding will easily cost that for 10 people. And you get nothing for it. Ok, maybe a few memories, but most weddings are not for the groom, they are for the bride.
If you take an average engagement ring, engagement dinner, a wedding, the dress, flowers the honeymoon (which is good – you should travel) and all of the trimmings, you can easily spend $30-50K.
That is the cost of a cheap rental home in Texas, and can produce a solid return.
Just remember, the media as created a lot of these “traditions” so that you will spend your money. There is no reason to follow along with it.
Invest in Hard Assets
I learned a simple rule from a wealthy business owner when I was in my 20’s…
Anything that makes you money is an asset.
Anything that cost you money is a liability.
It’s really easy to understand. Most people consider their house an asset, however, a house doesn’t typically make you money. If you finance it, you are making payments every month with no income. This is a liability.
Now, I live in a liability too, that I offset as much as possible with a home business. It still cost me money.
Now, the rental homes I have had were assets, they generated income every month.
I have also bought a few sports cars, and while their value did go up (you have to pick rare and older cars) the maintenance cost almost always offset these.
I have a few websites that do cost money each month, but they generate far more revenue.
In everything you buy, keep this in mind – if it isn’t actually making you money, it is likely an asset.
And just to address the point – many people have made a lot of money financing a house in a hot area, holding onto it for a couple of years, then selling it for a big profit.
What you don’t hear is many people have also bought expensive homes in hot areas only to have economic factors changes and have the “asset” become worth LESS than they owed. This was the real estate bubble of 2007 (and similarly the Dot com bubble of 2000.)