Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Many of us start out slow. Conditions aren't the best and we try with what's been given to us. Understandable! We Baby Boomers come out of a generation where we were encouraged to get one degree--one way of making money--and work under someone or some company for the rest of our lives with the hope of retiring comfortably. So much for that plan. For an equal number of us it isn't until we hit middle age and have spent thousands of dollars using a less than commendable budget that we realize we have to save and invest. Here, I propose that even before we implement a plan that can endure the changes of life and get us somewhere, our relationship to money is pivotal for a successful journey.
We are taught in this great nation of ours following the message of its chosen religion that money is the root of all evil. Not everyone goes there, though. We have good models of people who are successful and appreciate the many opportunities money can provide. Nevertheless, the motto of money being evil has had an unconscious impact on us.
On top of the gloomy sermon on money, we are faced with many challenges and surprises that make any attempt for success even harder So rather than trying, many of us go on living pay-check-to-pay-check. It makes sense why so many conclude, "Why bother?"
If we stand any chance, we will have to make a conscious decision to succeed regardless of what is happening. There are many ideas and plans to help with our decision. And you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how a nice thought out budget will make a huge difference. But before any plan is in place, having the right attitude about money and about yourself is key.
I've been reading The Wealth Choice by Dennis Kimbro. Not that he has new info, but he has an encouraging pen. He surveyed a number of Black millionaires to see how they did it. He points out that the welathy see money as a good thing and that poverty is the real evil. The things we can do come from money. (If you read Kimbro or any book by a successful business person, don't let the abuse of money highjack the way you think. Just about anything can be taken too far. For now, stick with the belief that money is a good thing).
Going back a little to budgeting, changing our attitude about money will cause us to develop a budget that is kind and honoring to our dollar. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to create a good budget. And one doesn't have to make much to pay the bills, save, and invest! But even before ideas on how, you must see a budget as your gift into success.
Habits about our spending can make our goal for a better attitude on budgeting difficult. I am amazed how some can talk about not having money after purchasing the latest $900 phone. We have to own our part in producing a less than successful position when it comes to money. Habits will break when we own them and stop blaming others for their 'high prices'.
Next comes an even harder job. It's one thing to change a negative belief about money. It's another to change beliefs about how we deserve to have money, enough to enjoy life. Or as Kimbro points out, wealth is our divine destiny that begins within us.
You've got to get to the place where you know that you know you deserve to be successful. Converting our thinking to this mindset is undoubtedly difficult, not to mention how to go about doing so with a game plan (but that's for another post). First thing first, you have to believe and visualize yourself achieving within reason and responsibility.
It's never too late. I wish I would have started out earlier myself, but we can say that about lots of things. The point is to start believing in yourself and what you deserve. You'd be surprised. Once the ride begins, it is joyful and adventurous.
Start by reading. Read, read, read! Make it a point to hang out with those who have succeeded. While we can't see them in person, it's nice to hang out with Satya Nadella, Bill Gates, Dennis Kimbro, and Carla Harris, all who innovated and executed well. And stay away from the flashy get rich quick preachers with their little "secrets." Lots of ego in their message; a waste of time.
And move away from anything that promotes the "You can't" or "That's the way things are done," be they songs, books, movies, and maybe even people. Think big; be different or weird as my family calls it. It is a downer to watch people--and some who I deeply care about--trapped, unable to expand their vision because they follow the crowd.
In conclusion, reprogram your view on money and about yourself as you move through the phases of life. Along with building a budget, of which I am not an accountant so I can't help there, explore what beliefs (which I have studied extensively) hold you back from seeing money and yourself as golden opportunity. Then work that mind of yours for change!