When I do anything effectively, the first step is always carving out time in my schedule—nothing happens if I don’t do this. Most people only need 30 minutes per week to be a success at wealth building. What you do in this time may be different each time, and will definitely evolve as you become more savvy. It’s like the person who runs for 30 minutes regularly; what they get done in those 30 minutes when they start out will be vastly different from what they will accomplish after having done it for 6 months!
Consistency in your wealth building focus
When you focus on consistency instead of accomplishment, it gives you permission to screw up—which is great, because the more you screw up, the better you get. I’ll always remember a meditation teacher said, “The people who are successful at meditation aren’t the ones who always keep their minds absolutely clear, but instead, are the people who consistently return and try again, regardless of how good at it they think they are.”
A lot of times I just use my weekly 30 minutes to check my balances and look at Mint for a few minutes. Then at least 3-4 times per year, I also ask myself the following questions:
Am I making good use of my cash flow? This addresses not just the micro management of where I spend money, but also, in the larger sense, am I satisfied with the major purchases I’ve made? Am I using my money the way I hope to, and not wasting any?
Am I setting aside excess cash to earn higher returns? I do most of my saving automatically, but somehow, a little extra always ends up in my zero-interest checking account. I like to clear this out so I can capture that excess for other goals (and more interest).
Have I review my investments in the past 3 months? I honestly will let it go 6 months sometimes, but at the very least, I want to rebalance, capture any gains and reallocate investments consistently.
Have a planned out capital costs for the next 24 months? I want to make sure that if I plan to make any major purchases in a 2-year timeframe that I have considered the cost and set up some savings toward the specific purchase.
Do I need a better credit card, loan or line of credit? Thankfully, right now these things aren’t huge concerns for me, but another question for people with debt might be, can I increase my debt payment by $25-$100 and pay it off more quickly?
Can I increase any automatic savings? I once mentioned to a client that if I identify a goal, I start automatically saving for it as a placeholder in my cash flow. Once you have an auto-draw, it’s pretty simple to raise that monthly savings by $5-$25 every few months.
Am I holding myself responsible for the FRONT of the wealth building funnel? The front of the wealth building funnel is INCOME—the money coming into your household. As an entrepreneur, I have more control over it than some, but if wealth building is important to you, you’re going to want to continue to address this question and look for opportunities to step it up for continued financial rewards.
A lot of people freak out when I tell them this, or think I am being unrealistic if they are employed (which might be a whole second issue). That’s okay, not everyone’s top priority is wealth building all of the time. And maybe it will be, but not right now. Keep in mind that most people don’t become wealthy by being frugal, they become wealthy by making and keeping more money.
Actions This Week
- Consider Consistency. How can you be more consistent in your wealth building or financial management? It all starts with one simple step.
- Assess Your Areas. My questions address a lot of wealth building from a behavioral standpoint; how do you measure up? Are there some things you can implement?
- Consider Clarity. Many people are paralyzed to take financial action until they gain clarity over their entire financial situation. If you need clarity, consider what it’s going to take to get that sooner than later, so you can move forward.
P.S. Here’s another popular post that focuses on the single-greatest wealth building secret!