We often lament about the fact that we are not, in fact, millionaires. If only we could win the lottery, if only our rich relative would hurry up and die, if only a rich celebrity would pass us on the street and somehow fall hopelessly in love with us. In reality, most of us are never going to wind up millionaires – but we could be much better off than we’re choosing to be. In fact, a few simple changes could make a world of difference for pretty much anyone.
If you find yourself constantly pining for a world where you have more than you have now, see if any of the following things may be holding you back:
You’re Spending All Your Money
For many people, living paycheck to paycheck is a harsh reality. Sometimes, though, it only takes a cursory examination to figure out that your choices are playing an active part in determining your lifestyle. You may only have a small amount of money left over after bills, but are those bills necessary? While things like internet service and smartphones can be considered necessities to a certain degree, hundred dollar cable bills and top-tier cell phone contracts are things that you’re choosing to spend your money on.
You’re Charging Everything
When your money runs out, do you stop spending? A cursory examination of our country’s credit card debt says no – we just whip out the plastic instead of the cash. Credit cards can be great if used responsibly. They can help you establish and improve your credit rating, and they can be helpful in emergency situations. Using them to fix the fact that you’re buying things you can’t afford, however, is a recipe for disaster.
You’re Making Bad Decisions
Quick – how many people do you know that are already planning how they’re going to spend every penny of their tax return? Saving money may not be what you want to do right now, but upgrading your TV a few inches isn’t really as important as planning for your future.
That brand new car may catch a few people’s eye, but the fact that it lost value the second you drove it off the lot is a sign that it may have not been the best decision. That same car may have been two thirds or even half the price if you’d bought one just a few years old.
Often, compromises like buying a older car or getting a smaller TV can allow you to get the things you want but also not go broke in doing so. The trick is to do your research and make the decisions that benefit you the most.
You’re Not Planning
Ok, so you’re doing a bit better with your money and you’ve reined in your credit card spending. What now? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you need to find out. Retirement accounts, savings, investments – these are all things that you should most likely be discussing with a financial expert to ensure that you’re using the money you save to its fullest potential. You can bet that every millionaire out there has an extensive plan for keeping themselves well above that million-dollar mark.
You’re Not Growing
Nobody ever moves up in a company by refusing to learn anything new – even if, and possibly especially, it’s your own. Likewise, companies who can’t evolve are probably not going to stick around very long. Just look at Blockbuster. I’m sure you’ve heard that they could have bought Netflix way back in 2000, but refused more than once.
Since then, Blockbuster played the follower in just about everything – pushing their DVD-by-mail service long after Netflix and Hulu dominated the market, installing Blockbuster Express “blue boxes” that were laughably late to compete with RedBox, who now actually owns many of those same boxes.
The point of the story? Don’t be the guy who’s catching up. Don’t wait until you start losing clients to bother learning new skills that will keep you competitive. Learn now, grow now, make yourself invaluable to your business now. Take every opportunity to invest in yourself, and you’ll never regret it.
Do any of these things sound like something you’re doing? If so, perhaps it’s time to make a change and stop sabotaging yourself and your finances. Have you already faced the challenge of changing your habits? Share how you got on track in the comments below!