- Give yourself a raise. 10% of your net income should go on auto-deposit into your 401(k), IRA, health savings account, etc. First. Period. It’s tax deductible. Pay yourself now, or pay the IRS later. If you invest right, your nest egg should earn 10% while you sleep, meaning your money will be worth more than your salary in seven years and will out-earn you in 25 years.
- Be charitable. Tithe 10% to charity. Fuel your favorite cause with your cash, take the tax write-off and reap the benefits of helping your community and networking with others who have like-minded goals! Pay your favorite charity now, or pay the IRS later. The best, highest paying jobs that I’ve ever had came from the relationships that I developed through my charitable giving.
- Educate yourself, your family and others. Education is the single highest correlating factor with income. Surgeons make more money than dishwashers, and surgeons who have educated themselves about investing make greater gains than those who invest blindly (or not at all). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers without a high school diploma earned $438/week on average in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $1,139 for a Bachelor’s Degree, and $3,383/week (for male) professionals with a master’s or higher. PhDs, medical, business and law students often sleep on a couch (or small dorm rooms) for years, in order to earn double the income for life! It’s even easier to get an education now with flexible programs to obtain a masters in finance online.
- Have fun. Health is wealth. You can’t earn a great living if you can’t get out of bed. And pleasure is a free endorphin that releases anti-oxidants that keep you healthy and sexy. What a beautiful reason to have some fun today!
- Double your pleasure. Double your fun budget! Make sure that you are spending 20% of your income for FUN. You are worth it! I take 10% out in cash and spend it until it’s gone. The other 10% I save up for a year to do something really adventurous that I can enjoy with my family and friends. (In 2009, I spent a month in Italy and in 2010 a month in France!) I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have room in the budget, which leads me to the next tip.
- Stop complaining. Some people say, “I spend my fun money on my home.” That’s cool, but then stop complaining that you don’t take vacations and start enjoying your home more. Can you have artist salons, or a front porch bayou Bluegrass party where someone blows on a jug and another plays spoons? A barbecue and three-legged race? A monthly yoga potluck dinner? If you’re not having fun, your retail therapy isn’t working! And if your home is costing you an arm and a leg, then what kind of a way is that to go through life. Get creative about reducing your big-ticket items and you will find yourself with a lot more dough to thrive on.
- Basic needs must be under 50%, including taxes. Ha! Think this is impossible? Guess which ethnic group is the highest income earner in the U.S.. Before I reveal the answer, I want to point out that this group was one of the lowest wage earners in the U.S. at the turn of the last century. How did one ethnic group soar to the top of the charts so quickly? By focusing on education and dramatically reducing basic needs expenditures. If two families had to live in a two-bedroom apartment so that the kids could go to medical school, they did that. And now, American Asians make a weekly income that is 7% higher than whites and 35-50% higher than the weekly income of blacks and Hispanics in the U.S., respectively. (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 20, 201)
- Think partner, not competitor. Remember back in the 1970s when malls were created? By teaming up to put everything you need in one place, all of the retail stores benefitted. Coachella (and Woodstock before it) puts all of the greatest bands in one spot for an entire weekend. What can you do to partner up with your competitors and create a win-win for everyone?
- Dream bigger. When John D. Rockefeller went into the oil business, in 1863, no one dreamed of freeways. When Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page began perfecting online search in nanoseconds, most people were still on dial-up. When President John F. Kennedy promised to walk on the moon, it still took a week to mail a letter from New York to San Francisco. Before John Lennon imagined peace with Yoko, he imagined taking America by storm with the Beatles. What great dream do you have? What can you do now to start on the path of creating it and who can help you with it? As Larry Page, the co-founder and new CEO of Google says, “I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition.”
- 21 days off the grid. Stuck in a rut? 21 days is all you need to create new possibilities. If you have never been on a 21-day sabbatical, there is no greater way to expand your possibilities and your thinking. Whether it is an Eat. Pray. Love journey, or an ashram experience, or a trek to Mt. Everest, a love jaunt to the Cote d’Azur or training to be the first rock star to perform on the moon, commit to creating something new and exciting in your life.
Steve Jobs, the rock star of Apple Computer and iTunes, slept on the floor of his friend’s dorm room to crash college calligraphy courses before founding Apple. The chairman of an $11 billion company once slept on his parent’s couch while educating himself to make the transition from football coach to CEO. And one of the richest women in the world, J.K. Rowling, received public assistance while she created one of the most beloved stories of all time – Harry Potter.
So, sing your song… loudly. Dance as if everyone is watching. (They are … on Facebook. And Twitter. And YouTube. And BlogTalkRadio…) And fall in love with your ability to transform your currency into the power that fuels your dream come true life.
- Take a 21-day vacation from the status quo. Try the Eternal City (Rome) or Paris or Machu Picchu or the hometown you haven’t seen in forever. You could use it.
- Dream bigger. Not everyone writes a #1 song or stars in an Academy-Award winning film. But everyone does have something unique to give to the world.
- 50% to survive and 50% to Thrive!
About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street and host of the Pace and Prosperity radio show on BlogTalkRadio.com/NataliePace. She is a repeat guest on Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV and a contributor to HuffingtonPost.com, Forbes.com, Sohu.com and BestEverYou.com. As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on http://www.facebook.com/pages/NWPace, and on YouTube.com/NataliePaceDOTCOM. For more information please visit, http://www.nataliepace.com.
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