Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Project 141 Expanded: WEALTH

Project 141 Expanded: WEALTH
(Do 1 thing a day 4-1 full year to Improve Your Financial Future)
( Listen to the podcast on this topic HERE)
 Right off the start, let me say this: If you are looking for some "super-dooper" financial formula to get you "fast cash" then friend, you might want to just move on.

Here's the thing...unless you first learn how to do the LITTLE things to start controlling your finances, you will NEVER obtain "wealth" (whatever that means for you).

I highlighted those words in the above paragraph on purpose. YOU must learn to CONTROL your finances and STOP allowing your finances (or lack thereof) to control you!
Another disclaimer right off the start: There are a LOT of things that I could discuss with this topic that I won't simply due to the fact that I don't want to make this article that long. For example, I could discuss (and maybe should - but I won't) the fact that you MUST eliminate your DEBT as quickly as possible and you must STOP adding to that debt (credit cards for example!).  

What I AM going to discuss in this article are a couple of things that ANYONE can do to start improving their personal financial health. Yes, anyone and everyone...including you!

I want to approach the Project 141 "Expansion Concept" to this area by discussing two approaches and/or "mindsets". That of DEFENSE and OFFENSE.


Whether you know it or not, most truly wealthy people will tell you that it is NOT about "how much do you make" as much as it is "how much do you KEEP". 

Yes, it's important to "make more" but, at the same time, if you continue to "spend more" to the point that you fail to "keep more" you will never gain any ground with your financial future. 

I'm sure you've seen "the pretenders" out there that walk among us. They drive a nice, fancy car, go out to eat at expensive restaurants and do all of the things that make them "look like" they are successful. But, truth be told, they are broke. They have more debt than they have income but they continue to do these things so that they can keep up an "image of success".  

I've literally seen new, fancy, high priced cars in front of what I would call a shack. 

This, my friend, is foolishness!

So, I want to encourage you to take the "DEFENSE" approach and think about how you can PROTECT the money that you have and not just let it slip out of your fingers.

In other words, like you see in the picture above, you MUST "plug up" that leaky bucket.  This takes discipline, my friend!

Step 1: Get out a piece of paper and list everything you spend money on over the course of a week. Yes, I DO mean to actually have that piece of paper with you as you go through your week and write down EVERY little thing that you spend money on. THIS IS KEY! Why is this important? Most people have no idea how much money they actually spend on a daily and weekly basis. 

Write down EVERY - LITTLE - THING. Don't just write down the amount but also write down what it was for so that you know. Do you pay to park while at work? Write it down. Do you stop in for a coffee on your way into work? Write it down.  Did you contribute to an office collection for someone's birthday present? Write it down. Did you make a trip down to the vending machine and get a cola and/or a snack? Write it down. Eat your lunch at a restaurant? Write it down. 

Get the idea?

Don't cheat on this. C'mon, just do it and, at the end of the week, add up your figures. I suggest that you even do this at the end of each day. (By the way, this also includes anything you spend money on via online sources. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that you spent money on during the week.)

Once you have shocked yourself at how much money goes through your hands during the course of a week, not it's time to go on to the next step.

Step 2: Decide what you can cut out to reduce the "outflow". No, obviously, I'm not telling you to get rid of all of that all at once. Chances are there are some things that you listed that you cannot eliminate and that's o.k. BUT, what things CAN you eliminate?

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Defense Wins Games"? Again, it doesn't matter how much you make if you spend more than you make. So, WE MUST GET STINGY ON DEFENSE with your finances.

Maybe you can drop one thing on Monday, something different on Tuesday and so on during the rest of the week. For example, maybe you DON'T stop for that coffee on Monday and, maybe on Tuesday, you bring something from home for lunch. 

Try to pick out at least one thing for each day and, if possible, even choose two!

Look at the list from the week that you wrote down all of these expenses and just base the amount that you didn't spend on that. In other words, if you wrote down that you spent $8.00 for lunch that week, go ahead and assume that would be what you SAVED by NOT doing that one day this week. 

Then, we move on to...

Step 3: Put it in the jar! O.k. yes, you can just see that "on paper" and know that you saved money but I want to encourage you to take it one step further and PHYSICALLY take that amount of money and put it in a jar of some sort. Yes, go to your ATM if necessary and withdraw that amount of money and put it in the jar.

The visual for this is very powerful! Watch your jar fill up during this week and then, at the end of the week, count out how much money that you saved by taking just a little action and "playing some defense" to help "plug the leaky bucket".

 Now it's time to "play offense" with your money!



 ADD IT UP... Depending on how much you typically spend during the week, chances are that you will have AT LEAST $20 - $30 in your jar just from changing up your routine a little bit. DO NOT think, "Oh great! Now I can go buy...." NO! NO! NO!
The idea here is to SAVE and not continue to SPEND. Once you add that money up from your jar then I suggest that you actually open a NEW account at your bank for these funds and I would suggest that you do this with a savings account so that you get a little interest paid to you. If that $20-$30 isn't enough to open a new account then hang on to it and add to it each week until you have the needed amount. Are you disciplined enough to do that? I hope so because this discipline is what you will need to begin to make gains with your fiances. 

BE CONSISTENT... Don't just do this for a week or two and then quit. Remember, this whole Project 141 approach is about committing yourself to doing these actions for one full year. But, take it a little at a time and, at least for now, make sure that you dedicate yourself to doing this for at least a month and see how much money you saved. 
TAKE ADDITIONAL ACTION... Now what? It's time to plan some "offensive strategy" to move "the ball" on down the field closer to the "goal line". 
Yeah, I know. A lot of football analogies there but it works. You now have this "extra" money and it's time to DO SOMETHING positive with it. Already, I've suggested that you put it in a savings account and watch it grow a little at a time. Think about this: if you are able to put $100 per month in that account (very do-able) then you will have $1,200 (plus interest) at the end of that year! 
Here's a few "options" (different plays) that you might consider:
     1. Use some of this money to pay extra on any credit cards or car payments (any debt) that you have and get that debt paid off quicker.
     2. Use some of this money for someone else ("Random Act of Kindness")
If you've not done so, go back and read this article where I discuss the idea of taking something like $20 and blessing someone else with it. They may can use it for gas or food or school supplies for their kids. It doesn't matter what they may use it for. What matters is that you took your eyes off of yourself and looked for an opportunity to serve someone else.
Want to REALLY have some fun? If this excites you at all, share this concept with a friend or two or five and see if they, too, "catch the vision" of doing something like this. IF they have committed to this approach of setting some money back and IF they have also "caught the vision" of doing something for someone else then consider all of you in that group joining together in this effort! 
In other words, let's say there are five of you that have "caught the vision" on this and each of you have agreed to "donate" $20 per week or month for a "Random Act of Kindness". WOW...friend, you're starting to truly "live life" now (trust me on this). If that $20 for someone would make a difference for them then consider what $100 would do!
Yes, I would still suggest that you use the rest of the money that you have saved toward paying off some of your debt and saving some in the bank to grow with interest but, at the same time, use a portion of that money saved to bless others. Want to know how to have a blessed day yourself? BE A BLESSING IN SOMEONE ELSE'S DAY. 
 One final "offensive move" that I would suggest. As great as it is to "redirect your funds" from spending it on things that you can skip or do without to your savings or debt pay down or the random act of kindness, it is still a great idea to actually figure out a way to ADD TO your current income.
That is what is usually referred to as a "side gig" in today's world. Is there something that you can do "on the side" that will not interrupt your current work schedule that will allow you to grow/gain additional funds for all of the things that we have discussed in today's article?
UPDATE 10.20.21... I will have to go back through everything that referred to the original "vehicle" that I was promoting for this "side gig". I no longer support or promote that particular program simply because their "customer support" was non-existent! I will not connect my name or the name of "Future You University" with any program that won't even support their own members. STAY TUNED! I am currently working on something that I believe will have the potential to take you FAR BEYOND what the original program could ever do.

Until next time, remember, YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


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