“If you randomly stumble upon an amazing talent and then somebody important sees it by wild coincidence, great things can happen without any hard work.” — Peter Griffin on Family Guy.
This strategy seems like the game plan for far too many people these days. Just wait and hope for things to change. Guess what? Hope isn’t a game plan.
It’s possible for everyone reading this to reach financial freedom (the link will share with you the ultimate guide to doing so by 30). You can lose weight. You can get a new job. You can do anything that you want.
And no, this isn’t some lame motivational quote. This isn’t a lame Disney movie. This is me calling you out.
With a little bit of planning today, you can set yourself up for the future. Or you can keep on complaining. The choice is yours.
“Surprise and differentiation have far more impact than noise does.” — Seth Godin
What are 11 things you can do right now to work towards financial freedom?
1. Stop trying to be Prince Charming!
I love to go out. Who doesn’t want to go out and be in the dating game?
I’m not telling you to never go out. You just need to stop trying to be some prince charming. Don’t convince yourself that you’re a baller just because you’re willing to spend your whole paycheck on a date.
Stop wasting your paychecks on dating! Learn some game or become a more interesting person.
I learned this the hard way. After spending years and thousands of dollars on dating, I eventually realized that none of this is necessary. A little charisma and chemistry will go a lot further than your credit card.
Even recently, I’ve seen my friend Pete spend far too much money on his bar tab to buy drinks for girls that walk away after chugging the shot. It makes no sense to me. Keep it in your pants (your wallet).
2. Make bigger payments on your debt.
It’s super important that you blast your debt ASAP. That article covers the topic in ridiculous detail.
I once made a minimum payment on my credit card. I was happy to have made it — until I saw how much interest I was charged. Yikes! This opened my eyes to never ever make the minimum payment on a balance.
Beg, lie, cheat, steal, work all day everyday, hustle, and do anything possible to make bigger payments on your debt. You won’t regret this in the future. A little sacrifice today will help you break free from those chains.
3. Get a side income.
Are you making any money on the side? What’s your current income like? Could you be making more money in your spare time?
A few hundred extra bucks per month can and will go a long way.
I used to be keen on saving money. I would get all hardcore with it and miss out on tons. I thought that this was the way to go. Until I started this site and increased my income. From that point on, I’ve always made it a point to have a side income.
A side income will help you make more money to save up for trips, pay off debt, and beef up your savings in general.
[Don’t waste another second. Start Freelancing Now.]
4. Stop reading advice and start doing.
I read every travel article in 2011. I read and I read some more. I knew so much about travel, until I realized that I didn’t!
I finally booked a trip to Europe in September of that year and I soon figured out that I knew nothing about travel.
I want to see you start doing more. The theory is fine to know, but completely useless if you don’t apply it.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Find a way to quit your job if you hate it.
When I was 16 I worked at a grocery store and I just hated the job. I sucked at my job and I didn’t like it. What a horrible combination. I felt sorry for myself. I was a little baby about it. As you could imagine, that got me nowhere at all.
Eventually I did something. I found another job. This meant that I could hand in my two week’s notice. Sadly, I didn’t do this. I waited to get fired instead. Don’t do that.
Find a way to quit your job if it’s ruining your quality of life. I don’t want to see you spend your 20s working a job that you hate.
6. Always move forward.
I’ll never understand why people live in the past. Stop living in the damn past!
It’s cool to look at pictures and reminisce with old friends over drinks. I get that. There’s no need to stress about things that happened in the past.
- Spend too much money last weekend?
- You get ripped off last year?
- Your girlfriend leave you for your brother?
- Who cares?
I’ve failed many times with product launches, job interviews, dates, and other plans. I’m going to fail many more times. Bring on the failure.
The end result: I figure out what didn’t work and I move forward.
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford
7. Try living on the cheap.
How’s your current lifestyle? Is it conducive to saving money? Are you able to get ahead financially?
If not, I want to see you cut back on some useless expenses. It’s time to beef up that savings account. It’s time to save more money to feel more comfortable with your savings. It’s time to build some FU money.
Not sure where to start?
For starters, you could find a way to save an extra $100 every month. I challenged myself in the summer to do this. The end result was I figured out how to negotiate my cell phone plan so that I could save more money every single month.
We could all easily find a way to save up $100 a month.
On that note…
8. Ditch the car if you want to save money.
Driving is an extreme luxury and I totally get it. Who wants to take the bus? Who wants to pick up a date with a bus pass?
When I was in college, it took me an hour each way. I thought about getting a car to make this commute easier. I eventually decided to stick with the cheaper route.
Instead, I rode the bus like a chump. I sat next to homeless people and did my best studying on my commute to class. I crammed for exams on my one hour commute.
It wasn’t fun, but it was sure worth it in the long run.
9. Don’t buy right away. Wait. There’s no rush.
Please, do NOT buy a home as soon as you start working. Don’t feel that buying a place is the next logical step after getting a job. It’s not!
This will crush your finances for the next twenty years. You’re going to be on the hook for mortgage payments.
What are the issues with buying?
- The expenses are MASSIVE. They add up.
- You have to make your mortgage payments.
- You can’t take any risks.
- You spend a ton of money on interest.
- You might end up regretting it.
I saved money, by, well, by buying. I realized how crazy the fees were, so I turned it into a rental property ASAP. I ended up selling it recently for a nice profit.
You can save for anything on this planet. You just need to be a little patient. Your first home isn’t like buying dinner. Take this decision seriously. Don’t feel like you need to buy a place right away. It’s okay if you wait.
10. Take accountability for everything.
“That was my own fault.”
“The things I tried didn’t work on the people I tried them on.”
I’ve said all three of those things in the past few months.
Why? Because I take accountability for everything. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You’ll never be financially free if you keep on passing the blame. That’s just pathetic.
You are responsible for everything that happens to you! Own it like a man.
11. Take some damn risks!
This is the most important one of all.
“If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise – ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.”
You need to take some risks. Stop being a coward.
The two biggest risks that paid off the best in my life so far have been:
- Working full-time while in school. This was a huge risk because I could have failed and got myself kicked out of school. Thankfully, I figured out how to party hard, study, and get things done.
- Investing in a rental property. I bought a rental property when I clearly knew nothing about property. Everything was learn-on-the-fly. I had to figure out how to install a light (bribe a friend with vodka), screen tenants, deal with tenants, and then figure out how to sell.
What risks are you going to take? Going to a different bar next Friday doesn’t count.
The world doesn’t owe you any favors my friend. Make things happen today so that you can enjoy yourself tomorrow. Who the hell wants to spend their 20s/30s in debt struggling to survive?