Do you ever go to work and suddenly think to yourself, "I don't think I put deodorant on this morning." Then you do a quick pit check, and you are off towards the elevator to high tail it (but not too fast, you don't want to break a sweat) to the closest drug store for a stick of deodorant.
Or maybe you can't totally remember the last time you got the oil changed in your car, and the sticker from the last change is faded from the sun. What's that rule anyhow, every 5K miles, right?
Maybe you pay ATM fees, and when it comes time to recap your monthly budget, they get thrown into miscellaneous or entertainment, because the bank line is a little bit cryptic.
Perhaps, you signed up to start reviewing websites for $15 for ten minutes of work, but you never managed to download whatever it was you were supposed to download, so your side hustle income is $0, just like it's been the last 5 years.
And maybe your DIY home remodel is dragging on for 3 years instead of 3 months, because, hey, life happens.
Please don't tell me this is just me.
How to get rich even if you are a lazy, forgetful slob
So it's clear that I'm not an expert in having my life together. Heck, I'm barely getting clean underwear on in the morning (don't worry, I am).
So how can someone like me possible become wealthy at a young age? These are my tips.
1. Establish what rich means
Defining rich is very personal. Some people say that once there assets are 25x their annual spending they will count themselves rich. Others say they are rich when they are millionaires or when they join the double comma club. These are great milestones, but this is not what I mean.
I mean to say, what will you do when you are rich that you cannot do today.
Today, I cannot quit working. When I am rich, I can quit working.
Today, I cannot donate 100% of my salary to charities of my choice. When I am rich, I can.
Today, I cannot take my entire family on a fancy get away to a destination of my choice (without risking financial safety). When I am rich I can.
For me, rich means the freedom to be outrageously generous with my time, my money, and my life. It's something that I can work towards right now, even if I don't arrive for some time.
What does rich mean to you?
2. Establish principles that will help you build wealth.
In our Manifesto for Agile Personal Finance we define our core principles this way:
Our family is uncovering better ways to pursue financial independence by pursuing it, and helping others pursue it as well.
Through this endeavor, we have come to value:
Ongoing financial contentment over striving to fulfill temporal desires
Financial simplicity over financial optimization
Shared life vision over freedom from working
Embracing relationships over embracing plans.
That is, while we value the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
What principles are you following?
3. Do the work
Building wealth is Income- Expenses multiplied by your rate of return. You can improve your wealth by growing income, reducing expenses or increasing your rate of return. That's it.
You can pick to focus on one, or all three, but they aren't rocket science.
How are you doing the work?
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.