Money Monday: How to take immediate control of your finances

Entrepreneurship, Money, Resources & Tips / Monday, July 22nd, 2019

I’m going to start mixing things up a bit with my blog, and will be adding more topics that I think you’ll find interesting and useful. Starting with… MONEY! Achieving financial freedom and security as a solopreneur is not easy. But it is possible. It just takes a bit of planning and automation.

Now, if you cringe at the thought of talking about money (hello, Brits!), you’re not alone. It’s a common theme among freelancers and solopreneurs (especially women). I hear the line “Why aren’t we taught this in school?” a lot, and I have many theories why this is the case, but I’ll park my political hat for a minute because we’ve got lots to do! And, quite frankly, no time to spare.

These are the things I’d like to talk about here today.

  1. Long-term wealth-building.
  2. Blitzing debt.
  3. Minimising spending.
  4. Getting a side hustle.
  5. Investing in crypto.

1. Build long-term wealth

Are you saving and investing? If not, why not? If it’s because you don’t think you earn enough, then I urge you to think again. Saving and investing is like building a muscle. Even if you put away £1 a day, you’ll be glad you did. And the younger you start doing this, the better.

Compound interest is, quite honestly, one of the most subtle yet mind-blowing things in the world (alongside yoga). So much so, Einstein called it the “Eighth wonder of the world”, so taken with it he was. If you do a little bit of saving each day, and a little bit of yoga each day, you’ll see the effect of compounding in your life. If you’re under 25, please, please, please start investing and practicing yoga today. Your 50-year-old self will bow down and kiss your feet for it.

In his book The Latte Factor, David Bach discusses a flow-chart of money. He talks about “paying yourself first” – meaning, have a direct debit set up to automatically siphon off 10% of your income into either a pension, an IRA (US) or a tax-efficient retirement plan, such as a SIPP (UK self-invested personal pension).

THEN you can go on to siphon off money into your other pots. These include an online savings account (emergency cash fund) such as a cash ISA, and a stocks and shares pot, such as an index tracker or ETF, which you hold for the long term. Ideally, you’ll put away 5% of your income into each of these accounts each month. So that’s another 10%.

I realise all this is hard to do if you own your own business or are freelance because, I mean, you’ve got to feed those wolves, right?! WRONG. You’ve got to set up an automated system to pay yourself first and to save for the future. Repeat after me: automate, automate, automate.

If you do just one thing: save 10% of your income and put it in a high-interest account or invest it in the stock market. Preferably both.

2. Blitz your debts

If you’re still paying off student loans and credit cards and sundry debts, these need blitzing, and are going to be another direct debit you’ll be setting up to siphon off funds. If you’re paying interest on a credit card, switch the balance to an interest-free card, and get crushing. Ideally, you’ll only be using credit cards if you can afford to pay off the balance in full, before the due date each month.

Remember to still, PAY YOURSELF FIRST. This is the only route to long-term financial freedom. Ann Wilson runs a course called Financial Freedom University, which goes into this in more detail, but it includes tons of information on how to invest, blitz your debts, plus invest in crypto (see number 5). Automate your debt-busting so you’re always on top of it.

After you’ve paid yourself first, then paid off your credit cards, you then pay your other bills (rent, utilities, mortgage, phone, car, food, etc). You can also set up a direct debit to pay into a charity each month, or donate cash at a local charity. Many financially savvy people swear by this as part of their money picture.

3. Minimise spending

Easier said than done, I hear you say. But if you write down everything you spend each day, you’ll soon notice where the flab is going. I’m not saying you have to give up your latte, but if you’re going to buy coffee, could you pack your own lunch? Could you cycle to work instead of take the bus or drive? Could you shop smarter or not shop at all? Could you do without that third glass of Merlot?

4. Get a side hustle

This will help you minimise spending, since you won’t be going out as much, PLUS will help you blitz debt and save in your savings account or stocks and shares account (TIP: Set up a direct debit for all your side hustle earnings to go into these two pots to turbo-boost your financial freedom). We all know the kinds of side hustles we could add into our lives – babysitting, tutoring, dog-walking, bar work, etc etc.

5. Invest in crypto

Now I know this is going to freak a lot of people out, but bear with me. Bitcoin has done some crazy things of late, but it looks like it’s not going anywhere fast. In fact, as adoption becomes more mainstream, and big companies start to get on board (Facebook, Virgin, even banks), it’s only going to skyrocket in price. So get in NOW (because three years ago has already been and gone, so now is the next best time), and you should be sitting pretty when all your mates finally decide to get involved. There are various free Youtube tutorials that will walk you through the basics. Or check out these resources below:

  1. Cryptoboomriders and FFU by Ann Wilson
  2. Tony Robbins Money Master the Game
  3. the Latte Factor by David Bach

“The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese proverb.

Coinbase is the best exchange to invest in crypto, followed by GDAX. And if you sign up to Coinbase using my special link: you get $10 free Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial adviser so always do your own research and due diligence, which I know you will cos you’re smart like that. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help support my blog but don’t cost you a penny. Thanks. And if you enjoyed this post and got some value from it, please consider buying me a coffee. It will make me very happy.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read about ways to make money whilst on the road, my tips for travelling solo in Japan and saving money, and my must-have travel kit.

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