One of my previous posts started with a quote from Howard Marks, apologies for the repetition but the quote is as relevant here as it was then: “Few people think the secret to their happiness comes from prudence and caution. Most people think it comes from that stroke of genius which will put them on easy street.”
I’ve often, playfully so, asked people at what rand value would they consider themselves rich enough to call it quits and retire, to date no one has had a number, however most have replied that they want to be “very” rich. I usually follow up by asking how they plan to acquire all these riches, in most cases people believe they’ll one day have a revolutionary idea that’ll put them on easy street, or win the lottery (this is why the quote is so applicable here).
I am no exception, but I realised that such a frame of mind prevented me from saving, I mean why should I be saving now when one day I’ll have a great idea that’ll immediately make me a millionaire, or even a Billionaire?
The realisation led me to an epiphany; given the existential uncertainty associated with the future, why not start saving now to ensure an adequate asset base irrespective of whether my future entrepreneurial endeavours play out or not. I figured old me will be happy with younger me for having started the wealth building process early.
I started saving small amounts while aggressively focusing on controlling my consumption/expenses, as time went I realised that I now had more and more money available for saving monthly. One thing I always do is to pay myself first, I believe long term wealth creation has at its foundation temperament and habits, by paying myself first I am reinforcing the two.
Obviously a budget is critically important, start saving 10% of whatever money comes your way, gradually increase that percentage and focus on controlling your spending (get involved with the reward programmes your bank offers so you can get paid while spending, ya dig? Check out some of my previous posts on these programmes, others are to follow).
Enjoy the process, there’s much to learn from it over and above the monetary aspect.
Don’t forget – Spend less than you earn and invest the difference!!!!