Exhibit A: Justin and Kaisorn McCurry retire in their 30’s by saving up to 70% of their income and putting that money to work. Their income is below average. Justin says:
"It really just comes down to saving some of your income, setting it aside and letting it grow."
Exhibit B: Mike Tyson is flat broke, and to make matters worse, the bank repossesses his tiger. Mike fought hard, made 300 million dollars, then lost it all.
“Guess I’m gonna fade into Bolivia.” Bad move, Mike. See you on daytime TV.
The truth is, getting rich is easy. People will tell you that it's not simple, that it’s complicated, that you need advisors and algorithms. They’re lying. Look around at the real life people you see with money. They ALL have one thing in common: they save. They save more than they spend.
That’s all you need to do to get rich. It’s easy to do, but it’s also easy NOT to do.
What happens when you start saving? As it turns out, spending much less money than you make is the one, and only way to get rich. Think about it:
If you can save 50% of your take-home pay starting at age 20, you’ll be wealthy enough to retire by age 37. If you already have some assets now, you’re even closer than that. If you
can save 75%, you could retire in 10. Let's hear it again:
If you start saving aggressively right now, you CAN retire in 10 years.
But how can you aggressively save?
You’ve got to be ruthless. Cut everything, and I mean everything, that’s non-essential. You don’t need that fancy dinner. Or that new watch. Or even that kermit the frog plush dressed up like Tupac. The bottom line is that most people don’t know how to save money. In fact, assuming you weren’t born rich, even if you doubled your income or won the lottery, you would probably be in the same spot 10 years from now. More than half of people in the US live paycheck to paycheck. The secret to getting rich is not doubling your income, but doubling your savings, by doing what most people won’t do. And that’s living cheaply. Frugally, at least in the places where it does really matter.
Would you rather go bowling, or be rich? Would you rather take an uber, or be rich? Would you rather order the creme brulee, or just take your date to mel’s and be rich? It’s a gross over-simplification. It’s baffling. But it’s also true.
Saving is easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do.
This isn’t just old geezers and hippies. This is a powerful subculture of young men and women retiring, finding their passions, and leaving behind the 9 - 5 because they’ve learned to save. Here are some of the techniques they employ:
1) Keep the big three expenses, housing, transportation and food, as low as possible. Make a ledger of what you spend on these verses what you make, and insure it’s at least 60%. Sound extreme? Well, so is moving to tahiti and hiring heavyweight champion Mike Tyson as your butler.
Move closer to work. Eat healthier, cheaper food that you can buy in bulk. Find a sweetheart deal on a place you can afford.
2) Keep the money out of your hands. If you’re only using a checking account, get a bank account, and insure you only allow yourself the cash that fits into your saving plan. If you can only spend 40% of your income, you won’t want to carry around much cash. Immediately put 60% in your bank account
This will force you to live cheaply. If you really do keep the money out of your own hands, you’ll struggle at first. You might not make rent, or even miss a few payments. But eventually, you’ll catch up.
3) Keep track of everything you buy, and if you aren’t on track, consider investing in an index fund. Create a ledger for your big purchases, and review it every few weeks. Decide on how you can improve, identify weaknesses, and search for ways to save even more. Eventually, you may want to invest in a basket of high-performing stock, know as an Index fund.
I don’t recommend playing the stock market yourself unless you have experience in trading or really know what you’re doing.
Save, be smart, and you’re not only on the fast track to easy money, but happiness. Once you cut out the excess, you’ll be left with who, and what, really makes you happy. Not just the activities and people that want what’s in your wallet. Good luck, and keep saving! Oh, and whatever you do, please don't buy a goddamn tiger. I don’t care how many times you’ve been punched in the face.