, , , , ,

You may be hearing “financial experts” telling you over and over that you need to invest your money in order to become rich. “I CAN’T AFFORD IT!”
Well I was taught that financial freedom comes in three pillars. If one of these pillars is weak, than your entire financial structure will crumble. 
First, you must control your cash flow, and afford your budget. You must know exactly what is coming in, how much you owe, and how your income is actually being spent. If you are not making your basic financial obligations, then you must fight for an increase in your income. Apply for new jobs. Work odd jobs. Learn new skills. Network. Do whatever it takes in order to make your basic expenses and continue to increase your income so that you can build the next two pillars. Meanwhile, work hard on reducing what you spend. Cut out wasteful fast food and entertainment. Use the library. Share rides to work. Cook for yourself. It’s not sexy, but it is this kind of discipline that will bring you from poor to powerful. 
Next, you need to prepare for disasters. The flat tire. Cancer. The tree that fell through your roof. Financial preparation for disaster means savings and insurance. You should know what your monthly bills are from the first pillar. Financial experts recommend that you save 3-6 months of your monthly financial needs. I am aiming for 9 months. You need to be able to get to this savings and draw it all out immediately. So consult an adviser. I was taught that a great place for this money is in an interest-bearing savings account. So the money grows while you are not using it, you can draw it all out immediately for a fee, and because it is growing- you will feel an incentive not to spend it. Also, you need insurance. Health, disability, life, renters or home owners insurance are things to consider. Auto is a must. It is a waste of time to pay an auto policy that will not pay for what you will need if you actually get in a wreck. Consult an adviser that can asses your entire situation and help you determine all of the insurance policies that you should invest in, and how that fits in your budget. Having an employer that provides these benefits may mean an immense savings- so it is worthwhile to consider the savings when comparing job offers that have and don’t have benefits. I think that the greatest risk to becoming self-employed is loosing your benefits and not being able to afford these insurances. Medical bills are the top cause of personal bankruptcy. 
Last, you will need to prepare for retirement. This means greatly reducing/eliminating your consumer debt so that when you want to buy a house, and other potential assets, that you do so with the greatest possible score to leverage. Consult an adviser on how to best use the funds that you can contribute to your retirement accounts and assets acquisition. 
After you have made a plan for these three pillars, look at Robert’s advice. Create intellectual property. Create powerful relationships with people that can move you into a better place in life – that is the asset of Good Will. Create a name for yourself in your field of expertise. Become an expert investor in one class of assets. Use the internet, such as investopedia.com to learn all about assets. Learn about taxes and tax shelters. Consult with a local IRS agent about ways to claim maximum deductions. Start businesses, build systems, and leverage for growth. Serve people so that they serve you and are fiercely loyal. Always keep learning, and learn to hold yourself accountable and take smart risks. It is not easy, but with the right knowledge, you, too, can become rich.