With new data suggesting that wealth inequality is both steadily increasing and worse now than at any time during the Great Depression, you might be wondering why you can’t get your share of an increasingly stratified economic pie. The super-rich aren’t special. They’re not necessarily any better at their jobs than the rest of us, and even billionaire Richard Branson admits that they don’t work harder than the middle class. So why aren’t you rich yet? A variety of choices may be conspiring to keep you living paycheck to paycheck. 10Reasons which you must know.
You’re Not Saving
Saving is the single most important ingredient in the recipe for long-term wealth. Even socking a little bit away today can yield a big payoff tomorrow. Don’t believe me? Check out this calculator, which helps you discern exactly how much that money you blew on shoes would be worth if you stashed it away instead.
You Don’t Know How to Manage Your Money
Pop quiz: How much money did you make last year after taxes? How much do you spend each month on groceries? What about entertainment? If you don’t know where your money is going, then you can’t be sure it’s going to the right places. Without a budget and intense control over your money, it’s impossible not to waste your precious cash.
Your Debt is Too High
The average American household carries a stunning $15,000 in credit card debt. If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, you’re paying interest and fees you can’t afford. Before you buy that shiny new car or start investing your money, pay down your debt. You’re far better off removing high-interest payments from your budget than attempting to save and getting a tiny interest yield. After you’ve stashed enough cash for emergencies, pay down debt instead.
Small Expenses Are Eating Away Your Financial Well-Being
If you spend $2 at Starbucks each day, that’s $730 a year — enough to start a small savings account. Start keeping track of your small expenses, and you’ll be surprised to see how quickly they eat away at your budget.
You Ignore Good Financial Bets
If your employer matches your 401(k) contributions, you’re nuts if you’re not saving. Don’t ignore these incredible financial deals. They require only a small investment upfront, and ensure that, come retirement time, you can live your dreams instead of residing in a cardboard box.
You Don’t Plan Your Purchases
Buying the cheapest laptop you can find might seem like a good idea now, but what about when the hard drive crashes in three months? Wealthy people think about their purchases, and are willing to save a bit so they can make quality expenditures. Don’t give into the impulse buy, and always read product reviews!
You’re Incorrectly Managing Your Investments
Do you buy stocks when they’re hot, only to panic and sell them when they tank? This is a sure bet for losing money, and completely defeats the purpose of investing. Invest for the long haul, or don’t invest at all. And if you’re not sure about your investments, it’s time to get a financial advisor.
You Only Buy New
You probably see rich people every day without knowing it. They’re the ones driving old cars, scouring thrift stores, and haggling for a bargain on a new washer/drier combo. If you want to be rich, you have to save money on big-ticket purchases. Buying new when you can buy pre-owned is like lighting your money on fire.
You’re Fixated On Appearances
Would you rather look rich, or actually be rich? Don’t blow your hard-earned money on costly clothing and expensive cars you can’t afford. You’re not fooling anyone. Instead, steadily sock money away, then laugh your way into early retirement as all the short-sighted status seekers spend their retirement income on worthless consumer goods.
You Don’t Invest in Yourself
The hard truth is that you’ll never get rich if you don’t have marketable skills. Take a long, hard look at your skillset. What can you offer an employer that another person can’t? Coming up with nothing? Time to invest in getting the skills you need to succeed.
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