Bonus Chapter - Wealth Building for Beginners
Thank You For Reading My Book!
Now that you’ve read the whole book, you might be wondering what the first step is to create your dream of wealth. Although you may have all of the positive habits to form and implement all these theories, you are most likely reading this bonus chapter to learn what you can do today to launch this journey toward financial freedom and achieving wealth.
This bonus chapter will serve as a post extension of the book and answer your questions.
It will be as if I am coming into your living room, gripping your hand and asking, “Are you ready? Great, let’s head out of here onto our journey.” Then you will turn the TV off, dress for success, excuse yourself from friends and family who aren’t ready yet, and leave all of the bad habits at the house. This chapter will go over the three important steps on how to quickly get started building wealth.
Step one is to buy a planner so that you can break your goals down into daily manageable action steps. Define very clearly and vividly where you want to be in a year. This is not the time to be realistic. Being realistic has kept us in the land of mediocracy in the first place. The illusion of reality shifts over time. Dream big so you can grow into those shoes, and that will be your new reality!
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Albert Einstein
Your planner should have pages for you to write out your yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily goals. When goals are too big, it’s easy not to try them because they seem unattainable in the short term, and we can lose focus. According to Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor from Dominican University, if the same large goal is broken down into smaller daily tasks that are written down, then your odds of accomplishing them are 42% more likely. Seeing your yearly goals into daily manageable goals will keep the motivation high in achieving it.
Your planner should also have quarterly, monthly, and weekly sub-dividers, so you can always get a bird’s-eye view of the quarterly goals and rebalance the weeks and days as needed for achieving the larger goal. Your planner will be the general manager who you hired to keep everything organized. I love the idea of using a paper planner as opposed to an electronic device. It’s hard to substitute the advantages of the traditional ways of writing things down. It is best to create a to-do list with all your tasks on one page, which helps plan the year better in a more productive way. Writing down tasks can help you to remember them, while also thinking of more efficient ways to complete them.
Schedule everything in your planner. If it’s not in your planner, then it’s not getting done. No project is getting completed without the general manager knowing. If the general manager doesn’t know about it, it’s not important. I know it sounds funny, but that is how I ran my personal wealth building project. I was relentless about only doing things in my planner. If you need any assistance picking out a planner to handle all your functions, then visit edwardrwilliams.com. At the end of this bonus chapter are free downloads to provide assistance with planning. I typically don’t like to look past a year of planning with beginners because it’s easy to get lost thinking too long term.
Step two, the next step after putting the year destination into GPS is to figure out where you are now by completing a budget. Where exactly are you financially?
A budget will look at the income coming into the household and the income going out of the household, and let you know exactly how much is your deficit or surplus. It is very basic and dry. If you are spending more than you make, then the traditional choices remain to either reduce spending or earn more money. I say you do both. Figure out which bills to cut and, in the meantime, start investing a small portion, so your money can be growing as you simultaneously reduce expenses. Mutual funds are great ways to begin investing. Following a budget will keep you out of debt or help you work your way out of debt. Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income. If the two don’t balance and you spend more than you make, you will have a major problem.
Many people dont realize they spend more than they earn and eventually build more debt every year. A budget will also show if you have a surplus every month. If you have a surplus every month, then you might not be putting your money to work hard enough, meaning you could have more money that could go into investments. After your emergency money is satisfied, the leftovers should go into investments. Budgeting helps you make better financial decisions, build your emergency fund, get out of debt, and stay on track with the year’s financial goals.
When operating your finances without a budget you are basically winging it and leaving your wealth building to randomness. There won’t be anything holding you back from spending beyond your means except the credit limit on your maxed-out credit cards. With a budget, there will be no more losing control of spending habits. Before I started budgeting, I always thought I never needed to create a budget because I know I’m in debt. I thought I didn’t need a budget to show me that I’m in debt. That’s like kicking a man when he is down or retrieving a printed receipt at the ATM after a transaction. Who needs that type of negativity in their life?
What I found after finally agreeing to do a budget was I’m not that far off from reversing my debt. When we don’t know something, it’s very easy to assume the worst. After doing a budget, I was able to now track all those seemingly insignificant expenses, such as coffee breaks, lunch bills, and pet toys. Keeping a close eye on my spending forced me to spend less and save more. It will only work if you stick to the plan and stay focused. There are many great free budget spreadsheets on the internet, and you are also welcome to use mine. I don’t recommend paying any money for one because they are easy to create. My budget worksheet is downloadable for free at the end of this bonus chapter.
Step three, the final step in kickstarting your wealth plan is to get an accordion-style folder to build your wedge and continually monitor as you go. If you would like to use our according style Wedge Folder, simply click the “Get your complimentary wealth kit & Wedge Folder” at the top of this page and we’ll mail you one. You now have your planner and have created a budget, so it is time to learn about the ten items that make up the wedge.
As discussed in chapter 4, your wedge is what separates the haves and the have-nots. The contents inside the wedge are the foundation of what everyone striving for wealth should have. It’s the essentials! There are many financial products out there, but I couldn’t find three categories such as insurance, investments and estate planning, that blended as well to help me specifically in efficiently achieving my wealth goals.
If you have these 10 items propping you up as a wedge used for a door stopper, then you are well on your way toward wealth building, and all that remains is revisiting the individual contents periodically to make them stronger. The contents inside your wedge folder help protect you from financial loss occurring while building your wealth at the same time. See the Wedge graphic above. The wedge helps you from falling back to necessity or dependency. If something bad happens in your life, you are protected by having all ten items in your wedge, so you do not fall back to the stage of necessity or dependency.
The dependency stage is when we start out in life, and are dependent on our parents for support. This could also be true with the elderly population if they run out of money and turn to their kids for support. The next phase is necessity. In the necessity stage, you get out on your own, you start your career, buy a car, perhaps rent an apartment. You start acquiring the things you need. As you move up the wedge, you get to the next level, which is comfort. In the comfort stage, perhaps you get married, have children, start investing in your 401(k) or pension. The top spot on the wedge is the wealth phase. In the wealth stage, you make more money off the interest from your investments that you make with your job. Again, the wedge helps you from falling back to necessity or dependency. If something bad happens in your life, you are protected by having all ten items in your wedge.
Your wedge folder is sectioned into three categories that include: insurances, investments, and estate planning documents.
The items are:
- Health Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Emergency Savings
- Retirement Plan
- Living Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
Many people already have some of these contents, but they only have sprinkles of what’s needed, so it might not have any effect. A full dosage of each item is needed, not a sprinkle. For example, most people have life insurance included with their employer plan. If that is all you have, then that is not enough. Employer plans are usually group plans that you don’t own or control, so if you leave your employer for a new job, you might not be able to take it with you. If you have a life insurance plan that you control, you can design it so that the cash value can increase with the policy. Another example is with investments. Many people only have investments through their employer plans. With individual investments outside of employer plans, there are far more options available that could be more suitable for your goals. How many of those ten wedge items do you have?
The mentality of out of sight, out of mind can hinder us, so I’ve learned how to reverse engineer it. When the wedge items aren’t seen very often, the desire to strengthen it can lower. Putting all of these items in one accessible place can often build great momentum. I’ve had some clients who tucked those important wedge documents in drawers around their house, and the documents became forgotten or lost until years later. Have you ever stored an important document in some file drawer, briefcase, or shoebox and can’t find it later? Chances are if you can’t find it, then it’s treated casually and it’s not cared for as a priority, which generally means you don’t have the proper amount of coverage.
These items take deliberate consideration. Remember, you don’t luck into wealth. Take intentional action steps to keep your wedge always at the top of your mind because this is the machine that will drive you toward wealth. Buy an accordion-style folder and label the 10 tabs with the separate wedge components so all documents can be kept inside the folder. If there are missing items, then leave the tab empty, and if there are half-completed items, insert all that you have. This wedge will grow as your wealth grows. By reviewing your wedge folder often, it will influence you to fill the empty tabs and update the outdated material as you build your wealth, exactly as I described in chapter 9.
Seeing my wedge folder was my trigger to evaluate my circumstances. I wanted to have a completed solid wedge. I only printed out my summary pages for each section and stored them inside my wedge. I would love to get new quarterly statements mailed because that would mean I can replace the old statements with new ones. Putting new statements in my wedge had the same effect on me as depositing dollar bills inside of my bank account. After the machine of your wedge is built, now your only job is to make it stronger every month or every quarter.
In conclusion, get your hands on a daily/monthly/quarterly/yearly planner, create a budget using any spreadsheet, and buy an accordion-style folder. Then label the 10 tabs with the separate wedge components, making sure to continually access your wedge and add to it as you move forward. This will help you navigate and accelerate your journey to creating more wealth.