The things our parents teach us (or don’t teach us) about money growing up ends up playing a significant role in our financial realities and mentalities as adults. My father was an accountant, so growing up, money was definitely talked about and I like to think that my sisters and I were very much taught how to be responsible with money.
That mentality is something I’ve always been grateful for. But about two years ago, I had to get real about my financial reality. Yes, I was responsible with money and good at saving. But the truth was that I was not where I wanted it to be.
I was sick of living paycheck to paycheck. Yes, I was saving, but not a huge amount since so much of my paycheck would also go toward my student loans. Every night out, every vacation, every purchase was analyzed to make sure it was the biggest bang for my buck.
Something had to change. I liked being responsible with money, but knew that if I wanted big things out of life, counting pennies and constant spreadsheets weren’t going to be the best use of my time. As this infographic represents, average people focus on saving, but rich people focus on earning.
Bam! The switch was flipped.
When I started Urban20Something.com, I was so concerned that I was being irresponsible. I had outstanding student loans, I didn’t have much wiggle room from my paycheck after rent and living expenses, and I just didn’t feel confident that I was in the position to spend extra money at all.
It took me months of wanting to start my website but worrying about spending the money to actually buy a domain, hosting plan, and ebook about starting a website to get going (about $200 total). Sometimes I wonder how much further along I’d be now if I would’ve started sooner.
Looking back, this was the completely wrong way to think about this. I was investing money in my business and my future! It’s not like I was blowing money shopping or on expensive restaurants. And as it’d turn out, the money I would eventually make from Urban 20 Something helps me pay off my student loans far ahead of schedule. So, investing in it was actually the most responsible thing I could’ve done!
So, consider your financial reality. Is it where you want it to be? If not, what habits can you re-examine that might help you move out of the place you’re into where you hope to be?
Money is out there, and it’s yours for the taking.