The grasshopper and the ant is a story that teaches the valuable lesson of preparing today for the future.
It is very easy to get caught up in short term thinking, especially when your money seems to burn a hole in your pocket.
However, if you take the right steps now and switch your mindset to long term thinking you will be able to build wealth and not worry about money.
We give you 6 simple tips that you can implement today, that are painless and will put you on the road to financial success.
Be the ANT, not the GRASSHOPPER.
Have you ever decided to change how you deal with money and then all of a sudden there’s so much temptation around you to blow it.
You see a friend who just bought a new car or has the hottest shoes and here you are cutting back and trying to save just to get out of debt or buy a house.
What was just described is just like a story about the grasshopper and the ant.
If you’re not familiar with the story, the grasshopper loved to play all day while the ants worked morning to night preparing for winter.
When winter came and food was hard to find, the ants were good because they prepared.
The grasshopper on the other hand was starving, desperate, and had to beg those same ants for food.
It’s easy to get caught up in short-term thinking and spend all of your money now while you have it on stuff like cars, clothes, and ballout because you deserve it.
However, if you only focus on making and spending money now and not investing or storing that money into assets, you will end up like the grasshopper.
Especially when that money unexpectedly stops flowing when you are laid off injured or can’t work.
Just look at the fact that 60% percent of pro basketball players lose all the money they made within five years of leaving the NBA or the 78% of pro football players who go bankrupt within two years after they stop playing.
Keep your focus and invest to build wealth. Be the ant, don’t be the grasshopper.
Here are six tips to make it easier for you to stay focused and build wealth regardless of where you are starting.
1. Clarify Your Goals
Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself what do you want your life to look like when you have money under control and working for you.
Take the time to really create that picture in your mind and if you need to, make a vision board to start envisioning the life you want.
This exercise will not only help you clarify what you want, but it will also get your subconscious mind to start moving in the same direction as your goals. The vision board will serve as a reminder to help keep you focused.
2. Plan It Out
To go along with the first tip, you need to get a planner. Let’s be honest, just looking at pictures on a vision board is not going to do the trick.
Life is not that easy. You still need to put in that work to get to where you want to go. Get a good planner and use it planner to help you detail where you want to go and how to get there.
Make a plan and start executing on that plan now.
3. Pick The Right Position
Pick a career or a job that will allow you to level up. Go for positions that will allow you to grow either in terms of money or in skills, even better if it allows you to do both.
Looking back on it now, there were a couple of jobs we turned down that paid less, but in hindsight we would have happily taken now because of the skills we would have learned.
Those skills would have helped us get closer to our goals earlier and shave off the years that we spent at other jobs.
We weren’t thinking long term. We were just thinking about getting paid more.
4. Make Money Outside Of Your Job
Focus on making money outside of your job. A lot of people will tell you to go for side hustles. However, depending on the job you have that may not be feasible.
When we were just starting out, I would bartend on the side and Nicole would DJ. Those activities helped us pay off our bills (that’s when we were cool).
However when we had jobs that required us to work 12 to 16 hour days, the last thing we were thinking about was a side hustle.
That’s why we got into real estate to make more money, bring in some passive income and help with expenses.
Now maybe real estate or sidehustles are not for you.
If not, you could also try to make overtime. Putting in those hours can be beneficial in the short term and can help you pay off debt and get your money under control.
After that you can use that money to start investing and make your future brighter.
If overtime is not an option, determine what you need to do in order to get a raise or a bonus at your current job.
Once all it took for me to get a raise was to show an offer that I received from another company to my boss. My company matched it and threw in a bonus to help me stay.
We used whatever funds we had coming in, to payoff school debt and to start investing.
Investing in a stock market is one of the easiest ways to buy assets and start building wealth without actually having to put down a lot of money.
When you first start to invest, we suggest buying companies that pay you just for holding them.
5. Track Your Net Worth
Tip number five, keep track of your net worth.
Your net worth is how you measure your wealth. Without tracking it, you will not know where your money is going and how much progress you’re making towards building wealth.
We understand this is a situation most people want to avoid. Like when you can’t bring yourself to open your bills or check your bank accounts to see how bad it really is.
For me, I would rather do laundry or go to the doctor than sit down and look at my finances at one point.
However, tracking your net worth will help you detail what you owe and what’s taking out money out of your pocket and what assets you have that are bringing money in, helping you build wealth.
It’s an easy exercise to do and it really shouldn’t take you long to find out what your net worth is.
Once you know what your net worth is, you can start making a plan to increase it.
We have a net worth sheet that you can download for free in the description. Just click the link and stop avoiding it.
Just do it.
Take it from me it’s a very good exercise.
6. Diversify Your Wealth
If you want to limit the risk of losing all of your money, you need to diversify and not keep it in the same place.
Sprinkle your money across different investments that you understand and then set a plan to monitor them on a regular basis.
If you follow these tips, we believe you can avoid the trap of only focusing on money and instead start building wealth for you and those that you love.
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Nadia is a Financial Independence Coach from New York City. She holds a B.A from Columbia University and worked 13+ years in Investment Banking and Financial Services. She is an entrepreneur, investor, and partner at Wealth Twins LLC. She reached Financial Independence in her 30’s and is passionate about showing others how to achieve the same.