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How to Become an Investor Instead of a Consumer

Discover if you’re a consumer

  • You feel the need to reward yourself after a hard day of work by buying new clothes/accessories or eating out.
  • Lifestyle creep controls your expenses. When your income increases, you buy a new car or a more expensive house.
  • You reserve your credit card for unexpected expenses instead of using an emergency fund.
  • You rationalize using a credit card to buy things you might not purchase with a debit card.
  • When something is on sale, you feel the urge to buy it, even if you wouldn't have otherwise bought it.
  • You follow social trends.
  • You don't think you have money to invest or the time for it.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Become an Investor Instead of a Consumer

How to Become an Investor Instead of a Consumer

https://thinksaveretire.com/how-to-become-an-investor/

thinksaveretire.com

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Key Ideas

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

"Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving."

From consumer to investor

A consumer spends money and follows trends while an investor puts capital to work and takes advantage of trends.

Chronic consumers often go broke, and persistent investors often get rich.

Discover if you’re a consumer

  • You feel the need to reward yourself after a hard day of work by buying new clothes/accessories or eating out.
  • Lifestyle creep controls your expenses. When your income increases, you buy a new car or a more expensive house.
  • You reserve your credit card for unexpected expenses instead of using an emergency fund.
  • You rationalize using a credit card to buy things you might not purchase with a debit card.
  • When something is on sale, you feel the urge to buy it, even if you wouldn't have otherwise bought it.
  • You follow social trends.
  • You don't think you have money to invest or the time for it.

The chronic consumer

Consumers will remain consumers, even if their income increases.

  • Negative spending habits can destroy your financial life, and disrupt your mental health and relationships.
  • Credit card debt can put stress on the quality of your life an contribute to unhappiness.

Forming the habits of an investor

Investors put their money to work. They know that the money they set aside today sets them up for financial freedom.

  • An investor puts any excess money towards investments that will earn more capital.
  • They value learning new skills and think of ways to use it to earn more money.
  • When their income increases, they invest the difference.
  • They don't use a credit card and have an emergency fund built up to cover at least six months worth of unexpected expenses.
  • They don't follow trends but identify trends that will last, then find ways to use them by investing through the stock market or a startup.
  • Their focus is on Return on Investment (ROI) to direct their decisions.
  • They understand how to use compound interest to build long-term wealth.

The "Opportunity Cost" mindset

Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain from other choices when one alternative is chosen.

Every time you decide to buy something, you choose to lose out on investing that money. If you buy a brand new car you don't need for $30,000, you're missing out on the opportunity to invest that money into the stock market and lose out on compound interest. This means that you should not buy on impulse, but think of your money in terms of future value.

How to switch from consumer to investor

Individuals who have bad habits ingrained in them will take more effort and self-discipline to make the change. Know that you are able to make a switch. It's okay to take baby steps and work your way to becoming an investor.

  • Invest in yourself.
  • Start tracking your expenses.
  • Identify and improve your spending weaknesses.
  • Get all bad debt out of your life.
  • Automate your savings and invest your excess income.

Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you can make. Marketable skills make you valuable.

Listen to content about investing, side hustles, and entrepreneurship that will inspire you. Keep a notebook and write down information that stands out to you.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

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The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
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  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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The bulk of your budget is made up of necessities like rent, phone and internet bills, insurance, etc. If you can lower your monthly expenses, you can save a lot for unplanned events.

Debt when you're on a tight budget

There are a couple of paths you can take to pay off your high-interest debt when you're on a tight budget.

  • The snowball method. For those who need to see progress, pay off the lowest balance first. You'll feel inspired to keep going.
  • The avalanche method. Choose the debt with the highest interest rate to pay off first. This may require larger monthly payments and will take longer to see progress, but you will save the most money in the long run.
  • If you need to prioritize your credit score, focus on paying down your credit cards first. Paying the ones you are near to maxing out will improve your score quickly by a few points.
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Incorporate unplanned entertainment in your budget

Financial professionals will advise you to cut out expensive nights out. In truth, you will have night's out, even when you're dirt poor.

To incorporate unplanned entertainment, set aside an amount each month. Be realistic. You can open another savings account for fun spending or you can use cash only.

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Financial planning

 ...is the process which provides you a framework for achieving your life goals in a systematic and planned way by avoiding shocks and surprises.

Try making a budget
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  • Accept that you have limited resources and unlimited wants. But you have to manage your resources. The sooner you accept this fact, the better you can control your impulses towards avoidable expenditures.
Maintain a personal balance sheet

It’s a statement wherein you can jot down your assets and liabilities.

  • Pull together your bank statements and other proofs of the liabilities
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Financial psychology

 ... is a somewhat overlooked discipline that occupies the space between psychology and behavioral economics. Advertisers and marketers trying to tempt us to spend money are well aware of it.

The Anxious Investor

Lovers of risk, anxious investors trade frequently and believe they have the edge over others. Many have absolutely no idea what their returns actually were and only remember their good decisions.

Despite their overconfidence, they are prone to be beaten by the markets — and frequent trades mean they often rack up high levels of charges.
The Hoarder

For hoarders, money represents security. They abhor risk and may even stockpile cash that they would probably be better off investing — or even spending.

Find an advisor you feel comfortable with who can discuss the right investment approach — and level of risk — for you.

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Investing

... is the trading of your money today for a lot more money in the future. It is a high yield over the long term.

What happens to your money

Banks don’t like to give away their money. That mindset is reflected in the interest rates of checking and savings accounts of 0,5% and 0.9% avg. annual interest respectively.

When you deposit your money in the bank, the bank turns around and invests that money at 7% a year or more. After they collect their profit, they give a tiny shaving of it to you.

Portfolio and Diversification
  • Your portfolio reflects your long-term wealth building investment strategy – not the short term. It includes everything you own. Your retirement accounts, your investment accounts, even your home are types of investments.
  • Diversification is a way to describe owning multiple types of investment assets. Diversification is smart because you both protect yourself from failure and position yourself to take advantage of multiple robust methods for building wealth.

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Investing defined

Investing is about laying out cash or assets now, in the hope of more cash or assets returning to you tomorrow, or next year, or next decade.

Most of the time, this is best achieved th...

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  • Productive assets are investments that internally throw off surplus money from some sort of activity. 
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  • The three most common kinds of investments from productive assets are stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Investing in Stocks
  • It means investing in common stock, which is another way to describe business ownership or business equity.
  • When you own equity (the value of the shares issued by a company) in a business, you are entitled to a share of the profit or losses generated by that company's operating activity.
  • Equities are the most rewarding asset class for investors seeking to build wealth over time without using large amounts of leverage.

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The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
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What early retirement means
What early retirement means

Early retirement is not defined as when you stop working forever, but as having the freedom and flexibility that saving up enough money can give you if you want to leave a job.

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How to retire early

A good early retirement strategy is built on maximizing three aspects: Income, expenses, and savings.

To build your early retirement strategy, you need to determine your retire early or financial independence (FI) number. It is the amount of money you need for work to become optional. Be aware that the number will (and should) change as you change, and your desired lifestyle evolves.

The money you need for early retirement

Based on a series of papers known as the Trinity Studies, you need to save 25-30 times your expected annual expenses to have enough money to last you for the rest of your life.

This multiple is based on the percentage of your investment growth that you would be able to withdraw per year. A safe early retirement withdrawal percentage is between 3%-4%.

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How much you should save every month
How much you should save every month

The popular 50/30/20 rule states that you should reserve 50 percent of your budget for essentials like rent and food, 30 percent for discretionary spending, and 20 percent for savings.

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Why 20 percent is recommended

Assuming you're in your 20s or 30s and can earn an average investment return of five percent a year, you'll need to save about 20 percent of your income so you can reach financial independence when you're older.

Financial independence means that you can maintain your chosen lifestyle entirely from the interest of your investments and dividends.

The four percent rule

The four percent rule states that you could withdraw four percent of your principal balance every year and live on this indefinitely. That means you need to save 25 times your annual expenses to become financially independent.

The four percent rule is not perfect. There is no risk-free investment that yields that much today. Sudden inflation could also cause a problem.

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