WEEKLY SPENDING UPDATE

This week I had a couple of expensive expenses that were one off payments.

Although I did not spend any money on lifestyle or discretionary spending, I spent $187.50 this week on presents.

$34.95 on my Aunties birthday present.

$52.95 on my friend and his partners house warming present.

$100.00 for Fathers day and birthday present for my father in law.

All in all, these are one off expenses, so I was very happy that my own personal spending was $0 this week.

Since tracking my weekly surplus for the purpose of this blog, my surplus after 3 weeks is currently $2,808.10. This is after all expenses are paid for, so I am very happy with this number.

SAVING ON GROCERIES

Shopping for food and household daily products can be quite the expensive task if you don’t track how much you’re actually spending each week. The more you go to the supermarket during the week, the higher the risk of spending your hard earned money on items that aren’t a necessity. Some of the easiest and most efficient ways that I have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars on grocery shopping don’t require a lot of time and effort.

Research

Generally 1 or 2 days before I am due to go and do my weekly shop, which is usually on a Sunday, I will make up a list of items that I need to buy that will last me the week. This includes anything that you will be buying from your supermarket. This includes food, toiletries and detergents ECT. Once I list all the items that I need to buy, I always do a quick walk through the pantry, fridge/freezer, toiletries draw and anywhere else I keep items and make sure that I do not already still have some of these products. By doing this, I am not constantly doubling up on things and increasing the odds of throwing food out and therefore basically burning my money. Once I have determined what I need to buy for the week, I go online and have a look at the weekly specials. Doing this increases your chances of finding out which items are for sale and what are not. Buying items that are on sale saves me a fortune each week.

Brand Names VS Home Brands

This is where the true savings begin. Going online and doing a simple comparison in price on the exact same product, with a different label on it is actually quite ridiculous. Buying the Home Brand or Store Brand item is where the major savings truly happen. For example, a 500g Coles spiral pasta costs $0.65 and a San Remo 500g spiral pasta costs $1.95. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re buying on average 3 packets a week the yearly savings are $202.80. That’s $202.80 a year saved literally on 1 item that tastes basically the same. Imagine how much money you can save per year by adopting this method with everything you buy. 

PLANNING

Each week I write down the meals that I want to eat for the week. Planning out what I am going to eat and what days I am going to eat it saved not only a lot of time, but most importantly a lot of money. Doing this eliminates the chances of getting home from work, not knowing what you want to cook, not having ingredients and taking the lazy and expensive way out of getting takeout. Sunday is my weekly shopping day. What I do after I get home from shopping is what is the key to sticking to a meal plan for the week. I prepare all of my meals and either refrigerate or freeze them. If I have frozen vegetables, it is only a matter of quickly microwaving them so that isn’t too much fuss. Things like chicken, steaks or mince I will cut, marinate and prepare so that when I am ready to cook dinner, it is simply a matter of taking them out of the fridge and cooking. How good is that. No stress and wasting precious time after work because who can seriously be bothered spending potentially an hour preparing and cooking dinner after a long day. I spend on average 1 hour on a Sunday preparing food for the week and it saves me lots of time each night and takes out the risk of take out or going to the shop and buying unnecessary items.

SET A BUDGET

Probably the easiest hack on my list but it is usually where most people fail. Simply setting a limit on how much money you’re going to spend will really make you evaluate how badly you need to buy something if you’re over your budget. One way I look at spending on items is, is it a want or a need? Food is a need, its simple. You can’t live without food. But you do have an option on what food you do buy to put into your body. Buying pasta, red sauce and some mince is a need if that’s what you have listed as your meal for dinner. But is the 1.25L bottle of coke, packet of chips, block of chocolate and some ice cream for dessert and snacks a need? If you struggle with portion control, it will benefit you more filling up on your dinner than having a small dinner and then bingeing on junk food after dinner. Be mindful of what foods truly are a want or a need.

DITCH ORGANIC

I’m not saying don’t eat healthy and to buy the cheapest foods possible even if it is junk. You can still eat a highly nutritious and healthy diet without buying the highly priced organic brands. How much more value are you going to get out of a normal branded food, or an organic one. For example, I eat oats and bread very regularly. This is my comparison:

Coles brand rolled oats=  $1.65 for a 900g bag.

Carman’s Gourmet Oats= $9.00 for a 750g bag.

I rest my case. The lists go on and on. Applying this simple trick will save you thousands each year.

DITCH THE MEAT

Don’t get me wrong, I love eating meat. Once I sat down properly one day and worked out how much I was spending per week on meat/fish a week nearly gave me a heart attack. I used to have meat, chicken, tuna or fish with literally almost every meal I had. I’m not saying become vegan and stop eating meat forever. Limit your consumption of it. A standard meal I eat is brown rice, frozen vegetables, 4 bean Coles mix and sauce for flavour. It’s a cheap and easy meal and most importantly it keeps me fuller for longer. I forgot to mention the added bonus of having more energy and dropping body fat by eating meals like this one daily. The best part about this meal, it’s cheap!

MY DAILY DIET EXAMPLE

I eat meals that are cheap, keep me full and are good for me. There is a generalisation that eating healthy costs a fortune. I have debunked this myth and have found that eating healthy has saved me lots of money. A little practice that I do that you may disagree with is fasting. I wake up at 5.30am and don’t eat my first meal until generally about 5.00pm at the earliest and about 6.00pm at the latest. I know that might seem crazy to you but it does not take long to get into this routine. I actually find myself eating less at night time by fasting during the day because I am eating my daily calories in a 3 to 4 hour window keeping me nice and full. During the day I will generally have 2-3 cups of coffee (not store bought of course). I sip on water throughout the day. I have also found that I have more energy at work by not eating. I do sit down for a lunch break with others to refuel, I just don’t eat. An example of what I may eat on a daily basis is:

Upon arriving home: 100g Coles rolled oatmeal, 70g of Coles frozen mixed berries, half a frozen banana, a dash of cinnamon and 1 table spoon of honey.

Dinner: 150g Coles brand pasta, 150g Coles brand pasta sauce. I do mix my pasta sauce with herbs and spices for flavour otherwise it is too bland.

Before bed (If I am still hungry): 2 pieces of toast with vegemite.

Eating simple yet tasty meals like this weekly generally costs me less than $30 a week. That’s including items like butter, cooking oil, herbs and spices and everything in between. The best part is, most of these items I only have to purchase about once a month. Things like cinnamon, honey, butter, vegemite and the herbs and spices tend to last a long time and I use them daily. I have had shopping bills as low as $20 dollars for the week eating like this.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Since tracking what I spend at the supermarket for a long time now and looking back at old statements on how much money I used to spend at the supermarket, I can conservatively say that I save $100 per week at least by using the above hacks. $100 per week does not sound like a lot but when you break it down in the forms I am about to, you will be in shock.

$100×52= $5200 savings a year.

$5200×5= $26,000 savings in 5 years.

$5200×10=$52,000 savings in 10 years.

$5200×20=$104,000 savings in 20 years.

$5200×40(my years left of work) =$208,000 savings in 40 years.

There is a lot of money you can save by simply taking the above measures to make smarter decisions when grocery shopping each week. Imagine if someone said to you that if you can save $100 a week on groceries a week they would give you $5200 at the end of each year. You would laugh, accept the offer and do it easily. By taking the above steps, you can put that extra $5200 a year in your back pocket and put that money to better use. Next time you go to the grocery store, put these tips to use and I can guarantee you will be shocked at how much money you save. Good luck!

SET YOUR GOALS SKY HIGH

If you’re wanting to get ahead or turn your life around, goal setting is key. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.

Without a clear definitive plan or goal, you’re destined for failure. Whether it is big or small, goal setting is crucial to enhancing your chances at success.

I set myself daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals and long term goals. I will go into further details about how I personally set the bar high and some of the results that I have been able to achieve doing this.

People often ask me how I have been able to achieve so much in life already financially without any assistance from parents, a high income or a dual income. The answer to this is setting the bar as high as possible and attacking it relentlessly.

When I have my mind set on achieving a goal, I attack it head on. Nothing is going to get in my way. I will run through a concrete wall if I have to. If I can’t run through it, I will break it down. I will not stop until I achieve the goal.

Having this mentality has enabled me to buy a home, have a successful share portfolio, be personal debt free, have a large cash savings and I am currently in the position to be able to add to my property portfolio, without having to use equity from my other property.

I have achieved this by 25. All on my own. No hand outs, no special treatment and definitely no lucky break. This was all achieved through hard work and determination.

Of course, along the way there is always obstacles. It is how you approach these obstacles that will determine if you derail your goal or plan. No matter what has been thrown at me in life, I never let any curve balls put me off my goal. I will not let anything get in my way. I approach my goals and dreams as if I am on auto pilot. Nothing can take me off course. It is important to never give up, not make excuses and remind yourself daily how far you have come on your journey and think about how rewarding the end result will be.

DAILY GOALS

I am a very competitive person. I hate losing and no matter how small the task is, I like to do it better than anyone else around me and I like to do it the fastest and to the best standard. Each night before I sleep, I write a list in the notes in my phone about what I want to achieve the next day. Some examples are

  • Go for a workout
  • Clean out my work car
  • Setting goals on what I want to achieve at work for the day
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Research a topic of interest

I make sure that I attack these small tasks before the day is out and that gives me a sense of achievement each day and gives me greater confidence in achieving bigger goals.

MONTHLY GOALS

I regularly review my day to day goals at the end of the month. Whether it be financially, personally, at work or for myself. This keeps me accountable to my goals and dreams and reminds me each month of what I need to do to get where I want to be. I review at the end of the month

  • How much money I saved
  • How much money I spent
  • How much has my savings grown
  • How much do I have in my share portfolio
  • How many workouts did I get in

These may be different to your own personal goals but these are examples of constantly reviewing key areas in your life to always be improving.

YEARLY GOALS

These are the fun ones. At the start of the year I set large goals that I hope to achieve. The key is setting the bar as high as possible. Never set a goal that you think seems pretty achievable. Set it as high as possible. Set it at a height where you think to yourself that it is most likely unachievable. By doing this, I have been able to get unbelievable results. I was an apprentice up until I was 22. At the time, my goal was to buy a house by the time I was 25 or before I turned 26. At the time, this goal seemed enormous and completely out of reach. As you’ve seen, not only did I smash that goal, I have achieved much bigger and better things. Knowing how much I achieved and what you can accomplish by setting the bar as high as possible, I now set my goals much larger. I am currently well on track to achieve all my yearly goals and that is because I set them so high and didn’t want to let myself down and have to tell the people close to me that I failed.

LIFE GOALS

Setting large life goals is what keeps me motivated day in day out. I’m not talking being a billionaire, owning high rise buildings, mansions, yachts or anything silly like that. I mean goals that genuinely are achievable to you. Some of my big life goals include

  • Being well respected and treating everyone I encounter in life with respect, genuine care and how I expect people to treat me
  • Owning 5 investment properties paid off by 50
  • Earning $20,000 in dividend income by 50
  • Only have to work because I want to and be completely financially independent by 50
  • Give my partner and our future children the life we desire
  • Be able to help my parents and in laws in their retirement because I have achieved financial independence by 50
  • Set my children up in life financially
  • Put them through a good education
  • Pay for their first home and cars
  • Give them their first deposit for their first home

Setting large life goals and ones that involve my loved ones are very important to me. Not only do I want to achieve these goals for myself, but the loves ones around me. I want to take them on my journey and share the success with them.

I constantly tell my family and loved ones of my goals because that keeps me accountable to my dreams. I don’t want to let them down and so one day, we can sit down and say our dreams and goals came true.

Setting my goals high and ones that involve the happiness of my loved ones puts a burning desire in me each and everyday that makes me want to succeed and do anything and everything I can.

The important thing about setting the bar so high is that if you happen to fall a bit short, you have still achieved so much more than what the average person will and what you would of achieved if you had not set these high standards.

So I ask of you, what are your goals in life? Sit down, write them down and set the bar high. Doing this has worked wonders for me. It keeps me motivated each day and gives me purpose in life, no matter what gets thrown at me. I believe that by setting the bar high, you set yourself up for the life that you desire, and truly deserve.

MY PERSONAL FRUGAL LIVING TIPS

People often think that frugal living means starving yourself, not showering and wearing the same clothes everyday, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. Although some frugal people do these certain things, they’re most likely miserable.

I practice frugal living everyday and I believe that I have a great lifestyle, without having to sacrifice my life just to save a few dollars.

Frugal living doesn’t mean putting your life on hold and not spending any money at all, it just means making smarter decisions with how you live your life and how you spend your money.

BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK

Buying your lunch at work every single day will eat into your weekly budget. Being conservative, if you spend $10 a day on buying lunch for a 48 week working year, you would of spent $2400 on lunch alone. I personally can’t remember the last time that I didn’t pack my own lunch for work. This has saved me a fortune. Simply planning the night before what you’re going to bring for lunch eliminates the chance of buying your lunch.

BREW YOUR COFFEE

I know that it doesn’t sound like much to spend $4 a day on coffee, but every dollar adds up. With the same math used in the prior example, buying a daily coffee will cost you $960 a year in buying coffees. I buy Coles brand coffee mix for $4 a jar and get about 50 home made coffees out of this. This brings me up to a small total of $20 per year on coffee instead of $960

BUY BULK

I’m not saying buy things by the box or carton, but buying in bulk in terms of kg or units. I eat brown rice daily and I used to buy the pre packeted 125g cups. These cups only cost $1.25 each. But when I buy a 1kg bag and make the rice myself, it only costs me $2.50 for 1kg. To get the same amount of rice using the pre made cups, it would cost me $10 for the same amount. I use this simple method with literally everything I buy from the supermarket, saving myself at least $100 each time I do grocery shopping.

COOK YOUR MEALS

Going out for meals at restaurants seem to cost an absolute bomb in this current day and age. At a standard restaurant, to get a steak, chips and salad, expect to pay about $35. This would be at a run of the mill venue and the portion would be small. For the same meal made at home, it would probably cost you $10 and you can make the portions as large as you want and the way your taste buds desire. Eating normal meals during the week and treating yourself to a meal life this once or twice a week at home instead of fine dining at a restaurant has saved me thousands of dollars.

TIME YOUR SHOWERS

I remember when I was a teenager, living at home with mum and dad and having burning 30 minute showers. I didn’t think there was any problem with this until I got older and realised how much water and gas are required to run this shower period daily. Getting in and out of the shower as quickly as possible not only keeps your water bill down, but it also keeps your gas bill down too. Gas is required to heat your hot water so its not only your water bill that suffers. I also try to shower every second day where possible. If I have a lazy day or a really clean day, ill just wash my face at night. Summer and sweaty days at work obviously require showering daily.

SET SPENDING LIMITS

I have limits on my spending on every aspect of my daily spending and long term spending. If I exceed these limits, its just tough luck. If I am well and truly constantly staying under these limits, I adapt and lower my weekly limit, ensuring I am saving as much as possible.

SHOP AT DEPARTMENT STORES

Buying designer clothes and keeping up with the trends is stupid. If you associate with people who judge you on what you’re wearing they’re not people you should associate with. The only time I will spend a little extra is on things like a suit where I will keep this long term and generally only wear them at fancy functions and occasions. I do basically all my shopping at stores like K-mart. Most of my general t-shirts, jackets and hoodies come from stores like these and I get them cheap. My everyday and weekend t-shirts cost me well under $10 and I regularly get compliments on how I am dressed.

DOWNSIZE ON LIVING

If you live with just you and your partner or on your own, is it really necessary to live in a 4 bedroom home with 3 living areas, 3 bathrooms and a large yard? Not only does it cost more money to maintain these homes, it costs more money to run them.

MEAL PLAN

I have a meal plan that I follow weekly and using the tip with the rice I taught you earlier, I eat as cheaply as possible but with maximum flavour, costing much less than what the average person spends at the shops. I do the groceries once a week and only buy what I need. Going to the shops 3-4 times a week leads to buying items that you simply don’t need, blowing your budget out of the water. Have a grocery list, have a meal plan and stick to them for a week. I buy my food on a Sunday morning, meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and I never run out of food or have to go back to the shops. This saves plenty of time and most importantly money.

TURN OFF THE HEATER

If it wasn’t for my partner, I wouldn’t even have heating in my house. When she argues that it is cold, I say put more layers on. If you’re cold, rug up. Simple. Wear socks, put on some track suit pants, wear a warm thick jumper. If you’re still cold, put on a beanie or warmer clothes. Still cold? Get a blanket. Same applies to sleeping. Rug up and get some extra layers in the bed.

WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER

As I explained earlier, to create hot water, you’re using gas. Washing your clothes in cold water will give you the same results as washing with warm water. Also, wash with a lower water level and wash in bulk, avoiding small washing loads and lots of them.

DRY YOUR CLOTHES ON CLOTHESLINES

Forget about using a clothes dryer. They draw lots of power and waste electricity. Plan when you’re going to wash so that your clothes are dry for when you need them.

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS AND POWER

I am not saying live in total darkness and quiet, I am saying turn off lights and power when they’re not needed. If you leave a room, turn off the light or television. There is no point in leaving these costly items running constantly.

COOK IN BULK

Cooking in bulk not only saves you time but also lots of money. I eat rice and pasta daily with almost every meal. Instead of always cooking them each meal. I cook a weeks worth all at once so I am not constantly using the microwave, hot plate and oven.

BUY ECONOMICAL CARS

My girlfriend drives a 2 door hatchback and I have a company car with free fuel. I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have this situation, but driving an economical car will save you a fortune. Drive something cheap to run that gets lots of km’s per tank, cheap to service and fix up if required. Also, back to my company car situation. I knew that my boss’ wouldn’t give me a hefty pay rise so I took an alternative route. Instead of asking for a big weekly pay rise, I asked if I could start taking my work car home instead. Guess what? It worked and I am saving a fortune. I am now saving about $260 after tax money extra a week with a company car. Not bad for what seemed like a cheap pay rise to my boss.

GET A LIBRARY CARD

If you love reading like I do, you’ll workout buying books weekly adds up. I found a community library that lets members rent books for free. This gives me my reading fix and its free!

FRUGAL HOBBIES

Get some hobbies that a free. I enjoy walking, running and getting out in nature. I also enjoy DIY projects. Not only are they fun, but they’re generally cheap or free. Practicing having fun with free hobbies saves you a fortune and become fun!

RENT INSTEAD OF BUYING

The difference in weekly rent compared to a weekly mortgage is ridiculous. The landlord picks up most of the expensive costs too. I am currently writing an article on why I rent which will explain this in detail.

CUT CABLE

Cable television costs way too much money. My parents have 3 foxtel points at their home and have all the channels. My dad generally only watches the sports channels and my mum only a handful of channels. Most of the time they’re watching free to air television too. What a total waste of money. I opt more towards Netflix for $10 a month so I can pick shows I want to watch for a fraction of the price.

SELL YOUR CLUTTER

The less you own the better. Not only will it make you money selling these items, but in the future you will be more wary of buying potential clutter.

DITCH EXPENSIVE HABITS

My dad has a big 3 of pointless expensive habits. There are gambling, drinking alcohol and smoking. I would estimate that he spends in total around $300 a week on just these 3 habits alone. I don’t even spend $300 a week to live my lifestyle. Sit down, work out what expensive habits you have and cancel them from your lifestyle. If you don’t need the expensive habit to breath or live or its bad for your health and budget, get rid of it. Period.

CHOP UP YOUR CREDIT CARD

I have never owned a credit card and never will. If you can’t afford to pay for something upfront you don’t deserve it. Why pay for something you can’t afford on credit, that comes with expensive repayments. Some people will argue that the rewards points and bonus’ are great. Let’s get serious though. How many rich and wealthy people do you know that use credit cards for rewards points only? They use them to save money of things such as flights. Not to win a kettle or get a pointless prize.

TRAVEL FRUGALLY

If you want to travel, try travelling within your home state on a budget. If you want to travel interstate, use a budget airline and scope the best sales and deals for accommodation. Same applies to international holidays. You don’t need to fly business class or first class or stay at a 5 star resort. I don’t advise on going on regular international holidays. They cost a fortune. Keep them for real special occasions like big anniversaries or if you havn’t been on one for several years.

CLOSING THOUGHT

As you can see, I still live a lifestyle that is not a whole lot different to someone who spends double or triple or even scarier much more than what I do a week.

Making smarter decisions in life with your spending without sacrificing your lifestyle will save you a fortune and get your closer to your financial goals.

Try adopting some of these tricks and make them apart of your life and you will be shocked at how much money you can save!

MY FAVOURITE BLOGS AND PODCASTS ABOUT FINANCES

In today’s world, there is an unlimited amount of information out there that you can gain access too. The question is though, which information is the best out there?

For years now, I have been searching far and wide for the best blogs and podcasts out there on all things money, finance and personal growth.

Through trial and error, persistence and many long hours, I now have several go to blogs and podcasts that I listen to and read regularly to not only learn more, but to also keep myself up to date with the latest tricks and hacks out there to better myself and be the best person that I can be.

THE PROPERTY COUCH

From the moment that I first heard the first episode of ‘The Property Couch’ I was instantly hooked. The hosts, Bryce Holdaway and Ben Kingsley have extensive knowledge in the field of property. Most importantly though, the show is not one-dimensional. They talk about buying property, what kind of properties you should buy, different types of strategies, mortgage brokering, spending habits, how to structure your loans and much more. An added bonus on top of all of this is they regularly have guests who are experts in their specific field. They also do a Q&A session where they answer questions that the listener’s want answered. This podcast is a complete all rounder and a must listen if you’re interested in property or getting ahead in life financially. 

THE TIM FERRISS SHOW

In blog post that I recently posted ‘my favourite books on finance and personal growth’ Tim Ferriss’ book ‘tools of titans’ features on my list. The book is basically all the best information he has from his podcasts in a short summary in book form. The podcasts are an in depth interview into the persons life, which is quite revealing as the people he interviews are world class in their fields. In Tim’s own words “each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use.  This includes favourite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.” I have adapted so many tricks and tips from this podcast that I have adapted into my daily life.

AUSSIE FIREBUG

I have only recently stumbled across ‘Aussie Firebug’ and I must admit, it has changed my outlook on life. I can happily admit, it has inspired me to speed up my own personal quest to financial independence and get in on ‘the fire movement.’ Aussie Firebug is great because it gives an insight into his own personal journey to try and achieve ‘fire’, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. He gives regular updates on his net worth, what he invests his money into, his spending habits and a few of the tricks and tips he has picked up along the way. This podcast is very motivational as it makes me want to work harder at trying to achieve FIRE myself. I am so glad that I stumbled across this blog/podcast as it has changed my life for the better.

STRONG MONEY AUSTRALIA

Dave from Strong Money Australia was actually a guest on the Aussie Firebug podcast, though I had discovered his blog before realising he had been on the podcast. Dave’s online blog gives in depth information into his own FIRE journey, something that he achieved at the ripe age of 28. In my opinion, Dave has the best articles that I have stumbled across online about tips and advice on how to reach FIRE. They’re packed with relevant information, facts and advice to try help others achieve the same. His interview with Peter Thornhill is a must read. Peter also featured on the Aussie Firebug podcast and that is also a must listen if you’re serious about investing. This changed my perspective on how to invest into the share market.

Ways to improve your overall happiness

For many years, I suffered from self-doubt, personal and social anxiety and depression. I would have my good days and then for absolutely no reason at all I would feel like I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. This constant cycle that I was going through was starting to affect my personal life, social life, relationships with friends and family and my output at work.

I decided one day that enough was enough and I was going to do everything in my power to get myself out of the hole that I had dug myself into.

MINDSET

The most beneficial thing that I did was changing my mindset completely. By changing my mindset, I started by looking at the positives in situations instead of going to the negative. By doing so, I found that I was not get worked up and overreacting to little problems or blowing things out of proportion. Some key areas that I focused this new mindset were;

  • Positive mindset: I began to have a positive attitude to any situation that was thrown at me in life. Instead of telling myself reasons why I couldn’t achieve, I began to tell myself that with a positive mindset, I could achieve anything that I put my mind to.
  • Goal orientated mindset: No matter how small the task, I made it a challenge in my own head. By doing this, it gave me complete focus and drive to complete any task ahead of me. I began to regularly set goals and as time went on, I was ticking off goals consistently and this was improving my overall happiness.

SELF EDUCATION

I never thought that I would be nearly 10 years out of school and I would be preaching about the importance of self-education. I am willing to throw my hand up and admit that I was a horrible student at school. I hated going and the thought of going to University made sick to the stomach. Fast forward 10 years, I am constantly looking for new ways to learn every day. I went from reading a maximum of probably 10 books in my first 24 years on earth, to reading well over 20 books in the last year alone. When I read now, I am constantly looking to better myself as a person and to gain further knowledge in the area I am focused in. When I finish a new book or gain further expertise in a certain area of interest, it gives me a feeling of fulfilment and makes excited at the prospect of learning more and bettering myself.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

Focusing on my overall health was a major factor in improving my overall happiness. I began by improving my eating habits. I started slowly by cutting out all the bad eating habits that I had developed. I started by cutting soft drink out and only drinking water. I stopped having sugar in my coffee and replaced it with a natural stevia. Once that sugar craving was slowly starting to fade out, I essentially cut high sugar foods and sauces completely. Some great alternatives to this was eating a small portion of dark chocolate. Eating fruit when my sugar cravings were high and added honey to foods and hot drinks. The most important key to these new habits was slowly transitioning into this new lifestyle instead of doing it all at once. How many times do you hear of people giving up all of their favourite foods and drinks all at once, staying on the new ‘diet’ for a few weeks and then completely relapsing back to their old habits. The way I made this work was by doing it bit by bit and viewing my new eating habits as a new lifestyle and not as a ‘diet.’ Diets don’t work. Period. Once I had my nutrition under control, I began working out. Going to the gym has never been a problem for me, it was always nutrition that gave me problems. Once I saw that I could control my eating habits and that I was enjoying my new lifestyle, going to the gym became fun and gave me great joy and peace of mind going. As I started to see noticeable change to my body and overall feeling, my happiness improved dramatically.

KEEPING A JOURNAL

If I could be truthful for a moment, I believe this alone truly made me a much happier and positive person. What gave me this idea was constantly searching the habits of successful people and what their daily routines were. Apart from all of the traits that I have listed above so far, keeping a journal popped up regularly. This was one of the last things that I tried and I must say, the results were astronomical. There were some keynotes that I put into my daily journal that help keep me on the path to happiness. They’re;

  • 5 things that I am grateful for. This was a real game changer. By listing things that I am grateful for, it made me appreciate the smaller things in life that we take for granted each day. Things like having a roof over my head, fresh food, clean water, electricity, my families health, living in Australia, access to internet, books. These are some of the things that I list daily and I have found that it has not only improved my mindset and happiness, it has improved my relationships with friends and family and to not take the finer things in life for granted.
  • 5 things I need to improve at. This has had a major impact on me. Listing traits that I would like to change and improve at has definitely changed me for the better. Some of the things that I list regularly are patience, spend more time with family, let others speak instead of myself, ask more questions to others, make others feel important and valued, pay more complements. Aiming to improve in the areas that I list have made me a much better person overall and a happier person.
  • Tracking my daily eating and workouts. This kept me accountable and I can track my progress. It keeps me accountable and keeps me on track for my goals.
  • Writing about my day. I try to keep it all positive as it makes me feel like I have accomplished more in the day and I go to bed feeling happier with the day that I had.
  • What I learnt or read. This keeps my mind sharp as I am looking for new things to read and learn about daily. By writing it down, it tends to stick and I adapt it into my daily life.
  • 5 goals for tomorrow. Writing down tasks I would like to achieve the next day is a great way for me to make a list of things I need/want to achieve and gives me a better chance at achieving them.
  • Daily quote. Putting a positive quote into my journal to end the day makes me feel happy and have a positive outlook for the next day.

DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

After putting all the above into practice and making them apart of my daily routine, one thing that tops them all is doing what makes me happy. I have stopped doing things that don’t make me happy and focus on doing the things that I enjoy doing. Whether it is watching a movie I enjoy, listening to music, downloading a new podcast, reading, going shopping, going out for dinner, spending time with loved ones, catching up with friends, going to sporting events, taking a holiday, changing jobs and many more. By focusing more on making my own happiness a priority and not putting myself in situations I don’t want to be in or trying to impress others or follow the trends, I can confidently say that I am extremely satisfied with my life. I can truly say that in this time of writing, I am the happiest I have ever been.

By practising these traits on a daily basis and making it a new lifestyle, being happy each and every day feels natural and not forced anymore. Take it slow, there will be hiccups along the way, complete happiness didn’t happen for me overnight. By sticking to a plan and ticking off goals each day, I successfully transitioned from someone who was miserable with life, into someone who can proudly say that I love my life and can’t wait for what the future holds.

My favourite books on finance and personal growth

There is an abundance of books out there about all things money and personal growth.  The problem is, a lot of them have the same information in them as each other or the information in them is dated and useless.

I am an avid reader and believe it has shaped my mindset and actions in life.  The books below are some of my favourites that I have read and definitely recommend you reading them too.

RICH DAD POOR DAD

Has there ever been a list on the best money books that hasn’t included Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki? There is good reason that this book is always on those lists and is often considered one of the greatest personal finance books of all time.

In the book, Robert talks about his two greatest influences in his life, his rich dad and his poor dad, who have completely different views on life and money. His rich dad believes in paying yourself first, investing, working for yourself, starting business’ and most importantly, building an asset column that out ways your income. His poor dad believes in going to school, getting good grades, going to college and getting degrees and locking down a high paying job for life.

This was the book that truly opened my eyes to the world of getting ahead in life. Robert’s views on investing, growing an asset column that eventually replaces your income and avoiding debt that doesn’t create an income for you have really shaped how I view the world of money and how I live my life. It is a must read if you want to get ahead financially.

THE BAREFOOT INVESTOR

This book is definitely the starting point for anyone who wants to get their finances in check. Scott Pape has built a cult following and with good reason.

The Barefoot Investor is a great book because it isn’t complicated, it’s for the everyday person looking to get ahead in life or get themselves out of the struggles they’re stuck in.

Scott talks about setting up different bank accounts for everyday spending, lifestyle, savings and long term savings. He gives great advice on maximising your superannuation, getting rid of debt, earning more money, saving for a house deposit and setting yourself up for retirement. If you’re a beginner, I recommend starting with the Barefoot Investor. My financial IQ is relatively high now and I read this book each year and regularly refer back to it.

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

This absolute classic by Dale Carnegie was written was first published in 1936 and the information in it is probably more useful in today’s time than what it was back in 1936.

In the book, Dale writes about the fundamental techniques in handling people. These include don’t criticize or condemn people, give honest and sincere praise and arouse in the other person an eager want.

Dale also lists his 6 ways to make people like you. Some of the ways he teaches this is;

  • Becoming genuinely interested in other people and their interests.
  • Smile.
  • Remember people’s names that you meet or interact with.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage the other person he talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Dale has 12 techniques with the purpose of winning people to your way of thinking. His 12 techniques are;

  • Avoid arguments.
  • Show respect to the other person’s opinions and never point out they’re wrong if you disagree.
  • If you’re wrong, admit it and do it sincerely.
  • Begin conversation in a positive and friendly way.
  • Start questions that the other person will answer with yes.
  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  • Let others feel that it is their idea.
  • Try seeing the other persons point of view on a situation.
  • Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  • Appeal to the nobler motives.
  • Dramatize your ideas.
  • Throw down a challenge.

Dale goes on to give advice on how to be a leader and living a happier life. If you want to work on your social or people skills, this book is a must read for you.

TOOLS OF TITANS

Tim Ferriss is a New York Times best selling author who has a world famous podcast. On his podcast, Tim interviews world famous people who are masters of their craft. This includes musicians, actors, billionaires, athletes, nutritionists, scientists and anyone who specialises in their field.

Based on all these interviews Tim has conducted over 10 years, Tim compiled all of his best notes and put them into his book.

In the book, all of these ‘Titans’ list their habits, tricks and life advice.

Instead of studying one person or listening to all of these podcasts, which would take too long, Tim has put the best and most relevant information in this book. This book has changed my life and left me in awe several times during the book. This book is next level to anything else similar to it and is a book that anyone can find something that will serve purpose to their life and change it for the better.

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS

Rich habits poor habits is probably the most intriguing and fact filled book I have ever read. Tom Corley conducted years of study and research into rich peoples life habits and poor peoples life habits. Tom compiled all this research into stats and the findings were extraordinary. The different lifestyles that rich and poor people live are alarming and lifestyle and habits definitely play a part in creating a life of wealth. It all starts with mindset and habits and this book gives you the exact blueprint on how to do so.

Weekly spending updates

I will now start posting weekly updates on how much money I am spending each week and on what.

This way it will give people an insight on how I live my life and ways that I am able to save money the smart way, while I still enjoy my life and have a great lifestyle.

If you havn’t yet, give us a follow on instagram. Our account name is @personalfinancetips_

Develop a wealthy mindset and life

Your own mind can be your greatest asset, yet at the same time it can also be your greatest liability.

The way you think will determine the decisions that you make daily. You do not have to be financially well off or rich to be considered wealthy.

A wealthy mindset is all about feeling empowered, happy, your well being and enjoying life. Everyone has gone through a period of time where they have felt worthless, felt like they’re stuck in a rut that they can’t get out of and don’t feel valued. These feelings are self destructive and will affect your quality of life.

 I know several who are financially rich, but have a poor mindset. I also know others who are financially poor, but they have a wealthy mindset.

Your mindset is key difference between your living a life full of wealth and happiness. It isn’t hard, with just a few simple tweaks in your beliefs, you too can live a life full of wealth.

START YOUR DAY WITH POSITIVITY

How many days have you struggled to get out of bed, continually pressing snooze on your alarm, before finally dragging yourself out of bed only to complain in your head about not wanting to face the day ahead? Not only does this set you up for a day full of negativity, it will affect your mindset throughout the day with your tasks ahead.

  • Wake up earlier than you need to. This way you have more time to prepare yourself for the day and achieve some tasks before you start your day.
  • Meditate or read something positive. Not only does this relax your body and mind, it connects you to all the things in your life that bring you joy.
  • Practice gratitude. Being grateful is one of the best practices for developing a wealthy mindset and starting your day off on a positive note. Being grateful makes your appreciate all the finer things in life that we take for granted each day.
  • Write down a list of tasks you want to achieve in the day. This sets up your day because it gives you purpose for the day ahead and gives you something to look forward to.
  • Smile. Something as simple as smiling honestly makes a massive difference in the morning. I smile while I wash my face, brush my teeth and it brings out positive thoughts.

SET GOALS

Goal setting can take you a long way in life. Not only did it transform my life financially, more importantly, it changed my mindset completely. I began by setting goals of spending more time with family, calling a friend I havn’t spoken to in a long time, developing closer relationships with friends, family and colleagues and I set goals for how I wanted my mindset to be.

By doing this, I noticed that I developed better relationships with people, my moods were better and most importantly, I began to feel a sense of accomplishment.

DEVELOP POSITIVE THOUGHTS, DELETE THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

Negative talk and thoughts can creep up on anyone without even realising it. Getting down on yourself is completely unnecessary and it can ruin your mind and life. Not only will negative thinking and thoughts affect your mindset, it will affect your life. Negative thoughts drastically change your decision making and the life you will live. You’ll live a life of fear, constantly being held down, not reaching your full potential. Who honestly wants to live a life full of fear, being scared and angry all the time?

Positive thoughts will completely change your life for the better. Simply uses positive phrases and words when you talk will change the thoughts that develop in your head. Saying a negative line like “ I can’t do it. I’m so stupid “ is obviously going to destroy you mentally. Instead, approach the situation with a different outlook. Practice saying lines like “ How can I do it? I will find a way to make this work.” Look at the difference. Imagine how much greater your thoughts are going to be using positive thinking when approaching challenging situations.

DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY

Why would anyone want to put themselves through a situation or a task that makes them unhappy? You don’t have to. Everyone has a choice in life about the situations they put themselves in. If you feel like you’re doing something that makes you unhappy, simply take yourself out of the situation. Don’t spend your precious time doing something that makes others happy at the expense of your own. I too used to be a people pleaser. It is possible to do both. I now focus on doing tasks and hobbies that make me happy.

Take the long weekend that you have wanted to take for months. Go on the holiday that you have been dreaming about. Listen to the songs that make you smile. Watch that movie or television program that makes you laugh. Life is too short to not do the things that make you happy.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE MINDED PEOPLE

When you surround yourself with positive minded people, you’ll begin to develop their way of speaking, thinking and actions. Positive minded people generally live a much happier life than those who are negative. Spending your time with people who are constantly negative will slowly over time bring you down to that level, without you even realising it. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time with someone who is happy, laughs and has fun living life, rather than someone who is always complaining, talking about all their problems and how hard life is?

LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE

The food and liquids you put in your body are statistically proven to make you a happier person. Not only are the health benefits great, but you’ll also feel greater mentally. It’s a win win situation. Eating a healthier diet, getting outside for some exercise, or hitting the gym for a workout makes you feel great. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

GIVE BACK

Practising giving back to people for no reason at all is a great way to develop a wealthy mindset. Doing something nice for someone just for the sake of doing so is a great way feel good about your self and more importantly, the other person on the receiving end of your gesture.

CLOSING THOUGHT

There you have it, these are some of the things that I have done in my life that have helped me to develop a wealthy mindset.

These tasks are not hard, they don’t require any talent or money to develop. It all starts with you. Simply by changing your lifestyle and focusing on the lifestyle that you choose to live, will give you the feeling of having a wealthy mindset and life.

I now have an instagram page!

Personal Finance Tips now has Instagram! My instagram page is personalfinancetips_ and it will be dedicated to sharing my money tips, personal growth tips and everything else I feel is important to living the best life possible.

My instagram will be a more direct view into my life and who I am. There will be more regular updates as to how I live my daily life, to show you how I live.

So give me a follow so that you can follow my journey and hopefully I can teach you a thing or two!