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Ten Practical Money Habits to Live the Good Life

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Money, Personal Finance

Money can’t always save your life.

An angel — Olivia Newton-John — was taken from us recently. It’s weird to say, but she was a family friend. Some of the personal stories involving her are wild, and maybe I’ll share them one day.

For now, she is gone forever.

For the last 30 years she did a dance with the cancer devil and won. Finally, he won the battle and took her life.

I call her an angel because many — especially Americans — don’t know what she did for the world behind closed doors.

See, not far from my home is a massive hospital with a cancer research and wellness center attached to it. It’s named after Olivia, and it’s bloody enormous and towers over Melbourne.

It’s perhaps the greatest gift she left behind.

Despite all her cancer work, billionaire husband, plant-based diet, health practices, and the best access to cancer treatment — she still lost her life.

She could practically buy anything. But the only thing she couldn’t purchase was more time with her family and friends.

The first money habit you must practice to reach the good life is to prioritize activities that buy you more time rather than give you more money.

Free time is the ultimate billionaire status in life.

Tip the waiter

Generosity is a success accelerator.

Few people practice it. When you’re generous to service workers and people in general, it pays huge dividends behind the scenes — that often can’t be measured. The good life isn’t where everybody knows your name.

That’s lame fame, and fame is a nightmare.

The good life is where your reputation for being a decent human takes center stage and you quietly inspire people.

That all starts with the tiny habit of generosity. Crazy, I know.

Drink the $4 latte

The typical money advice is to cut all expenses and become a giant tight arse.

Sure, don’t be stupid with money. But practically speaking you’ve got to be able to enjoy life and buy treats here and there.

Otherwise you exist but don’t live.

So make a habit to drink your lattes if you choose. And if money gets tight there are always ways to make more money or add online income streams.

The money hack my millionaire friend gave to me that changed my life forever

Those who are good with money can teach you a thing or two.

One of my buddies watched my business turn into a train wreck, thanks to my lack of awareness around taxes.

“How’d you not see it coming, mate?”

When he got to the bottom of it he was shocked. Until our conversation, I had no accounting software or process for paying and keeping track of taxes.

The tax bills would come and I’d fall to the floor. Every. Time.

Then I’d have to make a financial decision about hiring someone and couldn’t. “Can I even afford this?” I’d think constantly. My friend gave me the best money habit in human history…

Create a monthly household cash flow.

It shows money coming in and money coming out, as well as additional taxes to pay. It allows you to plan.

His idea was so game-changing for me that I went an extra step. I bought automated accounting software that brings in expenses and all my income streams.

Then it auto-reconciles and produces a monthly cash flow for me. Now I don’t need to do the admin of adding everything up and will finally be able to see where I’m at financially at all times.

Without financial visibility you’re flying blind. So by default you’ll make sh*tty money decisions.

Buy the basic car. Secondhand if you can.

An expensive lounge chair on wheels is a bad money habit.

Most buy cars with debt. They buy a car better than they need because, let’s face it, a car is more about status than getting from A to B.

Don’t do it, it’s a trap.

I recently bought my wife a baby mover. I went straight to the secondhand car market. The shortage of cars in Australia is so bad that I couldn’t find anything suitable or safe enough for a baby.

So I got a new car. But I got the most basic one money could buy. Every step along the way different salespeople tried to upgrade me. They even used stock shortages as a way to manipulate me into a higher model car.

No thanks.

A car is paid for with your time. Why trade time for a bunch of metal that’ll drop in value faster than a boat anchor does into the sea?

Spend an hour a day on one of these new skills

Skills and money go together like a winner of a chicken dinner served with a side of mashed potato. Can’t beat it.

Many people ask the question, “I want more money?” That’s the wrong one.

The correct question is “I need more money so what skill should I learn?”

The best ones are online skills — copywriting, web design, social media, writing, coaching, eCommerce, SaaS, coding, etc. These skills are timeless and have infinite demand.

Make it a habit to study one online skill for an hour a day.

Last year I studied Twitter and several newsletter platforms. This year I’m reaping the financial upside from that self-education. Web3 skills probably produce the highest income right now.

It’s such a new field that there’s no competition. Even writing about Web3 pays a stupid amount of money.

Bottom line: Learn to earn more.

Make a spreadsheet of these (update regularly)

Subscriptions are designed to take advantage of human laziness.

I’m the ultimate guinea pig. I sign up for these suckers and then forget about them. Because they have my debit card, there’s no need to remind me of what I bought. Every month they just debit away, yay!

So I made a spreadsheet and listed all of my subscriptions with renewal date, amount, and the card used. To run my online business I have upwards of $40,000 worth of these bad boys.

That number would have continued to rise. Not anymore. Once you can see these devils with your own two eyes, you can work out which ones you need and which ones to crush like a bug.

Many subscriptions never get to full utilization (by design). Audit them.

Use the law of attraction (not what you think) to bring in more money

The Law of Attraction can sound woo-woo.

When it comes to money, though, I don’t see many talk about it.

The good life happens when money becomes less of a focus. That means you need enough money to stay above water and not be swayed side to side based on what the winds of a recession or the economy are doing.

To attract more money you need more opportunities. But how do you get them?

  • Ask your boss? Good luck.
  • Get a promotion? No.
  • Ask for mentorship? Nope. No one wants to be your free advisor.

The answer is to share your thoughts with the world. It’s to take those thoughts you have and express, not to impress, but to be helpful. I find writing online is the best skill to do this.

When you make it a habit to write weekly you get better over time. Your thoughts become razor sharp. You get good and trimming the fat because you can’t be bothered typing the excess — and the excess is obvious when you edit your writing the next day.

This process leads to clearer thoughts. Clearer thoughts dial up the law of attraction. And when you share thoughts designed for humans that are clear, well, you become a human magnet.

Those sexy humans will throw opportunities you could never dream of at you. It won’t come in the form of “here’s $100,000 buddy now join me.” No. It’ll come in the form of:

  • Can I get your thoughts?
  • Can you help me with XYZ?
  • Do you know someone in this field?

These questions are precursors for new financial opportunities. You just have to switch on the relationship mindset and turn off the transactional one.

Write online to attract more opportunities = money

Avoid sacrificing the future for today

Buy now, pay later (aka credit cards with fewer credit checks) steal the future to buy today. Don’t do it. As my friend Kenny says:

“Every dollar you borrow is to rob your future self. Buy assets, not liabilities.”

Make it a habit to work your way to wealth, not the rich life

Sound money habits can lead to either wealth or the rich life.

You get to choose. Rich people come across as a**holes. You know it, I know it. The rich life is about flexing and buying outrageous junk to show status.

The wealthy good life is about prioritizing things more important than money — time, family, work you want to do, new experiences, self-learning.

If you don’t consciously choose between rich and wealthy from the start, you’ll likely default to the rich life.

Trust me when I say, the rich life gets ugly. Stay away.

The good life happens when you work on yourself while on the road to wealth. Because who you are before wealth is who you become after wealth.

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