Most of you go to work each day to earn money and then tell people at the Sunday BBQ that “I don’t care about money. Money is bad for you.”
My question is “why do you spend most of your life working for money then?” We gotta cut the crap and stop fooling ourselves. Money is important. When we haven’t figured out the money game we get angry and blame money.
The way to master money is with habits. Here are the ten I bow down to.
Believing in past stability is a great way to ruin your life
One thing that blew my tiny mind as a banker was loan applications.
Customers would come into the bank looking for a home loan. They had to provide payslips and show their expenses so we could work out how much money they made. Makes sense.
What always struck me, though, is a home loan application is based on past stability. A salary can go from $70,000 to zero overnight.
All of finance works like this.
We assume past income equals future income. So we take on financial obligations thinking our income will stay the same for eternity. Then when sh*t hits the fan and a recession slaps you in the face, it comes as a surprise.
The habit I practice is believing that the future could be worse than right now. So I have an emergency fund and base how much money I have to spend on a highly conservative number.
My wife says I’m a chronic oversaver. I have financial anxiety hardwired into my brain from the childhood trauma of when we lost our family home.
Since starting an online business I have a variable income that shifts wildly. Variable income helps you deal with the ups and downs easier.
Stack multiple income streams and assume your income can go down.
The temptation to spend is enormous.
Automation doesn’t just work for tech nerds in startup t-shirts. It works with money too. Around ten years ago, I implemented automation with my non-tech bank. I made it so money got split into different buckets before I got to touch it. Then I made access to those bank accounts harder.
It required multiple steps and the transaction limit was small, so withdrawing large amounts of money takes weeks. Nice.
One of those big buckets is investing.
I don’t wait for a recession or for stocks to look good or Bloomberg to say “it’s safe.” The safest time to invest is with the same amount of money every month (dollar-cost-averaging).
Some months I’m a genius and get discounts. Other months I’m a dumbass and buy stocks at the top of the market. Ohhhh well.
Over the long term I make money though.
Time in the market beats timing the market — Keith Banks
The one I try to drill into people’s heads
My buddy Nicolas Cole made a good point recently.
The old school analog world full of dinosaurs is in recession. The global digital economy is freaking booming harder than a pretentious white dude cruising down Hollywood boulevard in a Lambo with a subwoofer.
The habit I have followed for the last 8 years is to make sure I make some money online no matter what. I never want to rely on a pinhead boss again for my family’s food and shelter.
But most of us don’t go from zero to hero online in 30 days. That’s why making money online is best done on the side so you can figure sh*t out.
Making money while you sleep is better than an orgasm.
Express yourself through writing to attract hidden opportunities
I get told all the time “I’m not an online writer.”
Yes, you bloody are. If you type emails, create PowerPoints, send texts, DM, or have a LinkedIn profile you already do it.
The key is to practice writing in public.
Writing is how we express ourselves. When you do it, random strangers will go, “I felt like that one time too, mate.”
Now you’ve got a community. And that online community will serve your ass gorgeous opportunities for the rest of your life. They’ll be hidden though. They’re not analog opportunities, like applying for a job with a resume or asking your boss for a promotion. Nope.
They’re digital opportunities. “Hey, can you help with this?”
Before you know it you’re doing something others can only dream of.
The best financial opportunities in the world start with writing online. DO IT.
Watch Web3 like a hawk
Dumb-dumbs are sleeping on this one.
I make it a daily habit to read Milk Road and watch Real Vision finance on Youtube to stay close to the Web3 movement.
I don’t currently do anything with Web3 other than invest — but I am going to launch a Mirror.XYZ publication by the end of the year.
Watch Web3 as if it’s your 2 year old child and you want to spend every moment with her. The next generation of people who make fortunes on the internet will come from Web3.
And you’re lucky because you’re right at the start.
All you have to do is have an open mind (most don’t which is why many are perpetually broke).
Never trust a politician (actor) with inflation or interest rates
Inflation and interest rates affect us.
If you got your head in the sky and don’t pay attention, one or even both can nuke your financial future.
The trouble is we listen to central banks or politicians to find this information. The incentives both parties receive encourage them to blur the lines and even try to redefine economic definitions.
Last year inflation was temporary. This year a recession isn’t a recession.
Habit: Learn about inflation and interest rates. Calculate inflation yourself or use multiple different sources.
Use money to take unconventional risks
For most of my career I took zero risks.
I was superglued to a salary. It kept me just over broke. But I was always struggling. Couldn’t even gift a mate a nice present on his birthday.
Then I did something unconventional: took risks.
But I didn’t do what the average person does and take one big risk — like buy an investment property, go to the casino, or quit my job with no backup plan.
I followed the example of venture capitalists and took small bets. I used money to level up in many tiny ways. I took courses. I bought books. I paid advisors. I bought memberships to private communities.
Most of the bets didn’t work out. When this happens the average person gets pissed off. I tried not to.
I only wanted a few small bets to pay off — and they did.
Taking zero bets and getting fed by the corporate breast nearly ruined me. But regular small bets accelerated my financial growth.
Buy things that make money
Too many people buy dumb stuff and then wonder why they have to work like donkeys. The habit I practice is to buy things that make money: stocks, education, software, coaching, etc.
Spend money to make more money.
Forget about what people think
The religion of money can piss off non-believers.
Haters gonna hate. I spend zero time worrying about what people think of my money habits or how I earn a living.
I just do the best I can with the information I have and know that every year I’ll become an entirely different person from the year before.
The other way I remove people’s opinions about my money habits is by not flaunting wealth.
I own a piece of crap Honda that’s aging faster than my receding hairline. The jeans I wear most days are 5 years old. The house I rent is next door to government housing full of crack addicts. I shop at the equivalent of Best Buy. People think I’m dirt poor. Good.
The wealthiest people look poor because their ego doesn’t require them to flaunt it.
Don’t flaunt wealth. Don’t worry if people like what you do online.
Work for freedom instead of stuff
It’s easy to work for money. That’s what most do.
A few years back I made a major shift in my habits. I began optimizing for freedom instead of money.
“I do whatever I want” is a motto I now live by. Money supports that life goal and consumerism takes me further away from it.
Money is a religion you must master to have more time to do the things you want. Think regularly about how to use money to buy your time back.
Freedom is a religion. Try it.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.