Are You Building Wealth or is it Just a Dream?
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We all have the fantasy of building wealth and traveling around the world with no cares. Who doesn’t want to have financial freedom and the ability to do what they want when they want? I dare you to give me a name. Seriously, I will reach out to them and ask why.
The hard part of this fantasy is most of us can’t fathom actually reaching said dream. We might be deep in debt, in a low paying job, or be slow with our wealth creation. No matter the reason, the dream seems unattainable.
Well, I want to stop thinking of excuses for why I can’t reach the dream and figure out goals that will help me do it. I love working, but I want to do it on my schedule. If I don’t want to work for a few weeks or months, I want to be able to do that. Trust me, self employment is not the answer to that dream. I am not knocking it, but that is because I have been self-employed before. I know how much hustle it takes.
The bigger question surrounding this fantasy is how to create enough wealth to reach it. Building wealth requires a number of items to be fulfilled. You need to be out of debt, have an income, and some time of investment opportunity. You can’t build wealth with just a savings account. It just doesn’t happen. Sorry for those people who are afraid to invest, but if you want to reach financial independence, you better jump on the investing train!
How I Am Building Wealth
I have wanted to build wealth for some time. My dreams of financial freedom came when I was a teenager and got my first true paycheck. That was a glorious day. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but it wouldn’t hold me over now. Oh, the life as a teenager. Those days were so easy.
I didn’t really start to build wealth until I rid myself of credit card debt. Your net worth is a negative if you have more debt than you have assets.That was me in a nutshell. Technically, building wealth for me started with my first credit card payment more than the minimum. Over the four years I fought debt, I was slowly building my wealth.
I also focus on my wealth with assets. We own a home on which we put down a large down payment. Instant equity people! We also have three vehicles, two of which are paid off. While they are depreciating assets, they are still assets which can be sold for cold hard cash. That is wealth.
My latest and most effective wealth creation strategy is investing. I started investing when I got my first job out of college. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow very strict rules and didn’t even contribute to my 401(k) up to my company match.
I know, I know. Hate me if you will. I have changed that, along with adding a Roth IRA, and have just jumped into regular investing through a few brokerage accounts. My goal is to have a diversified portfolio of dividend income that I can tap into when I need it.
Jumping on the Investing Train
I have learned investing is the best way to increase the speed at which I’m building wealth. Yes, I can stick my money in a CD or savings account, but by the time I can retire, I would be about 200 years old. Medicine and technology advancements are great, but not that good. Not only am I focusing on funding my 401(k), but also my Roth (up to the max), and then going out on my own with a regular investing account.
The reason why I wanted to have my own investing account is I want to be able to have access to my money before a set age. I don’t like age restrictions on my money, especially when fees are involved. Boo!
So, there you have it. There is my plan for building wealth. My plan requires I stay out of consumer debt and having been down that road before, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a lot of debt, no matter the kind, then start your wealth building by killing it. Seriously, take it outside and go all Office Space on it. Once you get the debt killed off, then put the pedal to the metal and work every wealth building angle you can find. That is my goal and I am working hard to reach it.
What about you? Is building wealth just a fantasy to you or are you doing something to achieve it? If so, what’s working for you? If not, what’s holding you back? Let me hear your favorite strategies.
Photo courtesy of: Jeff Belmonte