“I earn enough money from my job”
…said no-one ever
I can honestly say that those words have never ever been uttered from my lips. I never hear it from my colleague who sat next to me, or from my line manager. The sales rep that popped in once a week to brief us on updates and have a quick catch up…..he never said it either.
Humans are funny creatures. When you have a little, you want a lot. When you have a lot, you want more. But how do you get this if you are sitting behind ‘someone else’s desk?
Every day you go to work at hours dictated by someone else; if you are lucky enough you my work from home or you are on the road and have a small ounce of freedom (not really) – at the end of the day you still report to someone, and you earn a salary and sometimes a little bit of commission and if you are very lucky, you get a bonus. So how do you get more real money?
Most of us aren’t taught this so to see how the big players do it, carry on reading…
Rich Dad Poor Dad has a cash-flow quadrant that he talks about separated into four…well…quadrants 🙂
These quadrants are labeled: E / S / B / I
S: Self-employed, small business or specialist
B: Big business (500 + employees)
LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE QUADRANT
If you fall into the E or S quadrants, by nature and not by anyone’s fault, you will most likely not yet have a highly developed financial IQ as you will be earning a salary, paying taxes and then trying to live off the remainder. You haven’t had to think creatively about money before because you are paid monthly and live with that money, and perhaps you actually did not know that there was any other way.
But you have probably thought about how to get more money. Yes? Done a side hustle? Second job?
Self-employed people also fall under this category because essentially you are earning a salary – you might own the business but what happens if you don’t pitch up to open the store, or you don’t go an see that new potential clients? I would guess that business will stop for that period of time because if you don’t work then you don’t get paid and so one might say that you are a ‘slave to the system’.
RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE QUADRANT
If you fall into the B category as a business owner (entrepreneur) or if you are an Investor, then you most definitely need a high financial IQ because that is how you are going to be successful. Ok – let’s just get this straight. The difference between a self-employed person and an entrepreneur is that the entrepreneur creates a business and employs other people to work in that business, and he or she does not need to be there for the day-to-day running of the business for it to grow and be successful (and generate an income stream) as other people will do the job.
Light bulb moment! The higher your financial intelligence is, the higher your income will be.
This is not to say that a person in the E or S quadrants shouldn’t develop their financial IQ. Of course you should! That alone is so much more reason for you to start working on your financial IQ; it will most likely be a bit more difficult as you are going to have to change your way of thinking, which will push you out of your comfort zone and then the natural reaction is fear. And fear can make you stop dead in your tracks. Don’t let that happen!
Changing your way of thinking will also time – you will need to be doing this constantly and it will take effort.
And let’s be honest – you might also find it difficult to find the time to do this and start a new way of thinking. But if you want to change your life, you need to get financially savvy and you are going to have to make sacrifices – even if it means getting up an hour earlier or giving up your lunch hour to do some reading.
Here are 10 ways to increase your financial IQ that you can start doing now:
- Stop avoiding!
– If there is more month at the end of the money, don’t avoid the problem and hope it will go away. Sit down and look at your income and your expenses. Don’t only look to see where money is being wasted, but think of ways to create more money to cover the shortfall. Working with your money objectively will increase your financial IQ.
- Read books
– Look for books that are relatively simple to understand. There is no point picking up a book written for a CA and you don’t understand anything you are reading. Start small. Read books on how other people have become successful financially. Look at ways to get out of debt. Read about ways to make more money.
- Attend a class or seminar
– Sign up for a class or seminar on various aspects of making money, getting out of debt, understanding cash flow and so on. Look at your local school or community center, or go bigger and look at the large convention centers of your city. You will be with like-minded people and there is just something about listening to a ‘live’ person talking and often these talks are extremely inspirational. Some of them will cost you money but at the end of the day you are actually investing in yourself and that is the best investment you can make.
- Subscribe to financial magazines, or email newsletters
– If you take public transport to work, take a magazine with you and read it on the way. Make notes and highlight items that you do not understand and make the effort to find out about it.
- Listen to podcasts
– Download podcasts of people talking about ways to make money, how to make investments, biographies etc. Play these while you are at the gym or stuck in traffic. Don’t waste your time. Use it wisely.
- Watch YouTube videos
– There are tons of videos online that you can download and watch. Find a person or company that you can relate to and that you enjoy listening to and/or watching, and make a point of setting this into your daily or weekly schedule.
- Shift your thinking
– To become financially free; you really need to shift your mindset. You cannot honestly believe that you are going to become wealthy / financially free if you simply cut back on your expenses and live below your means? Stop thinking about the next best toy you can buy, and rather look at ways to increase your financial IQ.
Spending money frivolously = low financial IQ
Spending time learning about money = increased financial IQ
- Stocks or foreign currency
– Pick a stock or foreign currency and every morning check how it is doing. How has it changed? By how much? Better or worse? What happened to that company or country that might have had an impact on this change. Or do the opposite – you know that there are going to be presidential elections, see what changes occur to that country’s currency value? Read up about these things. Values don’t ‘just’ change.
- Ask questions (to bookkeepers, accountants, investors etc)
– While reading, listening to podcasts, attending the seminars and learning, make a note of topics that you don’t understand. Make a point to meet with someone who can answer you and help you understand the issue that you are grappling with. This is also a good place to build a relationship – you might need this person in your future when you are making money.
- Find a mentor to meet with on a regular basis
– If you have a plan of where you want to be in one year/ five years/ ten year’s time, look for a financial mentor and bounce ideas off them. People automatically think they need to schedule an appointment with a good financial planner and then don’t do it because of a possible cost involved or they are scared they will be pushed into buying more products. So they end up learning nothing. Shocking. Why can’t you start small and set up a meeting with a successful coffee shop owner in your area and meet with her? She will most likely be honored and most people are happy to share information. Change your way of thinking – don’t look for the traditional way of doing things (financial planner). Think outside of the box (coffee shop owner). You don’t have to keep the same mentor. Look for people with different strengths and work on those. Having these conversations gets your brain thinking differently and you will learn valuable information
- Stop avoiding!
So what are you waiting for?! Go on. Get cracking…as you can see there are many options available for all to learn in their most convenient way – the more you can do something worthwhile to enhance your financial literacy, all the better for you.
In your mind, create the future that you want and then go out and get it.
You can do it!
Let’s do this together and learn from one another – leave a comment below and tell me what you have done this week to increase your financial IQ.