Development, Discipline, Endurance, Finances, FIRE, goals, Growth, Habits, Mindset, No Pain No Gain, Retirement, Savings, Uncategorized, wealth, Win

Habits tell a Story

Last book read: “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

Books I’m currently reading: “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

On my mind: Listen.

Pause

There are so many distractions in our day. We have embedded habits in our mind that we engage in unconsciously. For example, today, I unlocked my phone 77 times and used it for 3 hours and 51 minutes in total. Can you relate?

Better Recognize!

Do you ever ponder why it seems so hard to stop your bad habits? Maybe you snooze the alarm 2 to 3 times before you wake up. The trick is to find the incentive for that bad habit or a certain reward you give yourself when you engage in bad behavior. Recognizing that is the first step.

You are what you EAT

Perhaps you are wondering why habits are the focus of a blog called “Stewarding Finances”. Habits form us and we become as the saying goes “what we eat” – this also applies mentally!

If you are like most people, you woke up and spent some time in the restroom then ate some food, got dressed and started your day. These behaviors, despite how basic they may seem, are vital. We take care of cleanliness: shower, brush our teeth, and wear appropriate clothing so that we can maintain the basic requirements for our job.

Well how about if you incorporated habits that can help you go beyond the minimum standard and bring you greater returns? Would you be willing to test these habits?

More than we can chew…

Can you guess what the average American’s debt is? drum roll… $137,063 (according to the Federal Reserve)! The average American rent is about $1,200 but in Los Angeles, CA it’s more like $1,700. Anyways, this means you could pay rent for 114 months or 9.5 years for the average American or 6.7 years of rent for the typical Californian.

Talk about a bad habit going out of control!

You might argue that a lot of that is going towards education and necessities as a home or car. Do you have to go into debt for education? For most occupations, NOPE. There are exceptions such as becoming a doctor due to the many years of schooling which is justified by the income eventually made. I would mention you can make this more affordable by seeking out scholarships or even joining the military.

I would say that education can be done without debt if you are resourceful and that a home or car is NOT a necessity and if you cannot afford it, don’t buy it!! This is actually the reason why we are in for a down market in this coming year. The Fed assumes due to job growth, it’s rainbows and sunshine but do they factor in the “sharp decline in oil prices as well as slowing in homebuilders, autos and retailers as signs?” (Jim Cramer).

Not only are the factors mentioned above playing into the harder times up ahead, we are also dealing with enormous amounts of student loans (which are NOT bankrupt-able) and car loans that are not being repaid. I will digress in future posts.

There is HOPE

Sam, what’s with all this doom and gloom you might ask? R.E.A.L.I.T.Y. friend. I don’t want to leave you hanging without actionable tips to guide you in your financial journey. It’s at times like this when you should be more intentional about how you spend your money or God’s money as how I like to see it.

Time for new financial habits! Try the following for the coming year.

  1. Budget
  2. Stick to the budget
  3. Save 15%+

Before your next purchase…

Simple things to consider before your next major purchase. Ask yourself, do I need this or do I want it?

Next, ask yourself, would the me 10 years from now appreciate that the present me bought X?

Replace bad habits with good ones and reward yourself! Until next time, learn, apply and share!

References:

https://www.npr.org/2012/03/05/147192599/habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/11/18/a-foolish-take-heres-how-much-debt-the-average-us-household-owes/107651700/

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/cramer-blasts-the-fed-i-know-more-than-they-do–do-more-homework-on-the-economy.html

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Entrepreneur, Experiences, Finances, FIRE, goals, money, passive income, Retirement, wealth

Financial Goals

My financial goals are not necessarily to become as wealthy as possible but to achieve a level of passive income that would allow me more time to teach others how to achieve the same thing, travel the world, eat great food, and enjoy more time with friends. Therefore, my financial aim for the next 3 years is $10,000/ month passively. While blogging is one of the ways I hope to achieve my goals, I also hope to invest in real estate and start a business. Since I am currently being mentored by Tim Kim who was featured on Business Insider, CNBC, Huffington Post, and other successful people, I find the encouragement and insights to help me traverse my financial journey. In addition, I am also connected to a group of like-minded individuals with entrepreneurial pursuits through Tim’s exclusive Facebook group (for more info: click here).

Financial Status

I am currently:

  1. Work: Full-time (40 hours/ week) & Part-time (10 hours/ week)
  2. Investment: Roth IRA, 401k matching 5% of my income, and Cryptocurrency

Monthly Gross income: $3,800+

Monthly income Goal: $10,000

Reason for FIRE

Entrepreneurship is in my blood! It started with my dad’s pop who was a leader in the fashion industry in Korea. He chose to move to the United States to provide better opportunities for his 5 children. However the difficulty of the states proved to be grueling. My grandfather/ grandmother worked rigorous hours knitting clothing and running a liquor store. Why? They needed to provide for their family. Entrepreneurship stemmed from hardship.

My father was forced to quit college midway to help out in the family business. As a result, he had to set aside his ambitions to contribute his time and energy into the business. However, he eventually started his own business in the fashion industry providing textile to clothing companies and was on a steady path to growth. All seemed well for several years. Then misfortune and devastation hit and it seemed endless. One scam after another wore down on my humble and hardworking father, until it took his will to continue. His business was no more.

This story reminds me of the reality in my pursuits of becoming an entrepreneur. Yet, it also gives me motivation to pursue Financial Independence/ Retire Early (FIRE) and provide for many families including my own through teaching what I learn along the way.

Discovering Financial Independence

Mid to late last year, I discovered an entrepreneur, Tim Kim, who had grown his wealth to $1,000,000 by the age of 30 and shared on his blog how he got there. It set me off on the path to discovering FIRE bloggers, podcasts, networks, and books which I have been steadily digesting and applying in my personal life. Below are some things I’m currently doing to achieve one of my goals of $10,000 in 3 years.

L.A.R.G.E.

  1. Learn: Read, digest, then apply.
  2. Accountability: Develop relationship with like-minded individuals.
  3. Refine: Fail better.
  4. Goals: Set SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-based) goals.
  5. Edify: Serve others.

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Share your journey!

These are a few steps I am taking in order to achieve my goals. So what are your financial goals? Have you thought of financial independence? Most of all, where are you in your financial journey?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome!

 

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Income Development

Banner Featured by my Financial Mentor Tim Kim

Streams of Income

Did you know that the average millionaire has 7 streams of income? The answer would be the more the merrier. Diversification is an essential component of every experienced investor. Take for example Tim Kim (read about streams of income here), a self-made millionaire and mentor of mine that I am learning from. He has over a dozen streams of income.

My streams of income

I currently have 4 streams of income including my 9-5. It’s a goal of mine to develop 2 of my income streams, which involves blogging and stock options, this year to a total of $3k/ month. I will keep you all posted on my endeavors.

Journeying to FI

It’s always been in my mind to be financially independent so that I could spend intentional time with my friends, travel the world and meet people from all walks of life, and adding value to everyone I meet. Initially I ran into people who had ulterior motives, which was a teaching lesson all on its own (click here to read more).  Then I met someone who had the level of success I was looking to achieve someday and he was an open book on how he got there. I started following his blog and am currently receiving mentorship from him. The spark and pursuit of this journey of FI was ignited just mid-last year.

Humble beginnings

When I started reading blogs on financial independence, I was really just getting through each month with few dollars to spare. I had a part-time job that was paying meager wages, but thankfully I enjoyed the work! I eventually obtained another job with much better pay, creating 2 streams of income but wasn’t making enough to invest.

Goal Setting

I decided to set my sights and goals higher and applied to full-time positions that would allow me room to invest. One of my goals was to get a full-time job by the end of the year. By God’s grace, I interviewed in December and started my full-time job in January 2018. Now it’s time for me to expand my income streams and develop them. I am currently settings a dream line (mentioned in Tim Ferris’s book 4 Hour work week) and hope to get started on defining what I will be doing each day to accomplish my financial goal.

Reflection

Currently, I am working full-time, working part-time at my church as a worship director (which is a great joy), taking 2 real estate classes, blogging, investing into a Roth IRA through Schwab, investing in Bitcoin/ Cryptocurrency (click here to read more), trading options through Robinhood, and advertising a Social Media Agency. I have room to grow in each of these areas and it is my goal to improve everyday. By the end of this year, I hope to reach 2k/month from blogging and share with you all my progress. Thanks for joining in on the journey!

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Care to share?

Do you have interest in reaching financial in reaching financial independence? Where are you financially? What are your financial goals for this year?

 

Sources:

https://www.rothira.com/what-is-a-roth-ira

https://stewardingfinances.com/2018/03/14/live-and-learn/ ‎

https://stewardingfinances.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=47&action=edit

 

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