YOU MUST BE EARNING BIG BUCKS IF YOU’RE DEBT FREE- Not exactly.
The misconception that you must be rich and earning big bucks if you’re debt free is SO WRONG. The first thought that comes to mind when a young person says they are debt free without a mortgage is that they must have inherited money from someone.
Typically the parents are the first target of interest, but does that really matter? Not really. It helps but it’s not often parents have the spare cash to dish out but for those that get that kick-start if they aren’t money-wise they could lose it all.
Buying a house depending on where you live in Canada is becoming out of reach for many people especially millennials looking to get into the real estate market. A recent house sale on our street went for nearly $700,000 at just under 1400sq feet. Have a look at how much we value our house at in our net worth chart below and you’ll see what I mean.
Manulife Bank issued survey results on Tuesday that suggest 45 per cent of millennial home buyers received a gift of money or a loan from family. That compares with 37 per cent for Gen Xers and 31 per cent of baby boomers. One-third of the people receiving financial help recently got more than $25,000.- Source:Are We Pushing Millennials Into A Financial Abyss of Home Ownership?
Let go of the jealous eye as it gets you no where. No matter where the money came from it’s important that you focus on what you want not what others have.
Related: What does the word ‘Rich’ even mean?
Do you know how many smart, creative, inventive young people there are out there earning big bucks? LOTS. They could be skint or they could be saving their money but certainly not everyone should be labelled as spoiled or ‘lucky’ because that’s just not true.
Even if we deny that we earned every dollar we have still doesn’t convince some people that it’s possible to crush a mortgage in 5 years and live happily ever after. I don’t know about the always happy part as there are always going to be ups and downs in life but you have to want it bad enough to start saving money. We’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination but we’re not struggling and that’s all that matters to us right now.
More Debt=Longer Start time
The hardest part for someone to understand is that if you’ve managed to create a mountain of debt it will take you longer to reach debt freedom. Even if you are earning the big bucks there must be a money mindset that begins in order to move forward. This means that if you have a habit of dropping money at the mall every time you get paid you need to put a stop to that.
Once someone becomes accustomed to a certain lifestyle whether they can afford it or not it’s hard for them to change. If the rich imposter is working the wealthy role in front of their friends, relatives and colleagues it becomes a game of keeping up and for many building debt.
No one needs to play this risky game, ever. Having the courage to stop spending and start saving is tough to the non-believer. Accept what you have and if you want more than get out and earn it. You can’t brag about what you don’t have.
If I’ve ever mentioned that we are debt-free which I rarely do two popular questions seem to always pop up;
- How did you do it?
- Can you teach me to become debt free?
If I ever met someone that was young and debt free I suppose I would want to know the answers to these questions as well. This is like a lottery win without buying the ticket yet having to put in lots of hard work. If you get it, you get it. If you don’t, you don’t.
Age and debt play a wealth role
I wish I could tell everyone that they could get an education, graduate with no debt, find a great job, own a vehicle paid in full, buy a house and become 100% debt free before they are 30 or 40 but I can’t. Why? The reason is simple and although this may sound depressing let it be your wake-up call. It depends on when you started to save and how much debt you have but it’s not impossible to find some glory.
Mrs. CBB and I both started accumulating what we considered big bucks when we were younger but the perspective of what makes up that reality is age. What I mean is that when you’re 10 years old and delivering papers you believe you’re earning big bucks.
If you mow lawns for your neighbours or babysit and get paid $20 and you’re young that may be lots of money for you. Ideally, you’ll get that money-lust and work harder to cut more lawns and save that money.
The same earning mindset may follow you into your 20’s but when you jump into your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s money perspectives seem to change. If you get it when you’re young and fight debt you should be well on your way to debt freedom.
I never gave much thought to my retirement plans until I was in my 30’s because I my focus was to stay debt-free while investing in real estate. I bought my first home stumbling out of University with the money that I saved over the years, with no help from anyone. This was my ticket to open the gates to start my journey to building wealth and crushing debt.
If you don’t get finance when you’re young you’ll have to paddle your way out of consumer debt taking the scenic route but you’ll get there just a bit later. That’s if nothing gets in your way of course. Job loss and illness are the biggest financial killers and can easily set-back anyone’s dreams.
We understand more about finance as the years travel on because we invest in learning what our money can do for us. We are now able to compare the average income levels and what would be considered, big bucks in today’s frosted world of debt-hidden households. As responsibility intensifies so does the need for money and retirement savings.
How did we do it?
We started young and the idea of saving money clicked and we never looked back. There was always money in our savings accounts earning interest. Our savings later took us through school even though Mrs. CBB had an OSAP loan for her second year moving away from home. She burned that debt in 14 years which she now knows she could have paid it sooner.
Related: How to pay off your OSAP fast.
What’s even smarter is paying as much as you can even if you have to step back from the extras in life. She wishes she knew more about interest and debt rather than just saving money in her 20’s. This knowledge would have saved her plenty of cash she paid back to her bank in the form of borrowing interest.
How can I teach you to become debt free?
I can only offer you guidance and suggestions based upon our personal journey but the rest is up to you. The hardest part is changing your money mindset. Our frugal radar is always on and that might seem silly to you but anyone who is a smart-saver knows that you need to see beyond regular price.
Building wealth without Big Bucks
- Stop creating debt- any and all
- Pay off your debt- any and all
- Set realistic financial goals and review them often
- Rent if you have to before buying a house with consumer debt
- Save money wherever you can
- Hang out with people who have similar saving mindsets
- Budget, Budget, Budget always
- Track your money (this is a must) and collect receipts
- Always look for better opportunities ex: bigger salary, better position etc)
- Earn extra money wherever you can
- Invest your money and seek guidance where needed
- Appreciate what you have and volunteer when you can.
- Don’t settle, Don’t give up and See the life you want to live in your mind and don’t look back.
These are just some of the ways we were able to build wealth when we were younger even though we were earning either minimum wage jobs or anywhere between $10-21/hr. It wasn’t until just a few years ago when I started earning a larger salary and Mrs. CBB stopped working to be a stay-at-home mom.
Get crackin’ that nest egg
If you want to start seeing a positive net worth and get back on track now is the time to say YES today is the day. Remember that comparing your journey to that of someone else is not healthy but certainly using it as a motivator will boost your drive for success.
You may not become an instant millionaire but really that goal is simply not enough as the years go on. This is why you must continue working even if you do become debt free. Nothing lasts forever.
Needing big bucks to become rich is non-sense especially when rich to you may not be rich to someone else.
Discussion Question: At what age did you become serious about earning, saving money and either getting rid of debt or trying not to create it all. (not including mortgage and school loan).
Our Net Worth April 2017
RESP Contribution 2017: $208.33 a month.
This months net worth came from the usual combination of left over income and gains in our investments. It would be nice to eventually watch our investments actually fund themselves, but for the minute we still have to make regular payments into it.
Retirement is our focus these days, not buying a bigger house. A big house with a pool and everything else would be nice, it’ll even make you look like you’re doing great. Problem is, what are you sacrificing to fund the bigger house?
We’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination, we just prioritize things differently.
Understanding Net Worth
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snap shot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets. In simple terms it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up. Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do. I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!
There are tonnes of other free printable lists offered at Canadian Budget Binder to help you achieve some of those financial goals and build your net worth. Now determine just how much net worth you actually have and go from there.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Determining net worth
Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework. Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Calculate net worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
Now you can stop asking yourself the question, how do you find out your net worth? Why? It’s easy to determine. We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track. Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly. It’s really up to you and how informed you want to stay when it comes to your financial health.
Net Worth is essentially an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures. Some people don’t include vehicles like we do or they may leave out the assets inside the home like we have. It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on.
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
Why you should set financial goals
Below is our progression chart towards our goal of a million dollars net worth which should happen according to our net worth calculations by Mid August 2017 (this year).
Setting goals are the only way we work towards achieving what we want to get done as a couple around the house and in our financial life. I know that without them we would be flying by the seat of our pants which wouldn’t work for us.
I find it’s much easier being held accountable when I share what we need to do with all of you. Yes, my wife refers to the list when she asks what I plan to do next. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for me or not.
In the graphical representation above, I have used excel to provide a trend line prediction based on the past years monthly net worth figures.
Using figures from our actual net worth gains over the past 12 months (the solid blue line) it has suggested that by the end of this year (2016) we should be around $900,000.00. We fell short of this goal by $9000 which is perfectly fine as it was only an estimated goal based on current financial trends. This can change over the course of the year and is only a prediction based on known historical figures from our finances.
According to the chart, we should hit the million mark in or around August to September 2017.
This is nice to know but anything can happen over the next year. Hopefully with some careful planning we can achieve this goal and go beyond it.
Do you set financial goals for the year?
Our financial numbers
When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey. These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.
We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition. I hope our experiences perhaps will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.
Different financial paths
Not everyone has the same path in life. Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or injured on the job etc. but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too. Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.
Focus on you and don’t let the evil eye of money jealousy or keeping up with the Kardashians cloud your vision. No one cares about your money as much as you do so don’t waste your energy trying.
The only reason people accumulate wealth is because they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery. The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there. Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.
I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements, if you want that to happen.
Net worth updates 2017
Below you can click the links to read earlier months net worth updates 2017 to see how we made out following our own financial rules.
In the last year since April 2016 our net worth according to our figure has grown $134,787.17
April 2017 $937,641.55 – April 2016 $802,854.38 = +$134,787.17
That’s all for this months net worth update but please check in at the beginning of June 2017 to see how we made out in May 2017 with our financial portfolio.
Remember: “It’s Not About How Much Money You Make It’s How You Save It“
Check out our 2012-2017>> Monthly Budget Updates