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HawaiiFirst let’s be clear. We do not live on tins of baked beans or substitute gravel for toilet paper. Ouch!

Secondly the $50,000 in additional savings we are accumulating is not from any increase in income or side gigs.

Our savings are purely from implementing smarter ways and choices to legally keep more money in our pockets instead of others.

Thirdly, we’re not special.

We have the same amount of time and days in a week to do everything we need to do just like you.

Lastly we also each have average incomes. Disclosure we pay ourselves $73,060 (after tax) or $100,000 gross annually.

So how did we do it? How have we found these  additional $50,000 in savings annually without cutting back on our necessities and quality of life?

More importantly, can you too achieve these levels of savings or more?

The short answer is “Yes you can".

You simply need to decide on what you want, identify the price, and decide if you are willing to pay and if so pay the price. Then get on with it.

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Paul Sohn How Leaders Can Learn from A Couple Who Paid Off DebtIt's common knowledge that debt and financial problems are the number one cause for stress and worry in our lives. 

Recently I met with "Frank and Ernest" who had amassed combined total debts of $127,000 across their credit cards, home loan and personal loans. 

Frank told me that they expected to be debt free in fifteen years (based on his mortgage etc). 

"How does being debt free within the next five years sound?' I asked.

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Invest in You

Part of my day to day routine is meeting with BDM’s (business development managers). As you can imagine like any meetings some are zzzzz! and some are great.

One of the best questions a BDM has ever asked me was, “If You Were a Listed on the Share Market, Would You Buy Your Stock?”

I remember staring back blankly as I began imagining a bunch of long faced sceptical analysists pouring over my life, benchmarking me as a business, my personal and financial growth, pulling out a slide rule to measure my routines, efficiencies, asking about my life’s back up plans, satisfaction and plans for growth.

“Sure I would” I replied but the question was so great that I continued to ponder it throughout the rest of the meeting.

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Confidence

Twenty one years, three months and a few days ago I looked up into a star filled night sky and I was overcome by feelings of regret, fear, loss and embarrassment.

I didn’t like where I was, what I had become and what the future would hold if I was to continue down the same path I was on. I also remember thinking massive change only comes from massive action.

And so on my 25th birthday I decided, committed and began down my own "road less travelled". 

Today I'm a few decades further down my road as I continue on life's journey and with the luxury of hindsight and experiences can now reflect back upon and share with you what worked what didn’t and the “one-two thing” to do every day.

Only Three Ingredients Needed for Your Success 

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Palm-Cove-Beach-2Just like when my personal computers freeze because I have too many programs open so to my decision making freezes when I have so many competing important matters in my life.

This got me thinking about how to solve life’s problems from the perspective of an IT help desk.

Life has taught me when I choose to neglect a problem so too does my probability of an epic crash increase. When talking with others about my problems I’ve also found that most of us share similar if not the same problems and fears. Most importantly our problems are not unsolvable.

Often I've experienced many of my life’s problems solved simply by updating an old program or as I call it my daily routine. If this update doesn’t work then I research better programs to do the job and install this new program i.e. daily routine into my life.

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Angkor WatThis blog is not based on new theories, new ideas or new philosophies; it‘s simply a collection of experiences, insights and discoveries on a journey to financial independence over the last twenty years. As such the blog hasn’t just happened it’s evolved.

On the journey to financial independence we've read a lot of financial books and information. Most of such assumes financial success determines our quality of life and experiences. While on the surface this sounds logical, real life experience has taught us otherwise.

For example our decision to either save, borrow, buy, invest or sell is not in fact to make more money; but to experience an emotionally inspired feeling and certainty of security, freedom, choice, independence, deeper relationships, increased stature and happiness. All which directly enhance our quality of life.

Early into this journey of  financial independence I (Peter) found myself quickly out of my depth and questioning my own abilities be them emotionally, financially and my courage to commit.

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Uncle Mc Scrooge

Making better financial choices is the key to unlocking higher returns.

So why is creating wealth counter intuitive?

Simply because the more we touch our money, the less it grows.

The following are five age old and proven ways to help you accelerate our wealth, keep it longer and enjoy it more.

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ice20kids

“The middle is messy but that’s where the magic happens”  Brene Brown

I love ice cream any time of the day and I especially love an ice-cream on a hot summer day.

Today is one of those days, 31c with 95% humidity, so it feels very hot.

As I sit back and enjoying this simple pleasure of eating an ice-cream my mind wanders back to happy childhood memories and dreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember liking trucks; wanting to be rich and become someone important.

Like most people I had no idea what this meant or what I really wanted to do.

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Money Free WeekendWe all make choices, but in the end our choices make us

Or put another way;

Our success is dependent on our decision to choose the activities that will propel us towards our goals compared to those that will hinder us.

When I first began savings I set myself a challenge to have a money free weekend once a month. In fact I found the challenge so addictive and fun I'm still doing it twenty two years later.

Remember the media, marketers and advertises all want one thing. Our money! They do this by selling the perception that you buying what they’re selling will equal’s happiness for you.

The following is a list of activities that require no money to participate in; however they all provide the foundation to experience a higher quality of life; for you and those important to you.

$10,000  Money Saving Ideas:

  • Instead of buying books join a library. Libraries today are more than books; they have DVD’s, newspapers, free internet, books of course. Free. Savings estimated $250 pa+
  • Make lunch with from previous dinner and bring to work. Savings estimated $2,500 pa+
  • If you live close enough to walk/run/ride to work or public transport, only use the car on weekends or alternatively car share. Savings estimated $1,000 pa+
  • Ensure bank accounts, credit cards have no annual fees or ATM withdrawal fees, only withdraw from Banks ATM or affiliates so not to attract transaction fees. Savings estimated $250 pa+
  • If possible choose public transport over taxi. Savings estimated $500 pa+
  • Wash own car & iron clothes instead of car wash or cleaner. Savings estimated $500 pa+
  • Review/shop insurance premiums annually for savings. Savings estimated $500 pa+
  • Meal coupons, shows, vouchers etc... (dining out regularly). Savings estimated $2,500 pa+
  • Hold off expensive purchase/gifts until sale time and/or shop at outlet or online so to minimise risk of overspending and of unnecessary compulsive purchases Savings estimated $1,000 pa+
  • Buy in bulk cleaning, personal care, staple goods when on sale. Savings estimated $1,000 pa+

$10,000+  Money Making Ideas

  • If you don’t mind branding your car as a moving billboard you can earn approx $5,000 pa
  • In your spare time become a mystery shopper/write product reviews/research market group earn approx $2,500 annually in addition to receiving free products.
  • Start a business aligned to your passion online/markets etc...It’s a great way to meet people of similar interests, make some extra cash, potential tax deductions and learn about biz.
  • While it’s not a guarantee becoming more qualified in your profession. Higher earnings have research to be linked to higher qualification of approx 15%-25%+ more than unskilled roles.
  • Consider ways to maximize your rental return if you have an investment property. Properties furnished white good properties can increase weekly rentals by an additional $50 pw or $2,500 pa and are deductible items for tax.
  • Become an extra for movies, television, commercials and earn up to $500-$1,000 per day.

21 Free Positive Experiences & Activities Challenge

  • Get creative. Write poem, a short story, a song, your memoir, blog, a diary, draw etc
  • Learn a new & interesting skill. An entertaining magic trick, a new language, astronomy etc...
  • Walking tour around your city, learning history and famous historical landmarks and markets
  • Visit parks, forests, gardens, beach get out doors... maybe have a picnic there too.
  • Exercise. Getting fit doesn’t require a gym. Go for a run, bike ride, free weights, yoga etc.
  • Spring clean and sort/donate your old clothes/items. One part chore another you will feel great and de-clutter you environment.
  • Maintain your stuff. Sharpen your knives, weed garden, wash vehicles and fix small things etc before they become bigger problems. Feel great and proud you take care of your things.
  • Get sexy. Candles, flower petals, bath, massage with a partner...
  • Sort your old photo album and label where, when and your feeling at the time.
  • Try solving a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, What’s different in these two pictures? etc...
  • Visit the library, an art gallery, museum in your city. Most, if not all are free entry.
  • Find an inspiring interesting book at the library you would like to read and read it.
  • Grow something from seed. Feel great that with your care, you are encouraging life to grow!
  •  Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about or offer to help out a friend or neighbor. Meet other like minded people, do something nice for someone else and feel great.
  • Get your finances in order, accounts, check correct payments, receipts for tax, write a will, do some goals planning you will fill more confident and have greater peace of mind.
  • Attend a free community class, or concert, a free intro offer class, or religious service.
  • Play a game with family and/or friends, Sherade’s (sounds like?), hangman or a board game/card you have.
  • Catch up with family or old friends for a chat, if they are far away write a letter, card or email
  • Have a nap. Life can get hectic so remember to take care of yourself too, i.e. rest & recovery
  • Mentor someone and be mentored by someone. We stop growing we go backwards in life.
  • Schedule your life and stick to it. Allocating me time (reflection), exercise time, relationship time, career time, self development time, home chores, preparation for next day, and fun experience time. This will help you stay on track with self accountability and the small goal you achieve for yourself will build your confidence to take on bigger goals. 

If you are stuck in a funk or you’re lost in a cloud of complexity feel free to contact me. Most often in life we just need someone to talk things through and to lighten our load a little. The following article may also be of help.

Are you in the way of your own success?

Financial independence made simple

From little tings big things grow

The story of 4 horses

Live your ideal life without financial concern

This post was written by Peter Horsfield, as such they are his personal views.

About Peter Horsfield

Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.

 

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Successful people have this over their rivals; they know why, where and how to reach their goals sooner.

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  • How long will it take?
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Because action beats intention every time!

 

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IMG 1309When most people first hear of the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement it’s natural to assume the movement is all about money and being free, however we would be wrong.

In truth the F.I.R.E. movement is about self-discovery, our authenticity, experiences and our journey towards personal mastery.  The mastery of being able to better define, develop and live our own authenticity and to add value to others.

I don’t know who came up with F.I.R.E. as an acronym, if it was Peter, Vicki or a general consensus, however, the acronym resonates with more than just the goal in itself,

F.I.R.E is the distilled aspiration of the movement. Just as FIRE being an energy refines and purifies all things.

I also think it’s important to take a moment and dispel a broadly embraced belief about the F.I.R.E. movement.

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FearlessSadly many of us only know how to live life in fear, without knowing how to escape it.

We’re even schooled and educated to believe that fear is excellent motivator and a catalyst to our “success”.

“Use you fear for motivation” and “Fear is a good thing because it keeps you alive”.

Fear, shame, and guilt in some circles is even promoted as good and to be our trusted battle cries to get us off our butts and move forward towards our goals.

Being fearless is a total game changer and is even more important than having a pair when facing our fears.

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MonkeyFive sailors are shipwrecked on a desert island. They quickly determine that the only other inhabitant of the island is a monkey and that the only food is coconuts. They set about collecting as many coconuts as they can and put them all in a very large pile. By nightfall they are too tired to divide the harvest; so they agree to go to sleep and share the coconuts equally the next morning.

During the night one sailor awakens, suspicious that the others might try to cheat him, and decides to take his portion then and there and not wait until morning. He divides the coconuts into five piles and finds there is one coconut left over, which he gives to the monkey. He hides one of the five piles, then puts the rest of the coconuts back into a pile and returns to sleep. Later a second sailor awakens with the same suspicions and does the same thing: He divides the coconuts into five piles, leaving one extra, which he gives to the monkey. Then he hides what he thinks is his share, puts the remaining coconuts into a pile and goes back to sleep.

One after the other, the rest of the sailors do the same: They each take one fifth of the coconuts in the pile (there is always an extra one, which is given to the monkey) and then return to sleep. When the sailors awaken the next morning they all notice the coconut pile is much smaller than it was the night before, but since each man is as guilty as the others, no one says anything. They divide the coconuts (for the sixth time) and again there is one left for the monkey.

How many coconuts were in the original pile?

 

 

SintraWell friends, 2017 is now dry cement.

However before we embark on our plans for 2018 I’d like to share the ups and downs, successes and failures of the 2017 that was.

I do this at the start and end of each year to keep myself accountable and inspired on this journey called life. As a reference point click the 2016 Benchmarking Success link here.

The past maybe dry cement, but I believe it’s also important to also celebrate how far we’ve come, reflect on where we could have done better and put myself out there publicly as a form of motivation to do the work I need to do in making my plans a reality.

I hope that you find my wins, stumbles, and insights help you on your own journey to getting the most in life.

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Photo7 inner 43 665 451 685 24 955 441 1001You bring me pleasure and joy.

Watching you sleep, your eyes closed, a relaxed face, your chest rising and falling with each breath you take brings me joy.

I know your desires, pains, strengths and self-doubts. I know them all.

I’m deeply touched by things you do for me.

Be yourself always and rest assured that your uniqueness is beautiful and brings me much happiness.

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IMG 1683 2Growing up my Dad said he considered changing my brother and my names to Gunna and Gotta.  Why? Because whenever he asked if we had done our chores, I would say “Yes dad. I’m gunna” and my brother would say “Yes Dad. I just gotta…..

Even today I still catch myself saying I’m gunna when it comes to chores around the home, however sixteen years and nine months ago I said I do.

Not I will, or I must, or should but I do. For better or worse, sickness or health, poverty or riches until death do us part and knowing the difference is the secret to success.

Success is simple. First you decide specifically on what you want and secondly you decide if you’re willing to pay the price for it. Then you pay the price.

If we really want to experience that which is important to us we simply must DO the things we know we need to do. Period.

Want a happier relationship? If you’re not prepared to work at it, or pay the price in other areas of your life for it….. Rosalind (Mrs H) has a saying for you Well go ahead; want on one hand and shit on the other and see which one fills up quicker”. She has such a great way with her words!

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FullSizeRender 1“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta 

Today I rode a camel.

Riding a camel is nothing like riding a horse. Not the mounting, dismounting, riding/swaying or the itchy, smell and overall discomfort. However the experience concluded by watching the sun setting over the Sahara dunes followed by a dinner, drums and drinks in a Berber tent and under a star filled night.

An experience to leave me speechless and one I will cherish for the rest of my living days.

This journey and most recent experience has taken many years. From an initial thought, followed by an interest, then a plan and lastly a committed action.

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Darwin Twilight WaterfrontEvery day we are bombarded with media, work colleagues, strangers, families and friends judgments about our body shapes.

Our feelings of self-worth, twisted and magnified by our own expectations, past experiences and the physical changes due to our hormones and the foods and drinks we consume.

The good news is that we are not our past and each day we have the opportunity to live, believe in and do the activities to bring us closer to experiencing our ideal lives.

In life I’ve learnt that success is simple, but not easy. You simply need to know specifically what you want, know how much it will cost and pay for it.

I also know that change can happen in a moment, however coming to the decission to change can take years if not decades.

Recently I decided to change my relationship with food and myself and pay the price to achieve my goal.

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Stress-FreeMoney issues that can cause stress and the solutions to help.

1."Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." - Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Solution:  1. Make more money, 2. Spend less money, 3. Do both 1 & 2.

2. “This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.” -Earl Wilson.

Solution: If you are in debt your most important priority is to ensure your debts are manageable and not impacting your choices, quality of life, relationships and aspirations.

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