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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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CounselorsMy journey of a 1000 miles and financial independence began with a single step on my 25th birthday.

Twenty plus years later and 20,000+ hours of studies, certification & professional experience  to this day, I still continue to learn new things, invest in new opportunities and also help others along their journey too.

I've learnt that simply earning more money is not the only ingredient required to become wealthy.

True financial independence requires the blend of simplification, organisation, implementation, perspiration and being held accountable every step along the way.

Action ultimately the DNA of one's success. "An inch of action will always deliver you more results than endless miles of intentions"

However prior to a ¼ century crisis (25th birthday) I was not all that together or focused. In fact I was in a word “lost”.

After finishing high school I was encouraged by my parents to study teaching (they said I had always been comfortable around kids). The truth is my grades were average and teaching had a low university entrance mark. I studied early childhood for 2 ½ years then I flunked out.

As a university dropout, I was left to pick up odd jobs (so not to move back home and acknowledge failure to myself ). I catered, I taught swimming lessson, and labored, and did anything that paid me $$$$ so I could survive day to day and continue living in my ingnorance and arrogance that I was in my eyes "the best"

It was at that time I read about being a camp counselor at CAMP America.

Camp America's sales pitch was; 

  1. 1.job for three months,
  2. experience living and a working vias overseas (my dream) and
  3. Be provided food and accommodation too.

All I needed to do (once accepted) was pay for my flights and some spending money.

I applied and to my excitement, I got the job. The problem was at the time of acceptance I didn't have the money.

So with a deadline on my calendar I trippled my job applications and work load and within two months I'd saved up $2,000, purchased my ticket ($1,500) and I was off two months later.

I also arranged for an Amtrack train from San Diego to Vancouver (Canada) and a 1 year working visa there.

When I got to summer camp, it was nothing like the sales flyer.

The Camp America I was sent to, was Rawhide Ranch  1 ½ hr drive from San Diego and twenty miles north of the Mexican border.

For three months I lived in dust, sweat, the smell of animals (goats, sheep, lama, chickens, and horses), my bed was a converted 1800's wagon (canvas roof  & no air-con) and for three months we experienced 1