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Ramp Up Your Savings

uptrend.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. One of the five elements of bigg success is money. We need to plan ahead so we have enough money to live our golden years on our own terms once we no longer work, another one of the five elements. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine our golden years being golden.

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The silver lining

There’s at least one silver lining (boy, we’re hitting all the precious metals today) in the dark cloud we’ve been experiencing with the economy – we’re saving money again! It’s not easy to save money, but many of us have realized how important it is to have a reserve.

Financial planners say we should save at least ten percent of our income to put toward retirement. We’ve even heard some recommend twelve percent.

A lot of us face a bigg challenge in socking away that amount of money. Some people may get discouraged because they can’t come close to saving ten percent. So they just don’t save at all.

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georgeI can relate to that because I’m somewhat of an all or nothing guy. But as my dad used to say, “Fifty percent of something is better than a hundred percent of nothing!”

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marylynnAnd nothing is what we end up with if we don’t stash some away now! But there’s no need to get discouraged if you’re not saving all that financial planners recommend.

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Ramp up your savings pain-free

Let’s consider a hypothetical couple that has a household income of $100,000. They should save $10,000 according to the experts, but they’re only able to save $3,000.

However, they are determined to find a way to get to that ten percent. They decide that, one way or another, they will make an extra $2,000 every year, year after year, for the next five years. So they plan to make $102,000 next year, $104,000 the following year and so on. This may come from pay raises, bonuses, or a part-time job or business.

Let’s assume that they’re able to invest all of this extra money in a tax-deductible retirement account so they don’t have to pay any taxes on this income now. They also keep investing the $3,000 base they started from.

By the fifth year, our hypothetical couple is making $108,000 and saving $11,000. So they’re now actually saving a little more than financial planners recommend and they did it relatively pain-free!

Ramp up your savings pain-free

Let’s consider a hypothetical couple that has a household income of $100,000. They should save $10,000 according to the experts, but they’re only able to save $3,000.

However, they are determined to find a way to get to that ten percent. They decide that, one way or another, they will make an extra $2,000 every year, year after year, for the next five years. So they plan to make $102,000 next year, $104,000 the following year and so on. This may come from pay raises, bonuses, or a part-time job or business.

Let’s assume that they’re able to invest all of this extra money in a tax-deductible retirement account so they don’t have to pay any taxes on this income now. They also keep investing the $3,000 base they started from.

By the fifth year, our hypothetical couple is making $108,000 and saving $11,000. So they’re now actually saving a little more than financial planners recommend and they did it relatively pain-free!

  • not being discouraged at what they could save now
  • saving every bit they could now
  • improving it a little bit every year

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The underlying secret

In this simple example is a secret that can help you with all your goals, not just your financial ones. Bigg success is life on your own terms. If you think about “terms” as time frames, you can reach bigg success faster.

We’ve said that you are the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. You may or may not be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense of the word. That’s immaterial. What’s important is that we can learn a lesson from successful entrepreneurs, particularly those who work with outside financiers like venture capitalists.

Milestones

An entrepreneur and a venture capitalist come to terms and strike a deal. The venture capitalist will invest a large amount of money in an entrepreneur’s company. However, the entrepreneur only gets a certain amount of it upfront. He or she must complete some agreed upon action – for example, get a customer – by a certain time to insure the venture capitalist puts in more money. These agreed upon actions with a deadline are called milestones.

As the entrepreneurs of our own lives, we think it’s helpful to set milestones in all areas of our lives.

Think about your bigg goal.

Then carve it up into milestones – specific activities you will complete by a certain time.

By breaking your bigg goal into little actions with deadlines, you can achieve things that you would think were impossible otherwise.

You can measure your progress each step of the way. You can take corrective action if you’re off the mark. Or if you’re ahead of schedule, you can celebrate your bigg success!

Do you set milestones?

Tell us how you do it by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today!

Please join us next time as we build on this subject of milestones. We’ll talk about creating a cumulative advantage.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00371-041309.mp3

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Think Want, Need, Must About Your Time

pyramids We can place our spending into three categories – wants, needs, and musts. Last time, we applied these categories to money. Today we want to apply them to spending our time.

There’s a trap that’s easy to fall into when it comes to spending our time. We spend time how we want to, instead of how we need to. Then we end up with a must do.

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If you think of a pyramid, with wants at the base, needs in the middle, and musts at the top, we tend to focus too much energy at the bottom of the pyramid at the expense of the top.

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marylynnI may have a lot of things on my “must list” but I’ll zip over to Facebook to see what my friends are up to!

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georgeWhile we need to do quite a bit of research for Bigg Success, I can just get lost in it. I’ve already learned what I need to know, but I’m still interested so I just keep going.

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Why do we work on wants? Without a doubt, there are many reasons. The task at hand is difficult. It’s easier to work on something else. We may prefer to work on something else. It may be more fun to do something else. These are just a few of the reasons.

Start by defining

With our money, our musts are easy to determine – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. They’re a constant. With our time, our musts are much more flexible. They are things that are deadline-driven or crisis-related.

Our needs involve personal growth and interpersonal relations as well as activities that get us ahead of that deadline or prevent the crisis. Our wants then are everything else – generally activities that we like to do.

The time paradox

So why does this happen …

on those days when we have a full schedule, we get a lot done, but …

on days when we don’t have so much to do, we don’t seem to accomplish much?

When we’re required to really focus, we can get it done. When the pressure is off, we’re more likely to drift. We do what we want. If we’re not careful, if we don’t do the things we need to do, the needs move up to musts in the form of a pressing deadline or a crisis that could have been prevented.

Daily starter

So start each day with a blank piece of paper. Write “Musts” at the top, “Needs” in the middle, and “Wants” toward the bottom. Then, map out your day by making your list under each item. When you get done with your “Musts”, you can work on “Needs” and once they’re complete, you get to work on your “Wants”. It’s like a reward!

Musts, Wants, Needs – keeping these three categories in mind helps you best allocate your time!

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We really appreciate you reading our post today. You’ve heard of stepping stones … join us next time when we’ll discuss overstepping stones. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00287-121608.mp3

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