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Recently, we came across a simple piece of money advice from billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban on his Maverick blog that we felt resonated in today’s money-stressed world. Cuban answers the question “so what should you do to get rich?” with this point first and foremost: “Save your money. Save as much money as you possibly can. Every penny you can. Instead of coffee, drink water. Instead of going to McDonald’s, eat mac and cheese. Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich. The first step to getting rich requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline.”
Indeed plenty of pros agree with him that saving money can make you, if not rich, then at least richer (and the good news is this: savings accounts are now paying far more than they did a year ago, and you can find the best rates you can get here). But, just like Cuban says, saving money does require discipline. So what does it take to create the discipline to save money early and often?
Ask yourself this question – then do a deep follow-up on it
“The first step is you have to want to make changes,” says certified financial planner Spencer Betts of Bickling Financial Services. So ask yourself: Do I really want to achieve this goal? If the answer is yes — truly, really, yes — then you’re on your way.
Then look at why you answered yes — what will it mean for your life to have money saved? How will it improve your life in a meaningful way? Financial therapist Rick Kahler says he’s seen people go from saving nothing to saving $5,000 per month after exploring their emotions and beliefs around money. “There are lots of things a person can do to strong-arm themselves into a short-term behavior change, but they often just don’t last. This is a case where a person needs to slow down to go fast. The results are that people who spend thousands of dollars and many years trying to obtain [wealth] via short [cuts], could have reached [that goal] much faster if they slowed down and looked under their psychological hood,” says Kahler.
Create a specific, and reasonable, goal
Then, having a specific goal in mind for making the change can be helpful. “Anytime you change how you spend money, it’s going to feel weird. You’re going to have to change your lifestyle in some way, so …….