True Financial Freedom Starts With Controlling YOUR Personal Finances (Part 1 of 2) - [Freedom Through Control Series]
By William Ballard
Now, welcome to the second article in this Freedom Through Control Series. To be honest with you, we are just getting started and I am truly excited to have you accompany me on this journey.
If you haven't read the first article in this series yet, I highly recommend you do that now before reading further. You can do that by CLICKING HERE.
Okay... I am now going to assume that you have read that first article and now have some bit of an idea of how important it is to develop a control freak mindset. That is, of course, if you are trying to accomplish your dreams and become as successful as I know you can be.
Personal Finances Defined
Now, the first step to CONTROLLING your personal finances begins with financially educating yourself. In other words, we first have to define what personal finances really are.
Truth be told, the reason so many people struggle financially is because that is how they have been taught to manage their finances. No one has ever taking the time to teach them how to manage it wisely, they have only been taught how to handle it poorly.
According to Wikipedia.com, "Personal finances is defined as the financial management which an individual or a family unit performs to budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risk and future life events."
Now, the number one area where that definition falls short is clearly defining how and where finances are produced and generated. You see, if you never take responsibility of your personal finances you will never be in control of them.
"If you don't pay attention to your personal finances someone else will"
- Grant Cardone
You see, most people have given up completely on being able to control their personal finances because the financial information they have been given and operating with has been designed not for someone to become financially free, but instead, to keep a person in financial bondage.
Look, what you have to understand is this: Money and success demand attention! They are like a jealous girlfriend (or boyfriend). You see, just like any unappreciated girlfriend (or boyfriend) will leave in a heartbeat to go to someone that will show them attention and appreciation, so too will your personal finances if you do not pay them the attention and appreciation they -- not only desire -- but demand as well.
Conducting a Weekly Personal Financial Analysis
Personally, I look over and analyze my personal finances on a weekly basis. I know that this particular type of analysis may not sound very fun and exciting... In fact, it can be very boring... But boring or not, it is something you must do if you really want to start taking back CONTROL of your personal finances.
I know that at the beginning it might even be a bit heartbreaking because you might end up finding out something about yourself that you may not be very proud of. In fact, the scripture tells us: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34).
In other words, your financial statement can actually be looked at as a mirror that reflects the kind of person you are on the inside.
This particular financial analysis I am advising you to start doing on a weekly basis does not have to take long, but it is just important that you take a few moments and look at where you are, where you want to go, and at anything that you may need to clean up (or get out of your life -- stuff that is keeping you from financial freedom).
Look, creating financial prosperity demands you take responsibility over your personal finances. In other words, you must make the time to look at them, pay attention to them, and take CONTROL over them.
Real Estate Agents: Looking to Finally Start Taking Back CONTROL of Your Personal Finances?
It ALL Starts HERE!
Income Trumps Saving (And Investing) Every Time
Let it put point to you like this: If you don't have enough income coming in, you decrease your chances of ever increasing your personal wealth. Look, I don't care what financial "guru" you listen to, saving and investing is not what you need to be focusing on right now.
What you have to understand is that income will always be senior to saving or investing. You see, financial advisers will tell you, "you need to start thinking about saving and investing, and diversifying your assets," but the problem with that kind of advice is that it makes absolutely no logical sense. How can you save, or invest, or diversify something you do not have -- yet?
Look, it's not your fault that you have been trying to control your finances by applying this faulty advice, the fault goes to the so-called certified financial advisers. You see, most people try to save prematurely, or try and pay down debt at the beginning stages of taking control of their wealth when they should be focusing on taking control of increasing their income.
Let me put it to you as bluntly as I can: If you do not have income (or do not increase your income) then there is no money to save, no money to retire on, and certainly no money to invest. In short, there is no chance of wealth without income first.
You might have heard people talk about how the more income you make the more you have to pay in taxes, which is true, but another truth is: You won't ever have money to invest without income either. In short, you should never think negatively of a job or any other type of vehicle that allows you the ability to produce income.
Now, with all that said, the question you should be asking yourself is this: How much income can you earn at the job you currently have?
Then once you answer that question, then you need to ask yourself: What can I do to increase my income earning level or potential at this location in small measurable increments?
"Saving is not king, spending is not king. Income is KING. And that is the number one most basic building block you need. Yes, it is taxed at the highest rate but income is the first doorway to creating wealth." - Grant Cardone
You see, most financial advisers would probably tell you that you have a spending problem, but that would mean they are wrong again. Look, you don't have a spending problem, what you have is an income problem. In other words, outflow isn't your issue, inflow is.
You see, it is not your inflow pipes that are clogged... Because you have spent so much time focusing on spending and saving, your outflow pipes are as clean and clear and free of debris as they can possibly be. The problem is no one has taught you how to increase your income potential, and therefore, unclog your inflow pipes.
The Law of Accumulation and How it Applies to Your Finances
Let's face it: You are not going to go from $4,000 a month to millionaire status overnight. You see, you have to understand that there must be incremental growth in your finances -- this isn't some kind of "get rich quick" scheme.
In fact, I wrote an article on Entrepreneur about the law of accumulation and how it applies to business and life, and... Well, simply put, the Law of Accumulation says, “A small thing accumulated over time can become a big thing.”
Now, there is another universal law that comes into play, or actually works in harmony with the law of accumulation, and that is the law of polar opposites. You see, to everything there is a polar opposite. In other words, for every UP there is a DOWN, for every COLD there is a HOT, and for every positive there is a negative.
With that said, there is a negative and positive side to the law of accumulation. You see, on the positive side, if you accumulate a small thing that is good, over time it will become a very good thing. However, on the negative side, if you accumulate bad things, or neglect (act out-of-control) several small things, they can become huge problems down the road.
Consider this illustration I gave in the article I wrote for Entrepreneur:
Let’s say you are a homeowner and have lived in your home for seven years, maybe even longer. Let’s say that when you reached your three-year mark, your home became not just your home, but home to thousands of little demon termites, because this was an area of home-ownership that you neglected to take responsibility (control) over and regularly inspect.
Over time, because of this neglect (out-of-control thinking), you began to notice that your home’s frame and foundation is no longer what it used to be. Now, your home is on the verge or falling apart and there is nothing you can do about it.
This is the negative side of the law of accumulation at work. Can you imagine the little demon "termites" that you have been neglecting to take care of in your personal finances? If you continue to neglect these areas you may eventually lose out on your ability to ever be able to take CONTROL of your personal finances, just as our poor homeowner in the illustration has lost their ability to ever be able to keep their home.
But... just as I mentioned in that Entrepreneur article, if the negative side of the law of accumulation has to do with neglect (or operating out-of-control, lack of responsibility, etc.), then the positive side must have to do with proper maintenance and management (control, and taking responsibility). Can you see where I am going with this "control freak" mindset?
Look, I would certainly love to explode my finances and go straight to the BIG bucks, just like you, but you have to understand from the outset that it doesn't work that way; and that the only way to take control of your income is through incremental stages (while at the same time, looking for surges if and when they present themselves).
The so-called certified financial adviser will tell you to "incrementally" start paying down your loans or debts, but this would be the wrong advice once again. I will, at least, give them credit to thinking in terms of increments and applying the law of accumulation, but they are still wrong.
What The Scripture Says About Saving (And Investing)
Now think about this: When I was in my late twenties I made up in my mind that I was going to become a millionaire, and that failing to do so is not an option. But I also knew that it wouldn't (and couldn't happen) overnight. So, I knew I had to learn how to slowly grow my earning potential (income) over time.
Let me put it to you like this: Before you can learn to control BIG things, you have to learn how to control small things. In fact, the scripture says, "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)
Notice that because he (the servant) was faithful over a few things, his lord made him "ruler" over many things. But one of the key points of that biblical parable that most seem to by-pass or overlook completely is this: In this parable there are 3 servants that are each given a certain amount of talents. One was given five, another two, and another one (5+2+1=8).
Now, the one that was given five talents, he went and traded with his, and received back five more (5+5=10). And, likewise, he that was given two talents, he also gained two more through the income method of trading (2+2=4).
However, the one servant that was given one talent, he went and dug in the earth, and hid his money. After a while, the master over those servants came back from his journey to see how well his servants handled the money that he gave them.
The master then found that the first servant, who was given 5 talents, doubled it to make 10. That servant came to show his master what he had done and the master gave the blessing of making him a "ruler" over many things. The same blessing was given to the servant that was given two talents, and likewise, doubled his money.
However, as for the third servant, who was given just one talent, he lived in fear with his finances, and refused to go out and multiply it, forget add to it. And instead he hid it (saved it) in order to try and play it safe.
But look how the lord responded to this servant, "Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers (bankers), and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury (interest)" (Matthew 25: 26 - 27).
He then took the talent from the third servant and gave it to the first (remember the old saying, "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first") servant that was able to double his five and make 10.
Then the scripture tells us: "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25: 29 - 30).
Now, take a minute to think about that. Saving your money isn't the way to wealth and abundance. In fact, according to this parable, it is actually the way to "weeping and gnashing of teeth." In actuality, the ability to add, double, or even multiply your income is the way to wealth and abundance.
Now, obviously this parable is referring to reaching the lost and winning souls, but it does bear some financial principles as well.
You Get What YOU FOCUS On
With all that said, the first step to taking back CONTROL of your income is first by making incremental increases such as turning $4,000 a month into $4,400 a month. You see, $400 a month would be $100 a week more ($80 a day). Who would you need to see, who would you need to call in order to be able to make $80 a day?
You see, I am not saying that you shouldn't think about how to explode your income potential and turn your annual salary into your monthly income, but what I am suggesting you do is FOCUS every day, every week, on thinking about how to increase your income in small increments.
Learn how to control your personal finances and increase your income incrementally (become faithful with few), then you'll be able to rule over many.
Think about it this way: Do you want to make more or less a month? There is no such thing has the same. Same always equates to less, so FOCUS on more even if that more is in small increments.
"You'll always get what you focus on. If you focus on anything else other than more, you'll get less. You'll end up with less money, less income, less ability to save and invest money." - Grant Cardone
In conclusion, by now you should be able to see how important it is to take back CONTROL over your personal finances. You should be able to clearly define what it really means to be IN control of your finances as appose to being OUT of control with your finances.
But this was only part 1 of what I've been wanting to share with you about controlling your personal finances. Next week, we will talk more about how to increase your income since we now know that income is senior to saving and investing. In fact, wouldn't you want to know how make more than what you are able to spend?
If so, then you will definitely want to stick around for next week's article. Subscribe to our newsletter below so that you don't miss out -- trust me, you'll be glad you did!
Until then, make your way down to the comment section below and share your thoughts. Then I want you to do me a BIG favor and share this article with as many people as you can -- let's make this GO VIRAL!
William Ballard is an entrepreneur, international best-selling author, speaker, thought leader, and direct-response marketing expert. He is a highly respected and sought after master copywriter whose passion is to help local churches (ministries) and entrepreneurs get more for their hard work regardless of economic climate. His books, audio packages, membership programs, and seminars provide readers, just like you, with the practical tools necessary to finally answer the call to ministry or to launch their very own businesses and help propel them towards their path to true financial freedom.