Ryan Michler, personal finance expert and host of the podcast Wealth Anatomy, says building a savings habit is one of the most empowering actions you can take in your life. Listen to the podcast or read on to find out how to start saving more money now!
Ryan decided to become a personal financial planner seven years ago after meeting with a financial planner while on leave from his tour in Iraq. He had previously worked eight years in retail management. His time in Iraq forced him to think about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life and he decided wanted more fulfilling work.
When he returned to Iraq he immediately started studying for all of his financial certification exams so that he could start his new professional life as a financial planner once his tour was over. Eventually he became drawn to working with healthcare professionals to help them manage their massive debt, as well as teaching them how to mange their accumulated wealth.
Key UnStuckable Takeaway
Start a habit for saving your money!
It is Ryan’s belief that there is no more empowering feeling than having money saved in the bank. He thinks that it is so important to start a habit for saving money that you should start right away, even if you have credit card debt.
One of the most effective ways to start saving money is by tracking your finances, so you can see where all of your money is going and find opportunities to save.
Quick Action to Get Unstuck
Figure out how much money you spent on entertainment over the last 30 days.
Ryan believes one of the first expenses you need to tackle is your spending on entertainment like eating out, going to bars, travel, movies, games, etc. Get started by:
1. Track your entertainment expenses for the last month. Look for spending on:
- Restaurants and bars
- Media like movies, Netflix, video games, magazines, books and especially your cable bill.
- Travel including transportation, accommodations, food and spending on attractions.
- Sporting events
- Plays, theater or other live entertainment events (include cost of tickets and all spending at event)
Be honest with yourself and look for any other spending you know deep down inside is related to entertaining you!
2. Look for ways to reduce your entertainment expenses. Try reducing them by 20% for the next month.
3. Take the money you saved from the reduction in your entertainment expenses and put it in the bank.
We decided to take his advice by figuring out how much each of us spent on entertainment during the month of June. Here we go . . .
After completing this, we all agreed it was a simple and insightful exercise that forced us to stop and reflect on how and why we spend our money.
Do you know how much you spent on entertainment during the month of June?
UnStuckable Quotes From Ryan
“A strength might be something you don’t recognize in yourself because it comes so naturally or easily to you.”
“There’s more to wealth building than just running numbers. It’s the emotions and mindsets that can cloud those numbers sometimes.”
“When I see an opportunity, I try to take action.”
“Your lifestyle is always going to match your income, unless you are smart about it.”
“Getting started is probably the biggest barrier to saving money.”
“Having money set aside is powerful. It’s a huge advantage to be able to do what you want to do.”
“We get scared of making big changes in our lives because we don’t have the financial resources to handle it.”
“If you had your money situation under control, it could literally change your life.”
“My true purpose for money is empowerment.”
More Habits & Actions
- As Ryan considered switching careers, he assessed what he really liked about his existing career, as well as what was missing from it.
- If you don’t know what your strengths might be, start asking those around you how they would describe your strengths.
- Track your finances to understand what is truly important to you. See if you are putting your money where you really want it to go.
- Once Ryan decided he wanted to become a financial planner, he started learning all he could about it, as well as studying for various exams to become certified.
- Use percentages as an exercise to prevent your spending from increasing as your income increases. For example, instead of saving $500 a month, save 5% a month, so your savings increases as your income increases.
- Start making saving money a habit, no matter how little it is you put away each month.
- Create a weekly meeting with your family to discuss finances, or set time aside to go over your own finances, as a way to better manage your budget.
- If you are interested in becoming a financial planner, start networking and reach out to financial planners to help guide you.
- Abundance to Ryan means never running out of ideas, creativity or contacts.
- Ryan says all you need to do to save for retirement is save 15% of your income each year.
- He recommends saving for retirement even if you have credit card debt, so you can build a habit for saving money for the future.
- If you need money in the short term, then put it in a savings account, so you have easy access to it.
Questions & Feedback
Thank you for listening. If you like something you heard in the show, let Ryan, Chris and Stephen know by tweeting us @unstuckable
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Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!