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How to be rich and successful without saving pennies

“How to make money fast?” “How to be rich and successful?”

I bet you’ve searched for that at least once in your life! How ever clearly you know that the only way to make money fast is probably trying to do a garage sale, that doesn’t deter you from searching for alternative ways… and I hear you!

Money- whether we like it or not, we can’t ignore how useful money is as a tool in our lives. It’s something we all aspire to make more of. It often dictates our career and life choices, It’s topic, a topic that unites all of us, a topic that interests all of us, and a topic that actually creates quite a lot of divisiveness among us.

I thought I would talk to you about money because recently, in my Aligned Careers Bootcamp, I was talking about money, and I thought I would cover money in just one session!

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Boy, was I mistaken! We ended up talking about money in each and every session (there were six!). And when I was looking through the feedback that I received for the programme, everyone wanted to talk more about money. So I thought, I would open this up to this community.

Of course, I love talking about money, because money takes me back to my Economist roots. And as a career consultant, and as a professional, the majority of my career has been spent in financial services and banking. And not just in financial operations or strategy work, but doing very, very banking heavy work, understanding credit risk.

So I am quite passionate when I talk about money. But money also takes me to the other end of the spectrum of abundance, because ultimately, what I see is that people think money is limited in life. That’s the script we have been brought up with- “money is hard to come by”.

However, I have observed that actually, when you step into abundance, money becomes unlimited.

But let's stop there for a second. And talk about the practicalities of this, because all of this is good to read but you need to be super hands-on and implement. I would hope that you try and do the work that I suggest you do. And hopefully, just on the back of doing that work, you will get a lot of benefits. Because ultimately the difference between the average person and the rich and successful is how far they are willing to go and work on themselves. Everyone wants to be wealthy but very few will actually work on getting there. But since you’re here, I know you are not the average person!

So let’s start getting into the rich people mindset. Because I’ve seen far too many people earning a lot of money but living like a pauper because either they didn’t save any or they saved it all. Both are equally terrible choices, something that the rich and successful don’t do.

They talk about money, what it buys, retirement and how to make more money- openly among their family and friends. But they don’t divulge this to the random stranger. Hence we as a society feel like we shouldn’t talk about money. But we will talk… and I promised you that I will not talk about saving pennies. But there's one thing I need you to do- plan and act.

Let’s start with talking about retirement

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The first question I want to ask even before I talk about money is- when do you want to retire? And what does retirement mean?

Because when we talk about money and retirement, we have to mention the FIRE movement and community- the financially independent and retired early. Amongst the FIRE folks, there are all sorts of FIRE- lean FIRE, fat, FIRE and everything in between. There are some people who want to be retiring early, and they save 70% of what they earn, just because they want to retire.

There are other folks who want to be leaving a fat FIRE life, which means they want that enormous cushion of savings when they do retire. But eventually, retirement is the goal.

Now, what I would ask you to do is actually figure out what is it that you want out of your retirement and when do you want to retire? That will help you establish how much money you need to be retiring.

The easiest way to do this is to put all of those numbers in a financial calculator, get an estimate of how much you can realistically save. There's a camp that wants to save 70% of earnings. But, to me, if I saved 70% of my income, I wouldn't feel very fulfilled, because there are things I want to spend money on unapologetically. And I don't want to be earning money to live a frugal life. That is not the point of my life.

It could be for you. But if you are here, it's probably not you. Typically this community likes to enjoy their lives and live a whole life. So, I want you to consider how much money you want to be saving, how much money you want to be actually making to enable you to save that much. Remember, your savings is capped. You can only save 100% of your earnings, but your income that has no caps, no boundaries!

Your income is totally dependent on you. And that is extremely empowering. If you step into abundance, your income is literally unlimited. I teach my students how to get 50-60% raises, and when they get those raises, they are completely different people!

Forget the money, the money comes. But they know how to do that the next time, the next time, the next to next to next time, and their financial situation really becomes uncapped.

Anyway, I have digressed a bit. But what I want you to do is to really take out a retirement calculator, plug in the numbers, see what you need to retire.

The 4% rule and why it’s not a rule of thumb

In the FIRE community, there is a 4% rule. But what I would say about that rule is that that rule typically applies to the US, if you are in a different country like I'm in the UK, what would be useful is to understand what is it that will be paid for even when you retire?

For example, the NHS is free for us in the UK, for parts of Europe, they have free good medical services, it's not the same in the US across the world, various countries have various other rules and regulations. So that's one thing to consider. Don't think that because there's this 4% rule set out by the FIRE community, that'll work for you.

Also, consider what country do you want to be living in? Is it the country that you are currently in? Is it a different country? Some FIRE folks would earn in dollars, and they'll spend the rest of their lives somewhere else like in Bali or Thailand.

If that's you, that's great. But probably that's not you. Because, again, I tend to attract folks who want to be enjoying life, within their current circumstances and current ways of living.

So, this is the bit where you need to get really, really specific around what retirement looks like to you. There are 27-year-olds around the world who claim to be retired, but they are actually running a portfolio of businesses. And they can call it retirement because they have retired from their corporate job, I personally wouldn't call that retirement, I would call that working in your business.

Of course you could go one step further and hire someone to run your businesses, you take the profits if it's a profitable enough business, no reason why you can't work that way. But at 27, if I did that, I would be really, really bored.

But hey, it's your life, you know what you're doing. But it really, really helps to get specific around what you want to be doing. Because if you are saving with the 4% rule in mind, and then after you retire, you want to be roaming around the world on first-class planes, that's probably not going to be possible, right?

So yeah, I would really encourage you to get really, really specific. And also, if you are looking for ways to get inspired, or if you are thinking “Hey, no, I will save as much as possible and save, save, save, and then at retirement, I'll decide what I want to do.” I have to tell you, it doesn't work like that.

Spending money is a muscle - you don’t wake up one day and become a jet-setter

And this has taken me a considerable amount of time to get used to because I don't really come from a super-rich family. It has taken me some time to get used to how to spend money and how to live the life that I want. I'm not by any means a spendthrift. But I'm definitely not one of those who goes around saving pennies- I have a healthy financial habit.

Most people don't and “Save, save, save” is not a healthy financial habit. It just puts you into that scarcity mindset all the time. And that prevents you from actually stepping into more money and more abundance. So get really specific around what it is that you want to be doing at retirement.

And if that looks like a complete shift from how you live today, I would really encourage you to start spending money so that you can spend that way and not put away all the money for retirement.

Equally, what I would also suggest is, if you think just because you've heard this now that if you save 70% of your income, you don't have to work a day in your life again, that's probably going to be difficult because you are used to a certain kind of life. If you went into the save mode, that's not going to help.

We all have money beliefs based on our past experiences

Now, the other thing, and the most important thing about money is emotions. When you think about money, what emotions come up? Feel them in your body and see how it feels.

Typically, when I ask this to my students typically they say agony, stress, anger, and frustration.

Money tends to get you into all sorts of weird emotions. Something that comes up for most of us when we talk about money is greed. And what I really want you to do is stop there and dig deeper.

Why is it that emotion is coming up for you when you talk about money?

The real deal around my money belief and money mindset

One of the reasons I think I used (note the past tense!) to have a money block was because when I was growing up, I heard about all of the struggles that my grandparents faced when they were moving across countries. How we lost all our wealth during the Indian partition that put my grandparents and my parents in the scarcity mode. And it made sense for them to do that, perhaps, because they were starting from scratch again.

But I wasn't. So if I continue doing that, I would just go on saving without realizing that, actually, that is going to hurt my financial future. Because sometimes you need to invest and take a risk to actually get a return.

For me, I'm my biggest asset. That's what I have realized, with my ancestors losing tons of property. We had all the world’s worth of property and land and money, and we lost all that.

But then, we rebuilt some of that. The only thing that was constant amongst all of this was an investment into ourselves and investing into education, investing into our own selves because we believed that we are our biggest assets.

This is a mindset that comes to me from my family. The money mindset around saving and spending, doesn't. So, I had to actively work and change that, especially as of today, when education is no longer the way it used to be when our parents were studying or our grandparents were studying, I have to be honest, and say that I am really, really privileged in some ways like my parents went to university, my grandparents went to university, not many people, I acknowledge have that footing.

But I have seen how that has helped them be successful in their life, which is why I am a big proponent of investing in yourself. And what I want you to do is really stop and think about the story I told you. Because that's where my beliefs around money come from.

Using money as a tool

Everyone's money beliefs and emotions come from somewhere. Sometimes we don't know where sometimes we don't want to acknowledge it. But the moment you acknowledge that, you take away the power from those emotions, and start treating money the way it should be treated. The difference between the average person and the truly rich and successful is how they have dealt with their emotions around money.

Money is not good. Money is not bad. Money doesn't represent your self-worth. Money doesn't represent your respect. Money doesn't represent anything about you. Money is just a tool that you have to live your life the way you want. And the moment you can start using money as a tool, that's when you start shifting your mind around the money mindset. And that's when you actually can step into true abundance because you that, if you treat money like you treat a screwdriver or your laptop, it will be just a tool. There are no emotions attached to that, if it's just a screwdriver, in your toolbox, you can go get some more of those toolboxes if you lost this one.

Let that land for a second because this is really, really important in actually becoming rich and successful. You need to get your emotions to the surface about money, acknowledge them. And then ask yourself, “How is this serving me today?”

Is your money belief serving you?

If not, say thank you, you have served me well for so long, but I don't need you anymore. You are just a belief that I held for whatever reasons, whatever conditions or situations I was put in, but I don't need you anymore. And I will use money like a tool.

Of course, I'm not against using money to be taking care of my parents, or my extended family. And if money allows you to do that, great if that's what you want to do with money, do that. But don't mix up money with emotions because I have heard more stories than I can count on my fingers about money being the root of all evil money, and destroying friendships. I have seen money destroy families. It's not pretty!

If only I could tell all these people that, hey,money is not representative of your worth, money is not about emotions, money is just a tool- the world would be a better place.

Until you address your money mindset, you cannot really step into true abundance. And unless you step into true abundance, you can't make your income potential uncapped. You can uncap your income potential just by stepping into true abundance. But for that, you need to go through this mindset shift.

Some of you will say you got it. Some of you will say I don’t know what I’m talking about. Irrespective, I know this stuff works. Not in a weird manifestation woo woo way where you think and you receive $1m from the lottery ticket that you didn’t buy, but by putting in rigorous action behind what you really want.

I was you. And I had to do a lot of work on this. And I can't tell you how truly liberating It is to be spending extravagantly on things that I really value. I really appreciate not spending a dime on things that I couldn't care for. Like I don't wear fancy shoes. I don't carry fancy bags. What I care about is personal development. And I spend tons on personal development. I don't spend on shoes or bags.

That's me, that doesn't have to be you. If you want to spend on shoes and bags, do that. But spend unapologetically. There's power in that. And that is the only way to become rich and successful.

Get your money mindset right- address all of those emotions that come up. And if you found this helpful, please share it out with your friends

If you enjoyed this, if you want to write back to me if you want to leave a review or if you want to discuss anything, write back to me on

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