You know how sometimes you hear something that’s so ‘you’ that you end up smiling and nodding in agreement almost the whole way through it?
Well, that happened to me recently while going through the audiobook The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity: Get Control Of Your Money Now!
The book, by Blaine Harris and Charles A.Coonradt, was written in 2011, perhaps as a reaction to the Global Financial Crisis a few years earlier. The GFC obviously left a LOT of people wondering how they should be managing their money – and this book explains how at grass roots level.
It’s more relevant than ever for Australians a few years on. There are still millions out there who should be prospering but who find themselves living day to day, week to week, without a way out of the cycle of debt.
They are all holding themselves back from financial freedom, as pointed out in our last blog article.
The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity echoes what we have been saying at Bill Butler for years: if you learn to look after your money and make better financial decisions, you’ll find that you have all the resources you need to achieve the financial wellness and prosperity – and the life –you want.
Below I break down the book for you into its four main areas. In each section, I add an interpretation and a few notes about how Bill Butler addresses the point being made. Just to show you why I was nodding in agreement while reading it!
TRACKING -and optimising your money
US management theorist, George Odiorne, said
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
This is very true when it comes to your money. Put simply, if you don’t know what you spend your money on, you can never make the changes necessary for creating a better outcome for yourself.
If you have every looked at your bank balance and wondered “Where has all my money gone?” this message is for you.
The first and foundational recommendation of 4 Laws is that you need to track what you spend to understand your money habits – the good, bad and ugly.
A lack of organisation and oversight with your finances means that you’ll never know if you can meet a sudden unexpected bill that comes through the door…
If you’re not tracking your money, life can get very stressful. But more importantly, the message in the book is strong and clear that everyone, even those who currently feel stretched can find money, with tracking. There are so many ways that we sabotage ourselves without thinking and it is only by really looking at the numbers can we truly see.
At Bill Butler, we help you assess where you stand now with your cash management (or lack thereof!) – so you can take the steps needed to optimise your money and ultimately your wealth.
TARGETING –planning and goal setting
The next step – after you understand the present cash flow situation – is to commit to making some positive changes to what you’re doing.
This is where you set your financial targets with planning and goal-setting. To do this effectively, you need to know what you want. If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s impossible to set meaningful goals about how to get there.
At Bill Butler, you sit down with your personal money management coach and discuss your goals – before formulating a plan to get there.
Some of the principles of goal-setting that we share at Bill Butler include:
- Writing goals down – otherwise they are mere wishes
- Owning the goal – putting a name on it!
- Positive, realistic, specific, and achievable outcomes for goals: “I want to achieve a debt level of x by such and such a date” is better than “I am going to get rid of debt”
- Goals must be measurable and long-term goals broken down into shorter term (90-day) milestones, with dates included
- Goals should be easily understandable by anyone
- Goals must involve a specific action that changes an aspect of yourself – and indicates the ‘new you’ that you are going to become
A typical area to focus on with your goal-setting is your debt ‘foes’ – particularly credit cards. High interest debt is bad debt and you will discuss strategies for reducing this debt with your money coach at Bill Butler.
These debt reduction strategies can then be built in to your highest-priority goals.
TRIMMING: Structure for success
This is where the rubber really hits the road! You start working towards your goals and structuring your finances for the success you have planned.
This will involve a process of ‘trimming’: to many people, this sounds like pain, involving getting rid of stuff that you want and restricting access to services that improve your life.
However, it’s not about that at all. You’ve already redefined what you really want in steps one and two: this step is about making the changes to achieve it. So it should be viewed as a positive step to getting closer to achieving your goals and vision for your future life.
We choose our freedoms, the choice is whether you choose a freedom for “Now” you or “Future” you.
To structure for success, you need to pay all your must-dos first; then your goals start to come alive from what’s left in the pot.
At Bill Butler, your personal money coach will help you keep on track towards your goals by helping you define your must-haves, discarding the rest, and freeing up funds that can go towards achieving what you really want.
TRAINING: Plan for success
Once you have started on the road to true financial freedom, you may well feel inspired to take your new found financial knowledge to the next level.
This is where you start investing in yourself by training yourself for success. The idea is to create a surplus and to invest and grow this surplus by making informed financial decisions.
Books, articles, and online tools and resources are all available at your fingertips to help you do this.
If you prefer, your cash management coach can put you in touch with one of the trusted financial advisors within our network to help you make informed investment decisions and get your money working better for you.
You see, it really doesn’t matter how much you earn if you fail to look after it properly. You will end up with ‘short-term’ thinking, spending what you earn and feeding the debt cycle.
Conversely, if you follow the above four principles as outlined in The 4 Laws of Financial Prosperity – and put them into action you can break the cycle, become more prosperous, and achieve the lifestyle that you really desire.
The problem is we were never taught how to do this at school. But, even if you have never read a financial book in your life, you’ll find The 4 Laws easy to follow, enjoyable, and motivational. It takes a story format and has loads of great ideas, so give it a listen and it might just be the spark you’re looking for.
Remember – almost anyone can achieve prosperity regardless of their current income. And we can help you do that quicker at Bill Butler.
If you are looking to optimise your money and accelerate your financial progress then get in touch with the team at Bill Butler. We have a team of money and debt management experts who can help you get clarity on where you are at now, and create a systematic automated plan to get you progressing towards your financial goals, without the stress! Take action now, your future self will thank you.