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The First Four Things – Matt Reicher – Medium

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

The idea behind this experiment is to emulate the habits of rich people for a year, to do “rich people stuff,” and by the law of silly tweets, be on the road to financial well-being. To give myself the best chance at success, I’ve chosen to take on what I consider to be the more significant habits early in the process. Although none of the twenty-six things seems all that difficult, these four feel like they need to be started first for the greatest impact.

To recap:

This experiment will run for one calendar year. During that time I will pick 4 or 5 “stuff”s from The Twenty-Six Things to work on in eight to ten week increments. The first post will introduce them, and subsequent posts will delve deeper into each of the topics, Roughly every two months I will add-on more “stuff”s and repeat the process until I have integrated every one of the habits into my daily routine.

The goal is to see if doing “rich people stuff” will help improve a person’s financial position.

I choose:

To only watch TV or waste time on the Internet for one hour each day.

Of all of the “stuff”s on the list, this one is going to be the biggest struggle. A TV has been a part of my life for a significant portion of my forty-five years on the planet. As a child our family dinners weren’t at the table; they were in the living room watching our favorite shows while we ate. The television and I have both grown up together. Like a fine wine, we both got better with age.

I’m not alone. According to a recent Nielsen report, Americans watch an average of 35.5 hours of TV per week [1]. That equates to more than 77 days of television over the course of one calendar year. Time spent on the Internet is nearly as high. The average American spends 24 hours per week online [2]. For many of us, our lives are work, TV, Internet, and sleep.

Cutting two of my favorite past times down that to an hour a day seems extreme, but I get the point. My time is better spent learning ways to move the financial well-being ball forward instead of vegging out in front of the boob tube or turning blue links purple on Reddit. The problem is that there is almost always something worth watching on TV — and Reddit is just so darn interesting.

Oh well, time to rip off the band aid.

To develop multiple income streams.

This one feels like the golden ticket to financial success. It is said that on average a millionaire has seven streams of income[3]. I currently have one. If you aren’t making enough money, come up with additional ways to make more. The trick, of course, is doing that in a way that makes sense.

The idea here isn’t to mess around with shallow ideas, but rather to try and find pragmatic money-generating solutions. Sure, you can flip houses, but you have to have a certain amount of time, income — or credit — to get into that. You can join an MLM, but that falls under the moral gray area rule, so we aren’t going to touch that one.

I’m only interested in realistic things that can be done without requiring large amounts of money up front. Going deeper into debt to get out of debt is a fool’s errand unless you have the money to cover the potential losses safely.

To read two or more self-help books each month.

Easy enough, without TV and the Internet what the heck else am I going to do?

To invest for the long term

We have officially bumped into our first instance of overlap on our list. Investing is one of the multiple income streams, so we are officially accomplishing two “stuff”s at once.

The point here isn’t to take away from other integral parts of life to begin investing. Those parts include paying current expenses, and personal time with family and friends. The plan is to create a “set it and forget it” investing approach. It has to be easy to do, not sting too bad financially, and have the best opportunity for long-term growth. Anything that falls short of all three won’t work. Making a large investment at the expense of other necessities is self-defeating, but making a number small investments over time — thereby creating a habit — feels like the right way to go.

Long-term investing doesn’t look to be a get-rich-quick thing, but it will likely put money in your future pocket that could eventually help lighten the load a bit. That is enough incentive for me to want to give it a shot.

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