Have you ever noticed that lots of “radical people” get rich, while lots of average people just stay average? And in our economy, average usually means in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and on the verge of financial collapse depending on the whim of the economy. Here are some ideas for becoming financially radical (and rich in the process):
- Pay cash for everything. Yes, I know that people don’t use cash much anymore, but there are some good reasons to do this, namely you will never go into debt if you only use the cash you have on hand for your wants and needs (be sure to get a receipt for all of your purchases). Plus it’s fun to watch people who rarely take cash any more struggle with the concept of giving change.
- Stop using credit cards and cut them up. Such an idea may be considered blasphemy in our credit-obsessed society, but (see number one above) if you never use credit cards, you will never be subjected to the interest, late fees, over limit fees, random reduction of credit limits, etc. imposed by the credit companies.
- Buy the minimum that will satisfy your needs. If you aren’t an astrophysicist or a compulsive gamer, consider buying the least computer you need. The same is true for trucks (Do you really need one that could pull a semi out of the ditch?), diamonds (If your girlfriend won’t marry you because you gave her a half karat ring instead of something resembling the Hope diamond, here’s your sign.), and most other things.
- Live on half of your salary and bank the rest. Impossible you say? Actually there are people in our country who actually do such a crazy thing, and eventually they become crazy rich.
- Become debt free. This means the only bills you have coming in each month are for the phone, water, gas, sewer, and other utilities. Close your eyes and imagine what your life would look like if your paycheck was all yours and not already spent before you get it. Amazing thought, huh?
- Take care of your own needs. Mow your own lawn, clean your own gutters, color your own hair, and fix your own plumbing problems. Basically any service the “average person” would pay for can, and should, be done by you. You will save a lot of money and gain some very valuable skills that you can then sell to others who aren’t nearly as radical as you.
- Participate in the underground economy. Should your plumbing experiments go awry (see #6 above), do the next best radical thing and barter for the services you need. The underground economy also includes shopping garage sales, shopping thrift stores, buying from farmer’s markets, and the like.
- Be self-employed. I cannot rave about this method of earning a living enough. Set your own hours, be as creative as you want, and work more/make more. All of these are good reasons to employ the best person you know, yourself!
- Learn from other financially radical people. The Internet has been a boon to knowledge hungry people who don’t want to follow the status quo. Want to learn how to retire by 30? There are people who have done it and you can find them online. Want to know what it is like to live cash-only? There are plenty of blogs and newsletters to tell you all about this as well.
- Don’t be afraid to be weird. You can be weird by having five part-time jobs that you love instead of one job that you can barely tolerate. You can be weird by working double time, living in your truck, then paying cash for a house after a couple of years of doing this. One man actually did this some years ago. He also made the front page of many newspapers for his non-conventional, but ultimately quite successful way of doing things.
You will never get ahead by doing what the masses do because the masses are broke. If you really want to succeed, you need to look at your situation in a whole new way and be willing to do some radical, according to society, things to launch you into the financial stratosphere.