In the United States, studies has shown that 90% of the money is concentrated in 10% of the population. Everyone knows this by now, and it is a common debating point between political parties. But the further findings of those studies gets much less press attention. Those same studies also demonstrated that even if all of the wealth were suddenly redistributed, so that everyone in America had the same amount of money as everyone else, in seven years the situation would likely be exactly as it was before the redistribution.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EOne of the hard truths about the wealth imbalance in this country is that some people are simply better at making, spending, and saving money than other people. A sudden influx of wealth does not magically fix bad money handling habits. One has only to look at the overwhelming number of lottery winners who today are either right back where they started, in worse debt than before, or bankrupt. That is a direct result of bad habits. And all the personal finance articles in the world cannot change your habits overnight.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3ESo how do you get ahead?%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EAll the best personal finance tips tell you it takes planning, discipline, and patience. And those words immediately scare a lot of people. But what many of these people fail to realize is this… it only takes a LITTLE planning, and it only takes a LITTLE discipline, to start seeing results in just a few months.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EGrab a pen and paper right now, and write down the answers to these questions.
- How much money do I make?
- How much money do I spend?
- What do I want to do with my money?
Make your spending list as comprehensive as you can, so you truly know where your money is going. Realize, too, that your answer to the third question can does not have to be some abstract, lofty goal. Instead of something vague like “I want to be financially solvent by the time I turn 30,” set more specific, short term goals, like cutting your restaurant costs in half, or keeping $200 in savings for two months. Small, easier goals will start the momentum you need to tackle bigger goals down the road.%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EPersonal finance tips are simply about making new habits. All it takes is a little bit of attention, awareness, and a true desire to improve your situation.