Believe it or not, we have less than two months before federal taxes are due.
We have been meeting with so many West Michigan clients (including a fair number of new ones, thanks to YOUR referrals — keep them coming!), finding so many wonderful ways to help people save on their taxes, that it hardly seems possible that there could be, well, more.
But there is.
More, that is. Perhaps you, could give us a call ((231) 747-7648) or shoot me back an email through the email button at the top of the page if you need to get the process rolling, and we’ll help you get started right.
BTW, last week brought news that the federal government took in about 1% LESS taxes overall in 2018 than the previous year — but that within those figures, there was actually a slight UPTICK in personal income taxes brought in (which represents a new record for income tax revenue by the way). The lower number reflects slightly less overall tax revenue.
Make of that what you will.
But one thing is certain … as the federal government sees its revenue go down (even as its spending goes up, they will be looking for more ways, not less, to fix that problem. And one way you can avoid that happening to you is by having somebody in your corner helping you take every legal and ethical deduction possible. I wonder who that could be?
But moving on, and speaking of MORE … last week I brought you the first key to building real wealth: delayed gratification. Today, I write about a corollary to this…
Ashley Forrest’s Second Key To Wealth Building
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” – Dave Ramsey
Do you have a book or a movie you come back to on a regular basis? By “regular”, I mean maybe once or twice a year. The content is so good, you can’t let years go by without revisiting it.
I hope some of these topics that I share offer you something similar: timeless financial wisdom so that you and your family are put into a position to thrive.
But what is “thriving” … for you?
Only you can answer that. Do you like to travel? Drive fancy cars? Pursue education? Go see shows? Sporting events? Perhaps thriving for you is more laid-back. Creating space for yourself to rest, read and relax after the daily grind.
Here’s a piece of advice sure to help you thrive regardless of your income: live below your means.
Practiced to Save
In short, living ABOVE your means is spending more than you earn. It’s obviously not rational — but why do so many of us do it? Spending money on that vacation, car or special thing (what you THINK is thriving) is actually driving you into financial despair — no matter how good it feels in the moment.
All of those fun and worthwhile pursuits can truly be great things, and are made much more beneficial when you save up the money to actually pay for them. This kind of delayed gratification is not what a culture bent on the “quick fix” wants to hear, but you will be better for it in the long run.
One of the best ways to save money and live below your means is to store away top-line cash with each paycheck you receive. That way, a chunk of money is outside the realm of temptation to spend each week.
“One day at a time” is the name of the living-below-your-means game. And to win at that game, creating (and actually adhering to) an effective budget is the playbook you have to follow.
Practiced to Invest
Some people hear the term “diversify your assets” and immediately check out of the conversation. That’s a shame, because a definition of terms can go a long way here.
Assets are what happen when you make your money work FOR you — not the other way around. If opening a brokerage account, or navigating the stock market in general, has ever seemed foreign to you, that’s okay. But the sooner you learn about smart ways to invest, the greater return you will see in 5-10 years … a timeframe that will lapse quicker than you think.
Living below your means also pertains to purchasing a home. What would it look like to spend money on a “less-than-ideal” home, not worry about an excessive mortgage, and fix the home up to create greater value over time? It might be the perfect time to take a look at the West Michigan real estate market.
Living below your means is the first step toward using additional funds to invest. That’s where wealth building beings.
Practiced to Give
Now I have a little exercise for you (bear with me here): clench your fist and hold it out in front of you.
Is that how you hold on to your money? Again, a question only you can answer.
When you live below your means, you then make it possible to give money to charity or to those truly in need. This is where we examine a different kind of posture — unclenching our fists — so that we experience a different kind of wealth building.
A wealth that leads to legacy.
How do you want to be remembered in life? Not to get too morbid, but the money you have the day before you die will need to go somewhere the day after you die. Fact.
Part of your legacy is built on generational, financial impact. You can begin saving for impact today. All it takes is a little planning, patience and preparation.
That’s a story worth revisiting year after year.
Forrest Tax & Accounting Services