Cretinary to the Expenseswet and you can always sell off one

section of the worksheet. property at a time."

Take a look at your actual Anna Mills

Millionaire Real Estate Investor spending and ask yourself Triefo, OH

whether a percentage of those expenses might actually be discretionary. For example, if a monthly television bill (under "Housing") is $50, you might decide that the $35 basic monthly service is all you really need and free up $15 a month in discretionary income. We hope you'll be honest enough to admit that you could get by (and get by comfortably) spending less in one or more of these categories. None of us can be disciplined all the time. We all splurge a little on the things we love, and that's okay. What's not okay is to splurge unconsciously in all these areas all the time. This is where your personal resolve to meet your financial goals really comes into play. You must hold yourself accountable to live within your prescribed means—the amount of money you allow yourself to spend. It's the ongoing battle of budgeting for financial wealth. It's about always making sure you have money to invest.

Finally, at the bottom of the worksheet is your Budget Analysis, where you subtract Required Expenses from Net Spendable Income to arrive at any surplus or deficit in your monthly budget. If you show a deficit, you need to spend more time analyzing your required and discretionary spending priorities. A surplus is generally good news—that's money you can use for whatever you want.

Since high school I've kept a personal budget and tried to keep it as simple and uncomplicated as possible. From the beginning I always set my tithing, saving, and investing goals and knew what percentage of my income I planned to dedicate to each one. I also had a good grip on my monthly expenses and knew about how much was required to cover the necessities. When Mary and I got married, that knowledge allowed me to take our paychecks and efficiently divide them among three bank accounts. One was my investing, saving, and tithing account, into which a predetermined amount was deposited whenever we were paid. I then would transfer to my regular checking account enough to cover our required expenses. Everything that was left over, our surplus, went into Mary's bank account to handle the unplanned expenses and also for our fun, disposable income.

But a funny thing started happening. Each month Mary would announce that she'd saved an additional amount of money from her account that we could reinvest. Even though I told her that money was our fun money—it was meant to be spent—a lifetime of thrifty living was too hard to shake. We should all be like Mary.

Partitioning one's money into different accounts according to a predetermined budget works as a kind of fail-safe or alarm. Any time your actual spending exceeds your budget, you have to transfer money consciously from your reserves to cover it. It's about awareness. It's about adding an

Tip: Use Nina's Rule to Control Your Credit Card Spending

Next time you visit your bank, ask for a few of the protective sleeves they provide for ATM cards. Next, take a marker and write "I'm an Investor" on one side and "Remember Nina's Rule" on the other. Then put all the plastic you carry in one of these sleeves.

The idea is to make you pause and think before you spend. It's about your financial posture and credit card debt is a serious problem for would-be investors. Here's the facts:

• On average, consumers spend 1 12% more on a credit card purchase than when using cash. (The Center for a New American Dream)

• Over 40% of US families spend more than they earn. (Federal Reserve Board)

• An estimated 55%-60% of Americans carry credit card balances. (Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group)

• The average household with a credit card balance carries revolving debt of nearly $10,000. (Federal Reserve Board)

extra step in the process to make you reconsider your spending decisions. When you have to think about it, you may think better about it.

The good news is that once you have a handle on this process, you don't have to think so much about your daily spending unless you find you're running a deficit in one of your accounts. All the money that ends up in your surplus account is by definition discretionary. That money is for fun. Although many of our Millionaire Real Estate Investors probably would say, "Investing that money is fun," ultimately, the choice is yours.

Secrets to a Millionaire Mind

Secrets to a Millionaire Mind

Having a Millionaire Mindset Will Enable You to Make More Money on the Web. One of the Greatest Differences Between Business Success and Failure on the Internet is Whether or Not You Think and Function With a Millionaire Mind.

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