Your net worth is the value of what you own minus whatever you owe.
When Taylor and I got married in October of 2014, we had over $61,000 worth of debt and only a few thousand dollars saved.
This meant that our net worth was negative.
Thankfully, we both agreed to a smaller wedding and didn’t take on any additional debt for it, however, the car payments and credit card bills we already had were keeping us from thriving financially.
Now here we are 3.5 years later and our net worth has grown by more than $150k and we’re on track to being completely financially independent in our early 40’s.
Here’s how we went from one emergency away from being financially devastated to being on track to walking away from our careers for good.
Create A Family Vision
I meet with couples all the time that really struggle with getting on the same page. One spouse gets really excited and just dives in while the other is not quite there yet.
It’s very difficult for couples to achieve significant financial progress without moving together towards the same financial goals.
The first step in this process for us was finding what was motivating us to make the necessary changes.
We had a very honest, in-depth discussion about the life we wanted to live and whether the decisions we were making were moving us towards that life or away from.
Not only are we on the same page financially, but we also have built-in accountability with one another. When I get off track, Taylor can remind me of our goals and motivation to do things different, and I can do the same for her.
You can download a form I give to every couple in the Winning To Wealth program below to help them unite financially.
Get On A Spending Plan
I believe wholeheartedly that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every single time.
When it comes to growing your net worth this is definitely true. That’s why we firmly believe in having a spending plan specific to each month.
Now listen, I’m definitely not one of those “don’t ever sip a Starbucks drink in your life” or “you need to live in a hut in the woods” type of finance bloggers. Not even close.
However, if you desire to retire with enough to last the rest of your life but can only commit 3% of your salary to retirement because you have a coffee addiction or a house you truly can’t afford, then we have a problem.
Creating a spending plan each month gives you the freedom to enjoy that pumpkin spice latte as long as it isn’t interfering with your goals.
A spending plan helps you to see that the monthly mortgage on that house is 35% percent of your pay and will delay your retirement by a few years.
Currently, we live on 1 income and save/invest the other. I believe this is due to having a solid spending plan that tells our money where to go each month.
Get Out Of Debt
This is HUGE because your income is the greatest wealth-building tool you have.
This means you need to protect it if you’re going to grow your net worth.
When you borrow money, not only are you signing away a portion of your income that could be invested to build wealth, you’re playing a dangerous game because you’re borrowing from your future self without knowing how well the future you will be doing financially.
Getting out of debt not only takes away a lot of financial risks, but it frees up your income so you can put it to work and start growing your net worth.
When we were paying off debt, we paid an average of $3,800 per month using the debt snowball method. Now, instead of going to creditors, that money gets put to work in various investments so that we can retire early and spend more time with our little girl.
Start Your Own Business
Building quality, sustainable businesses is a great way to build wealth.
Now don’t take this as me saying go out and jump right into business for yourself.
However, once you figure out something you enjoy and can make a living doing, monetize it.
With that said, I personally believe that one of the best things you can do before starting a successful business is going to work for a successful business.
My experience with one of the largest companies in the world taught me so much about creating systems and processes that keep things running efficiently and smoothly.
I’ve learned best practices for time/task management, and I’ve even been able to develop my public-speaking abilities working for another company.
Those are very valuable skills that I got to learn from world-class trainers and leaders of companies making billions of dollars.
Now I get to apply those skills to my business.
Once you have some basic skills mastered and have an understanding of business in general, venturing out on your own is a great way to build generational wealth and grow your net worth.
Invest In Successful Businesses
Everybody doesn’t have the desire to start a business. I’m aware of that.
Or maybe you’re still in the learning phase I mentioned above.
Another way to multiply your net worth is to invest in other successful businesses.
We do this by buying shares of publicly-traded companies through vehicles like mutual funds and ETF’s.
I’m not going to get too deep on this point because there’s a lot of info to share on investing, however, one thing I do want to remind you of is that when we invest, we do so with long-term goals in mind.
I personally don’t gamble with trying to time the market and things like that. I play the long game.
This means that when the market is at all-time highs, I’m not afraid of any dips and when the market is low, I’m not concerned that I’ll lose all my money.
I’m totally content with whatever happens because I know that if I hold on and just stay consistent, I’ll be rewarded greatly when the market picks back up.
Side Hustle Your Butt Off
Struggling to make ends meet? You should be working your tail off!
Want to just accelerate the wealth-building process? Get your hustle on!
Listen, my wife and I have blogged, worked for food delivery companies, sold internet, sold essential oils, and more to generate additional income.
(Legal) side hustles are a great way to speed up the process of getting from one place financially to another. Whether that be getting caught up on bills, paying off debt, generating investment income, or something else.
A quality side hustle could get you 10 or more extra years in retirement.
That little bit of extra work sounds worth it to me!
Pick The Right Spouse
Whew! I hit the jackpot here honestly! Having someone that’s moving in the same direction as you and supports you is so dang valuable!
I mean when I’m really on fire, my wife is my biggest cheerleader. When I’m off my game, she has the ability to remind me that the mission is bigger than me. And when I feel overwhelmed or want to quit (it happens), she encourages me.
That’s why having a vision and finding your purpose is so important while you’re single. They act as a filter for people who aren’t right for you.
I know my purpose and the direction I want to go in. Anyone that wanted to be with me had to understand that. And that’s regardless of how attractive, sweet, charming, funny, etc they may be.
Also, being aware of my weaknesses, I knew I needed someone who excelled in those areas to help me and vice versa.
Picking the right spouse is HUGE. This is the person that can propel you further than you even imagined or literally have you in last place.
Do Well At Your Current Job
I’m actually disappointed that this one doesn’t make more of these type of lists. We live in a culture that makes it acceptable to berate your employer publicly and that’s not cool.
Your employer provides you with the resources to support your family in exchange for your time and effort. The very least you should do is fulfill your job requirements. After all, you did agree to them.
However, a great way to multiply your net worth is to excel at your job. Go for those promotions if they help you reach your goals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for that raise if you’ve gone above and beyond your job requirements. Especially if you’ve done so consistently for an extended period of time.
And when you get that raise, avoid lifestyle inflation. As a matter of fact, one of the best things you can do to multiply your net worth is invest those raises before you see them.
So do well at your current job. In the end, it only helps you.
Do you have any tips for growing your net worth? Feel free to share them in the comments below.