5 lessons I learned from 'You Are a Badass at Making Money' that anyone can apply to their finances
Courtesy Jen Sincero
- Jen Sincero is the author of "You Are a Badass" and "You Are a Badass at Making Money."
- In her second book, she talks about her journey from freelance writer living in a converted garage to New York Times-bestselling author.
- From reading "You Are a Badass at Making Money," I learned that changing your money mindset, getting clear on your financial goals, and stepping outside your comfort zone are all key to building the financial life you want.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
Up until a few years ago, Jen Sincero, author of "You Are a Badass at Making Money," would have agreed that she was the last person you should go to for money advice. As a 40-year-old freelance writer living in a converted garage and barely making enough money to scrape by, she wasn't exactly the poster child for financial success.
However, that all changed once she finally decided to get serious about her financial situation, especially the way she thought about money and the way she dealt with it on a daily basis.
Fast forward to a few years later when Sincero became a New York Times-bestselling author and there's no doubt that the changes she made have paid off in a big way.
To that end, I decided to see what financial lessons "You Are a Badass at Making Money," Sincero's second book, would provide.
Though this book is mostly about mastering your money mindset, there are a few practical tips that anyone can employ, no matter where you are on your financial journey.
Get clear on your financial goals
If you don't have them already, Sincero says that you have to get clear on your financial goals before you can do anything else to grow your wealth. By that, she means so much more than just picking a number that would be nice to see in your bank account.
To her, setting financial goals means getting clear on why you want the money, what you intend to spend it on, and how great it will feel once you finally have it in your possession. The more specific you can get with these details, the better - like saving up for a down payment on a house, getting out of credit card debt, or taking that bucket-list vacation.
These goals are meant to give you something concrete to work towards and an incentive to keep making changes in your life, even when those changes feel uncomfortable.
Sincero is the first to admit that changing your money mindset is not easy, but she believes that when you have a few firm goals in mind - especially ones that you want more than the comfort of your old behavior patterns - you can overcome just about any obstacle.
Be willing to change
With that in mind, her next financial lesson is that, if you want to make more money than you're making right now, you also have to be willing to make some changes in your life, particularly changes that will push you out of your comfort zone.
Sincero believes that we play a role in creating our current financial situations by following the same patterns of behavior over and over again. This could mean working at the same job for years on end without asking for a raise or continuously spending money on shopping sprees.
But, whatever your personal patterns are, she's clear on the fact that you need to make the conscious decision to be willing to change your habits before you can actually set about altering them.
Take decisive action
Once you've set your goals and have come around to the idea that some of your habits need to change, the next step is taking decisive action.
Sincero recommends starting by creating a plan for how you intend to meet your goals and then breaking that plan down into bite-sized action steps. For example, taking a second job in the field where you want to start a new career or hiring someone under you to help you handle more business.
She also notes that you don't have to have the whole plan figured out right away. In fact, in her mind, it's better to stay open to different possibilities rather than get too laser-focused on following one path. But the key is that you start taking steps toward meeting your goals as soon as possible.
Invest in things that will help you grow financially
Sincero is a big believer that you have to spend money to make money. For her, these investments looked like hiring someone to do her website for her when she was first getting her editing business off the ground and signing up for a few different coaching services in order to push herself to take her business to the next level.
Though your investments may be different, she cautions against letting the fear of spending money hold you back from investing in something that will have a huge payoff down the road.
However, she does note that when you're making a large investment, you need to be sure that you're willing to do whatever it takes to make it worthwhile in the end.
Don't give up
Sincero's last tip is simple: Don't give up.
Again, she admits that the road to changing your financial situation is rarely ever simple. However, if you have the tenacity to keep trying and you stay focused on your goals, she believes that everyone has what it takes to create real and lasting change in their lives.