In this season finale episode Laura and Kate bring you their best money and career advice. These 6 tips can really move the needle for your financial future and overall career success.
It will truly be the best money and career advice you’ve ever heard!
Richer Life Lab Podcast show quote
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Best Money and Career Advice You’ve Ever Heard
If you follow nothing else but these 3 career lessons and 3 money lessons, you’ll already be way ahead of most people – and on your way to the richest life you can have.
Tip #1: Live within your means
One of the most important strategies to succeed financially is incredibly simple in concept—but can be challenging to execute: Make a decision to live within your means, or never spend more than you earn.
It sounds so logical and simple, right? But unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to overspend when you make credit card charges that you can’t pay off in full every month.
Living within your means comes down to aligning your spending with your values. So, our best money and career advice is to think about what you really want to do or have and make sure you’re allocating your money there, and never spending mindlessly.
Shifting into conscious spending and saving is a simple but powerful milestone that’s required to grow rich. I discuss the psychology of spending and how to set your priorities in chapter one of my book, Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Grow Rich.
Tip #2: Focus on being great at what you do
No matter what your job is right now, our best money and career advice is to do it like you mean it. This can be hard if you are in a job that frustrates you or you’re not moving up as fast as you’d like.
But doing the best job you can gets you noticed, especially by higher-level colleagues, and that’s one important part of what makes you promotable. It’s also key to getting someone to mentor you.
One study that showed that 80% of CEOs said that someone mentored them during their journey up the chain. Most mentoring happens informally. Managers look for less experienced employees to give advice to and help along. They pick and choose people. And the way most of them do this is looking for the ones who are giving 110% to their jobs.
But don’t mistake of thinking that being great at your job means you should stay where you are in your career. You should also be looking ahead at where you want to go next as part of your career planning.
Tip #3: Leverage the power of time
If building wealth is one of your goals, you’ve got to value your time and put it on your side. Here’s why that’s so important:
Let’s say you go out to lunch with co-workers every day and spend $15. That’s almost $4,000 per year that you could be funneling into a retirement account if you brought leftovers to work instead.
If you’re 25 years old and invest $4,000 a year in an retirement account, you’ll amass a surprisingly huge nest egg. With an average annual return of 7%, you’d have close to $1 million by the time you’re in your mid-60s.
Few people feel like they have discretionary or extra money to set aside. But you must create the habit of saving (even small amounts) as early as possible, no matter how much it hurts.
Now I’m not saying that you should never go out to lunch or spend money on entertainment. My point is that you should never spend habitually or unconsciously without understanding the security and future financial freedom that you may be giving up compared to investing money instead.
Our best money and career advice includes saving a minimum of 10% to 15% of your gross income. If you have a retirement plan at work, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), that’s an extremely valuable benefit that you should never pass up.
If you don’t have a retirement plan at work or are self-employed, open up and contribute to an IRA.
CHECK OUT: 10 IRA Facts Everyone Should Know
Tip #4: Be likeable
Some people might be born more likeable than others, or at least it might seem that way – more easygoing, outgoing, better looking, super smart, whatever. But studies on what makes people like other people at work show that your EQ or emotional quotient is what really matters.
The good news is that anyone can improve their EQ. Here are the some ways to raise your EQ right now:
- Take a genuine interest in others, like put away your phone when talking to other people, really listen and repeat back what you hear when talking to someone.
- Stay humble and keep your perspective. You alone don’t make an organization successful even if you have a lot of power.
- Understand and use body language effectively.
- Communicate clearly, even if you are telling someone what they don’t want to hear.
Why does this matter to your career? There’s some really interesting research done by Talent Smart that shows being likeable has a huge positive impact on your career.
Like this one: 90% of top performers in organizations have a high EQ. And people with high EQs make on average $29K more each year than people with low EQ.
A great book to check out is Emotional Intelligence 2.0. You do an assessment on what your EQ is now and then it gives steps to increase it.
Tip #5: Always have a financial safety net
When you have trouble getting ahead financially, one of the most common roots of that problem is not having a safety net, such as emergency savings.
For instance, if you have an unexpected car repair or lose your job, you may have no option but to finance your expenses on a credit card. Then the debt accrues interest and grows bigger every month, becoming even more difficult to pay off.
Instead, make a decision to save a healthy emergency fund with a minimum of 3 to 6 months’ worth of your living expenses in an FDIC-insured bank savings account. If you’re starting from zero, start with a small goal, like saving $100 first, and then building up to $500, $1,000, and so on.
Consider automating your emergency savings by having a small percentage of your paycheck directly deposited into a separate account. After a couple of paychecks, you won’t even notice that 2% or 3% is missing from your main account.
The peace of mind that a financial cushion gives you is amazing. So cut your spending and make temporary sacrifices in order to fund your emergency savings account as quickly as possible.
CHECK OUT: A Checklist to Measure Your Personal Finance Success
Tip #6: Make broad connections and share ideas
We talked about this in episode 18, How to Network Like the Most Successful. And it’s on this list of the top 3 career tips because it REALLY makes a difference.
One of the best ways to improve your career is to be the “idea person,” the one who offers solutions to problems that plague an organization. And the best way to become an “idea person” is to exchange ideas with different kinds of people, which inspires new ways of thinking.
Becoming an idea person shows your potential. When you add it to being good at what you do, and being likeable, you just can’t lose in your career.
Richer Life Lab Podcast practical
Your lab assignment this week is to consider how to apply our best money and career advice to your life as quickly as possible. Even if you just choose one tip to put into practice this week, it can be an incredibly powerful way to have a healthier financial life or to boost your long-term career prospects.
A big thanks to our Richer Life Lab sponsor
SoFi – As the online marketplace leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi has helped over 90,000 borrowers refinance both federal and private student loans, cut their interest rates, and save around $18k on average! SoFi also offers personal loans of up to $100k. Learn more at sofi.com/richer.
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