Financial Jiu Jitsu method explained, again
One of the founding principles of this website here is that we want to teach you how to live a better life by equipping you with a better understanding of money and how it flows. That means in a nutshell we will have articles which are more micromanaging style explaining how to be frugal, how to save on taxes, how to not go to Starbucks every day, etc....
The point of all these little nuances are oft glanced over by an advanced practitioner of the financial art. After all, if getting coffee once or twice a day at your favorite shop is going to prevent you from retiring, then maybe you have other issues that need to be addressed. At the same time, if you absolutely cannot live without something as trivial as your coffee shop, then you will likely fail in your retirement task due to lack of self control.
What you are going to do with the knowledge we provide is elevate yourself to such an extent that eventually you will automatically do without the things you won't enjoy that much. Conversely you will be able to make smart decisions on where to invest or spend money which will deliver maximum satisfaction.
Here is the original article on the FJJ method. There are 3 major things you will need to tackle and have a good understanding of if you ever want to break away from the financial threshing machine of modern society.
By far the most important thing that will hands down save you the most money over your lifetime is a thorough understanding of our country's tax codes. What good is it to earn 100k a year when you pay 28% of it straight to the government through federal income tax?? This is in addition to state tax, property tax, social security, medicare, and other taxes can easily add up to over 50%. Easily.
With a thorough understanding of our nation's tax codes, you can over time reduce your liability by tens of thousands of dollars a year. This can be done with the following methods:
- Deductibles associated with rental property ownership
- Deductibles associated with a family
- Deductibles associated with business ownership
- 401K/IRA deferred tax
- Deductibles associated with anything deductible! LIKE-
- Property tax
- Personal residence ownership mortgage interest
- State taxes
Dang that's a lot of knowledge I layed on you there. Why you need to be an expert in tax is because all of these individual investments and expenses are highly valuable and will affect you different in different stages of your life. You really do need to understand your personal desires for career and lifestyle before you can even begin to implement changes to any of these base deductions. For instance purchasing a rental property is a long term commitment and the benefits should be calculated well before you decide on a purchase.
Think I'm blowing smoke? Well my effective tax rate is 17% currently and I have utilized everything on the above tax list to get there. Except the having a family part, more on that later. I stated earlier you can easily balloon up to 50% in tax if you are not careful, and I wasn't joking. My 17% quotation is federal only, so the benchmark for that would be in the high 20's of a percent which means I save an additional 10% a year by being smart with my taxes and investments. That means every 10 years I get a year of free year of work money by saving taxes alone! That's a big slice baby and worth a little introspection now and then.
Naturally any good financial adviser would tell you to be good with expenses. What we want to do here is transcend that level of thinking to a zen like state of being.
Like a monk, we want you to live a happy life and spend not a whole lot of money to attain it. Not because being frugal is cool and fun, but because YOU DON'T NEED A TON OF MONEY TO HAVE A GOOD LIFE. Know thyself;
Do you really want to rent a condo in the city for 40 years only to be forced to retire in the middle of nowhere in your late 50's? Some people might say hell yeah that sounds sweet! If so then go for it, the world is your oyster.
Do you hate working the grind but have to live somewhere expensive and un-optimal for your personal well being to ensure a later life happiness? Well hang in there bud, because this site was essentially written for you/ by you and advice abounds in every article.
Do you like where and how you live but don't make enough money? We can help with that too. though this is what I would consider the least important aspect of financial health.
Without further adieu-
Considered to be both the least important thing and the most to live a happy life. Income is tricky. On the one hand it's of paramount importance because you need to have money to spend money and to live in society. On the other hand the goal of earning money should not be to have money for money's sake, but to provide for the lifestyle you know will keep you happy.
If you would be happy living in the woods and eating dirt, then you are free of financial obligations already my friend and I salute you.
However, if your life goals include not working to live until you are 60 and providing for a family at some point then you will need income.
I say it is the least important financial aspect to understand because it is very hard to control your income without making drastic life changes. Going to college and working in a busy industrial area have huge impact to your lifestyle, and if you just dive in you might be over your head. It is infinitely harder to earn 20% more money than it is to cut your expenses by 20%. It is also pretty easy to shave 20% off your entire tax portfolio in a few years if you work at it.
Income is the least important because it is the most difficult to control. That being said, working the same number of hours for more money is almost always a good idea if you can avoid the burnout some careers offer you.
In summary: understand your tax situation, optimize your expenses for happiness, and any inspiration left use it on creating and sustaining income. Notice understanding tax is free to you so you have no excuse to skip this part. Optimizing expenses will require a bit of self control, but technically it makes money and build character while you go about it. Lastly, pursuance of income is painful and thus conveniently is the least important area to make improvement in.
Till next time space cowboy