Do you carry hard cash around? This one habit can significantly fix your financial life.
America’s wealth coach and philosopher Steve Down argues that people who carry cash around are easily reminded of the need to and efficiently manage their money and stay financially disciplined while spending. This way, they build their money habits and only need a wealth mindset in order to scale their wealth to any level.
Never again will you feel broke, nor will you have to admit to yourself or anyone else you are broke. Financially, it’s almost impossible to feel like a loser when you carry $1,000 cash. You will feel confident to handle financial obligations that may surprise the ordinary person on a regular day. This confidence helps you overcome financial anxiety. It also makes it easier for you to negotiate financial deals in your favor since it shows a capability to pay. And in our society, it even commands a level of respect. How many executives do you know who could reach into their pockets and show you $1,000 in cash and be treated normally?
A thousand dollars puts you in control of almost any financial situation or emergency during the day. If you wish to buy something, having cash puts you in a strong position to negotiate, since we all know “money talks.”
I vividly recall offering to sell two of my limited edition art prints to a business associate. Because I was in need of cash at the time, I offered the two pictures valued at approximately $900 for $600. Holding his chin, he told me they would look nice in his mountain cabin and immediately pulled out a roll of $100 bills from his front pocket and, counting out $400 said, “I’ll pay you $400 cash right now.” I said, “I’ll take it!” This man not only got a bargain by negotiating from a position of strength, but he also commanded tremendous respect because I’ll never forget the roll of hundreds he quickly drew from his pocket.
Having a firm hand when managing your money is more important than certification personal accounting courses.
If you received $1000 today, you can easily blow through it within a week. The truth is, most people are not used to having $1,000 cash in their pocket. I personally confess; the first $1,000 I carried, I burned through in no time flat and with only a handful to show for my spending. I reached an epiphany; I had to raise my financial comfort zone in order to keep the $1,000.
Hopefully, you can learn from my mistake rather than making this mistake yourself. Now I nearly wear out Benjamin Franklin’s picture by carrying the same ten “Ben Franklins” for weeks and even months without spending them. When I do spend one, I immediately replace it. If you can’t immediately replace it, don’t spend it! It’s as simple as that. When you get to that point, Ben Franklin no longer controls you. Rather, you are now in control of Ben.
You will be less comfortable walking around without cash and get more comfortable when you have $1,000 cash. (Refer back to Step One where we discussed your financial comfort zone and how you feel when you are out of it). You have reset your Wealth Thermostat to a higher financial comfort zone
With your financial comfort zone set higher, you are comfortable keeping $1,000 cash.
When my son Zac was 12 years old, he tested my ‘Take Control of Ben’ resolve. He asked, “Dad, can I have five dollars to go to Walmart to buy some fishing stuff?” My response was a kind but firm, “No.” He then asked, “Why not?” And I said, “Because I don’t have five dollars to give you.”
He then smiled and said, “Dad, I know you have a thousand bucks in your pocket!” I responded with a smile and said, “Have you ever wondered why I have $1,000 in my pocket? It’s because I don’t give it away whenever someone, like you, asks me for it.” From his smile, I sensed he understood and respected what I taught him.
Finally, I said, “I’ve got an idea. Let’s clean the garage together and I’ll pay you five dollars for your work.” He agreed. We cleaned the garage together and, fifteen minutes later, he got his five dollars for his fishing stuff. This was a teaching moment for both my son and me. It was then that I realized I had gained mastery over my money.
Before, the thousand dollars would “soon leave the old Steve.” I would spend it or give it away until my wallet was empty. Once it was gone, I could relax again; because I was neither comfortable nor compatible with money.
Learning to be comfortable and trust yourself with $1,000 cash prepares you for the day when you have hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Because of your newly acquired self-discipline, and higher financial comfort zone, it is now possible to achieve what very few achieve.
As already stated, “One who is a slave to a small sum of money, will never become master to a large sum of money.” I feel sorry for those professional athletes, entertainers, and lottery winners who were once “swimming in cash” but then lost it along with their ability to recreate their past wealth. They would probably be happier today if they had never acquired wealth and tasted the freedom money brings.
It’s difficult to become prosperous if you fear losing money. Fear has a tendency of attracting the very thing you fear most. If you are obsessed with the fear of losing your money, it’s probable you will lose it. It’s just a matter of time.
Getting used to carrying cash and having a sustainable income will help you eliminate such self-defeating fear. I have always heard cash is referred to as “cold hard cash.” What I have since discovered is that cash isn’t “cold” and “hard” after all.
It’s actually warm and soft! What’s more, it doesn’t require three forms of ID when you spend it and I’ve learned that it’s welcome everywhere. It’s better than American Express Traveler’s Checks when we say, “Don’t leave home without it…cash that is!”