Are you a mastermind? Would you like to unlock your full inner potential? With your host, Erik, blogger, entrepreneur, investor, and consultant, you will learn various tips from his experience with personal finance, self-improvement and entrepreneurship. In addition, other highly successful and motivated individuals will be included on the show - and you'll be introduced to many ideas to implement in your life. "Your level of success rarely exceeds your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become." - The Miracle Morning. The Mastermind Within hopes to build a collaborative community where ideas can flow openly, and community members can build knowledge and experience amazing personal growth.
Mindset is Everything: The Power of Positive Thinking
Having a good mindset, a positive attitude, and using the power of positive thinking can help you achieve all of your goals. In this post, you’ll learn how to have a strong positive mind, the benefits of positive thinking, and how you can use affirmations for positive thinking.
I have an exercise for you to do tomorrow morning when you wake up.
Before you moan and groan about exercise, I’m not talking about some sort of physical exercise.
Instead, a mental exercise.
When you wake up tomorrow morning, say to yourself, “I’m a positive person.” 3 times.
“I’m a positive person.”
“I’m a positive person.”
and once more:
“I’m a positive person.”
Then go about your day the usual way you would.
Mindset is everything. Having a strong mental game is as important as having skills or talents. Positive thinking has been proven to lead to more success than negative thinking.
While this probably sounds good in all, let’s dive a little deeper here into the power of positive thinking.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the benefits of positive thinking, talk about affirmations, talk about how thinking positive thoughts has changed my life, and share with you how you can have a strong, positive mind.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
There are many benefits of positive thinking.
Some of the benefits of positive thinking includes:
* Increased life span
* Better coping skills in timing of hardships
* Better psychological and physical well-being
* Increased willpower when looking to achieve our goals
Positive thinking and having a good mindset and outlook on life can be very beneficial for trying to create a life you want and deserve.
Our minds are incredibly powerful and can quite literally create its own reality.
The power of positive thinking can manifest itself in living the life that you want to live.
Telling yourself you are a positive person will result in you becoming a more positive person.
You are what you say you are.
Saying, “I’m a negative person who can never accomplish anything” is a reinforcing trap. Saying this sort of thing will result in you being a negative person who will never accomplish anything.
Likewise, telling yourself, “I’m a positive person who can accomplish anything” will lead to accomplishments beyond your wildest dreams.
The human mind has a way of creating it’s own view of the world and through this view, that is the world.
One way in which you can create a good mindset for yourself is with affirmations. In the next section, I’m going to share with you how you can use affirmations and give you some examples of affirmations for positive thinking.
What are Affirmations and How You Can Use Affirmations in Your Life
Let’s start simple. What are affirmations?
An affirmation is a statement of truth.
Affirmations strengthen us because we can “trick” our brains into thinking what we want in this world.
An affirmation is as simple as the following statement, “I’m a nice person.”
An affirmation also could be more involved, such as, “I’m a person who is looking to become better in my relationships and I’m focusing on asking better questions.”
Typically, the statement you choose will be something you want to change in your life.
If you want to become a nicer person, tricking your brain by saying,
9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year
Saving more money might seem like a tough thing to do, but with the right knowledge, you can save a lot of money in a short period of time. In this post, you’ll learn a number of ways to save thousands of dollars a year!
There are many ways to improve your financial situation: increasing your income, decreasing your spending, getting out of debt, etc.
One of the easiest ways people can improve their situation instantly is to cut costs and lower their expenses. It doesn’t cost anything to stop spending money – just a little willpower.
Today, I will be sharing with you nine ways to start saving money – and all of these are strategies you can put into action today.
Let’s get into these 9 ways to save more money starting today.
9 Ways to Save Thousands of Dollars Starting Today
There are a number of ways to save money each and every day. I’ll give you nine in this article that you can take a jab at working on right away:
* Destroying your Debt
* Meal Prep and Eating in
* Planning Ahead for Vacations
* DIY Projects
* Using the Library
* Unsubscribe From Subscriptions
* Practice Smart Banking
* Taking Public Transportation
Let’s go into more detail for each of these money saving methods.
Destroy Your Debt
Debt is a huge expense for many people. For me, it’s my biggest expense: my mortgage payment is $1,702, and I need to pay it every single month.
For me to live in my house, since I’ve financed it with a mortgage, I’m paying around $20,000 a year to service the debt. That’s a lot of money each and every year for 30 years. Unfortunately, many people, including myself, currently have or have had student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and credit card debt.
The first way to save thousands of dollars is to destroy your debt. Pay a little bit extra on the principal of your loan and you’ll be able to pay it off earlier. Check out my these ways to get out of debt fast, and you’ll be on your way to debt freedom – plus, getting out of debt is pretty awesome psychologically speaking!
Meal Prep and Eating In
Eating out is really expensive. Baked in to the price is the cost of the food, the cost of the workers making your food, the cost of the property and all that entails, taxes, etc.
A meal for one person these days can easily run you $10+ a pop – and that doesn’t even include a tip.
Alternatively, meal prepping, bulk cooking, and eating in can help save a lot of money.
For example, in Minnesota where I live, I can get a dozen eggs for $1. I typically will eat 4 eggs, and add in a banana and apple and call that a meal. This “meal” will cost me about $2.
Now, if I wanted to go out for breakfast, this same meal would probably cost around $13. Added up every single day of the year, and all of a sudden that $10 meal becomes $3,650!
Try eating in just once more per week and see how much more money you can save.
Saving a dollar on 10 items each week can add up over a year. Saving an extra $10 a week is over $500 a year!
Just the simple act of looking at a coupon book and seeing if there are any deals on what you usually buy can help save a few hundred bucks per year.
My mom is an avid couponer. She spends a few hours each week looking through ads to make sure the family can save a few bucks here and there. Over many, many years, these savings add up!
Plan Ahead for Vacations
Get Out of Debt Fast Using Simple Debt Payoff Methods
Getting out of debt is a great goal. When starting on your debt pay off journey, things can look tough. By making a debt pay off plan, and using the debt avalanche, or debt snowball, method, you can get out of debt faster and get on to living your best life.
What would life be like if you didn’t have debt? How would you spend your time? What would the freedom feel like?
Being in debt restricts your ability to be free.
Being debt free allows you to do what you want – without being tied to the expectations of a bank or another individual.
Many people ask, “How can I become debt free? What are the steps to becoming debt free?”
In this post, I will be answering those questions, talking about what debt actually is, and providing you two great strategies for eliminating your debt. You will learn how to become debt free using the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods.
Let’s destroy that debt!
What is Debt?
First, what is debt?
Debt is money that you owe someone else. That someone could be a bank, another business, or a friend or individual.
For repayment, there are terms and conditions associated with certain kinds of debt.
For example, banks lend individuals hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house and allow those individuals to pay back the money over 360 months (30 years).
In addition, there is an interest rate associated with your debt. This interest is the “cost of the loan” to you – no one is going to give you money for free!
Each month, you will have a payment and this payment will be part principal pay down, and part interest.
A Debt Payment Example
Let’s say you have a $20,000 loan with a 6% interest rate and a 10 year term. Using an online calculator, your monthly payment will be $222.04.
Over 10 years (120 months), this will cost you $6,867.01 in interest. If you pay $100 extra a month, you can cut the time you are paying off your debt to 6.25 years (75 months) and you will pay $4,008.09 in interest. By paying an extra $100 a month, you will save yourself $2,858.92 and will be debt free 3.75 years ahead of schedule!
As shown above, by paying extra each month, you can save money and reduce the amount of time to debt freedom.
In addition, once the debt is gone you effectively give yourself a raise; you have more money falling to the bottom line each month for you to save, invest, donate, spend, etc.
Another thing to note: debt is legally binding. If you don’t pay back your debt, there are many negative consequences that can happen:
* Your credit score will tank and it will be more difficult to have a high credit score. Creditors report your delinquencies to the credit bureaus which are responsible for determining your credit score.
* You could be sued. Creditors gave you money for you to use and then pay back over time. If successful, the creditor and court can have your paychecks garnished until the debt is repaid – which means you take home less money each month.
* You might have to declare bankruptcy. Even though you will be able to get out of your debt, your credit will be ruined and your ability to get new credit will be destroyed.
Being responsible with your debt is very important because there are actually some benefits of having debt.
Is all debt bad? Is there such a thing as good debt?
In general, I believe debt is bad – and many other personal finance bloggers and experts believe debt is bad as well.
That being said, I do think there are cases in which debt can be a good thing.
Have a Growth Mindset and Be Unafraid to Say I Don’t Know
“Erik, stop running to the corner away from the basketball. Run to the ball!”
“You don’t know otherwise you wouldn’t do it!”
I didn’t know.
After each 9th grade basketball game, my dad would tell me what I could improve on. He’s been coaching for 20+ years, and playing sports his whole life. I was 14 years old and still learning about life.
I thought I knew.
In this post, I’m going to talk about why having a growth mindset is essential for personal growth and improvement.
Adopting an I Don’t Know Mindset for Personal Growth
I’m a smart guy. This isn’t me bragging, this is a fact.
I can pick new topics and skills up quickly, I received A’s in school, and am able to connect with others on many different levels. I have 2 math degrees, am a reader of hundreds of books, and someone who is always looking to grow and improve my situation through what I’m learning on a daily basis.
I spend hours each week learning new things and apply them in my daily life.
Yet all of what I just mentioned doesn’t matter.
I’m self-aware. In particular, I’m self-aware that I know very little.
In the grand scheme of things, I don’t know much about anything.
That’s why I push to have what I call an “I don’t know mindset” (also called a growth mindset) in life and to live without ego towards my ideas and thoughts.
Dr. Carol Dweck, a pioneer in growth mindset research, defines it as “the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.” Basically, the knowledge that even if you don’t know everything (none of us do, of course), you can always learn more and continue to develop and cultivate skills and knowledge!
“The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and I am no quite sure that I know that.” – Socrates
The Dunning-Kruger Effect and Perceived Knowledge
There are so many things I do not know. As humans, we tend to overestimate what we think we know.
There are two concepts I want to share with you now to illustrate my point.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is shown in the chart below:
When starting out in a new field, we start to learn a little bit and become very confident in our ability to perform. Think about when you first started learning math. What was the first thing that was taught? Counting! 1, 2, 3, 4…
We were confident because we could count, but then came addition. Then came subtraction, and then came word problems and all the other mumbo jumbo math stuff I don’t want to talk about here.
As we learned more, it became more difficult, and we became more weary of our ability to perform.
As our level of experience grew, we tend to be less confident in our abilities.
Many of us stay at the initial level because we feel confident where we are in our knowledge.
There are so many people in America who think they are experts on what’s going on in Washington DC, or in the C-Suite at their company, and yet don’t have political science degrees, MBAs, etc. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect at work.
As You Start to Know More, You Realize You Know Less
What’s interesting to me is that as you learn more in a subject, you realize you actually don’t know anything in the subject. In addition, you realize how much more there is to know and find out.
We go from “I know nothing” to “I’m an expert” to “I know nothing” as our actual level of knowledge increases!
Increase Savings Fast by Reducing These 3 Big Expenses
Saving more money can sometimes seem impossible, but with the right saving strategy, you can save a lot of money. I like to focus on the 3 big expenses – housing, transportation and food – to save more money fast.
In this post, you’ll learn how to save more money fast and increase your savings by focusing on these 3 areas of spending to improve your financial situation.
There are a number of ways for a person to improve their financial situation: increasing your income, increasing your savings rate, decreasing your expenses, or getting a windfall, to name a few.
My goal is to increase my income, though I’m always cognizant of the big three expenses: housing, transportation, and food.
These are called the big three because, typically, they will be your three biggest yearly expenses (shocking right?). Reducing expenses in these areas will have the biggest impact on your financial situation.
Yes, it’s easy to look at that $4 latte each day and think dropping that will help reduce your expenses, but honestly, $4 a day is $120 a month – not a crazy amount of money.
Switching houses or apartments could result in a $500 per month saving with little to no effort – and you’re still caffeinated. 🙂
I believe we all should be cognizant of these three expenses.
Here are some tips and tricks for saving more money on your three biggest expenses.
How to Reduce Housing Costs
In real estate, the main determinant of housing cost is location.
“Location, location, location!” you will hear, and it’s true.
The areas where there is higher demand, due to better schools, better jobs, and better attractions, will be more expensive than areas where there is lower demand.
An obvious way to reduce your housing cost is to downsize to a smaller house or apartment.
In the metropolitan area I live, a 3000 square foot house might cost in the range of $350,000 to $450,000. A 1500 square foot house, on the other hand, might cost in the range of $200,000 to $250,000.
This immediate cost savings of $100,000 to $200,000 adds up quickly when you consider savings on interest, property taxes and insurance.
For a 30-year home mortgage at 5% interest for $400,000, you can expect to pay nearly $375,000 in interest over 30 years.
Compare that to a $200,000 home, also at 5% interest and over a 30 year period, and you will only end up paying $186,000 in interest.
That’s a savings of nearly $200,000 over 30 years – just in interest!
Another way to reduce housing costs is to share your housing space with roommates. When you are single, this is easy – just grab a friend or two and divvy up the rent and utilities to share with your friends.
If you are married, and/or have kids, then it might be a little bit more difficult to get roommates. Luckily, there are other ways to share space, while also reducing your housing costs.
I’m a huge fan of house hacking. I bought a single family house in 2015, and rented it out to three friends while I also lived there.
Because of this, I earned over $39,000 in 2 and a half years – just by house hacking!
While this sounds impressive, there have been dozens of other more successful house hackers.
One of my fellow personal finance and real estate bloggers, Guy on FIRE, has amassed a nearly $500,000 net worth by age 30 through house hacking and real estate.
How to Live Life Intentionally with Proactive Behavior
Are you looking to learn how to live life intentionally? Do you want to take action, reach your goals, and find success in your life? In this post, you’ll learn how to live life intentionally, learn how to think proactively, and read about a 5 step plan for success in life.
Are you in control of your life, or are you just letting life pass you by? Are you living intentionally, or living unintentionally? Does life happen for you, or does life happen to you?
One of the most effective ways to take control of your life is through intentional living and proactive behavior.
I try to practice proactive behavior in all parts of my life – trying to play catch up is stressful and takes away from getting after my goals and dreams.
Instead of reacting to situations, I prefer to wake up and try to do what I want to do with my life.
By proactively thinking about what to do next, I can make a plan for my life and then take action towards my goals.
Doesn’t it feel good to set your own schedule and do what matters to you, instead of following someone else’s schedule and dreams?
Luckily, becoming more intentional and forward thinking in your behavior and actions isn’t too difficult.
In this post, I will share some tips on how you can take control of your life through intentional actions, how you can live life intentionally, and how to use proactive thinking to make smart decisions.
First, let’s talk about intentional living.
“You have complete control over the direction that the rest of your life takes.” – Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge
What is Intentional Living and Why is Living Intentionally Important?
Before talking about proactive behavior, let’s talk about intentional living.
What is intentional living?
Intentional living is living your life in a way you have consciously decided to live it.
Living intentionally involves coming up with dreams, goals and a plan, and living out that plan. In addition, these plans and goals are usually informed by your values and beliefs.
Put simply, intentional living is living the kind of life that is meaningful to you, and makes you feel like every day matters.
Unintentional living is the opposite of intentional living.
Unintentional living is going through life without a plan, letting life happen to you, and not taking control of your situation.
Days, weeks and months can pass by if you don’t live intentionally, and this is where proactive behavior comes in.
What is the Difference between Proactive and Reactive Behavior?
What is proactive behavior?
Proactive behavior involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen.
Proactive people generally do not need to be asked to act, nor do they require detailed instructions. Proactive people practice intentional living.
Reactive behavior involves acting after an event occurs, rather than acting in advance of the event. It means waiting for something to happen, rather than making something happen.
Why are some people reactive in their behavior? What would happen if they changed started practicing proactive behaviors? Would they take control of their life and achieve wild success?
“Your philosophy creates your attitudes, which create your actions, which create your results, which create your life.” – Jeff Olson
People who are successful in life are proactive and make things happen.
Proactive behavior helps you take control of your life by making intentional choices about what you want your life to look like, and following through with your behavior to make that life vision a reality.