14 July 2024
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Don't use silly ‘get rich’ plans. Get a motto and stick with it.

Peter Switzer
25 June 2024

My colleagues at 2GB wanted me to look at some advice from something on TikTok around having a ‘no spend month’. The very idea took me back to my first encounter in a gym workout. It was with a funny, but brutal, yet inspirational, Les Motto.
As the SMH reported in 2005: “At the Newtown Jets they still celebrate “that highly regarded trainer/conditioner from the late 1970s, the zestful and dynamic Les Motto”. He is a near-legendary figure from the club's last Winfield Cup years.”
As we laboured under the pressure of say 50 push-ups, Les would scream: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
That’s what I thought about when a CNBC take on this ‘no spend month’ warned that this money-saving trick could come back to bite you.
On the subject of biting, I like to compare ‘tough love’ strategies like not spending on non-essential purchases, which is the actual advice with this saving stunt, to dieting and banning carbs.

These ‘tough’ dieting decisions can work as the body cops both the starvation and psychological shock of not consuming food that can be a big weight increaser, especially if you’re not visiting the likes of Les Motto three or four times a week.
Of course, this was the era when people like Les would motivate you with “no guts no glory” statements. In the modern context, workout or yoga or pilates instructors are a little more wholistic and considered than old-school conditioners.
Similarly, methods to beat hip-pocket challenges can work for some, but for most they become a temporary experiment.
Gregory Stoller, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, thinks these ‘no spend’ commitments don’t last. He too compares them to detox diets and other weight-killing strategies that simply don’t last.
Money ‘experts’ always suggest a budget as the starting point to a new attitude to money. In fact, I argue there has to be an attitude change that really should happen before the budget. That means committing to what you actually want. You start with a goal to put $10,000 a year into the stock market every year for 30 years, which, if you invest sensibly, should become a million dollars plus after that time!
Next has to be a plan to find $10,000 a year via numerous methods, such as killing silly spending, getting a second job, renting out your garage or turning it into an Airbnb cottage. Once you have the excitement of the goal and the fun of working out the plan, that’s where a budget becomes functional and useful.
It shows you what you earn and where you have been spending. That’s when you look at dumb outlays, question the bills you pay, look for a mortgage broker to get you a lower rate loan.
The budget puts your money life on the lawn. I suggest a starting point to finding money is to GST your spending life. Try and hit yourself with a 10% tax on your spending. This is the best tax of all because you get to keep the tax.
All these actions show you the money, and then you either create a wealth-building plan yourself or go to an expert who shows you how to do it.
What I’m talking about is you going from being an amateur with money to becoming increasingly professional. Some people who know themselves go looking for an expert. Others simply have to admit that they’re too busy to change themselves, or they do actually change and become great with money.
Here are the simple steps to getting wealthier:

1. Recognise that you’re not great with money.
2. Get a goal you really want, such as buying a home.
3. Get real about what you’re doing and create a plan that could change your attitude to money forever.
4. Commit to the plan. “World champion surfer” Layne Beachley wrote goal on her mirror in lipstick, which meant she saw her goal every day.
5. Get expert help either from books, the internet or real professionals (like Les Motto!), who can inspire and educate you forever.
One of my favourite motivational pump ups came from a guy who was a successful business builder who told me something that I can never forget: “Work out what you want. Work out what it costs. Pay the price!”

My favourite message from a legend of success came from a tennis great who I met on a Virgin plane flying to the Australian Open — Chris Evert!
This is what the International Tennis Hall of Fame tells us about her: “Evert won at least one major singles title a record 13 years in a row. Evert won the second-most singles titles in history (157), behind Navratilova's 167, and was the first to top the 150-plus mark. Evert owns a 900 winning percentage (1,309-148), best in history, male or female.”
She said this to explain her success: “Deep down I wanted to win so badly, I could actually will it to happen. I think most of my career was based on desire.”
It really all gets down to Les’s motto: “No guts, no glory.”

Dow up 260 local up 39 66.57

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