Martial arts and money.
Attending martial arts and working towards your black belt takes time and discipline. Each class that you attend is one step closer to your eventual goal. There are no short cuts. Saving money and paying off loans is the same. Saving for the long term takes discipline and commitment. Paying off a loan takes discipline and commitment. The following are some simple rules that I use that are often over looked.
The myth that more is better.
I often used to wonder what the magical formula was for making money. After making it and losing it not once but twice, now I think I get it. I have come to realize the more you make and try to hold onto it the more you lose. And as you lose it, if you are attached to it the more you suffer. This might sound a little severe as we need money in order to live and manage in the world and when we don’t have money our sense of security is understandably diminished. Even more so now we live in a time where the cost of living is more expensive than ever. The competition for rental property let alone purchasing your own property is fueled by an ever increasing population We demand higher wages to be able to afford mortgage repayments while constantly bombarded with more is better, consume, consume, consume driving personal debt higher.
Love what you do
So why is a martial arts teacher writing about money? Well because part of my personal journey has been how I have managed my desire for security while walking the tightrope of earning a living by teaching a message of personal growth. For years I struggled with this misguided notion that because I was charging to teach martial arts, I was selling out on the art, but when I realized that the income I was earning was enabled me to empower more people was clearly a light bulb moment. We spend years of our lives working, so make sure you love your work. Doing what you love, and I mean living breathing and oozing passion, is a great first step in taking control of your finances
There is no use saving and getting low interest if you are not paying your credit card with high interest first. Especially as most people pay off credit with post tax dollars. That is negative economics. I still use my credit card all the time especially as it accrues frequent flyer points. The thing is, if you pay it off by the monthly payment due date, it is interest free.
Running your own business is not everyone’s thing. There is great sense of freedom and accomplishment being in control of your own destiny. The money you earn is in direct proportion to the amount of effort you make. There are no short cuts but if you have a good work ethic the rewards are outstanding. This does not mean you have to leave your full-time job. Not yet anyway. There are many great part time business opportunities where most of the up front cost is effort and a desire to succeed. The great thing is, you get to pay legitimate business expenses with pre tax dollars. Your accountant can certainly fill you in.
Turning a hobby into a business
I have run several businesses that were good but not great. I hated the work but persisted because I was good at it. These were working as a gardner a doorman, plumbing, a tradesmen agency, and a water filtration installation business. I always taught martial arts at the same time though I always had trouble accepting that it is okay to charge for it, so I preferred to call it a hobby.
Realising your worth
I had an idea! What if I applied the customer service that I had learned from working in the service industry to martial arts. At the same time, rehash the programs so that the classes were fun but challenging for all fitness levels and ages making black belt an achievable goal for both men and women. This meant a complete name and brand change. The fact that I was now unemployed was good timing. I now had nothing to lose; I had already lost it all…twice. So I changed the name from fightclub to Northstar and gave my full attention to running a successful martial arts school. In the process of empowering others through martial arts I saved a deposit, bought a house and paid off the mortgage in 4 years…..
Over the years I have followed the following 10 steps to being debt free and owning my home.
- Live with in your means
- Spend less than you earn
- Pay yourself first
- Clear credit card debt every month
- Save for the long term
- Have a mortgage offset account
- Work hard
- Enjoy your work
- Make a difference.