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$100,000 per year. For any of us who were not born into wealthy families or haven’t become reality show celebrity sensations, making that first $100K in a 12 month period can feel like the holy grail. But until you actually get there, it might as well be $1,000,000. Like most middle class kids from hard working parents, I didn’t get a great financial education, or any for that matter. For years my income bounced up and down until I finally decided it was time to do something about it.
Here are the 10 mindset shifts that helped me break $100K.
1. Give yourself permission to do it your own way.
Although I knew I should do it, for a long time budgeting and financial planning never felt quite right to me. I came to realize that it was because every system I tried, while perhaps useful and very valid, seemed inflexible without room to adapt to my own style and habits, and most importantly to an entertainment industry income that fluctuated every month. I finally ended up working with a financial planner who dealt specifically in the entertainment industry and was able to help me develop a system that worked for me. There are a lot of great budgeting systems out there. Be sure to take the time to find one that works for you and your lifestyle and that you can stick to.
2. Allow the system to adapt when needed.
Budgets, or expense and income tracking are not static things; they should grow with you and be adaptable to your life the way it is right now. Our lives and our finances are in a constant state of flux and can change with our goals, careers, additions to the family… or yes, even a global pandemic. 🙄
3. Decide, just decide.
I find that most people can accomplish just about anything when they really put their mind to it. If you want your financial life to look different, just decide. Make a decision to earn more, hit a certain financial target, pay off debt or make that major purchase. Be absolutely firm in your goal but keep an open mind and be flexible on how to reach it.
4. Constantly remind yourself of the end goal… and I mean daily.
There are going to be tough days when you feel like quitting, and temptations will always arise, particularly in times of stress. Whatever financial goal(s) you have set for yourself, and made a firm decision on achieving, remind yourself of that outcome everyday. Remind yourself of how it will feel to have accomplished it and the consequences if you don’t. If you really do feel the need to ‘blow off a little steam financially’ every once in a while, keep the purchases small and set a spending limit for yourself. Depending on your budget that could be $20 or $200.
5. Have a firm grip on expenses.
“What get’s measured gets managed.” Make sure you know exactly how much money you need to cover expenses every month, what day it’s going out on and from what account or credit card it’s being paid. Find a way that works for you to keep track of this. My preferred method is a simple, one page, spreadsheet. It’s easy to revise and print out every month and check things off as they get paid. And the best thing is, just put in the info and all of the calculations are done for you!
You can download my Monthly Expenses and Balance Tracker along with my Daily Income Tracker for $100,000 and Prosperity Affirmations here.
6. Diligently keep track of your income – especially if you freelance.
I can’t stress this enough, it’s equally as important to keep track of your income every month as it is your expenses, and yes, especially if you freelance. It’s not enough to just pay the bills, buy a few extras, throw a bit into savings and keep going.
Just as with expenses “what gets measured get’s managed”. Even if you have a full time job and a salaried position, there is probably a little fluctuation throughout the year with bonuses, tax refunds or other miscellaneous income. And if you have a side hustle or are thinking about starting one, you absolutely want to know how much it’s bringing in. Tracking your income also keeps you aware of any dips and allows you to set income targets to bring in more every week or month. Once you have the numbers in place then you can start strategizing how to reach the next level.
Also Read: 7 Habits of People Who Always Have Money
7. Have a financial wishlist.
For me, I find this to be one of the most powerful tools for staying on track with spending, and pretty much EVERYTHING that is not essential goes on this list. My wishlist contains small items such as luxury cosmetics I’d like to have but aren’t in the basics, a seasonal wardrobe refresh, and new yoga gear, right up to large items such as upgrading my vehicle, a pricy course I’d like to take or cosmetic procedure I’d love to have done. The beauty of having a financial wish list rather than just going out and buying something is that when everything is listed it allows me to prioritize. If I don’t have the money to get everything I want at once, then the decisions become really clear. I can see that buying the cosmetics and yoga gear is going to mean a bit of a longer wait time for the cosmetic procedure or the car, or perhaps put me behind on my savings goals. Spending then becomes a very conscious choice. And it’s your money and your life, so you always get to choose what’s best for you.
8. Drop the word “deserve” from your vocabulary.
How many times have you bought something because you’ve had a hard day or hard week and you feel like you just “deserve” something. Let me tell you right now, in case there is any doubt in your mind, that you deserve the world! You absolutely deserve to be happy and have everything your heart desires. You were born deserving, we all were. But have you earned the money to buy it and are you prepared to make that financial choice is the true question? Know that you always deserve to be treated well, you deserve self care, you deserve the comforts and luxuries of life. But our economy doesn’t run on deservability it runs on cash. The next time you feel like you ‘deserve something’ ask yourself what it is that you really need, (and usually it’s rest and self-compassion) and give yourself that first before blowing the budget.
9. Set income targets that are attainable, but inspire and stretch you.
Having goals or targets in any area of life helps to keep you focused on what you want, and pulls you forward. Clear, firm goals can be the catalyst for new behavior choices, habits, and the sustained momentum you need to make your dreams come true.
Your financial goals or targets should inspire you and really engage your imagination for the type of future you want to create! But they should also push you a bit outside of your comfort zone while still being attainable. If you’re currently making $60,000 / year and would like to break the $100,000 glass ceiling, start by shooting for $72,000 over the next 12 months – an increase of $1000 / month. That’s an overall 20% increase. Once you’ve achieved that, do the same thing again. And again, and again. This builds up momentum, helps you to develop the skills and the mindset to earn and manage more money, and side benefit – you’ll feel like a rockstar! Setting goals and achieving them develops an unshakable sense of self-mastery and boosts your confidence to new heights, enabling you to achieve even more.
10. Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
Know that we have all made bad decisions in many areas of our lives, finances included. Constantly beating yourself up is not helpful in creating a better future. There is unfortunately a lot of ‘financial shaming’ going on in our culture, but the reality is, we don’t all receive the same financial guidance and education, or even opportunities early in life. (Hey… we’re not all born Kardashians!) Just drop the financial guilt right now. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a man who owned a gold mine, yes, a real, actual gold mine; “Assess. Correct. Move forward.” Guilt is self-destructive and hoping for a better past.
For more on this read: How and Why You Should Drop Financial Guilt Right Now
Have You Broken the $100K / year barrier?
$100,000 seems to be the first ‘magic number’ for most of us. Have you hit this target? If so, what are your best tips?
Are you doing anything differently or going to start to make sure you reach that milestone?
Head to the comments and tell me about it, then pin and share this post if it helped you!