There is nothing wrong with being one of the average Joes.
Average is OK, it gets by. But maybe you want to be more. You want to stop being average, but you don’t know where to start. If this is the case, there are a couple of simple things that you can do to lift yourself from the baseline set by those around you.
Here’s How to Stop Being One of the Average Joes – and Start Getting Ahead
1. Get out of Debt
It’s no surprise that the average American is in debt. In fact, 80 percent of households are sitting in liability.
Sure, a lot of those families are in debt because of mortgages, but there are still millions of people that are carrying around credit card bills, student loans, and car payments. If you want to rise above the average around you, it’s time to dig your way out of it.
2. Start Budgeting
One of the best ways for you to get out of debt is to create a budget for all of your bills and spending. The vast majority of average Joes aren’t using a budget, which is one of the worst things you can do your finances. If you don’t know where your money is going, you could be wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars every year.
Making a budget doesn’t have to be as painful as it used to be in the past. Thanks to smartphones, it’s never been easier. Apps and websites like Mint and Personal Capital make it extremely simple to make a budget – and stick to it. Both of these apps will sync to all of your bank and investment accounts. They will display all of your money and spending on one screen.
With Mint for example, you’ll be able to quickly make a budget based on your transaction history. Finally, you’ll see areas where you can cut back and toss some of that extra money to your debt. The app will send you a notification once you start getting close to reaching your budget limit for a certain category (e.g. entertainment or groceries).
3. Learn about Investing
Only about half of Americans are currently investing any of their money. If you’re looking to be more than the average Joes, it’s time to make your money start working for you.
Investing is one of the best things that you can do for your future. But if you’ve never invested before, it can be a scary idea. Thanks to the Internet, there are several different ways that you can start investing without being a financial guru.
If you want to create an investment portfolio, but don’t know what all that financial jargon means, you can try automated investing service, Betterment.
Investing through Betterment is one of the easiest ways to begin your investment journey. All you do is create an account, decide how much you want to invest, how often you want to invest, and how much risk you want to take. After that, Betterment handles the rest.
4. Get Insurance
Insurance is something that everyone knows is important, but very few people actually purchase. Average Joes don’t plan for the worst that could happen, and because of that, they are left stranded or leave their family with massive bills.
Let’s say that you were to pass away tomorrow (let’s hope not), what would happen with all of those unpaid expenses that you have? All of that would be handed down to your family and loved ones.
One of the best ways to ensure that your family isn’t stuck under a mountain of debt is by having some form of life insurance. It isn’t the norm, but being average can leave your family with thousands and thousands of dollars of debt.
5. Manage your Time
Most people spend their free time binge-watching shows on Netflix. There is nothing wrong with kicking back and relaxing at the end of your day, but maybe you want to be above the average Joes.
That doesn’t mean you have to cancel your Netflix subscription, but you’ll probably see that there is a lot of “dead” time during your day that you could be using for more productive endeavors.
For at least one week – preferably two – write down how you spend all of your time. As soon as you wake up, until the time that you put your head back on the pillow, write down everything. You’ll be shocked to see how much time you’re wasting during the day.
6. Give Back
Being more than average doesn’t mean just storing up all of your money to retire on your own private island. It should be more than that. Average Joes are concerned with their own bank account. If you want to stop being average, it’s time to start thinking about those around you and give back to your community.
There are millions of different charities, local organizations, or groups that you can donate to. Find one that you’re passionate about and then look for ways that you can give back to the less fortunate.
It doesn’t necessarily mean with money, you can also give your time. Tons of groups could use an extra set of hands on a Saturday morning.
7. Think Outside the Box
Obviously, average people think INSIDE the box. Otherwise there wouldn’t’ be a box. If you want to rise above the people around you, it’s time to look at things through a different lens.
The best way you can do this is to make a list of things in your life that you feel may have fallen into a rut, or which you have not taken the time to examine. It could be a how you are approaching your work, your hobbies, or maybe it’s how you manage certain aspects of your financial life.
Regardless of what it is, put it down on your list and then go out and find how other people are approaching that area. Not every path is going to be appealing to you. But this activity will get you to think of how to improve each piece of your life that you feel could be improved.
Once you go through that process, write down stuff you believe is going pretty well. Thinking outside the box does not just include problem areas; it has to include comfort areas as well.
Get Ahead than the Average Joes!
These are only a few of the dozens of different ways that you can stand out from everyone around you. There is nothing wrong with being average – but being like the average Joes is going to get you where everyone else is.
It’s time to get ahead. Venture off the beaten path and create your own course.