Ka-ching! Money 101 (Earning, budgeting, borrowing, planning for the future)

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We can’t live without it… and can’t live with it.

That is the brutal truth, especially in these desperately dire times of high energy prices, high inflation, low wage increases, rocketing rents and all-around hike in the cost of living.

Even those on reasonably good salaries are struggling.

It’s worse for young families and pensioners.

In this Investment Mastery Special Money 101 Report, we examine the state of money and why it is more important than ever to look after it and use it wisely now, and in the future.

In other words, how to manage your money over the course of your lifetime.

Our fundamental analysis explores:

  • Earning
  • Budgeting
  • Borrowing
  • Planning for the Future

Because in times like these, it is good to take a step back and re-evaluate the basics of money management.

More importantly, if you don’t already, it’s time to think of money, earning, budgeting, borrowing and planning for the future as ONE.

They all go together. Hand-in-hand.

Getting a solid grasp on this idea will help you have a more rounded approach to money and how to make what you need for all stages of your life.


It all starts with earning money.

You might start as a kid. Earning pocket money. Saving that pocket money to buy the latest “must-have” because your friends have one.

Or maybe buy something you really want that feeds a passion you may have. New football boots or strings for your guitar. 

Or maybe just save that money and let it build.

But at this stage “earning” money is simply that. You are acquiring money from your labours.

The “work” you do.

Now, it’s a lot simpler when you’re a kid, earning pocket money to save up to buy that one thing you want.

It’s just one thing.

Yet already at this early age we have learnt the basics.

It’s only when we leave school and get a job or embark on a career, we start earning money to pay for the things we need to “live.”

And it’s a lot more than just one thing.

Rent, a car, clothes, food, utilities, subscriptions, holidays, deposit on a house…

There are a lot of things we need!

Everything can then start to unravel. It can all become a struggle. It can be highly stressful for some.

When we set out on our path into adulthood, all we really care about is having money. Getting it however we can.

It’s all about earning money to get by, and “make a living.”

But how about approaching it in a different way?

NO ONE really starts out thinking about the money they earn as going toward “building wealth.”

It’s all about earning and spending. Maybe putting some aside for a “rainy day.”

As for retirement and pensions?

Well, at this moment in time, Winter 2022, pensions are not top of young earners’ list of priorities.

According to a recent survey, 21% of working 18-34 year olds didn’t know how much their pension was; 32% knew they should be saving more for their retirement and 50% said they had reduced or stopped any regular savings as a result of the cost of living crisis.

It has also been reported that on average, young people are currently spending double on essentials like rent or bills than people aged over 51.

On top of this, only 25% knew they could save more into their pension and with employers matching additional contributions up to certain amounts.


What most people don’t realise is, earning and saving for retirement are two ends of the spectrum.

It’s what you do in the middle that matters

Forget about “saving” for retirement, how about thinking of it as “building wealth” for retirement?

There is a BIG difference.

Building is Pro-Active / Saving is Conservative

In these volatile times, we need to move with the volatility and GROW with it.

And if you do it well, you can build and grow your wealth to the point that you don’t even have to “work” any more to “earn” money – you can let the money you make do the work and make more money so you don’t have to.

(See this amazing compound interest calculator!)

Look at it this way – you can earn money from the work you do AND the money you make can earn money for you too.

If you love your job, what could be better?

If slaving away to earn your living gets you down, then it’s time to take action and consider new ways to earn money.

There are plenty of them.

And that’s the point really, why work yourself to the bone for 50 years just so you can (maybe) have some money to live off when you stop working?

Who knows how long you might have to work for?

Who knows what money will be worth in the future?

Getting active and thinking differently is a MUST

Look at what Earl Crawley and Grace Groner did as inspiration.

Earl Crawley was a parking lot attendant in the USA. He was on $12 an hour. He regularly invested a little money and 44 years later had a sum of $500,000!

It’s true.

As for Grace Groner. Again, another USA citizen. She worked for medical device manufacturer, Abbott Labs for 43 years. Bought 3 x $60 shares in 1935. That $180 became a colossal $75 million during her 75 year life span!

How? Well, that had something to do with stock splitting. Those 3 stocks ended up becoming 100,000 shares!

That’s all true too. And why learning stock trading for beginners is becoming a big thing on the internet.

These are just two examples of how money can make more money!

Strongly linked to building your wealth is how it pays to be wise with your money when spending it.   


Oh no! Not the B word!

We get it. Budgeting. Sounds like some kind of punishment. It’s restrictive. No fun at all! BORING!

Well, bet you didn’t know, budgeting is the secret to financial security and long-term wealth?

And that applies to however much you earn!

In fact, another TRUTH, all the top billionaires and millionaires do budgeting.

Because once they get into making money, they LOOK AFTER their money.

They are serious money-makers. They are not one-off got-lucky millionaire lottery winners.

They studied how to make money and better still, get that money to make more money for themselves without them having to do anything!

Talking of one-off millionaire lottery winners, it is quite shocking how many of them got completely lost in it all and blew the lot.

They simply didn’t know how to handle that amount of money.

It’s crazy, but also TRUE.

It comes down to RESPECT

You have money. That money should earn your respect.

And in these times of financial pain, who knows where the next penny, cent, or drachma is coming from?

Look after your money, your money will look after you.

This is especially true if you are living paycheck to paycheck.

You might be surprised by how much you are sending on things you don’t really need or use.

To create a budget, simply go through all your expenses. Check your bank statement and any other statements, such as credit card.

Have a thorough look at everything and work out what are the essentials, and the things you can’t do without – i.e. rent/mortgage payments, debt payments, direct debits, bills, food etc.

Then add up everything you have spent on peripherals/extras – i.e. clothes, eating out, subscriptions, and so on.

Maybe you have everything under control, that’s great.

If your expenses are outweighing your earnings, you’re in trouble.

You need to get it balanced out.

You need to start curbing your spending.

Developing a solid budget can even become a lifesaver.


Maybe this will help…

2.5 billion people in the world live on $2 a day or less

Think about that for a second. Sure it’s all relative to “standards” of living, but it puts things in perspective.

Point is – working out a solid budget makes your money more valuable.

Once you start sticking to your budget, you’ll see a huge difference in the state of your finances.

In effect, what you are doing is being fully aware how and where your money is going to go BEFORE it enters your bank account.

This is solid money management.

And that leads to peace of mind. You are in control. You can rest easy. Less stress. It’s a great feeling.

For some, things might still be tight however hard they try to budget.

That’s why people end up having to borrow more.


Borrowing money comes in many forms, such as personal loans, mortgages, car loans, credit cards.

It is natural to see these as “debts,” because they are.

But, not all debt is bad debt.

There is “bad debt” and “good debt.”

If you know how to manage debt, debt doesn’t have to be a problem.

Same with credit. If you understand how it works, you can take advantage of it.

What is the difference between good and bad debt?

Believe it or not, you can actually grow your wealth using “good debt.”

It can help you earn more money.

For instance:

Student loan – can lead to a successful and financially rewarding career.

Mortgage – provides equity, as well as a “home” that brings you happiness.

Business loan – with the aim of helping your company grow, and in turn make more money.

Property loan – as a buy-to-let or commercial premises, provides passive income.

This next one might be surprising.

Credit cards.

More specifically, those that offer cash back rewards, discounts, and perks.

If used responsibly, these can be viewed as “good debt” because in effect value is being added to your money when you use it via a credit card.

But that is the key word – RESPONSIBLY!

If you haven’t fallen into “bad debt” then using credit and loans sensibly from the outset can prove very beneficial.

“Bad debt,” however… well it’s not good is it!

Bad debt is basically any debt that doesn’t bring long-term financial benefit, for instance, a luxury item or holiday.

Other types of loans or credit card expenditures where you make purchases when you can’t afford to is also “bad debt.”

Unfortunately, in late 2022 with the cost of living crisis, many people are turning to “bad debt” loans, such as ridiculously high interest payday loans, and emptying their savings accounts simply to pay their bills, rent, heating and put food on the table for their kids.

It’s grim to hear of such financial hardship and we should all spare a thought for those who are struggling.

It is also unfortunate for those with bad debt because getting out of it can be very hard.

Not impossible, but very hard and can take years.

So, avoiding bad debt is essential if you want to grow your wealth.

There is a knock-on effect to this because bad debt can affect your PERSONAL CREDIT SCORE/RATING.

Your personal credit score is very important because it’s an indicator of your “creditworthiness.”

In other words, your ability to repay debt.

The score/rating is worked out according to your repayment history.

So if you are someone who pays their debts off in time, then it means you are trustworthy.

Keep doing it and your credit score improves each time.

This is important because good credit doesn’t just relate to debt.

The better your score, the better deals you will get in other areas of life

For instance, that new job you are after.

New apartment rental.

Mortgage deal.

Insurance policy.

Mobile phone contract.

In fact, your good credit score will have a big impact on any future interest rate on a loan if you decided to apply for one to enhance your earning potential – i.e. a business loan, for reasons outlined earlier.

So, as you can see, using debt and credit can actually be beneficial – if handled the right way.

Again, it’s about having the right approach from the outset.

Make it part of your overall money management plan.

Think of them as tools that can enhance your ongoing financial well-being as well as build your wealth for the future.


None of us can predict what the future holds, but planning for our future finances as early as possible is always the best plan, especially when we are at the “working” stage of our lives.

This usually takes the form of pensions.

But these days, given the unpredictable state of the world economy it is pretty useless to rely on pensions or savings alone.

That is why more and more people are looking to investments and want to learn stock trading or go on a cryptocurrency course.

Young earners, the millennials, are taking up buying and selling cryptos, whereas older generations are generally sticking with stocks and shares.

Either way, there is a growing trend and interest in using investments as a vehicle to grow wealth simply because the returns can be highly lucrative.

If you know what you are doing.

But getting to know what to do and how to do it is far easier than you may think

It all starts with education, but in fact investing in stock and crypto trading education is probably the best investment you can make.

And the earlier the better.

Because learning how to invest and trade with assets such as stocks and cryptos at the same time you are working or receiving income in other ways, is a great way to grow your wealth.

You need to have various streams of income. These are often called the 5 Pillars of Wealth.

Relying on just one source of income just won’t do, now or in the future.

Again, it’s about being proactive.

Rather than despair about the future, grab the potential of growing your wealth, building upon it, month-by-month, year-by-year, with both hands so that it becomes a habit.

It’s all about mindset too.

Change your perception of money.

Manage what you have now better and build upon what you have to make that money, make more money.

Planning is at the heart of this.

Get a plan down on paper.

Ask yourself what sum of money would you like to have in the future, when your own earning days are over.

Again, use the compounding calculator to see just how much you could make simply with compound interest.

Tie this all in with the other components we have looked at here – earning, budgeting, and borrowing.

Make it part of your whole money management strategy

Simply the act of doing this, making a plan, will make you feel a whole lot better about the future and your financial situation.

Sure, it might all seem too much to think about if you are struggling financially, but if you check out these inspiring stories you will see just what is possible.

Taking control of your finances and accumulating more money in diverse ways is actually very exciting.

Once you get started, you won’t want to stop.

The great thing about investing and trading is that it doesn’t discriminate.

Whether you are single, started a family, are retired… ANYONE can do it.

There are lots of things to consider before setting out as a stock or crypto trader/investor.

Risk is one of them.

But learning how to manage risk is one thing you will learn in any investment course.

That along with the strategies and tools to use.

But you will need patience, discipline, and be determined.

When you gain enough confidence, you can start your journey to financial independence.


Earning, budgeting, borrowing, and planning for the future – should all be considered as part of a whole money management approach.

The earlier you do this, the better.

But even if you are coming to this Money 101 report in need of a refresher on your finances because of present circumstances, it will hopefully help to adopt this new thinking moving forward.

It is never too late to start building wealth, and growing your money, for right now and into the future.

If you want to make a start with investing and trading, then subscribing to IM Insider will provide a great starting point and fundamental analysis on stocks, cryptos, “pillars of wealth” and compound interest.

IM Insider is FREE and gives you access to so many ways to start getting into stocks and cryptos and other assets.

Plus many ways to learn about online trading with access to an online trading course.

Mitchel Wicking
Mitchel Wicking
A big believer in the individual and independently-minded, balanced with a sense of the collective team spirit. As a former journalist and Independent Councillor, Mitch has first-hand experience fighting corporate and public service corruption and is therefore full of admiration for what Investment Mastery are achieving through their trading and investing “education for the everyday person.” If his words help someone, in some small way, on their journey to financial independence, he would be more than happy.

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