There's an important conversation taking place right now about the pay wage disparity between women and their male counterparts.  This topic impacts millions of people and hopefully, the public conversations that are taking place will bring about real change in how pay wages are determined.

Until then, I'd like to give you a few tips based on my experience as an HR Manager on how you can increase your personal salary.
Over my relatively short stint in corporate America, I was involved in countless salary conversations.  I've seen it all. Salary negotiations at hire, merit increase convos, etc.  I've also had access to the salaries of thousands of employees (including those who were above my pay grade).

Based on my experience, there are certain instances in which you have control over increasing your salary and other instances where your options are limited.  I'd like to share my best advice on how you can maximize your earning potential.

First things first, the worst way to grow your salary in corporate America, in my opinion, is by working for the same company for countless years.  You may think this an admirable act. But it's one of the most ineffective strategies and will hurt you in the long run.  When I first was granted access to employee salaries, one thing I realized is that the most tenured employees weren't always the highest paid.  I was shocked to find employees who have been with the company for decades making what they make.  I didn't quite understand.

After a while, I realized that working the same position for extended periods of time could be detrimental to your earning potential.  If you look at your career path from a strategic point of view, one of your ultimate goals should be to maximize your earning potential.  In my experience, it's darn near impossible to maximize your potential if you work with the same employer (in the same position) for more than 3 years.  Their goal is to get the most out of you while increasing your wage by an average 3% year after year.  And, if the company is struggling, pay increases might even limited.

Meanwhile, others are taking the strategic approach and are making more than you (even if you're working harder). Whenever I brought on a new employee, I tried to be as fair as possible and pay them around the same dollar amount as those currently in the organization with around the same amount of experience.  With that said, we still paid someone a little extra if they worked for a reputable or well-regarded company.  The perception was that you were bringing solid experience with you.  But if you grow up in the company, your internal experience isn't as valued as the experience one brings with them.

If you want to make as much as possible while working for the same company, your only option is to take on multiple promotions.  I've seen it happen with my own eyes.  I've processed pay increases for people who went from making mediocre wages to over six figures plus bonuses. They maximized their earning potential by taking on additional responsibilities.   If you don't plan on becoming one of the big wigs, there are other ways to impact your earings.

When I first entered the workplace, I turned down a job similar position at a major hospital because I figured the corporate world open up more opportunities.  Even though the other position offered a higher starting wage, I guessed that swimming in a bigger pond could offer me more opportunities to climb the corporate ladder.  If you work for a company without much room to grow, you should weigh the pros and cons of continuing down your current path.  Observe others who've worked at the organization for many years.  Are they constantly complaining about how much they make?  This is a telltale sign. Yes, everyone wishes they can make more, but if people who've been there longer than you think they are underpaid, you might be looking at your potential future.

Another option you have is to just ask for a raise.  In my opinion, simply asking for more money isn't the most effective option.  Most often, we ask for raises from a place of feeling lack.  Sometimes we feel underappreciated or taken advantage of.  Because of this, our message isn't received by upper management the way we'd like.  It just looks like we're (selfishly) asking for more.  Timing is everything.  Negotiating your salary after a stellar review is much more effective than asking for a raise out of the blue.

An alternative strategy is for you to take on positions where your earnings are directly tied to your performance.  Most folks like to stay away from positions with sales goals.  Understandably, you're afraid that won't do well.  But, on the flip side, people who do well in sales are some of the wealthiest. It's simple, if you bring more money into the company, you'll get a cut.  Nowadays there are plenty of resources and videos online that can teach you to become effective at generating sales.  I believe everyone should have some exposure to driving sales.  It's an ultra-valuable asset to have.  Selling a skill set that will earn you money for years to come.

While you're still employed, take a look around at how much other organizations are paying for "new talent."  Corporate America believes in paying the best for high-quality talent.  If you're performing well at your job now, you might be considered rare talent by the next potential employer.  The key is to do exceedingly well where you are now, then move into a higher paying role internally or see how much you're worth to someone else.  The times when I experienced the greatest pay hikes in my career was when I left for my employer to take on a position with greater responsibility somewhere else.

Ten years ago, the only suggestion I had for those who wanted to earn more was to strive for a promotion.  Nowadays, I invite you to explore the idea of generating money on your own.  You don't have to quit your job. But working isn't the only way to make money.  When I used to process payroll, I realized that some employees lived and died by their paycheck, while others saw it as another of their many income streams. 

Prior to leaving my position, I asked my supervisor for a raise.  I did it as a sign of solidarity because my peers were also asking for pay increases.  In the back of my mind, I knew that these increases weren't likely and, honestly, I didn't care because my business was growing at a decent pace.

In 2018, your goal should be to generate income (no matter how big/small) from a source other than your employer.  You can start small by saying, "I'd like to earn enough non-paycheck income to fill my gas tank."  Then progress from there.   Just know that we live in an ideal environment to create the type of income we desire. The barrier to entry is low so why not take this opportunity to develop a side hustle that helps elevate your lifestyle?






As I plan for 2018, my two main intentions include experiencing additional travel along and making various improvements to my home environment.  Accomplishing both in the same year will require a substantial financial investment.  Without a defined plan, the year could slip by without accomplishing exactly what I set out to do. 
@spiritedpursuit

That's why I need to devise a plan. A plan that will give purpose and intention to how I spend and allocate my money. Therefore I ensure most, if not all of my goals come to fruition.
The moment I decided to take several trips next year while spending thousands on home improvements, my first instinct was to put the upgrades off until the following year.  But then I challenged myself to think bigger and figure out a way to do both. 

Typically, if we want to spend less money, we default to budgeting.  Budgeting is a great option but I often have resistance towards it.  I think of budgeting like dieting. It's imposing a restriction, for a period of time, in order to produce a result.  Instead of dieting financially, I'd like to promote a change in lifestyle that easily creates the outcomes I want. 

I still want my lifestyle to feel more or less the same while I recreate my financial outcomes.  With all said, here are some of the actions I'll take to ensure that everything will get accomplished.

AWARENESS
Most of my spending takes place on my American Express Card.  When the bill comes, I transfer the money from my checking to pay the balance in full.  Sometimes, after seeing the statement balance, I'll ask myself, "what did I buy?"  Then I review my spending line by line.  This basically lets me know that I have low to no awareness when it comes to how I spend my money.  I'm sure every expense made sense at the time but did they contribute to my overall goal

 More importantly, did the mindless spending bring me farther away from my bigger intentions?

Yesterday, I watched Darren Hardy's the Compound Effect speech as part of my annual, end of year ritual.  During his talk, Darren tells the story of being a young, successful real estate broker, earning a great living.  At the end of the year, his accountant congratulates him because his taxes owed was only $20,000.  

Darren was in shock because he hadn't set aside any money (he spent every penny of what he earned that year).  Stunned, his accountant gave him a stern warning that if he kept heading in the same direction, he would be financially bankrupt.  The accountant then changed Darren's life by advising him to write down every single expense on a notepad. The simple act of writing down every penny spent raised Darren's awareness in an incredible way.  He says that's what elevated him from being a guy who made a lot of money to become a person of wealth. Awareness changed everything. I need this type of awareness in my life.  

CHOICE
Once awareness comes into the picture, we activate the next most powerful tool in reallocating our spending in a powerful way. And that is CHOICE.  I need to make the distinction to see if the purchases I make are based out of habit or if they are conscious choices.  I have this problem of buying the same thing over and over again.  Even if it's not exactly the same, it's similar enough. There are lots of problems with this behavior but my main concern is that I'm spending based on who I was in the past versus what I want to experience in the future. I need to question whether or not the purchase is even necessary.     When I make buying decisions, my intention is to determine if this money would be better allocated toward my vision of travel and elevating my environment.  

AUTOMATION
Probably the most powerful step I've taken to reallocate my flow of money is saving using automatic withdrawals.  Our spending usually balloons to meet our bank account balance.  If I leave too much money in my checking account, I'm likely to spend more.  That's why I used the Digit App to randomly pull out money from my balance.  It transfers random amounts on a daily basis. As I see the balance decline, I slow down on my spending.  I also draft a certain amount each month into a separate saving account.  But I think I'll rename that account to something like "2018 Goals & Intentions" or "2018 Lifestlye Buliding" or something like that.  That way, every time I log in, I'm reminded that I'm on a mission. To increase the speed at which that account grows, I'll increase the increase the frequency to 2X a month.  If we automate our savings, building up lump sums of cash will seem effortless.  This is an example of a lifestyle change versus budgeted dieting.

REVENUE CREATION
Lastly, I don't just want to save money, I want to earn more of it.  One New Years Resolution I'll make is to increase my income.  Doesn't have to be fancy, I could sell stuff I don't need on Ebay and allocate the money toward my intentions.  I could play around with the idea of working on a project with the goal to generate a certain amount.  The possibilities are endless. I believe in the idea of expanding our income, not just saving to get what we want.  Don't get me wrong, I love saving money. But I also strongly believe in expanding our earning potential.

Maybe I won't accomplish every single intention on my list. But I'm pretty confident that more will manifest than if I just walked into the year blindly hoping that everything will just magically work out for the best. 




By Erickka Sy Savané
“Can we go see ‘The Lion King’?!” asked my five-year-old daughter, while getting dressed for school. It’s a question that comes up every morning when they start showing these Broadway theater advertisements. Yesterday it was ‘Cinderella.’ Usually I tell her that we’ll be going soon, but today I just wanna be honest. “We don’t have the money.”

She looks at me like, not that again, we never have any money. I want to say something comforting, but the truth is, money has been tight and a lot of those fun things we used to do when money was more plentiful have been put on hold. The money issue is being addressed, but sometimes we've been good to put three square ones on the table a day. It’s a reality that I would like to shield her from because while I want her to know that money is necessary to do and buy things, I don’t want her to start feeling poor, that without money she can’t have a life. It’s a concept that I'm still coming to terms with as an adult. One that started when I was young and saw my mother struggling to make ends meet.
So I have a real question about how to deal with my daughter during this challenging financial time. Do I tell her when I don’t have money for things or do I just say "No, because I said so," like my mom did me? 
It’s a question I pose to my girl Milla during a play date. Milla is originally from Hungary and off of one paycheck, holds down a family that consists of her unemployed husband, two kids–ages four and seven–her hubby’s out-of-work brother, and two-year-old niece. She is never NOT broke. What does she tell the kids?
“Just last week I bought them some new clothes and didn’t realize that I had dipped into our grocery money. So I explained to them that milk for cereal was more important and I took the stuff back. It’s important that they know it takes time to buy things. That’s why I give them money for chores. Even if it’s making their beds and brushing their teeth. I want them to know the value of money.”
On one hand I get that it's important to teach kids that money doesn't grow on trees, but is seven and four-years-old too early to start earning their keep? What if they start wanting to be paid for everything? “Look ma, I wiped my a*s. Where’s my $5?”
Perhaps it’s wisdom from someone older that I seek. I call my friend PaMela who I know from a California Goddess group. She’s got four grown kids and from prior conversations I know she went through it.
During the toughest times, what did she tell the kids?
“Well, there were times when I had to tell them that we couldn’t afford a tree or presents for Christmas, but we would eat well. That was my motto. As long as they didn’t go to bed hungry...During those crucial times when our lights got turned off I told them that no one knows our situation unless you tell them, so always keep your head up.” 
The good news is the kids didn’t get too scarred because they’re all doing well. Two own their own Daycare businesses, one is a news anchor on the number 1 news channel in Hartford, Connecticut and one is a cable tech.
Okay, perhaps I'm making too much of this. It sucks to be strapped for money, but nobody is dying. The kids always have something to eat and they will survive me having to tell them no for a while. Sometimes I'll explain that the reason is money, other times they won’t get the details. When I really think about it, a lot of times money isn’t the only reason I say no. Sometimes what they want isn’t necessary.
Once again, this is less about them and more about my insecurities around money and how it starts making me feel like my wealth as a mom is dependent on how much I can spend. It’s not true. PaMela shared a story about how they huddled around a candle and played cards when the lights got shut off. Far be it from me to romanticize the situation, but it sounded like it brought them closer together as a family. Maybe this is an opportunity to get creative and do some things we wouldn’t normally do. Funny, because just the other day I pulled out a deck of cards.
Game of Fish anyone?

This article appeared on Madamenoire.com
Do you believe in telling kids you're broke?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com
I'd like to bring up a topic that has been an interest of mine for many years.  Early on in my financial journey, I stumbled on an audio book that forever changed my viewpoint on the most effective way to earn money.  That book was called Multiple Streams of Income by Robert Allen.  In the book, Robert encouraged us to diversify our income sources.  I loved the premise of the book and contemplated someday putting his ideas into practice.

As time when on, my career began to take off and I relied solely on a paycheck.  But that wasn't a bad thing because the money came every two weeks.  But as I moved up the ladder, I noticed a flaw in this system.  One article I read even called a job a risky way to make money.  In my mind, I'm like "how can that be?"  The money is always there on payday.  What could go wrong?

But over the course of my career, I fired a countless number of people.  Most of them came to work that day not expecting their income to suddenly stop.  Sure, you can get another job, but who knows how long that'll take or if your earning will be similar to what you had before.  Basically, your livelihood is in the hands of strangers.  That is completely risky if you ask me.  One day, I was at a seminar and the speaker said something I'll never forget.  While speaking on one topic, he suddenly proclaimed to the audience "I don't work for a paycheck, I live my life and I earn money while doing so."  That's all I ever wanted.  Since then, I've wanted to live up to this mantra.

This past week, I spent some time in the wonderful country of Belize.  I rented a luxury villa and relaxed as I experienced all the amenities the island has to offer.  As I ate fresh seafood at restaurants on the beach, the only thought that constantly went through my mind is "how do I make this last forever?"
I ran through scenarios in my mind and technically, I could pack up, move to Belize and continue to earn a living that could support my new lifestyle.  My husband, on the other hand, couldn't easily transition because he earns money from a traditional 9-5. If we were to move.  His income would completely stop. I'm not saying I want to live there permanently, but I do want more of these types experiences without the restriction of having my income tied directly to my time.

The most obvious way to do this is to focus on generating passive income.  Passive income is such a sexy term because it implies that we make money without having to do any work. The concept of passive income is real but somewhat misleading.  The type of income that's generated from little to no work will likely be minimal.  You might get to a place where you can live off passive income, but that typically happens once you've been building up your income streams for years.

The key is to start the journey.  Take small steps now and they will eventually grow into larger opportunities later on.  For the sake of our conversation today, I'll refer to passive income as flexible income because there is work involved. But it still entails creating revenue that isn't directly tied to you being at a certain place during a fixed time window during the day.  Flexible income can be scaled where traditional income is more linear. You don't have to wait a year for a performance review to increase your earnings.  And if you wanted to travel or incorporate more adventures into your life, you can.

So how does one begin their journey to flexible income?

The options are endless but for the sake of this article, I'll try to narrow down the options to keep it simple. Nowadays, people fall into two main categories -- consumers and producers.   Most of the population are consumers.  We get our paycheck then spend it on stuff.  Every time we use our money to buy a good or service, we are contributing to the producers.  They create the products we use, provide our services and entertainment, they are involved everything we utilize in maintaining our lifestyle.  Most people pay for their goods/services and move on.  Rarely do we think about the fact that someone else is on the receiving end. Someone's business & life is thriving because of where we decided to spend our money.  It didn't really connect with me until I started walking/driving through the high-end neighborhoods in our city.  In my mind, I knew that these people did not have typical jobs. They were making their money in a completely different way than everyone else.

We've been consumers for so long that it's hard to switch our mindset to become producers.  We think it's too hard and completely out of reach.  And maybe it was out of reach years ago.  But times have changed. The internet has broken down the barriers that once kept us bound to a restricted way of life.

Now it's fairly "easy" to make a side income.  When I say easy, I really mean it's accessible.  The knowledge of how to do it is at the tip of your fingers. All you have to do is ask Google or Youtube and you'll find countless resources on how to get started.  My message to you is "do what you can to earn your first independent dollar."  Once that happens, anything and everything becomes possible.  For a while, your paycheck income will still be a main source of funds but that doesn't matter.  As long as you're generating some type of income, you're moving in the right direction.  If for some reason, you lose your main source of revenue, you can choose whether to look for another job or grow your business.

Everywhere you look nowadays, producers and consumers are commingling.  On social media, you have people who go there purely for entertainment. But there are also people on there who make tens of thousands of dollars on there.  When you go to Amazon, you shop. But do you ever think about how many individuals have replaced their work income thanks to opening up a merchant account on Amazon?  Those are real people.  And they're not special.  You can do what they do.  But you probably haven't thought of yourself as one of them.

I have friends who love to travel.  They're always talking about wanting to quit their jobs to travel full time.  I tell them about all of the people who travel the world while making a healthy income.  They are aware that this possibility exists, but they remain immobilized and don't do anything about it.  They believe that they have to automatically make six figures while traveling and they don't know how to do it.   My advice to them is to see if they can small goals and ignite the domino effect.  If it were me, I'd set a goal to get reposted by a hotel or travel page on Instagram.  Once that happened, I'd set another goal to try and obtain a lower price hotel stay by offering to feature them.  If that worked, then I'd set a goal for a free stay or free trip. Eventually, I'd move towards getting compensated for the work I did to bring awareness to the hotel or travel destination.

You see, most people think about starting something and focus too much on making millions. It's intimidating and keeps us stuck.  I say start with the smallest goal you can think of and start working from there.  Keep moving the needle forward and, before you know it, you will be within reach of making that six figure income we all dream about.  A friend of mine called me the other day and was like "guess what Nadege, I made my first $100.00!"  I couldn't contain my excitement.  Months ago she talked about starting her online jewelry business and soon it was a reality.  She's been working on it in between the other projects she has going on.  She took a while to build her online store but I kept telling her.....keep pushing until you earn your first dollar.  Her first sale came in and then she quickly made over $100.00.  Now my message to her is to try to get to $1000.00. Once you earn $1k, you can convince yourself to try to earn $5k then $10k.  It doesn't have to happen right away, but it needs to happen.

What I'm saying is that, in this day & age, almost everyone can (and should) have a means to generate additional income.  A really good book I highly recommend if you want to transition from receiving only paycheck income to building an income that supports your ideal lifestyle is MJ DeMarco's Millionaire Fastlane.  MJ just came out with a new book called Unscripted: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship which currently has a 5-star rating.  I haven't read it yet but I trust his philosophy on creating wealth outside the typical earning structure of the corporate world.   Even if you adore your job and the people you work with, why not try to make extra money just to elevate your lifestyle or to save for large purchases in the future.  Don't leave your entire financial standings at the hands of others.  I urge everyone reading this who wants to improve their lifestyle, to just start! Take the first step.  And once you do, keep moving forward 'till you reach your destination.






I'd like to bring up a topic that has been an interest of mine for many years.  Early on in my financial journey, I stumbled on an audio book that forever changed my viewpoint on the most effective way to earn money.  That book was called Multiple Streams of Income by Robert Allen.  In the book, Robert encouraged us to diversify our income sources.  I loved the premise of the book and contemplated someday putting his ideas into practice.

As time when on, my career began to take off and I relied solely on a paycheck.  But that wasn't a bad thing because the money came every two weeks.  But as I moved up the ladder, I noticed a flaw in this system.  One article I read even called a job a risky way to make money.  In my mind, I'm like "how can that be?"  The money is always there on payday.  What could go wrong?

But over the course of my career, I fired a countless number of people.  Most of them came to work that day not expecting their income to suddenly stop.  Sure, you can get another job, but who knows how long that'll take or if your earning will be similar to what you had before.  Basically, your livelihood is in the hands of strangers.  That is completely risky if you ask me.  One day, I was at a seminar and the speaker said something I'll never forget.  While speaking on one topic, he suddenly proclaimed to the audience "I don't work for a paycheck, I live my life and I earn money while doing so."  That's all I ever wanted.  Since then, I've wanted to live up to this mantra.

This past week, I spent some time in the wonderful country of Belize.  I rented a luxury villa and relaxed as I experienced all the amenities the island has to offer.  As I ate fresh seafood at restaurants on the beach, the only thought that constantly went through my mind is "how do I make this last forever?"
I ran through scenarios in my mind and technically, I could pack up, move to Belize and continue to earn a living that could support my new lifestyle.  My husband, on the other hand, couldn't easily transition because he earns money from a traditional 9-5. If we were to move.  His income would completely stop. I'm not saying I want to live there permanently, but I do want more of these types experiences without the restriction of having my income tied directly to my time.

The most obvious way to do this is to focus on generating passive income.  Passive income is such a sexy term because it implies that we make money without having to do any work. The concept of passive income is real but somewhat misleading.  The type of income that's generated from little to no work will likely be minimal.  You might get to a place where you can live off passive income, but that typically happens once you've been building up your income streams for years.

The key is to start the journey.  Take small steps now and they will eventually grow into larger opportunities later on.  For the sake of our conversation today, I'll refer to passive income as flexible income because there is work involved. But it still entails creating revenue that isn't directly tied to you being at a certain place during a fixed time window during the day.  Flexible income can be scaled where traditional income is more linear. You don't have to wait a year for a performance review to increase your earnings.  And if you wanted to travel or incorporate more adventures into your life, you can.

So how does one begin their journey to flexible income?

The options are endless but for the sake of this article, I'll try to narrow down the options to keep it simple. Nowadays, people fall into two main categories -- consumers and producers.   Most of the population are consumers.  We get our paycheck then spend it on stuff.  Every time we use our money to buy a good or service, we are contributing to the producers.  They create the products we use, provide our services and entertainment, they are involved everything we utilize in maintaining our lifestyle.  Most people pay for their goods/services and move on.  Rarely do we think about the fact that someone else is on the receiving end. Someone's business & life is thriving because of where we decided to spend our money.  It didn't really connect with me until I started walking/driving through the high-end neighborhoods in our city.  In my mind, I knew that these people did not have typical jobs. They were making their money in a completely different way than everyone else.

We've been consumers for so long that it's hard to switch our mindset to become producers.  We think it's too hard and completely out of reach.  And maybe it was out of reach years ago.  But times have changed. The internet has broken down the barriers that once kept us bound to a restricted way of life.

Now it's fairly "easy" to make a side income.  When I say easy, I really mean it's accessible.  The knowledge of how to do it is at the tip of your fingers. All you have to do is ask Google or Youtube and you'll find countless resources on how to get started.  My message to you is "do what you can to earn your first independent dollar."  Once that happens, anything and everything becomes possible.  For a while, your paycheck income will still be a main source of funds but that doesn't matter.  As long as you're generating some type of income, you're moving in the right direction.  If for some reason, you lose your main source of revenue, you can choose whether to look for another job or grow your business.

Everywhere you look nowadays, producers and consumers are commingling.  On social media, you have people who go there purely for entertainment. But there are also people on there who make tens of thousands of dollars on there.  When you go to Amazon, you shop. But do you ever think about how many individuals have replaced their work income thanks to opening up a merchant account on Amazon?  Those are real people.  And they're not special.  You can do what they do.  But you probably haven't thought of yourself as one of them.

I have friends who love to travel.  They're always talking about wanting to quit their jobs to travel full time.  I tell them about all of the people who travel the world while making a healthy income.  They are aware that this possibility exists, but they remain immobilized and don't do anything about it.  They believe that they have to automatically make six figures while traveling and they don't know how to do it.   My advice to them is to see if they can small goals and ignite the domino effect.  If it were me, I'd set a goal to get reposted by a hotel or travel page on Instagram.  Once that happened, I'd set another goal to try and obtain a lower price hotel stay by offering to feature them.  If that worked, then I'd set a goal for a free stay or free trip. Eventually, I'd move towards getting compensated for the work I did to bring awareness to the hotel or travel destination.

You see, most people think about starting something and focus too much on making millions. It's intimidating and keeps us stuck.  I say start with the smallest goal you can think of and start working from there.  Keep moving the needle forward and, before you know it, you will be within reach of making that six figure income we all dream about.  A friend of mine called me the other day and was like "guess what Nadege, I made my first $100.00!"  I couldn't contain my excitement.  Months ago she talked about starting her online jewelry business and soon it was a reality.  She's been working on it in between the other projects she has going on.  She took a while to build her online store but I kept telling her.....keep pushing until you earn your first dollar.  Her first sale came in and then she quickly made over $100.00.  Now my message to her is to try to get to $1000.00. Once you earn $1k, you can convince yourself to try to earn $5k then $10k.  It doesn't have to happen right away, but it needs to happen.

What I'm saying is that, in this day & age, almost everyone can (and should) have a means to generate additional income.  A really good book I highly recommend if you want to transition from receiving only paycheck income to building an income that supports your ideal lifestyle is MJ DeMarco's Millionaire Fastlane.  MJ just came out with a new book called Unscripted: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship which currently has a 5-star rating.  I haven't read it yet but I trust his philosophy on creating wealth outside the typical earning structure of the corporate world.   Even if you adore your job and the people you work with, why not try to make extra money just to elevate your lifestyle or to save for large purchases in the future.  Don't leave your entire financial standings at the hands of others.  I urge everyone reading this who wants to improve their lifestyle, to just start! Take the first step.  And once you do, keep moving forward 'till you reach your destination.