In 2017 there was a stat going around that less than 50% of people had $1,000 in savings…
Just thinking about only having $1,000 is flat out scary.
While the reasons varied from sources of income, to poor spending habits, the real problem with most financial issues can some times be tied to ownership.
Personal responsibility and financial ownership is needed in order to create a better situation for ourselves. We need more of it, but how does someone even start?
Money & The 10% Rule
Let’s play the what if game… Imagine if 10% of all your debt was gone… how pumped would you be? Credit/consumer debt, auto debt, student loan debt, heck even mortgage debt!
But forget debt, what if the 10% rule was applied to every are in regards to all areas of your life?
Ok, you got the point. But 10% is not a lot, and that is my point.
Coincidentally, when I just rattled that entire list off, I didn’t even realize that if you did all of that you would be at 100%. But it isn’t a 100% jump, it is just a small adjustment, just 1% to get started.
However, you don’t have to be all in 100%/100%, you just need to put in a little more effort every day… or 10%!
Chop wood, carry water.
At the end of the day, just applying 10% more effort can accomplish more than we think. Like most, we can all get caught up in the day to day actions and think that big successes are so far away that we sometimes pull up early on our goals.
There is a great book I found, Chop Wood, Carry Water that discusses this exact concept:
Don't get caught up in the results, just focus on the process.
In other words, chop wood and carry water.
I always use a baseball analogy to display this. Instead of swinging for a home-run every time, there is nothing wrong with a few singles, a sac bunt and even an out that advances the runner. But we often get caught up in thinking everything must happen at this very second.
For us personally, we were not going to payoff $300,000 in student loan debt doing what we had been doing. And at the same time, thinking it would happen quickly would probably scare us. So we just made simple adjustments.
2% more each month here and a reduction of 2% there, and before we knew it we had increased out income 6%. Not even the 10% improvement has to occur all at once!
But how do you eat an elephant (Figuratively Speaking)?… One bite at a time.
This same approach can be applied to your daily life and finances. First start with a simple area you would like to improve. It can be health, money, marriage, finances, raising kids, work – doesn’t matter.
Got your one area to improve in?
Now, look at that one area and assess where you are at. For example, maybe you would like to increase your savings. And you currently have $10,000 in savings. By applying the 10% rule you would want to save $1,000.
The next step is to work backwards.
If your goal is to save $1,000, what is the time frame? 5 months means you need to save $250 a month… not bad. But at first glance, $1,000 might seem like A LOT of money if you have nothing in savings.
And that is why sometimes, we as people, never get started. We neglect our ambitious tendencies because we thing it is “not realistic.” But imagine how much better it would be if, everyone, just took 10% more ownership?!?!
Like what if 10% of trash was picked up. Or 10% more was recycled. What if people spent 10% more time with their kids? See the trickle down effect doesn't have to be 100/100. It can be a small percent here, and a small percent there.
And 99/100 it starts with what you do personally.
How can you personally apply the 10% rule to your life?
That is a question you gotta answer my friend.
When I started Money Life Wax, I had no clue what I was doing – but I figured it out – and I still am. Whenever you start anything you will not be the best right away.
I am not sure what it is. Maybe you need to stop spending so much money on $hit that doesn't matter (that was me talking to myself) and start thinking a little long term. Or maybe you need to up your health 10% by decreasing the calories 10%, and adding another 10% of active minutes per week.
Whatever it is… having a sense of purpose will help you accomplish whatever you want in life.
But don't be the person that “Only does things 100%” or I don't do them at all. Be the person who adds 1% daily and improves little by little.
Because remember, it is the combined efforts of many that will make the biggest impact!
Q: What is something you can apply the 10% rule to in your life now?
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and many more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their newborn son, their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! In case you were wondering, Josh uses Personal Capital to track his net worth and his first investment account ever was an Acorns account 😎