How to Attain Financial Stability to Help You Thrive

Four Parts:Assessing Your Needs and GoalsUsing Skills Assessment to Help You CopeMeeting Your Needs to Help You SurviveGoing Above and Beyond to Help You Thrive

We all need money to survive, but working for capital (or gaining it through investing) and achieving financial stability can also be a means of coping, surviving, and even thriving. To get a job, you must match your skills offered to the skills wanted by the employer. In order to thrive, you also should get a handle on how much money you must spend and how much you can save and invest, principally by budgeting. With the right mindset and approach, financial stability can make your life so much more secure, allowing you to fulfill your potential and exceed expectations.

Part 1
Assessing Your Needs and Goals

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    Assess what your actual needs are. Compare these to what the system is trying to force you to want, desire and believe your needs are. As a starting point, research Maslow's Hierarchy.[1] In order to be positive, one must be disciplined, strong, creative, self-assured and effective.
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    Assess what level of risk you are willing to tolerate. Generally, if you're young, quick and healthy, you may be willing to assume more risk than if you're old, slow and more prone to ailments. This kind of consideration makes a big difference when investing your only $10,000; at 20, you have time to earn it again if you lose it, whereas at 80, you likely do not.
    • Potential rewards are often associated with increased risk; if you are old, you need to minimize risk and if you are young, you want to maximize rewards. You may want to develop your own risk management plan.
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    Decide how much you need to relate to the rest of society. Can you go for long periods happily doing your own thing with minimal contact with the outside world or are you the sort of person who needs social contact and feedback most of the time? Do you need the approval of others or are you self-assured?
    • No one can answer these questions for you, and for many people, the answers may take some time to answer with a high degree of certainty:
      • Are you willing to prepare yourself to defend yourself and possibly others against attacks of all sorts?
      • Are you patriotic and feel a duty to serve your country that supports you?
      • Are you willing to do what it takes to prepare for worst-case scenarios?
      • Are you good at self-assessment, really? Is there someone to reliably double-check you?
      • Do you truly know your actual strengths and weaknesses?

Part 2
Using Skills Assessment to Help You Cope

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    Ask yourself how you value wealth versus money. Real wealth is having what you need when you need it, and doesn't depend on some set monetary amount.
    • Economic value is directly related to scarcity of supply, per demand, but all scarce things do not have high economic value if demand is lacking.
    • Much money is spent to promote demand in a consumer economy, making the media and other marketing channels valuable resources.
    • In order to preserve capital, don't consume or spend it, except on capital assets (like land, buildings, machines) and the necessities of existence.
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    Assess and evaluate your skill set very seriously, as the employment market would do.[2] Assess them not as you might wish things were, but right now -- what are your current skills worth right now? You can look up online what various occupations pay in terms of average salary per economic region from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    • What can you do to effect change(s)? Make a list of how you can be an effective agent of change in society given the skill set you possess; be thorough and don't be afraid to be creative!
    • What can you do to produce goods and/or services? Make a list of how you can actually be employed or employ yourself to produce goods and/or provide service(s) given the skill set you possess. Again, be thorough and don't be afraid to be creative. Some young adults train in less than a year to become paramedics / emergency personnel and make good wages. You can do a lot, from watching children to running tractors to mowing lawns to stenciling house numbers on the curbside in spray paint to raking to modeling to test marketing to personal shopping -- the list is quite long.
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    List out your skills in detail.[3] Skills can be quite varied: some people perceive well, others heal or care, others administer or teach, some engineer, some organize, some promote, some figure out with math and science in formulas and testing and collating data, some write, some sell products and earn a commission, some teach others to sell and build a marketing structure underneath themselves where each of their subordinates contributes a little to their paychecks, some get paid to study and do research, some study historical data and use it to predict the future, some are economists, some teach swimming, some help Santa, a few play professional sports, some do customer service and handle consumer questions and complaints.
    • List the jobs you've had and been paid for and break the job down into each skill required to perform it -- it may be you had to have an eye for photography to properly rake leaves! Be very detailed. Some skills, like using a new microscope or scanner properly to discern lifeforms or clues as a detective, take some years to develop. Some skills require a lot of training and/or education. Some skills are highly specialized, like detecting art forgeries and counterfeiting expertise or accounting for huge and complex corporate mergers. Generally, the more of your body and mind that you use in the employment of a skill, the better it is thought to be for your whole being.
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    Cultivate your interpersonal skills. Be honest and fair, both in your self-assessments and in dealing with other people. If you are a liar or a cheat or both, you may fool a few people for a little while, but you won't get far. Reputation is everything, so be honest, especially with yourself and your immediate support system.
    • If there's on area everyone can benefit from, it's learning to relate to other people. Today, the emphasis in many developed countries is on the Service Sector rather than the Manufacturing Sector of economic production.
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    Consider what career your skills have been building towards. Are you naturally talented as a musician or is that just something your mother wanted you to be able to do? Most people these days will change their career path several times during their lifetime.
    • Visiting a local Career Center can help. Being overly specialized can be detrimental when forced to seek new employment sometimes; keep up with the developments in your broader field or discipline and seek to constantly expand your skill set.

Part 3
Meeting Your Needs to Help You Survive

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    Learn to balance competition with cooperation as you establish your market niche. Nature, generally speaking, evolves life to fill all available niches of survival. You want to move yourself from coping to surviving by focusing on finding the right niche for you.
    • For example, suppose you'd like to start a business without a great deal of start-up capital or operating expenses which will be the ferrying of people from a shore city to various islands; however, several such ferries already exist and they vary from one that carries both cars and people to simple motorboats like yours that seats 4 adults plus 2 children and a standing pilot, yourself. The large ferry that carries cars, people and large luggage charges 10x what the smallest speedboat charges, which also has the advantage of speed of commute. And that is to the closest island, with prices rising per the greater distance to the further islands.
      • You have to compete with all vessels for business but you also should cooperate with them, in case of emergencies, because you are all served by the same repair shop(s) and because you all must get along on the same waterways. Therefore, you will not charge what the large ferry charges and you will not undercut the price charged by a similar vessel to yours, so long as there is enough business for everyone -- which there is if you have done your market research and truly identified a need not yet being served, i.e. people standing in line for long periods of time waiting to be ferried!
      • Now, on the weekends, there is less ferry business and there is more sightseeing and fishing business. Being a newcomer, you might not know the best scenic views for photo-taking or viewing and stealing the established fishing zones of established businesses would be frowned upon. So you buy some scuba suits, learn about scuba diving and offer scuba lessons! Soon, your brand new market niche is wildly successful because the area is over-fished anyway and the views are pretty much like coastline anywhere, and the competition is suddenly knocking on your door, asking you questions! That is a good spot to be in, for you can hold paid seminars to teach the competition.
    • As another example, your father has you taking care of the yard and doing various other chores for an allowance of $150/month. But you find a flyer left at your front door by a Mr. Hopper offering all sorts of home care services including lawn care and you call him up and ask him to come over and give you a free estimate, as that is what his flyer announces he will do. He tells you he will take care of the yard completely for $375/month! So you get a detailed list of exactly what he would do to the yard and you take it to your father and tell him you are thinking of going into business for yourself and would he lease you the lawnmower for $25/month and he agrees.
      • You have the summer off and you scout around many local neighborhoods for overgrown yards and you talk to the homeowners and you undercut Mr. Ruiz and offer your services for $300 per month for 3 months. You know it will take you about 3 hours to do everything Mr. Ruiz does, so you decide to work a 9 hour day approximately and do 3 lawn and yard care jobs per day. From June 1 to August 31 there are 30+31+31=92 days. 92*3*300=$82,800 you plan to make over your summer "vacation" by working so hard (if you signed up 92 people in month #1 that is)! You will have to pay tax on those earnings because they're so high and there will be expenses for the lawnmower leasing, gas, oil, spark plugs, other tools, etc. which are deductible as business expenses.
      • How can you find about 90 homes to service? Easy! You pay the local teens to scour all the neighborhoods on their bikes and rubber band flyers to people's front doors if their yard needs work. Keep good track of all expenses, including rubber bands -- everything! You may want to lease a light pickup truck to haul your gardening equipment around, or find a partner who has one. When you get a little smarter, you get an army of teens doing the yard work for you all over town and you take a managerial cut off the top.
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    Learn to build a network of contacts in the work world. Keep in touch with these contacts fairly often -- it pays to do so, in good times and hard times as well. Be a person who can be counted on to hold up your end of the deal.
    • As the final example, consider changing your family's lawn into what's called a "truck farm". Here's the deal: your parents will lend you the tools and fertilizer and water costs and you will sell them back vegetables, at the local Farmer's Market prices (so long as your quality is good), less these start up and ongoing costs. Any surplus vegetables you will sell at the Farmer's Market and split the profits with your parents because it's their land you're using, and they may want to convert it back to lawn again when you're done, which is expensive. But your profits can make this sort of venture very rewarding indeed, and you will have the added benefit of having your own food supply if a disaster occurs, which your parents will be very, very grateful for.
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    Think outside of the norm for employment. Consider other jobs that do not require a college degree and that pay more than the average American income of about $47,000. The BLS provides breakdowns of income/wages by occupation and area to help with an idea of what's out there.[4]
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    Consider your actual basic and secondary needs. All people need nutritious and healthy food, clean air, clean water, good sleep and hygiene, shelter, and adequate transportation. In order to survive (and thrive), they also generally need the opportunity to be productivity and contribute to their community, education and training, communications and internet access, social interaction, love and adequate fulfillment of their sex drive, an opportunity to engage in self-defense and sports, devotion to a personal spirituality, religion, or faith, and, for many people, access to fulfilling activities like charity, relaxation and entertainment, hobbies, saving and investing, shopping, etc.
    • Decide for each category over an average week how much time you should spend, on average, satisfying each need.
    • Make sure all your needs get met or you will be dissatisfied and unhappy and feel something is missing. It is your life and your responsibility to meet your own needs. It is not your parent's responsibility much anymore or the government's responsibility -- it's yours and it can be very rewarding and satisfying to lead a life of accomplishment on which you can build your self-esteem and self-respect! Then others will also respect and honor you, which will make your life much easier.
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    Take action, even in small ways, where you feel you can meet your needs better.
    • Learn to grow your own food! A 4' x 4' planter box can produce hundreds of pounds of food per year, even for an apartment dweller.
    • Write your local legislator to push for bills that help ensure safe and clean air and water -- the fundamentals of life on this planet! You may or may not be a full-fledged environmentalist but no one wants to breathe noxious fumes and drink contaminated, polluted water!
    • Be active during the day, so that your body tires naturally and seeks sleep naturally.
    • Be like a cat -- stretch when you wake -- a lot! Really stretch it all out! People who do yoga regularly 15-30 minutes a day have much better muscle tone and are less susceptible to disease and infection because their immune systems work better.[citation needed]

Part 4
Going Above and Beyond to Help You Thrive

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    Believe you are very valuable as a human being. You are precious. You are sacred, as is all Life. Never underestimate your own worth and potential. You can do anything you set your mind to and become anything you want to become. All it takes is devotion, practice, and discipline. Lots and lots. You must do rather than merely think about doing. Actions rather than words create real change.
    • It is important to live up to your word, to do as you say you will do and keep your promises; however, it is even better to avoid ever making promises and just consistently do your best, always seeking to exceed your own expectations and those of others. Words are just a symbol-layer atop reality for our convenience in mentally handling things before we physically handle them. Don't confuse people's words with their actions. Liars can often be caught because their actions do not agree with their bold statements.
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    Learn to save. The word "thrive" became the words "thrift" and "thrifty". As this wordplay suggests, it is important to save money as you mature to manage your retirement years and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And what should you save? That which has lasting value.
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    Focus on your health. Without it, wealth is hard to come by, and you won't really thrive. Maintain a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, see your doctor about your health concerns, and take charge of your own wellbeing.
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    Copy what successful people do or have done to be successful. Successful people often exceed expectations and thrive despite life's hurdles due to their adequate preparation, effective planning and very positive mental attitude.
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    Work with a team whenever possible. Working as a member of a team is more effective and gets more done than working alone. Usually, people who are both successful and happy (or content) realize this and put it into practice. Compromise does not stop them from putting forward their best effort. Synergy is a state where the product of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; you can often exceed expectations by working synergistically as a member of a well-coordinated team effort.
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    Preparing for bad situations so you can cope with them. Be conservative and save up for a rainy day and contingencies. Manage risk by planning for it and insuring against it, building against it and defending against it.
    • Learn basic bookkeeping, accounting and budgeting so that you will know where you've been, how you got where you are, where you're at, what you're made of, where you're going, and how you're going to get there.
    • Learn basic disaster preparedness and First Aid and invest in both.[5] Insure yourself adequately.
    • Pay yourself first by saving immediately when you get paid.
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    Learn to laugh with people rather than at them. Criticize constructively not foolishly. Be kind, be patient, have some reserve. Preserve hope. Be gracious and help the needy help themselves. Speak from experience rather than from conjecture or whimsy.
    • Learn to write not only to people of this day and age, but to people of all times, to their hearts and souls. You may write fantasy, poetry, science fiction, works of drama and imagination to your heart's content, but if they do not serve to elucidate the soul, what good are they, truly?
    • If you paint or do creative work, enjoy the creative force and the act of painting itself. Painting can be important in that it causes people to learn and adopt new patterns; pattern recognition is thought to be a key component of intelligence. People's impressions are individual and cannot be forced. A genius once said that "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration." It does not take much to turn a comedy into a tragedy and vice versa, so learn to laugh at your own foibles as you learn from your every mistake.
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    Consider service to others. Many people find joy and fulfillment in serving their country, whether by joining the armed services or by some other means. Many have died for the freedoms your generation enjoys and you have an opportunity to pay it forward. Honor is best bestowed by one's peers. Honors bestowed by one's superiors must carry an additional weight of dignity, better paid in honor to one's true superiors. But that would be a lesser dignity honoring a greater, so it is said: honor is best bestowed by peers. People often do only what they must to "just get by" -- thrive instead; exceed expectations and rise through the ranks.
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    Consider supporting others, a family maybe, when you can support yourself. Consider first if your parents and siblings are provided for adequately. Consider anyone with special needs in your extended family. Consider well and be not selfish. Be humble in service; no one knows the turn of events to come. Charity begins at home.
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    Do more than what is expected of you. Be a leader. Financial stability and good habits in life are the best start, but you can take these ideas above and beyond, in order truly to thrive.
    • Learn from the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, which tells of a long line of people on a long march, following a leader, with the old slow sage at the very end of the line. When people became dissatisfied with where the leader had led them for one reason or another, the line turned around, and the old slow sage then became the new leader. You, too, can learn to lead from behind, especially if you judge the current leadership to be incompetent.


  • In order to assess your needs, you must truly understand five words and the commonness and difference between them: money, value, labor, need and risk. Look them up.[6] Look up "skill" and "expertise". Then look up their etymological roots (derivatives) so that you understand quite thoroughly their full meaning.[7] This method will show you how to get at the "heart" of a word, the true meaning, rather than just more synonyms. You will learn to perceive more thriftily, think more efficiently, by using word roots. Thinking by associations and synonyms expands one's cultural horizons no doubt, but what is on the horizon is not as near and immediately understood as the roots of one's own culture and its psyche.
  • Here is an answer to "1) What is money? and 2) How should you relate to it?", to help your personal discovery:
    • 1a) Currency, i.e. money, is produced by the Federal Reserve, which is not part of the government; it is privately held. Furthermore, on each dollar "The Fed" produces, they charge interest, which requires more money to pay back, upon which interest is also due.
    • 1b) Money is also "stored labor value". That means that when you work, you get paid for your work in money or by electronic transfer into a bank account, less taxes already withheld (deducted), and your labor is stored and valued as money, as numbers, which can be traded for goods and services. If your labor consists of waiting for your investments of money (capital) to mature and earn interest, then for you, time equals money.
    • 1c) Money is also the medium of exchange of value that accountants use to record economic transactions. In other words, if it's exploited by humans, then it has economic value.
    • 2a) Good, honest labor built this country into a great superpower, along with the free flow of capital. One should support the free flows of capital and payment for meritorious effort(s).
    • 2b) Speculation in the capital markets is mere gambling and is not meritorious; however, it does tend to set prices according to the total value of all expectations of future earnings of a firm, so it's reasonable to allow.

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