Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I’ve worked with enough people on all ends of the net worth spectrum to understand something important: An individual’s financial literacy level tends to be the biggest factor in determining their net worth. Only 57% of adults are financially literate, according to Standard & Poor’s Global Financial Literacy Survey. And in 2021, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that more than 30% of U.S. adults don’t have enough in savings to cover a $400 emergency.

The truth is that prosperity is available to everyone and the right -creation tips are out there, you just need to know where to find them.

I recently spoke with Chris Naugle, who is a wealth-creation mentor and -making specialist. He began his career at Wall Street but soon realized that what he was learning about sustained success wasn’t generally disclosed to the public. His most recent endeavor, the Private Money Club, takes the principles he taught me and houses them in an affinity-algorithm-driven platform to help everyday people achieve the dividends they deserve.

Related: How to Change Your Entrepreneurial Mindset for Success

1. Resourcefulness versus resources

The first lesson Chris taught me, that he learned at an early age while up for a dirt bike, was that wealth does not come from your resources but from how resourceful you can be with what you have.

“We are taught to pay our bills, our creditors, and our debts first, with needs put last on that financial list,” recalls Naugle. “We tell ourselves that we only deserve the leftovers, which means we never prioritize our own needs and never get where we want to be — which is completely backward!”

Chris understood that bills didn’t magically go away once he started paying himself first, so he asked: How can I effectively keep more of my money but still maintain my regular bills?

“Then it came to me: for every $10 you earn, pay yourself at least $1 of it before you pay everyone else,” adds Naugle. “This is all you need to do for this first lesson in resourcefulness to work.”

Related: 12 Realistic Ways To Make Your First $1 Million | GOBankingRates

2. Wealth comes from investing, not saving

Chris is a big proponent of creating ways to put your hard-earned money to work, making you more money in the process.

“People have this idea that they need to work for their money. They’ll tell you that’s what you need to be doing, too,” notes Naugle. “You’ll be led to believe that trading hours for dollars is the only way to live but that’s wrong.”

Chris is keen to point out that your money has to work for you and it has to do so without sacrificing your most precision resource: time.

Adds the entrepreneur: “Before you invest your money, ask yourself one question: Do I know enough about this ? If the answer is anything but a resounding ‘yes’ then either find something you know more about or do your due diligence on it before investing.”

3. Be your own banker

You don’t have to be a third-generation millionaire or own an Aston Martin to take advantage of the benefits that come with being your own banker,” advises Naugel. “In fact, most of the people who apply this are NOT part of the 1 percent.”

Chris is keen on leveraging dividend-paying life insurance policies, which are easy to set up and tend to pay off more than typical savings accounts. Not everyone may qualify to be an insured person, but they can become the owner of the policy of an individual. This would allow them to be in control of the functions without having to be the insured person on the policy.

Related: 3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Great Wealth Transfer

This article is from Entrepreneur.com

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