Yes, You Can Get Ahead

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Yes, You Can Get Ahead

By Justin Ertelt

“Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” Wrote Napoleon Hill decades ago in Think and Grow Rich. It summates how people achieve their dreams and how it is possible for you to save your way to success.

Irregardless if you’re a Democrat and you think the Republicans are destroying this country, or you’re a Republican and you think the Democrats are destroying this country. Irregardless of the high oil and gas prices or the increasing amounts of natural disasters, or the political storm and wars in the Middle East. Irregardless of the higher gas prices you pay at the pump just to drive to work, or the mounting bills, or “everything seems to cost more”, or you didn’t get the raising you were expecting. Irregardless, you can still get ahead.

We all too often start a goal or dream, only to falter. We might blame exterior circumstances (poor economy), others (bosses, family), or circumstances that happened to us or our family (unexpected bills), but the end result is the same. It becomes hard to change, to move away from our comfort zone, to do things differently then what most everyone else is doing—to not have a brand new pickup or SUV in the driveway like most everyone else on the block has. The only way to get ahead, though, is to do things differently compared to what everyone else does.

Most people are not financially independent and successful. They may have good paying jobs, have a nice home, a vacation home, newer vehicles, an RV or boat, etc., but how much debt is behind all that stuff? What is their debt to net worth ratio? How much of their income are they spending? How much are they saving? What would happen if they lost their jobs? True financial success is hard to obtain. It is based on your ability to stand against financial storms (unexpected bills, loss of income), you don’t worry about your financial position, and you have a growing net worth with income from several sources. You may not be a multi-milioniare, but you are financially independent.

If you truly desire to acquire financial success, you simply need to start buying less. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. You may have to take drastic measures such as selling your house and buying a smaller house with smaller payments, trading in your new car and truck for a used $2,000 vehicle, and selling your new furniture and buying a $30 couch at a garage sale. But if you do those things, your financial picture will start to turn around.

Start by automatically paying yourself first 5 or 10% of every dollar of income. Do this first before you use the money for anything else, and stock it away in a savings or money market account. Do not dip into this account for any reason. If you do, or if you wait to save after the bills are paid and you spent the money, you won’t be able to get ahead. You need to save first, put it away and leave it. Repeat the next month and the next and begin to watch your savings grow and your financial position in life turn around. But if you do hit a financially bump, or falter in your savings goal, don’t give up. Just start it up again the next month. Even after the first year of saving, you reached your goal of 10% saved per month for only 6 months, you will still be leaps ahead of where you were when you started. And it will just become easier to save. You will start thinking more about saving, you will discover ideas on how you can save more money, and it will become habit forming. You will begin to think not like everyone else, you will be getting ahead, and you will be able to save your way to success.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Remember: If you have conceived and believed you can be financially independent, you will achieve financial independence.

Justin P. Ertelt is the author of Saving Your Way to Success, and owner of, helping others acheive financial success. Justin can be reached at To learn more visit

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