When we compare ourselves to what we see others doing on social media — driving flashy cars, going on expensive vacations and spending what seems to be endless amounts of money shopping — it’s easy to feel as though we’re not doing well financially. However, your financial health might be in better shape than you realize.
On his YouTube channel Minority Mindset, money expert Jaspreet Singh recently shared a video outlining key signs you’re doing well for yourself financially. According to him, these are the top 15 signs you’re doing financially better than you think.
1. You Are Self-Sufficient
When you are self-sufficient, Singh said you’re not relying on family, friends or the government to pay for any of your expenses.
If you’re earning money from your job or a business you own and using it to pay for your lifestyle, you’re taking responsibility for your own finances.
2. Your Home Isn’t a Money Pit
While many assume that your home is the greatest asset you can invest in, Singh said it’s actually your biggest liability until it is sold. Some homes are money pits that suck opportunities for their owners to build real wealth. Singh cited a GOBankingRates statistic citing 56% of homebuyers who said they have felt in over their heads financially since purchasing their home.
If you have a home and it is not a money pit, meaning it does not take away your ability to invest or save money, Singh said you’re winning financially.
3. You Pay Your Bills on Time
Most Americans today struggle to pay their bills on time. If you can pay your bills comfortably and on time, Singh said you are winning in the game of money.
4. You Are Paying Off Debt
Another key sign you’re doing financially better than you think is you’re working to pay off your consumer debt. Most Americans make money and spend money with the help of consumer debt. They spend their money until their bank or credit card company tells them they cannot spend any more money and need to pay down their debt.
If you voluntarily choose to stop spending money before the bank or credit card company tells you to and decide to pay down your debt, you will be ahead of the game. Most people, Singh said, will continue to keep spending money they don’t have until their banker tells them no.
5. You Have $1,000 Saved
Do you have $1,000 saved in the bank right now? Good! Singh said you’re doing better than the majority of Americans. According to Singh, 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved for an emergency. This means more than half of Americans would have to go into debt if they needed to pay for a sudden emergency expense.
Don’t stop saving at $1,000 either. Singh recommends saving a minimum of $2,000 for emergency purposes. Keep building this amount up until you have between three months to a year’s worth of expenses in savings for emergencies.
6. You Don’t Try To Fake It
Many people are comfortable with spending $5,000 or more on designer goods. They are less comfortable spending this kind of money in the stock market. Suddenly, they become concerned with losing their money. However, they didn’t mind spending money to look like they’re rich even though they are not truly rich.
Singh said people who think like this miss the strategy of building wealth. When you spend $5,000 at the Gucci store, for example, you make Gucci rich. You need to understand how you can make yourself rich. Instead of turning the money you earned into a handbag, turn it into an income-producing asset.
7. You Avoid Consumer Debt
When you finance purchases you don’t have the cash to buy, you’re making someone else rich with money you do not have. If you want to spend money on things that don’t make you any money, Singh said to buy these items upfront with cash. This assures you can afford it.
8. You Have Invested Your First $100
Singh cited statistics that said half of Americans do not have any money set aside for retirement.
The first step to putting money away for your retirement is investing your first $100. If you start putting $100 away into any investment, Singh said you are winning — and need to keep making steady investments and putting this money to work. You can do this by learning what it means to start investing, opening a brokerage account, funding this account and making an execution like buying a stock or rental property.
9. You’re Investing in Yourself
Many people easily throw $500 a month into their car. However, buying books or attending seminars that allow you to invest in yourself open up entirely different questions. What type of return on investment will you receive after spending this $500? Will it be worth it?
According to Singh, putting $500 in a car payment gives you a zero return on investment. This is because a car is a depreciating asset. Putting the same amount of money into yourself via books, courses and conferences changes your mindset. It allows you to learn new concepts, meet other people and learn how other people earn money in a new, different environment.
10. You Don’t Have Any Credit Card Debt
If you are carrying a credit card balance, Singh said you’re using a credit card the wrong way. You’re paying for everyone else’s perks and rewards and making the credit card company rich.
11. You Value Your Time
If you want to become wealthy, you need to value your time. Singh said many people do this by asking how much their time is worth.
Time is the most valuable asset we all have and one we cannot get back. Ask yourself: how can you buy back your time and do more things that build your wealth and make you happy?
12. You’ve Earned at Least $1 in Cash Flow
This means you own an asset that pays you simply for owning it. A few examples include a dividend-paying stock, a dividend-paying ETF, a dividend-paying index fund or a rental property.
13. You Don’t Have a Car Payment
While many people do like nice cars, Singh said expensive cars are money pits. You’re ultimately paying interest on a depreciating asset that becomes less and less valuable over time.
If you want to afford a car without making a car payment, Singh recommends using cash to purchase a used car. A used Toyota Corolla may not be a BMW, but the $500 you would have spent each month on its car payments can be put toward your investments.
14. You’re Contributing To Your Wealth
Every single month, Singh said you’re putting a little bit of money into your savings and investments. Consistent investments are another key sign you’re better than you think financially.
15. You Take Responsibility
If you do not have a wealthy mindset, it will be impossible to become successful and experience financial freedom. To change your mindset, Singh said you need to build a growth mindset.
“The way you think is going to impact what you do and what you do is gonna impact what you get,” Singh said.
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