As a celebrity business manager, Travis Guterman has worked with many Youtubers, pro athletes, TikTok stars, and other high-net-worth talents, for whom he acts as a CFO. After helping countless high-net-worth individuals achieve financial success and stability, Travis has gained unmatched perspective as to what habits make a high-net-worth individual:
Keeping Business & Personal Budgets Separate
One of the first tasks Travis does for new clients is to open a new bank account and credit card to keep their business and personal expenses and income separate. This is one important taxation principle that Travis learned while earning his Masters of Business Taxation from USC.
Aside from leaving a more organized paper trail for audit purposes, Travis says keeping business and personal finances separate allows high-income individuals to have a clearer picture of how much money they actually have, and how much of it is actually available for spending.
Always Thinking Long-Term
Speaking of spending, Travis says long-term planning distinguishes high-income earners from high-net-worth individuals. Travis works with talented individuals who earn a pretty penny, but he always advises them to refrain from spending mindlessly. After all, it’s not how much one earns but how much one keeps that will determine whether or not they can achieve their financial goals.
Whenever his clients feel like making large purchases after earning a sizable paycheck, Travis reminds them to think long-term and realize that their short-term actions affect their long-term goals.
Paying Themselves First
Another habit that Travis loves instilling in his high-net-worth clients is paying themselves first. Instead of thinking about the next luxury purchase they can check out, Travis urges his clients to pay themselves first every time they get paid. This means automatically setting aside a portion of their money for paying taxes and other recurring bills.
“When people earn a lot of money, they usually get excited about spending it,” says Travis. “As their business manager, I make it a point to remind them not to spend anything yet until they’ve paid their personal financial obligations like their taxes and retirement funds.”
Saving Up for Retirement Right Away
One question Travis always gets from new clients is how early they should start saving up for retirement.
“Right away,” Travis always says in response. “It’s never too early to think about retirement. In fact, I always advise my clients to set aside 15% of all their income for a retirement fund.”
As always, Travis is committed to ensuring that his clients have a nest egg at the end of their careers, no matter if that’s after one big movie or after a successful 20 years in the industry.
Never Minding the Joneses
Finally, Travis says high-net-income individuals do not care about the Joneses. They do not care if the neighbors got the latest Ferrari or if the family living three houses down renovates their home every year. They do not feel the pressure to purchase or acquire luxurious things just for the sake of appearances or to feel like they’re on par with others.
“Trying hard to keep up with the Joneses is the easiest way to waste money on things you neither need nor feel passionate about,” explains Travis.
Working with hardworking and highly talented celebrities made Travis Guterman realize that just about anyone can earn more than enough to live a comfortable life, as long as they adopt the five life-changing financial habits discussed above.