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We’ve all seen the stories in the news. Someone starts from nothing and ends up filthy stinkin’ rich. What luck right? Wrong. More often than not, getting rich isn’t done by winning the lottery, having a rich relative leave you a ton of money, or some other lucky break.
How it’s typically done is through good money habits, hard work, and a lot of time. The bad news there is that you’re not going to get rich overnight. The good news is that anyone that really wants to, can get rich no matter what their current financial situation looks like. Below is a guide you can use to start your journey to financial freedom.
How to Get Rich From Nothing
Change Your Mindset
One of the most important changes you can make on your financial journey is to completely change your mindset on money. If you can do that, you’ll already be leaps and bounds ahead of others when it comes to being financially successful. Being able to let go of the mindset that holds many of us back is your first step.
Stop Trying to Impress Others
Many of us fall victim to the “Keeping up with the Joneses’” mindset, and this is the biggest setback we can have. When you are constantly using your money to outdo those around you to look wealthy, you are actually hurting your financial standing. Fancy cars, big houses, and lavish vacations might make you look wealthy, but when those purchases are eating up all your cash, it certainly won’t help you build wealth. Let go of the need to look wealthy and start actually being wealthy.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
Part of the reason we fall into a bad money mindset is that others around us have the same bad mindset. Lucky for us, this works the opposite way too. Surrounding ourselves with others that have good money habits and aren’t interested in looking flashy, will help us maintain our good money habits too. I’m not saying you need to cut out all your friends, but if have people in your life that are constantly trying to spend your money for you, then maybe you need to look elsewhere for a social scene. Look to surround yourself with other’s that have the “millionaire mindset.”
Understand It’s Going to Take Time
Getting rich is not going to be a quick process. If there was a sure-fire way to get rich quick, then we’d all do it. Part of the problem with not just money, but many other aspects of our lives, is that we are looking for instant gratification. When it comes to getting rich, “instant” isn’t a commonly used word. Improving your financial situation will take years, decades even to get to a point where you can be considered rich. There are no shortcuts and anything claiming to have unlocked the secret of quick wealth is likely a scam.
Prioritize and Cut Out Unnecessary Spending
Getting rich doesn’t require you to stop spending your money completely. What it does require is to spend your money where it matters most or in other words. Rich people are very good at getting the most value for their money. Reviewing your finances and determining what expenses are essential and which are crucial to reaching your financial freedom. Most spending is unnecessary and can at least be cut back relatively easily, jump-starting your financial journey. What spending is left needs to be prioritized. Not necessarily on how much it costs, but on how happy it makes you feel. Spending money on a morning coffee, or lunch at the office doesn’t bring much joy when compared to spending money on a passion, hobby, or other aspects of your life that makes you much happier.
Pay Off Debt
Debt is the worst and is a big reason many of us aren’t in a better financial situation. Debt is money spent before you can even earn it. You have the choice to not spend in other areas, but debt collectors will get their money one way or another. If that wasn’t enough, a lot of what you are spending is just the interest. Every month your debt is out there is more money out the door that you literally get nothing for. If you want to become a millionaire, getting rid of all debt and then staying out of debt should be priority number one when starting on the road to riches.
You Need a Budget
A big part of achieving financial success is knowing where your money is spent and limiting that spending, aka, a budget. Having a budget can greatly help you when it comes to your finances. You’ll have a much easier time controlling your spending and it will force you to think twice about any purchase your make. There are a ton of online tools (personalcapital.com or YNAB.com) and apps that you can use to link up all your accounts to track and categorize your spending.
Live Below Your Means
This is a big one so listen up. All the other steps mentioned above are important, but if you aren’t living below your means still, then you’ll never get to financial freedom. The concept is easy to understand but can be difficult for some to implement. Living below your means simply means that you spend less than you make. Like I said, it sounds easy, but there are more people out there than you think that are doing the opposite and probably don’t even realize it. If you carry over credit card debt, always need loans, or simply can’t seem to make ends meets, you might be one of those people. Living below your means is a crucial step when it comes to getting rich.
Set Achievable Goals and Have a Plan
As with any big change in life, you won’t get far without having a plan and setting achievable goals for yourself. You wouldn’t travel to a new city or destination you’ve never been before without looking up the directions first right? Financial freedom is no different. You’ll need to figure out what “being rich” means to you aka, your destination. Would you be satisfied with one million dollars, two, maybe five? Are you looking to get there in ten, twenty, or thirty years? Whatever the number and timeline, you need to clearly define that to yourself. Without a plan, you’ll find yourself going in too many directions.
The goals you set for yourself should each be achievable steps to getting to the final destination. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Start small and work your way up. Don’t make the goals so easy that you’ll achieve them without any effort either. Having a goal to simply save $100 a month is a good starting point. Once you’ve accomplished that, move that up to $200 and so on.
Invest Your Money
Investing is the best way to grow your money and there are a ton of ways to do it. When thinking of investing, most of us think of picking stocks and hitting it big, but that shouldn’t be your strategy. Like growing a plant, growing your money takes a looooooooong time, decades really. Making smart, long-term investments will ultimately prove to be your best tool to create wealth. The magical part is that the longer you invest, the faster your money grows, so the sooner you start investing the better. Below are three investing scenarios show how the power of compounding gains can help you achieve your financial freedom and why its important to start investing now.
Scenario 1: $100 a month for 30 Years
Scenario 2: $200 a month for 20 Years
Scenario 3:$300 a month for 1 Years
Notice a trend here? Even by tripling the amount of money being invested, the third scenario produces the least gains. By investing early and often, no matter how small the amount, the gains you’ll see will only get better with time.
Increase Income, Not lifestyle
Another aspect of becoming wealthy that might be a little easier said than done is increasing your income, but it’s hardly impossible. For most of us, our main source of income is our regular day job. Nowadays, many of us use side hustles to help without day-to-day expenses or to give us some extra income to do whatever we want with. There is no shortage of side hustle possibilities to help you make more money.
Increasing your income from your main job can be difficult, after all most companies aren’t just handing out raises. Still, there are options you have.
Ask For A Raise
As I said, most companies don’t just hand out raises. Some will give out small annual ones, but most of the time they either fall short of the rise of inflation or will keep pace. Meaning, that although the amount of money going into your accounts is more, you’re actual buying power is the same or less.
When asking for a raise, don’t do so unprepared. Do some research on comparable positions at other similar companies. If you can prove that you are underpaid, you’ll be more likely to receive the compensation you’re looking for.
Find a New Job
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work for a company, they just won’t give you the raise you deserve. Maybe it’s not in the budget, or maybe they don’t value you as much as they should. In either case, taking your skills to another company is the fastest way to get a significant boost in your salary. Even if the salary boost is minor, you can take into account other factors. Having a job closer to home is a money saver or a new company could offer better health benefits or 401k matching. Point is, salary isn’t the bottom line, if there are other factors that could produce a better financial future for you, you should at least consider a move.
Invest in Yourself
When it comes to your current job or getting a new one, sometimes you don’t have the skillset needed to make that next jump…yet. With today’s technology, obtaining a certification, degree, or anything else needed to bump you up a few notches is easier than ever. It might take some upfront cost and some time, but investing in yourself is a great way to boost your income. Just like any other investment, the sooner you do it the better the results will be in the long run.
Create Multiple Streams of Income
Most millionaires didn’t get there by having only one source of income, in fact, on average they have seven. There are several ways to achieve different income streams:
- Get a second job
- Start a side hustle
- Start another side hustle
- Make money online
- Invest in dividend paying stocks\mutual funds\index funds
- Start Investing in Real Estate
- Have investments outside the stock market that will give your regular income
- Open a High Yield Savings Account
Having multiple income streams is not only a great way to make money, but to make a lot of money. Not only will having multiple income streams help you achieve financial freedom quicker, but they can also help protect you in case your main source of income is impaired for any reason.
Don’t Increase LifeStyle
One of the biggest pitfalls many aspiring millionaires fall into is something called lifestyle inflation. Lifestyle inflation refers to all the small increases in our spending we don’t even notice. As our income goes up, we slowly increase our spending because we “can afford to”. Look at some of the richest people in the world, most don’t look rich or act rich. They have definitely not upped their lifestyle based on their income. The trick here is to keep the same lifestyle as your income increase. The best way is to set up automatic deposits into your investments and to never see the money in your bank accounts in the first place.
Don’t Give Up
One of the hardest parts of getting rich is not giving up. Seriously, it’s a process that starts off slow and you can easily get frustrated. Maybe the stock market has a bad year or two and you get scared off or you’re just not seeing the results you want. If you want to be rich, you need to work hard and stick with it. Giving up is a sure-fire way to fail. Committing to the long-term process will be your best route to financial success. Remember the investing charts? The longer the commitment, the better the returns, and it’s not even close. The path is a long one, but it’s certainly worth the journey.
Getting rich from nothing is certainly not an impossible feat, nor one you need to get lucky to achieve. With the right mindset, tools at your disposal, and time, anyone can achieve financial freedom. The road is a little different for everyone and there will always be bumps along the way. By sticking with it and making sure you hit much smaller and achievable goals on the way, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of financial success.