The desire to become rich is universal. But that probably impossible if you start with very little or no money. After all, there’s an old saying “you have to have money to make money.” If you don’t already have some cash to work with, you might think you’ll never be able to build significant wealth.
However, this isn’t entirely true. In spite of having little money to spare, there are steps you can take to amass a certain amount of wealth over time. That’s not to say that it won’t be easy. Depending on your geographic location, amount of debt, and income, this will be more challenging for some. Still, it’s possible.
Don’t believe me? Well, Andrew Carnegie, Oprah, Larry Ellison, Dolly Parton, Sheldon Adelson, George Soros, Ralph Lauren, and Shahid Khan all have inspiring rags to riches stories. Some grew up in poverty or had to overcome personal adversity, while others began their careers working below minimum wage.
Simply put, if you want to become a millionaire, you have to start somewhere. You may feel as if you are behind others, but be sure not to compare yourself with others. Put your focus on what you can control, like your own finances. After you get started, building wealth may not be as difficult as you thought.
With that in mins, let’s look at some steps to get you started from getting rich from nothing to millions.
Change your mindset.
Changing your money mindset will affect how you see money, as well as how you relate to it. What’s more, it’s been determined that a positive attitude towards money can alleviate financial stress.
Why is that a good thing? As a result of avoiding financial stress, you’re likely to:
- Budget your money
- Conserve money
- Plan your shopping before you go
- Make sure you’re prepared for unexpected expenses
For your financial situation to improve, you need to be able to do those things.
In short, to know how to get rich from nothing, it’s important to adopt the right mindset. After all, having the confidence that you possess the skills necessary to make money, then following through on the plan, is how you will succeed. As a result, you will need plenty of patience to stay committed.
Do the math.
“For any goal to be achievable, you must believe in its possibility as a realistic and doable goal,” writes Cardone. “The way to do this is simply by doing Million Dollar Math. How many different ways can you collect one million dollars?”
According to Cardone, if you can convince 5,000 people to buy a $200 product, you will have $1 million. Alternatively, if 5,000 people paid you $17 a month for a year, then you would also get to $1 million. Even though these examples are highly simplified, Cardone’s point remains: “Do the math to create possibility, then create strategy,” says Cardone.
Take a financial inventory.
You need to know where you’re starting from before you can become rich. An inventory of your financial assets can help you determine if you’re truly starting from 0 (or in the negative) with wealth creation.
But, what exactly is a financial inventory? It’s simply an individual financial inventory is a list of all of one’s assets and liabilities. If you want to figure this out, you might list everything you own on one side:
- A house
- Cars or other vehicles
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Collectibles, antiques or other heirlooms
- Life insurance policies
On the other side, you’d list what you owe, including:
- A mortgage
- Auto or personal loans
- A student’s loan
- Credit cards
- The cost of medical care
- Loans for for your business
Using a net worth calculator, you can plug the numbers from both sides in. Using this indicator can show you how close, or how far, you are to reaching your long-term goals for becoming wealthy.
Live below your means.
Despite the misconception, you don’t have to be a penny pincher or miss out on life experiences when you live below your means. Actually, it “simply means that you’re spending less or equal than you’re making each month,” explains Deanna Ritchie in a previous Due article. “As a result, you aren’t putting yourself into debt by living off of plastic. And more importantly, this will help you create a more stable financial future.”
“Of course, living within your means requires discipline and a little sacrifice,” adds Deanna. “However, if you stick with it, you’ll reap the following rewards, in addition to avoiding debt:”
- Anxiety and stress are reduced.
- Besides making you more successful, it’s also good for your health.
- Your credit score won’t be a concern for you.
- The ability to accumulate wealth.
- There will be more freedom for you.
- You’ll be financially secure.
Living within your means.
The question is how can one truly live within their means without depriving themselves? Let me offer a few suggestions:
- Use the 50/30/20 rule to create a budget. Spend a half of your income on necessities such as food and shelter, a third on wants, and a quarter on saving.
- Automate your savings to save money before you spend it. Put another way, put a percentage of your paycheck into a savings or retirement account with automatic deposits.
- Don’t waste your money on unused expenses, such as gym memberships.
- Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Despite their apparent financial prosperity, they may be hiding their true financial status. They could, in fact, be deeply in debt.
- Refrain from immediate gratification. If you want to avoid paying full price for groceries, clothing, electronics, or travel, you might wait for a sale.
- Take advantage of tax deductions. A tax deduction reduces the amount of income that is taxable at the federal and state level. It is often advantageous to invest in retirement plans, make charitable contributions, and contribute to college funding if you are subject to taxes.
- Restructure your debt. Conveniently repay your debt. Debt consolidation or negotiating a better interest rate with lenders are two examples.
Just say “no.”
Furthermore, Jeff Rose, CFP® and founder of Good Financial Cents, suggests getting comfortable saying “no” to yourself.
“This is important when you are shopping, or just out and about,” he emphasizes. He urges avoiding impulse buys in this instance. For example, buying something you like because it’s not too pricey.
“Even worse is the ability to purchase things online nowadays and have it delivered to your doorstep in just a few days,” he adds. “If you do that several times a week, the spending can really add up.”
“One trick is to enforce a ‘72 Hour Rule’ on any purchases, especially online items,” he recommends. “If you really think you need to buy <fill in the blank>, after you add it to your cart make yourself wait 72 hours before you purchase it.” You will be able to tell after three days if you need or if you just want the item (and do not need it).
Start saving early.
The simplest way to maximize your savings? Start as early as possible. In this way, you can leverage the power of compound interest.
Let’s say that you’re twenty years old. Contributing $6,000 annually ($500 a month) for 40 years would result in your total investment being $240,000.
Assuming a 7% return, the investment would have grown to more than $1.37 million due to compounding. So, if you saved $500 a month, you would be a millionaire by the age of 57.
Enhance your current income.
By boosting your income, you can begin the journey towards becoming wealthy. A great way and simple to do this is to ask for a raise at your present job. It’s important that you have an excellent work record and have worked for the company for a while before before asking, though. It is possible that if you are a good employee, they will increase your salary in order to keep you from looking for another position.
What if your salary request is denied? Well, if you have been working for your current employer for a long period of time and have done a good job, now is the time to move on to greener pastures. Upgrade your resume and start looking for an opportunity that can give you the pay bump you deserve.
If you want to get a better-paying job, you may also consider furthering your education. As an alternative to taking out student loans for college, however, you can consider a career in the trades. Some examples would be an electrician, plumber, HVAC tech, dental assistant, or hairdresser.
Also, trade career programs are usually less expensive and take less time to complete than colleges.
Create multiple income streams.
The old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to your income. In fact, a millionaire typically has seven streams of income. Why? You create financial stability and grow your wealth faster when you diversify your income.
With a side hustle as well as your day job, you can create two income streams instead of relying solely on one. Your side hustle will still provide you with income if you do lose your job for some reason. You can even expand your side hustle to a small business if it’s profitable.
Your main job, a side job, passive income, investment accounts, interest from savings accounts, and rental properties are all examples of income streams. The possibilities are endless. To become wealthy, you should establish multiple streams of income.
It is important to understand that many get-rich-quick schemes are in fact just that — schemes. Therefore, instead of looking for a get rich quick scheme, focus on building multiple income stream.
Investing your money is a major step towards getting rich from nothing. No matter what your financial situation is, you still can invest to begin accumulating wealth.
Additionally, you will want to eventually diversify your investments, just as you create multiple income streams. Again, having multiple sources of income allows you to generate more income. Among them are:
- ETFs and mutual funds
- Real estate
- Precious metals
- Environment, social and governance
Just like with savings, investing early will help you build wealth faster. Just don’t let your fear of the stock marker hold you back. Work with a brokerage or robo-advisor to get you started.
As I’m sure you’re well aware of right now, the price of everyday items rises automatically when inflation hits. Overcoming this hurdle will be a challenge. But it’s doable.
Perhaps you should look elsewhere for a less expensive option instead of that very expensive house. Even though you’ll still get equity, it won’t put you in debt.
Lifestyle inflation affects those living on minimum wage as well. Even if you can’t trim out a lot of expenses, you can become a millionaire. Just be creative and persistent.
If you received a salary increase at your job, you might have chosen to upgrade your vehicle instead of saving all that money. Self-made millionaires avoid this kind of spending. Rather, they save this additional money. Or, they use it to pay down their debt.
Almost everyone’s number one concern is food. Food is essential, and your favorite brands may be more expensive than off-brand ones. If you fit within a certain income bracket, you may be eligible for EBT or to receive food stamps from the government. Moreover, this can make it easier for you to save money while you buy food.
Meal planning and making freezer meals are other ways to save money on food. If your wallet is hurting at the pump, you can save money on fuel using a gas app to find the best prices.
Surround yourself with supporters.
Because they are familiar, we often surround ourselves with naysayers and people who keep us down. For anyone who wants to become something they aren’t, it is necessary to surround themselves with people who are already there or are en route.
No matter how unlikely your ideas might sound, these people will support you instead of discouraging them. Motivated people help each other achieve their goals and can be an inspiration.
In the absence of anyone close to you or in your life who fits this description, do the next best thing. Read about someone who does. Reading biographies of people with similar accomplishments keeps you motivated and on track.
Perhaps you’ll even come up with ideas of your own based on their business savvy. Consider people who were not born into wealth and privilege; rather, look for people who had an average life before becoming successful.
Ask for help.
When it comes to your finances, it’s incredibly easy to become overwhelmed. Case in point, planning for your retirement. With so many investment options and uncertainty, this can be quite stressful. In fact, 60% of working people are uneasy about planning their retirement. In light of these numbers, it’s not surprising that only 25% of Americans say they are confident that they are planning for retirement correctly.
This is why it’s so important to seek professional help. Unfortunately, in America, only 29% use a financial advisor, while 65% do not.
To ensure you’re making the right financial decisions, you should work with a qualified advisor.
A financial advisor can assist you in choosing investments, setting up a budget, and establishing a plan to reach your goals. You can use that money once you’re ready to start investing it, and they can help you maximize its value.
Don’t check out.
“This is my most important tip,” Melissa Houston writes in Forbes. “Hiring financial help such as accountants and financial advisors does not leave you with the right to check out of the financial activity in your business.”
“Nobody will care about your money as much as you do, so never give your financial power away,” adds Houston. Invest the time to educate yourself on money management. Why? When you do, you can see what’s going on and know when an investment isn’t helping you achieve your goals.
To sum it up, learning how to get rich is a process. Despite the best financial habits, investments or business ideas, even the most successful ones can fail. However, if you get educated and get assistance, you will be more likely to succeed, says Houston.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many millionaires are there in America?
In their latest Global Wealth Report, Credit Suisse estimates there are 22 million millionaires in America. That’s means almost 6.5% of the total population is millionaires. And, the amount of millionaires are growing.
2. Why do I want to be a millionaire?
Wanting to be a millionaire and knowing the why of becoming a millionaire are two completely different things. For something to be accomplished, one must first understand why they want it.
Wanting to be a millionaire just to have a lot of money probably won’t provide you with the necessary drive to achieve it.
Instead, take the time to examine why you would like to achieve your goals:
- Are you looking for financial stability by becoming a millionaire?
- Do you want to travel more?
- Are you looking to have more freedom?
- Is it to give back to your community?
It’s also worth watching Simon Sinek’s TED talk on why a clear why is key to success in business. Maybe you can find your own answer there.
3. What’s the easiest way to become a millionaire?
Using compound interest as soon as possible is the best way to become a millionaire. Investing early will help you accumulate interest more quickly. Investing early will also increase your interest income.
As a rule of thumb, you should save 15% of your income. If you cut down on unnecessary expenses and get professional financial advice, you can also reach your million-dollar goal. And, if possible, get a second job if you can upgrade your skills.
4. In order to become a millionaire, how much do I have to invest?
In order to become a millionaire, you must invest a certain amount of money based on your current situation.
For instance, younger people have more time to accumulate wealth and a greater tolerance for risk, so they are able to sock away less money. You’ll have to save more money every month if you wait until you’re older.
5. How can I become rich with nothing?
You can’t become rich doing nothing unless you come from a very wealthy family, expect to win the lottery, or a successful business idea. If you want to become a millionaire, then you’ll need discipline, a plan, and, possibly, the help of a registered professional who can guide you throughout your journey.