Chances are you know someone who is extremely wealthy, but they’re not going to tell you. No, they’re content enjoying life without the need for Trump-like gloating or over-the-top displays of wealth. Author Thomas Stanley calls them the “millionaires next door.” So if your “millionaire next door” acquaintance was to share her money secrets, what might she tell you?
1. I could care less what you think about where I live, what I drive, or which designer fashions I sport. To put it bluntly, I’m more concerned about creating wealth than impressing you. Sure, you might not be captivated with the size of my vehicle, but I’d bet you’d be amazed at the size of my 401K account.
2. Long ago I realized that you better control your money or it will control you. That’s why at the beginning of the month I give my Washingtons, Jeffersons and Benjamins their marching orders by telling each dollar exactly where it’s going. Some may call it a budget. I call it a freedom plan.
3. Unfortunately, we were all fed a lie. We were told that to achieve financial success we simply had to get a good job, work hard, and live happily ever after. I’ve learned that true financial freedom comes by way of ownership.
Just ask Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. That’s why I make sure to spend less than I earn. I use the excess cash to become an owner of stocks, bonds, real estate, and my own business.
4. Speaking of business, if you do chose to start your own, remember that the easiest way to become successful is to solve a problem that people frequently encounter. The bigger the problem, the greater your reward. That’s why I’m always on the look out for problems. They are golden opportunities in the making.
5. I believe in paying all of my bills on time, but I always pay myself first. Since I can’t spend money I don’t see, I have a portion of my paycheck automatically direct deposited into a special savings account.
6. Instead of working to live, too many of my friends are living to work. They’ve become slaves to their possessions, so they must work incessantly to make the payments on all of their toys. I refuse to fall into that trap.
7. Time is my biggest ally. That’s why I started at an early age investing small amounts of money on a regular basis.
8. Debt is slavery. I avoid it like the plague. If I can’t pay cash for something, I don’t buy it.
9. Don’t believe the naysayers. You don’t have to be super educated or possess a lot of money to become wealthy in America. There are plenty of millionaires who never graduated from high school or who immigrated with next to nothing in their pockets. The simple truth is that anyone can become rich in America. It’s just a matter of mindset. That’s why I think big and dream even bigger.
10. Experiences bring me more long term joy than material possessions. If I have to chose between a new toy and a trip with friends, I’ll chose the trip every time.
11. Life happens. Cars break down. The water heater stops working. You find out that your kid needs braces. That’s why the very first thing I did was create an emergency fund. Save your money for one day it will save you.
12. The average American spends nearly five hours a day watching television. Not me. Nene Leakes and Olivia Pope aren’t going to pay my bills or make me wealthy. Instead, while others are watching television, I’m spending the time either increasing my knowledge or building my business.
BMWK, what are some money secrets your rich friends could share?