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I remember back in the good old days of 1995, when I was just a kid, people would use the term “millionaire” to describe those who were wealthy and financially comfortable.
I even remember this 1992 song by the Barenaked Ladies, If I Had a Million Dollars:
If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)
Well I’d buy you a house (I would buy you a house)
And if I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)
I’d buy you furniture for your house (maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)
And if I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)
I’d buy you a k-car (a nice reliant automobile)
And if I had a million dollars I’d buy your love…
And here’s how the ending of the song goes:
If I had a million dollars, if I had a million dollars
I’d be rich
I’ve embedded the song from YouTube so that you could reminisce the good old days. Well, only for those who were born before my time and remember this song. 🙂
Not surprisingly, I found these following comments at the end of the YouTube video:
– “If I had a million dollars, I’d still have student debt.”
– “If I had a million dollars, I’d be middle-class.”
– “You can’t buy love for a million dollars. Women have become even more expensive over the years.”
– “If I had a million dollars, I couldn’t afford rent in Vancouver.”
– “If I (only) had a million dollars, I’d be broke.”
Based on those comments, being a millionaire certainly isn’t what it used to be. That led me to go on dollartimes to find out how much $1,000,000 in 1992 is worth today. After factoring an inflation rate of 2.26% and the rising costs of living, this is what today’s new standard of a “millionaire” would look:
Holy moly! $1.788 million sounds kind of crazy for most people, doesn’t it?
Charles Schwab’s Survey
However, the good news is that this study by Charles Schwab shows it takes an average of $1.1 million (in 2017) to be financially comfortable depending on where you live. You can see in this infographic that $1.1 million applies to those who live in New York City and SF Bay Area. So, that’s even better news if you reside in another city like Chicago, where $560,000 is considered as “comfortable” based on their survey findings.
And according to this article by Kathleen Elkins, less than 10% of Americans are millionaires. That points out that less than 10% of American households qualify as “financially comfortable” based on Charles Schwab survey’s standard.
Do you have what it takes to become a millionaire and fall within that 10% range?
Today, I want to tell you that you CAN become a millionaire (i.e. $1.1 million) and live the happy life you want. This is even better news for you if you don’t really need $1,000,000 or more to live comfortably. To some, they are perfectly happy living with a $600,000 nest egg. In the end, it all depends on your lifestyle and what you define as happy.
Don’t forget to pin this for later!
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I know, you might be thinking:
– “But I have $50,000+ consumer debt. How is it possible to become a millionaire?”
– “What if I’m living paycheck to paycheck? I can’t even save $1,000 a year, let alone become a millionaire!”
– “Are you kidding me? It’s going to take me 10 years just to pay off my $100,000 student loans! This is bogus and crap!”
My friend, you still have hope. Lots of hope!
And here’s the solution for you…
Number one, you need to cut the excuses and change your mindset.
Anddddddd number two…
You need to start living like the millionaire next door.
Let’s get one thing clear. That doesn’t mean you start flashing your dollar bills around to show how rich you look. By the way, I’m not saying it’s bad to buy fashionable and luxury items. That’s perfectly fine as long as you’re still living below your means.
For instance, even if your income is over $300,000 per year, but you spend recklessly with nothing saved (or even in debt), you are living above your means and that’s considered poor in terms of wealth. You may be “income rich” but you are “equity poor.” The latter is more important if you want to get serious about building wealth. I’m sure you’ve heard stories like MC Hammer who had a net worth of $33 million but spent frivolously and filed for bankruptcy, right?
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
If you’ve been following me, you will notice that I bring up this book a lot: The Millionaire Next Door. Well, that’s because it’s one of the books that has changed my life and I know it will change yours too.
After reading this book, it answered my question whether I can become a millionaire and it was a pure wake-up call for me!
Generally speaking, I was the type of girl who would mindlessly spend on nice clothes, jewelry, handbags, and eat out quite often. Not to mention, I like to buy a lot of “pretty” and “cute” stuff too. So, I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t enjoy the material things in life. Boy, did I waste a crap load of money! Well, what’s done is done. We can only look ahead and control the present.
Anyway, back to the question of whether you can become a millionaire.
The writers of the book dive into the details of three types of people. More often than not, the type you are will determine your path and success to becoming a millionaire.
1. Prodigious accumulators of wealth (PAW)
2. Under accumulators of wealth (UAW)
3. Average accumulators of wealth (AAW)
When I finished the book, it made me realize that I was not that frugal. I honestly thought I was frugal, but nope, not according to this book.
From what I learned, you really need to change your mindset and let go of your ego if you’re aspired to become wealthy. In other words, you must understand that true wealth isn’t how you look based on appearance.
I personally know people who are high-income earners living the high-class lifestyle, but the reality is, they’re in a lot of debt with no assets. On the other hand, the middle-class dude who dresses casually in a regular top and jeans (shopping at Walmart) is the real millionaire. He drives a 2006 F-150 and lives in a neighborhood that makes less than his family income on average. He could finance a Porsche, but he doesn’t. Instead, he chooses to grow his wealth by putting the money into assets that appreciate over time. With that said, if you want to start accumulating wealth today, you have to stop being influenced by society’s expectation of what a rich life looks like.
As a side note, you really don’t have to give up experience, luxury, and fun to become a millionaire. Balance is key. I admit that I enjoy my random splurges, but I’m still able to build wealth at the same time because I prioritize the things that matter to me. In the end, it comes down to choosing and prioritizing what’s important to you.
The seven elements you need to master:
Based on the book, there are seven common denominators among millionaires:
1. They live well below their means.
2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.
3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
7. They chose the right occupation.
In The Millionaire Next Door, the authors write that you will study these characteristics of the wealthy. Once you’re able to master these characteristics, you’ll be on your way to becoming the millionaire next door!
So, if you’re serious about building wealth, I highly recommend this book. Not to mention, the facts and stats will seriously shock you too!
You can learn more about this book here on Amazon! If you’re interested, you can get the book at a great deal from Amazon when you download the FREE Amazon Kindle reading app here. You can read Kindle e-books from any device including your PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.
Try Amazon Prime For FREE and get free access to books!
Also, did you know that if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get unlimited access to over thousands of books? In addition to saving money, it is convenient because you can use Amazon Prime on any device such as your phone, tablet, Kindle, and desktop.
FREE TRIAL: You can get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime here. If you don’t think it’s right for you, cancel it anytime with no questions asked!
In the meantime, here are some easy things you can start doing now to become a millionaire. From my personal experience, these baby steps will steer you in the right direction towards amassing $1,000,000. Don’t take them lightly!
1. Learn from the millionaires.
To become a millionaire, you’ll need to learn from millionaires. Yes, that means following and mimicking their behaviors. When I say learn from the millionaires, that includes learning from billionaires like Warren Buffett as well. He’s my biggest idol and I love everything about him!
As I mentioned earlier, the book, The Millionaire Next Door, has completely changed my life. This book is one of the reasons why my fiance and I were able to grow our net worth to over $750,000 within 7 years. We’re not millionaires yet, but we’re aspired to exceed $1,000,000 by learning from them! It will take some time, but with patience, you can build wealth and become a millionaire in no time!
2. Earn free gift cards so that you DON’T need to cut Starbucks!
Yes, you read that right!
Most people will tell you to cut the coffee to become a millionaire, but I’m not going to tell you to do that!
I am a HUGE fan of Starbucks and I can’t stop buying them. Luckily, I’m able to reduce my spending significantly because I use Swagbucks to earn FREE Starbucks gift cards here. Yes, you can earn free gift cards just by surfing the web, playing games, watching videos, shopping online, and completing easy surveys! These are just the things you normally do!
In fact, you can grab your $5 welcome bonus just by signing up here. Swagbucks is a 100% FREE resource and it takes less than 10 seconds to sign up (see my screenshot below).
I’ve been using Swagbucks since 2009 and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to earn free gift cards.
Swagbucks is 100% legitimate and has paid out their members $288,312,447 to date!
3. Create a FAIL-PROOF budget!
I mentioned that we are huge fans of Gail Vaz-Oxlade and her personal finance shows.
Inspired by her fail-proof budgeting tips, we created this FREE Savvy Budget Kit (Tool + Printables) just for you. It’s been proven that millionaires become wealthy because they are able to create and stick to a budget.
Click here to gain free access to my Budget Kit. This is only exclusive to my subscribers. Seriously, use it and stick with it if you want to become the millionaire next door.
4. Get a personal finance assistant (Trim).
While you’re creating your budget and trying to find areas to cut, I highly recommend you to use Trim.
Trim is an awesome tool that acts as your personal finance assistant. She will keep track of your finances and help you save money. For example, Trim will negotiate your cell phone, Internet, and cable bills. It will even cancel the ones that you don’t need! Pretty cool, huh?? Trim has saved their users over $1,000,000 in the last month. Sign up to Trim for FREE here!
I’m sure a future millionaire like yourself can use some personal finance assistance today. 🙂
5. Save money on your lunch.
Trust me, I know how it feels to bring leftovers to work the next day. Usually, it doesn’t taste good because let’s face it, who likes to microwave their food? I know I don’t, and that’s why we don’t even have a microwave at home. And no, I’m not joking! My fiance may not mind the microwaves, but I absolutely hate them!
That explains why I pack my lunch with this cute little product without having to pop my food into the microwave! 🙂
Did you think millionaires spend $20 to $50 on lunches every single day? No, that’s for the broke who like to look rich! Even spending as little as $10 on lunches each day equates to $10 x 252 working days = $2,520 for the year!
Bundle up your lunch savings by doing this:
To save even more money, I highly recommend the following apps (all for free) when you’re grocery shopping to prep for your lunch meals:
2. Caddle (Canada only): get cash back from a variety of things! That includes your groceries, shopping and eating at restaurants, answering very short surveys, watching videos, writing reviews, and engaging with brands via social media. Sign up for Caddle here for free.
For more information about this app, read my post, The Cash Back App You Need Today: Caddle Review.
6. Increase your income.
Yes, you can become a millionaire without a high income like this janitor here who amassed $8 million dollars due to his smart spending and investing habits.
However, there is a saying that goes:
“There’s a limit to how much you can save, but there’s no limit to how much you can earn.”
With that said, it’s time to boost your income so that you can easily save more without cutting back on your desired lifestyle!
Here are my top posts on how you can make extra money so that you can achieve your dream of becoming a millionaire quicker:
7. Automate your bills, savings, and investments.
In my post, How We Went From $93,000 Debt to Over $750,000 Equity in 7 Years, I talked about how automating everything changed our lives. You can find more info on subheadings #7 to #9 in that post. Automating makes our lives easier because we don’t have to think nor do anything once everything is set up. Of course, I mentioned that mistakes can happen, so we do a monthly review to make sure our accounts reflect the correct amounts.
To live like and become a millionaire, you need to start automating your bills, savings, and investments because you won’t have time to manually pay and keep track of each bill. Times have changed today and you will need to use the time that you saved to pick up a side hustle.
My whole point is, once you’ve automated your finances, you will have more time to focus on other important things that help you build wealth. You could be allocating some time to read a personal finance book, learn how to invest, or make extra money on the side. Either way, automation will allow you to buy back time and become more efficient.
Related posts that will help you make extra money:
8. Beef up your credit score.
Did you know that having an excellent credit score is one of the secrets to becoming a millionaire? The higher your score, the more money you’ll save because you’ll be paying less in interest.
To get a good understanding of how important your credit score is to your financial health (and becoming the millionaire next door), read this article, How a Good Credit Score Can Save You $83,770.
As a start, you can check your credit score for FREE at Credit Sesame. It’s crucial to know where you stand and it won’t impact your credit score at all! The sooner you know, the sooner you can improve your score and become a millionaire!
9. Earn cash back on your purchases.
Would you like to earn cash back from the things you buy? I bet you do! Here are two cashback websites that allow you to earn money while you shop. However, to become the millionaire next door, you need to watch out for what you buy. So, only buy things that you need and are worth spending on!
Dollar Dig is a relatively newer cashback website that is available in US and Canada. This program is very similar to Ebates (mentioned in the next point) where they offer cash back rebates at over 3,250 stores, along with coupons and deals. Sign up and receive your first $2.50 welcome bonus! Yes, signing up is absolutely free!
Who doesn’t like getting cash back without any effort? 😉
Ebates works with over 2,000 retailers including Indigo, Amazon, eBay, Nike, Foot Locker, Michael Kors, Groupon, and so much more! With Ebates, you can get up to 30% cash back (sometimes even more)! And no, this is not too good to be true! It’s for real and there are no gimmicks here.
This will take no more than three minutes. Whenever you decide to shop, always log into your account and search for the store you want to shop at in the Ebates search bar.
If they have the store, simply click on the link and it will directly enter the store’s website in a new window or tab. Shop like how you normally would online, but make sure you shop in the window browser that Ebates directs you to. Once you checkout, your cash-back reward should be credited to your Ebates account within a few days.
Earn extra money by getting cash back whenever you shop online and it’s absolutely free to sign up.
==> Recieve a $10 welcome bonus with Ebates when you sign up today! For my Canadian readers, sign up here and get your special $5 through ebates.ca.
10. Track your net worth.
Whether you have negative equity (you owe more than what you own), or you are starting off with $50, I encourage you to track your net worth. After all, millionaires tend to keep track of their wealth every quarter or year. If you don’t track your wealth, how are you supposed to know how you’re doing financially?
You can keep track of your net worth using by using Personal Capital. I am honestly SO sad that they don’t offer this resource in Canada because I’d be ALL OVER IT! I’ve been in love with the idea of this product for many years and I’m dying for them to come to Canada! So, if you live in the US, you need to get on it!
Personal Capital is a FREE financial tool that will help you manage your personal finance! It is very similar to Mint, but Personal Capital has investment features that Mint does not!
With Personal Capital, you can aggregate all of your accounts together. By putting your accounts together, you can track your savings, investments, cash flows, and your net worth. This is the perfect tool for you to track your journey to becoming a millionaire! 🙂 On top of that, you can analyze your spending habits and see how much you’re saving. Personal Capital can also inform you when your bills are due. With that said, you can budget and track your net worth at the same time!
For those of you who don’t know, your net worth (aka your equity) is simply all of your assets minus your liabilities (aka debt).
Here’s an example of your assets:
– savings and checkings account
– all investment accounts
– investment properties
– your house (there’s always a debate whether or not you should include your home. I would include it if it is used for income-producing activities or if you plan to sell it down the road)
– car (I personally don’t include this, but some people do)
– coins, arts, and collectibles (I personally don’t include this either)
And here’s an example of your debts:
– credit card debt
– student loans
– car loans
– the mortgage on your home or investment property
– home equity line of credit (HELOC) or any line of credit (LOC)
– any money owed to your family or friends even if it’s interest-free
For a detailed example, head on over to see how we track our net worth (March 2018 Report).
To calculate your net worth, all you have to do is take your total assets minus your total debts. Easy peasy, right? If your net worth calculation comes out to be $1,000,000, then technically you’re a millionaire!
How fast your net worth grows will depend on…
Once you know your net worth, track it every quarter to see your progress and review alongside with your budget. How well your net worth performs will depend on your savings, income, level of debt, investment growth, how well your business is doing; and most importantly, your mindset.
Here’s my summary of what you can do to improve your net worth and reach your millionaire status sooner. I also give you my very honest opinion on how easy or difficult each category is.
|Controllable||Explanation||Examples||Level of Ease|
|Savings||Yes||Find things to cut and/or negotiate||Frequent night outs, the random stuff you buy, phone bills, cable, Internet, etc. Read here for 11 Things I Stopped Buying To Save Over $10,100!||7/10|
|Income||Yes||Find ways to increase it||Job promotion, switch jobs, side hustle, etc. Learn how to make $100 every day here.||7/10|
|Debt||Yes||Find a strategy to pay it down quicker by either saving money, find a lower rate, and/or increase income||Credit card debt, student loan, auto loan, home mortgage, etc. Here are 9 guaranteed ways to get out of debt fast!||6/10|
|Investment growth (markets)||No||The only controllable part is to not act based on your emotions, so hang onto the ride!||Stocks, funds, bonds, real estate, etc. Learn how to start investing for dummies here.||4/10 in general, but 7/10 if you can control your emotions.|
|Business||Yes||We hear more failures than successes, but you control 100% of your business and how far you choose to go with it.||Coffee shop, consulting firm, franchise, retail, real estate business, online business, blog, etc. Learn how to start a money-making blog for cheap here. Believe me, this is one of the cheapest business costs today!||1/10|
|Mindset||Yes||How you think determines your behavior and actions.||You have to sincerely believe: “I can and will become the millionaire next door!” This EPIC book has completely changed my mindset from poor to rich. Spoiler alert: it’s NOT The Millionaire Next Door. 😉||1/10 in general, but 9/10 if you can change your mindset.|
$1 million back in 1992 is equivalent $1.788 million today. And we know that there are less than 10% of millionaires in America as of 2017.
However, these figures shouldn’t scare us because, with the right mindset and action plan, you can become a millionaire. And even if you don’t hit the $1.788 million mark, rest assure that you’ll still be fine based on this Charles Schwab study.
As a recap, this shows that an average of $1.1 million (in 2017) is considered to be financially comfortable. This number could even be less depending on where you live and your type of lifestyle. On the flip side, you may require more as well.
Either way, if you want to get out of a financial rut and start building wealth like how most of the 10% do, I recommend you to read The Millionaire Next Door. Again, it changed my life and it will change yours too.
While you’re at it, you can start living like a millionaire now by:
– creating a budget using Gail’s Guide To Building a Budget
– getting a free personal finance assistant by signing up with Trim
– learn how to manage your money efficiently
– automate your life
– take on a side hustle or boost your income to earn extra money
– improve your credit score. Check your credit score here at Credit Sesame for FREE. It won’t impact your credit score at all! It’s crucial to know where you stand so that you can improve your score and become a millionaire sooner!
– start earning cash back with cash rewards programs such as Caddle, Ebates USD, Ebates CAD, and Checkout 51. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up!
– track your net worth and find ways to increase it. Start off by signing up for Personal Capital for free here!
– change your mindset (the most important of all)
Over To You
Are you ready to become the millionaire next door?
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