In my experience, there are (3) time proven methods to getting “rich” consistently. And much like losing weight and keeping it off, none of them are magic buttons or are going to happen overnight. Sure, there will always be those who win the lottery or inherit, but for most of us this is not our reality. For us it comes down to increasing income, decreasing living expenses, and/or decreasing debt.
Since many of us have “day” jobs, earning extra income will likely come in the form of a “side hustle” or second job. Could be as an Uber/Lyft driver, renting rooms out for Air BnB, or just picking up hours at a local bar/restaurant. Whatever you’re doing, don’t lose sight of any costs. The extra money coming in should be weighed against what it’s costing you – lost productivity at work, extra miles on your car (leading to more frequent maintenance visits) or incurring additional liability. There are other, non-traditional, avenues available as well.
Many of these opportunities are Multilevel Marketing companies, and the way to make more money is to continue recruiting people below you. These aren’t all scams, Avon and Mary Kay have been around for years, and seem to do right by those willing to put in the time and energy. However, with today’s technology it doesn’t take much to put the infrastructure in place and start selling people on the idea of making money, especially when it doesn’t seem to require much effort.
If you’re willing to do your homework and understand the risks associated with Multilevel Marketing, more power to you. But please don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s going to be the answer to all your problems right away. Like anything else, it’s going to take time; and you’re going to have to work for it.
No time and/or energy to work a second job? Then look at decreasing your living expenses and debt. Interest on credit cards and loans chip away at savings – through the opportunity cost of not being able to save those dollars and taking advantage of compounding. You do not need to be in debt to have a great credit score, paying off cards monthly and doing your best to keep overall household debt below 20% of your income will go a long way towards allowing you to accumulate wealth.
This includes housing and education costs – be honest with how much you need, versus what you want. When purchasing your home don’t lose sight of the other costs you incur – heating/cooling it, maintenance, cleaning, etc. The mortgage you qualify for is almost never the mortgage I want my clients to get. Paying less for housing leaves more to save. The same is true for education. Depending on your degree path, do you need to attend a University right away; or would attending a community college or even using services like DANTES (veterans, active duty), CLEP and Excelsior exams be a better fit. They’re certainly much friendlier for your wallet.
I know, nothing in this talks about how you can get rich today – and I’m not going to apologize. True wealth requires dedication, hard-work and sacrifice, and even with these there’s no guarantees. It also requires honesty with yourself, what does it mean to you to be financially independent? I don’t believe in setting standards based upon what I see actors and sports professionals doing; it’s more important to understand what makes YOU happy, and work towards that. Professionals, like me, can certainly help and will give you tools to use; but ultimately it comes down to you deciding what you’re willing to save and how much you can live without now for the future you desire.