How To Become Rich With No Money

Let go of limiting beliefs

For most of us, developing an abundance mindset, or believing that there are enough resources and opportunities for everyone, requires an intentional effort. This is even more true for those who grew up with limited resources and less access to wealth.

According to a study conducted at Purdue University, many of our financial habits are formed by age seven. That means our feelings about money are largely influenced by how people around us talked about or behaved around it. When you grow up lacking money or the resources to make enough of it, thinking that there is a shortage of resources, or watching people around you live paycheck to paycheck — you may be more likely to believe that wealth is reserved for a select few. You are also not entirely wrong.

Many of the systems and institutions we use to build wealth were designed to keep marginalized people from escaping the poverty America trapped them in. If you identify with one of these communities, this may naturally impact your mindset. It takes more work to expect abundance when you don’t see it around you.

“Every day, many negative thoughts race through our minds. If we don’t learn how to filter those thoughts, we start to believe them. Eventually, they can lead to a scarcity mindset, which leads to scarcity actions, or what I call broke-ass decisions,” said Rachel Rodgers.

Rodgers doesn’t believe in ignoring our negative experiences. Instead she suggests using them as fuel to help us build a better future. “For example, changing your thoughts is not going to make racism or violence against Black people end,” Rodgers said. “Racism presents many challenges and obstacles to our ability to build wealth. That said, we can work with our thoughts to choose a more effective and empowering response to the racism we experience. Our anger can be a powerful fuel for action.”

Rodgers believes in rewiring our brains to expect abundance, and emphasized the importance of making million-dollar decisions before becoming a millionaire. This involves doing some thought work, or in Rodgers’ words, “the act of consciously paying attention to your thoughts and then choosing to entertain different ones instead.” She recommends practicing this on a daily basis.

“Even though I run an eight-figure business, I do thought work every single day,” she said. “When you think more positively about yourself, your work, your intelligence, and your financial decisions, you will start taking more positive actions. Eventually, after some practice, it can change your life for the better.”

According to Rodgers, million-dollars decisions create time, energy, and options. When you apply for a job, receive an offer, and make a counteroffer because you know your worth, you are making a million-dollar decision. When you are proactive about asking for a raise, researching industry rates, and making a case to your boss, you are making a million-dollar decision — as opposed to growing overwhelmed and not acting at all.

Ultimately, your mindset can lead to big missed opportunities if you don’t change it and believe that — no matter where you’re starting from — you deserve abundance.

Keep your thirst for knowledge lifelong, be more innovative and embrace change

One of the main secrets of self-made millionaires is that they are passionate learners and their learning curve actually has been shown to go up after formal schooling, rather than flattening. They are voracious readers and always remain eager to know about the world around them. They reinvent themselves and their business on a regular basis as the market and technology changes. Invest in yourself first, even if you know nothing right now. Instead of resisting every change, figure out what caused it and move forward by creating a solution that capitalizes on the new opportunity.

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What do millionaires do with their money?

When it comes to investment strategies, self-made millionaires were more likely to add equity investments, while those who were born wealthy typically had more real estate investments, according to the study. Diversifying those investments is key among many millionaires.

Millionaires put their money in a variety of places, including their primary residence, mutual funds, stocks and retirement accounts. Millionaires focus on putting their money where it is going to grow. They are careful not to invest large sums into items that will depreciate. A car for everyday driving, for example, will most likely lose value over time.

The key for most millionaires is to save money before spending it. No matter how much their annual salary may be, most millionaires put their money where it will grow, usually in stocks, bonds, and other types of stable investments. 

Key takeaway: Key takeaway: Millionaires put their money into places where it will grow such as mutual funds, stocks and retirement accounts. 

5. Avoid toxic relationships

Psychology plays a huge role in wealth accumulation. It may sound corny, but a Can-Do attitude is a must. It’s hard to maintain one if you associate with Can’t-Do people. Corley found that only 4% of low-income people associate with “success-minded” people.

“You are only going to succeed in life if you surround yourself with the right type of people,” he wrote. “That is to say, people who are encouraging, positive, curious, and helpful.”

Brew coffee at home

Ditch your daily latte. Choose a home-brewed cup of joe from the couch and put the money you saved to work instead.

Bach coined the term "The Latte Factor," which basically says that if you eliminate your $5 daily latte (or muffin, smoothie or any other unnecessary daily expense), you could save quite a bit of money over time, especially if you use that money to invest.

It worked for for self-made millionaire Chris Reining, who crossed the $1 million threshold at age 35 and retired at 37. Reining says that forgoing his daily coffee helped him save over half of his income.

"I know there are some people out there that say you shouldn't worry about the $5 latte, but the more I think about it, cutting out the $5 latte was a good place to start. Because if you try to downsize your house, get rid of all yours cars and make all of these drastic changes, it's so overwhelming and you're not going to do any of it," he tells CNBC Make It.

VIDEO 2:09 02:09 Self-made millionaire: You can get rich by giving up coffeeMoney

5. Create multiple streams of income

Do you remember the saying, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket? The same goes when it comes to your income. The average millionaire has seven streams of income! By diversifying your income, you grow wealth faster and create financial security.

For instance, if you have a side hustle in addition to your day job, you have two streams of income rather than depending on one or the other. This is a smart money move because if you were to lose your job for some reason, you would still have some income coming in from your side hustle. You can even grow your side hustle into a small business if you want to.

Income streams consist of your main job, side hustle, passive income, investment accounts, interest from savings accounts, rental properties, and more. There are many ways to create multiple streams of income. Creating multiple streams of income is a sure way on how to become wealthy.

Keep in mind that while get-rich-quick schemes might sound attractive many of them are exactly that. Schemes.

So instead of trying a get rich quick scheme, work on creating multiple sources of income! Remember rich people find multiple ways to bring in money, especially billionaires!

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).

2. Don’t overspend

The simplest and surest path to wealth is to save money and invest it. It’s like planting an acorn and watching it sprout into a tree. The problem for millions of Americans is acquiring an acorn to plant.

A 2018 Federal Reserve report found that four in 10 adults would not be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense much less an emergency fund. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put it at 6%, the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

If you barely make enough money to pay your bills and can’t save, the obvious solution is to make more money. That leads us to the next poverty habit.

Put your skill to work that you love to do, and chase your dreams

If your aspiration to start your own business or work is motivated just because you don’t like to work for someone else or are not getting enough pay, then it’s highly likely that you will not go too far in life. To get success, it is crucial to focus on your passion, choose something that you are passionate about and love to do. To get success you must have dreams and goals of your own, and being driven to see them through. Self-made millionaires have ambitions and are willing to take risks to make those happen. They are passionate and relentless in their mission to succeed. Set highly defined short-term and long-term goals with strict deadlines and you have to frame out exactly what you want and how to get there. While most of the common people ultimately want to lead a comfortable life, self-made millionaires push beyond the average, they believe in creating their own opportunities. Be ruthless with your vision and be clear about what you want to eliminate from your current life, and what you need to add over the next few years.

About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics such as investing, banking and credit cards. He left his day job in 2019 to pursue his passion for helping people get out of debt and build wealth. You can find his work at outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes Advisor and SoFi.

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.

2. Spend Intentionally and Minimize Costs

If you want to become rich, it’s important to minimize your costs and be more intentional with your spending. This is the second step because it should be one of the first things you do. Spending intentionally and minimizing your costs will require you to keep a budget.

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In doing so, you can keep track of exactly how much you spend and where you spend it. Acuña recommends a checklist of how you will spend. “Develop a prioritized checklist for how you’re going to spend your paychecks when you receive them. This includes allocating money to debt reduction, savings, fun, emergencies, etc.”

Your goal should be to minimize costs as much as possible so you can put that money toward building wealth. Jeff Burrow, president and lead advisor at Sierra Ocean, said you should “ravenously find ways to limit your lifestyle costs and save 25% of your income.”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Increase your contributions

Once you've set up your finances to automatically put money away, take things one step further by incrementally increasing your savings every year. Even a 1 percent bump to your employer sponsored 401(k) plan, if you have one, can make a major difference over time, thanks to the power of compound interest.

You can check online to see if you can set up "auto-increase" for your 401(k), which allows you to choose the percentage you want to increase your contributions by and how often. This way, you'll never forget to up your contributions, or talk yourself out of setting aside a larger chunk.

How Do You Build Wealth from Nothing?

Another thing you’ve got to do is, every time you make money, put a portion of it into a savings account to not be spent. Even if you work a minimum wage job, it’s important to do this.

Saving one dollar is better than not saving anything. Being a self-made millionaire takes time. Even if you can save only a little bit out of each paycheck, that’s your first stepping stone to work your way up to saving even more.

Most financial advisors recommend that you save about 10 or 15 percent of the annual gross income you bring home. If you start early enough, you could retire at 60 years old with 1 million dollars.

Therefore, it’s important that you determine when you want a net worth of $1,000,000. If it’s primarily for retirement, you can easily attain that goal.

However, if you want to become a millionaire earlier, then it’s time to start saving every penny you can. The goal is to stop wasting so much money on little things (like that trip to the coffee shop every morning).

Analyze your purchases for the month to determine what you’re spending and find ways to lower them. This takes no money at all, but it helps you in becoming a millionaire.

Be willing to create your own path

There’s no one-size-fits all for wealth building. No matter the path, what will make a difference is your consistency.

“You shouldn’t work yourself up trying to attain some made-up standard for how you create your wealth. My plan for building wealth was through entrepreneurship, and I still recommend it as the most sustainable and fastest path forward. However, that’s not what works for everyone. I know folks who’ve built wealth by investing in stocks, through real estate, or simply by saving,” Rodgers told me.

Whether you aspire to become a millionaire or not, and no matter what path you choose, you can benefit from rethinking your relationship with money to increase your chances of making more. Money doesn’t mean happiness, but wealth gives access to options, and potentially, a better quality of life.

I can’t guarantee that simply applying these tips will make you a millionaire, but I can promise adopting them will only benefit you on your wealth-building journey.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here are for general informational purposes only. It is important to do your own research and analysis before making any financial decisions. We recommend speaking to an independent advisor if you are unsure how to proceed.

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