How to Become a Millionaire

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How to Become a Millionaire

Welcome back to our financial series on our travel blog! This article is all about how to become a millionaire, and we'll be talking about how becoming a millionaire starts with a simple change - in how you view your money. 

Let's imagine we have 2 people: Bob and Sally 

  • Bob drives a 10 year old Ford – Sally drives a brand new Mercedes

  • Bob has lived in the same £200k house for last 20 years – Sally lives in a new £1m townhouse

  • Aaand Bob wears the same £100 suit all week – Sally wears a different Gucci dress everyday

  • Bob earns £50,000/year – Sally earns £100,000/year

Who’s richer? Sally right?

WRONG – looks can be deceiving!

Bob is richer – because Bob and Sally see money completely differently.

Sally impulse buys and enjoyed luxury goods.

Bob is super frugal and gets more joy out of investing his money than spending it.

In fact, the 3 most common denominators among people who built wealth

  • Live below their means

  • Allocate their time, energy and money efficiently

  • Value financial freedom over social status

Notice that none of these factors are “how much money you make

Sure if you make more money and you follow the some principles you will get wealthy quicker, but what tends to come with higher earnings = higher social expectations – and this is the difference between a rich man and a poor man.

Now - Ask yourself this question – what is money to you? How do you see it?

 

A lot of the people I have asked this question to see money as something you exchange for a product or service that they want. It’s a means to an end and something that just circulates forever, changing hands from one day to another in exchange for your services or something you’re selling.

 

Now there are very few everyday things you can buy that will increase your wealth.

I’m not talking about spending on your:

  • Mortgage

  • Car lease

  • Childs education

  • Things like that…

I’m talking about the other 20-30% of your money that you spend on things that will never provide you with a return on your investment/spend, and things that you don’t really need.

So in order to understand WHY and HOW wealthy people actually become wealthy – I’m going to share with you in more detail, the best habits / inspiration to start to become financially independent yourself:

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1. Save Money and Have an Emergency Fund

Make saving your money your number one priority! Start with creating an emergency fund, and try to aim for at least $1000 - this helps to offset any unexpected expenditures that may come up and set you back such as a car tyre change, or a leaky roof that needs fixing. Once you've got your emergency fund set up, then aim for a savings fund that can last you 6 months if you're not working. Keep this money completely liquid so you can access it at any time. Approximately only 1 in 4 people say they have enough money to cover their bills for the next 1-3 weeks, and we should all aim to be one of those people!

Once you've done this, you'll be in a much better position to start saving for other purchases you need, and ultimately wealth building.

 

2. Pay Off Any Debt 

The second thing wealthy people do is to pay off their debt. 

 

Here I’m talking about any debt you have with an interest rate higher than around 4% because you are very likely to generate better returns than this on basically any an investment you choose – be it property/stocks/dividends. 

Now get this – becoming debt free is the first step to becoming wealthy, because if you have what it takes to be able to get debt free, you then need to continue the same saving habits you used to be able to pay off your debt, to build your wealth.

 

3. Have The Right Mindset

Around 70% of millionaires are first generation and have not had parental help. This goes back to having the right mindset. Like Bob – who actually earnt less than Sally, his mindset was to save and invest, and this is what you need to work on if you want to achieve financial freedom – most people can do it and believing otherwise is yet another barrier! 

In fact people who grow up with wealthy parents and got large allowances tend to grow up expecting to live that lifestyle as adults, and therefore spend most of their income.

 

4. Be Frugal 

Most millionaires are extremely frugal and won’t like spending money unnecessarily. They see money as a tool to build wealth and don’t care what people think about them.

 

Warren Buffet is an extreme but great example here, he:

  • Lives in same house me bought in 1958 for $31,500

  • Has McDonalds for breakfast

  • Drives beat up/repaired cars – his daughter actually said in a documentary that he will keep his cars until she tells him she’s embarrassed to be still seen in it!

  • Until 2020 he used an old school flip phone – not a smart phone

5. Make Safe Investments Over Time

 

Not all millionaires made their money from bitcoin – rather by investing in solid stocks and or property over time. Not many wealthy people got rich quick – we’re talking about years of graft and dedication, whether it's consistently setting aside a set amount of money each month into the S&P 500 or dividend stocks.

Ok, as an example let’s take someone earning the average UK salary: £35,000 - £27,500 after tax – let’s call this man Josh.

  • Say Josh spent

    • 55% of net income on necessities

    • Other 45% on entertainment/hobbies/socialising

That means if he cut back on his luxuries and lived frugally, he could, if he wanted, save around 40% of his money. This is completely possible, but most people don’t save anywhere near 40% of their income, and whatever savings they do have will just go into a crappy savings account, probably earning less than 1% interest

 

Now instead – and the way I see money is – if you take that 40% which, in josh’s case, would be £11,000 and invest it onto a dividend stock or real estate, you could be generating anywhere between 5-10% yield on your investment.

  • Let’s be optimistic and say you make 5% yield on a dividend stock and another 5% on stock growth, you’re looking at 10%. Over time if you allow for 2.5% inflation you’re looking at 7.5% returns on your investment – EVERY YEAR

 

That’s £825/year – EVERY YEAR – FOREVER, for doing nothing!

In fact if you kept re-investing your returns, overtime you will benefit from compound interest which is best described as a snowball.

Conclusion

I used to feel like finance was such a minefield and I would never understand it – and therefore never tried to. Everything to do with finance sounded so technical and it all seemed so alien to me, but by realising how simple it can actually be – I got less scared of it!

There's no better time to start working on your financial freedom than right now! These are the simple steps that can be taken by anyone to be one step closer to your millionaire dreams.  I hope this has helped to simplify some key behaviours and habits that can actually lead to financial freedom – and if you can commit to implementing some of these, you’ll become more aware of ways to invest the money you’re actually saving.

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