47.3 Million Ways to Become Wealthy
Estimated Time To Read: 2 minute(s) 25 seconds
In preparation for this article I turned to a reliable, research savvy colleague, Google. I was on a quest for the answer to one of life’s most pondered questions. No, not ‘Who am I? or ‘What is the meaning of life?’… I was after the answer to how to become wealthy? And as evident by the 47,3million links that popped up on screen offering to provide an answer to the question, it’s apparent that there are many in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
What was immediately evident from most of the links is that ‘wealth’ is immediately coupled and associated with images of fast cars, luxury homes and beautiful people. According to the world wide web, if you’re wealthy you’re likely to drive a Ferrari, live in a mansion and have Elle McPherson features and for most of us, that will certainly feel like the unattainable, impossible dream.
The simple reality, however, is that the wealthy live within their means.
That is not meant to sound obvious or condescending because although it sounds simple enough it isn’t easy to do. As a matter of fact, in these tough economic times it’s even more difficult. At the risk of generalising, most seriously wealthy people you meet live a very ‘normal’ existence without the glitz and glamour that the media like to portray.
Debt dressed up as Wealth
We do all, however, know people who live in beautiful homes, drive million rand cars and seem to always be on holiday and yet sadly, many of them (not all) are likely to be up to their eyeballs in debt. This is why real wealth comes from spending less than you earn, again and again, month after month, year after year. It’s a slow and steady process. It isn’t particularly exciting. But it is the surest way to reach your goal.
So if the key to becoming wealthy is to live within your means, does that mean you need to live like a pauper? Only you will know, as it depends on your resources. If you have a small income you may have to live very frugally to live within in your means and grow wealthy.
Creating the gap
It may sound easy, but creating the gap between your income and expenses is very difficult.
Looking at the Income side, by constantly re-investing in yourself you can drive up your income over time. You could also look at getting other income streams to diversify away from you salary income.
Cutting your costs can be very difficult, but you should review your budget and see where your money is going and whether you can make any cost savings. We are all guilty of letting our expenses creep up as our income increases. Try and build an increase in the percentage savings you make on an annual basis. You have heard the term ‘pay yourself first’. This effectively means that you should set up a monthly debit order towards savings to come off your account as soon as you receive your income. If you are a salaried person this is the best way of saving. Don’t let your savings be the net of what is left at the end of the month. You will never get off the ground.
How much is enough?
Central to all of this is redefining what it means to be rich. If you need a huge home and an expensive car to “feel” wealth, then this advice won’t work for you. But if you define affluence as the ability to spend time with friends and family, to travel, to do work you love and to worry less about money, then living below your means is all it takes.
Real freedom is the ability to make life choices that make you happy. Living within your means puts money in your pocket so you can do that.