I remember getting this question the other day after telling someone what I do. He asked me in an almost jokingly tone, “so how do I become a millionaire?” At the time I didn’t think much of it. I told him that the key to becoming a millionaire is spending less than you make. Not surprisingly he just laughed, thinking I was just giving him a lame answer.
Although this may be funny and “lame” to most people, it is absolutely true. You see it’s not just about spending less than you make, but your mindset and how you are able to physically and mentally not overspend.
It got me thinking. (And that’s never a good thing) Inherently I am a saver. My wife luckily is also a saver, although she leans more heavily into a spender. Studies show that there is always a spender and a saver in every relationship. So if you think you are a saver you are most likely the spender!
How do you view your money? When I run I think of these crazy things. I was thinking how if we just saved an extra $1,000 a year for the next 30 years we would have a great time using that money in retirement, rather than splurge on a trip this year for a couple of days. I could wait 30 or some odd years and take 2 trips a year for double that length of time.
It’s about delaying gratification.
I see that in the millionaires I am privileged to work with. My wife even has stories from when she worked in retail. The women who bought the most from her designer store would never “look the part,” sweats and a t-shirt would be their style, yet my wife soon found out through credit card applications how much they really were worth.
I am not saying I am a millionaire or may ever be one, but I like to think I am on the right track to do so. Mindset and delayed gratification count so much more to be one over making the money and spending it all away.
How often do you delay gratification?
It doesn’t even have to be finance related. Think of everyday life. If you crave coffee do you have to have it right away or can you wait an hour? If your tired and don’t want to cook dinner, how fast do you rush to buy something, or do you contemplate the reward of making dinner and saving that money for say, the weekend? When you shop do you have to have that new clothing item or can you wait until Christmas or your birthday even to receive it as a gift?
Think like a millionaire
They are like the people you see running everyday at 7am. We often think that if only we had that time, or that body, running would be so much easier. Millionaires don’t just become millionaires overnight (some do, I know), but most build habits that are like those runners. Those runners have the same amount of time in their week as you. If you asked most of them they would tell you they have to run, they couldn’t think about not working out. It has become a routine and a habit or dare I say a mindset!
That’s what millionaires do. They turn living below your means into a habit and in turn they live everyday that way.
So back to my original question. How do you become a millionaire? It’s simple, live below your means.
If you think I’m wrong, then you are in for a big surprise!
Does it sound easy? Illogical even? Let me know below in the comments.