You may be a bum wishing to have a million bucks or an aspiring young professional who wants to know if you are on the right path.
Some become millionaires by pure luck, while others are rewarded for their planning and wits. With some effort you can have a big fat bank account one day, too.
Whatever the case may be, here are seven ways to become a millionaire.
1. Win the Lottery
Without a doubt, this is the quickest way to become a millionaire. I was in Vegas the other day, and there are a ton of ways to strike it big as well. The problem? Your chances are one in a billion. Good luck and start rolling the dice if this is the way you want to pursue wealth.
2. Be Innovative
Most people believe that the easy inventions are already out in the marketplace but yet, new gadgets come out every day. Ideas are everywhere, so put on your thinking caps. If you aren't the thinking type, you can always…
3. Learn from Madoff
You will also be on the front page of every newspaper and be in jail for 150 years but at least your wife can enjoy a good life with money you stole from other people.
If you take this path by the way, let me know so I can report you.
4. Corporate Slave
Okay, this is the first way to be a millionaire while avoiding the headlines. Many high paid professionals end up with significant wealth over time. Of course, they get beaten up at work daily as they climb the corporate ladder and then pay obscene amounts of government taxes afterward, but hey, nothing is going to stop you from becoming a millionaire right?
5. Forget Millions, I Was Born a Billionaire
Having rich parents ain't a crime, right? Even if you aren't born that way, you might get a second chance by being adopted. Of course, no money is ever safe if you don't know how to use it. Just ask this guy who blew $10 million in 10 years.
6. Marry Rich
If you go to any bars or restaurants that are within close proximity to high end neighborhoods, you will see many very attractive ladies at the bar. There are some fairy tales alright, but most die trying.
7. Save Your Ass Off Millionaire
You can keep trying, but this is exactly how most of us will become a millionaire. It's not glamorous like winning the nobel prize but no one will bother you (that's a good thing when you are wealthy) because no one will ever know you are rich either.
Since this is actually the most probable way of becoming a millionaire, I've outlined a few steps you can take.
1. Generate Some Income
All the rubbish about a penny saved equal two pennies earned is true because pondering about that all day will save you exactly two pennies. If you ever want to save enough money to make your family proud, start earning some to begin with. This includes:
- Stop watching TV. But everyone watches TV. Yes, couch potato the third, that's why so few ever become millionaires. While you are watching TV, your competition, the more successful and the people you envy are all making money. Stop watching TV. In fact, cancel it if you always give in.
- Working smarter and harder at work – If you have to choose between the two, please err on the side of being smart. Be friendly and helpful to coworkers, know when you should work hard and when to say no to distractions.
- Get a side job – If you are earning less than $40,000 and trying to feed a family of four, you could probably write a book on money saving advice. Stop reading up on frugal living and write about it instead. Start your own business and earn more money (here are 15 ways to do so).
2. Save Some of It
Alright, what I said in step one was misleading (it wouldn't be the first time so stop complaining). After you have decent income coming in every month, you need to save at least some of it. How much? It all depends on how fast you want to become a millionaire. There's no right or wrong answer. No pain, no gain my friend.
Alternatively, you can also save more by reducing your current expenses. Do you still have your cable TV? You can try Netflix free with a one month free trial offer. At the very least, look for the AT&T U-Verse promotions and the Verizon FiOS promotions that seem to be all over the web if you already use their services.
Extra: What a tip? Start by resisting the temptation to improve your standard of living too quickly. It's fun when you start going to fancier restaurants and living in bigger houses but there's no going back (or at least without major pain). You can always spend more later, and there is absolutely no rush.
3. Investing It in Diversified Index Funds
I keep telling everyone that I'm becoming an index fund convert. No, I'm not those that liked index funds from the get go or someone who lost a bunch of money in the stock market betting on individual securities. In fact, I made a small fortune in the stock market. But it was risky, tiring, frustrating and stressful. I wanted a life. If you really want to be a millionaire, stick with index funds. You don't need the crap and you don't want to buy tissues after you bought Bear Sterns based on rumors that it was good value.
Your Mindset is Important Too
What to have and keep more money? It pays to change your mindset. Here are a few pointers to work on.
1. Take the long view. Millionaires hit obstacles, make mistakes, and have stretches of bad luck, just like the rest of us. The difference is that someone who has made his own wealth has kept his eyes on the prize throughout all of those setbacks. No matter what your particular goal is — whether it's to make partner, make your startup a success, or have a certain amount of money banked by the time you retire — making day-to-day decisions that will ensure that outcome keeps you from sabotaging yourself.
2. Be willing to take risks. Warren Buffett has famously advised individuals looking to get rich to avoid "thumb-sucking". What he means is that with every decision, there is an element of risk, and it can be easy to sit down and think about that decision before you jump in — in other words, sit and suck your thumb. But great wealth is not built by simply thinking about it. It's necessary to make decisions — and sometimes they are difficult ones—and keep going from there. Without any risk, there can be no reward.
3. Embrace mistakes and learn from them. Since you are taking risks, however, that does mean that sometimes you'll be wrong. That happens to everyone, but millionaires learn from their mistakes. Blindly assuming that doing the same thing that lost you money before will pay out this time is called gambling. Recognizing that you made a mistake and deciding how it will affect your future decisions is a way to build wisdom and wealth.
4. Remember that money is a tool. We all have very complicated and emotional relationships with money. For some, it may seem like the gateway to a good life. For others, it may be a security blanket that helps them feel like their life is under control. But ultimately, money is just a tool, and millionaires recognize that fact. If you have an over-inflated view of what money can and will do for you, you will never be happy, even if you do become a millionaire. Money is a tool that you can use in order to live a productive life. Having an overly emotional relationship with it will cloud your ability to be your best self.
Written by David Ning for MoneyNing and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.