Have you ever had the urge to get rich? To go out to eat whenever you wanted, buy that perfect cottage on the lake, and travel to every possible country you can think of? It sure sounds nice doesn't it? Many people actually have this lifestyle, but there's just one problem – they are NOT rich. They are just as poor as you or I (maybe poorer). Sure, they might earn more money per year, but they keep very little of it because they are too dependent on credit to make a life for themselves. The trips, the fancy dining, and the cottage are all on credit, and their net worth is peanuts – a couple thousand dollars if they're lucky.
Choose to Get Rich Slowly
The way to true wealth is not by flashing your cash for all to see. Nope, you're going to need the exact opposite approach. Instead of making others think you're rich, you will want to appear frugal. Instead of dining at the fancy restaurant on the river, you'll want to cook up some of your own meals at home. You'll need to work to earn more money, but figure out how to save more money as well.
I have been following this method for three years now, and while it hasn't always been the most fun or exciting I can really start noticing a difference in my bank account. My “get rich slowly” experience began when I was $20,000 in student loan debt. I was hardly earning enough to live in my lavish apartment and then the student loan bills began to come in as well. I was scared. How was I supposed to survive let alone get ahead? Within a few weeks of pondering this question, I was handed a Dave Ramsey lesson pack. The plan was simple. There were 7 steps to wealth and they were laid out like this:
- Save up a $1,000 emergency fund
- Use the snowball method to pay off all consumer debt
- Save up 3-6 months worth of expenses into your savings account
- Invest 15% of your income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
- College funding for children
- Pay off your home early
- Build wealth and give
This process is most definitely not a speedy one. After three years I have paid off all of my consumer debt (my student loans and credit cards), saved up my 3-6 months expenses, consistently invest 15% of my income for my retirement, and now I am working on paying off my home early. I have only $54,000 to go and I might even get it taken care of by the end of this year (that is my goal anyway). Because of the decisions I have made in terms of frugality and earning more, I am able to amass between $3,000-$4,000 each month after my living expenses are taken care of. Like I said, it has taken quite a while to get here, but think about what my future will look like! Here is what I see for my future:
- No mortgage payments
- Disposable income increases to $4,000-$5,000 each month
- Begin investing in real estate
- Income increases by 10%-20% each year
- By retirement, my income (after expenses) will be $160,000 per year, not to mention my many rental buildings and retirement funds
- I am definitely rich!
I do not say all of this to toot my own horn. I am writing it out because it is possible for anyone! Just follow these seven steps and get that house paid off and your excess cash flow will be so huge you won't believe it!
There is just one problem with this plan. It is NOT fast. You will need some serious discipline to complete this plan in full. My advice to you (if you want to be rich anyway) is to find someone that has a similar goal (they would like to get out of debt, put some money into their retirement and get rich in the future). If you can find this person and hold each other accountable, chances are that you will find your pockets overflowing with money in the near future (well, perhaps three years from now). Best of luck to you! I can't wait to hear your success stories!
Do you agree with this plan? How are you working to amass wealth for your future?