Money is awesome. We all want it, but never seem to have enough of it. And, while it's not the sole reason we get out of bed each and every morning, it is the reason why so many of us continue to deal with crappy coworkers, demanding bosses and unpleasant deadlines day-after-day-after-day.
But, life is long and full of different experiences, so it's important to avoid falling into a rut and doing the exact same thing until you're 70 years old, realizing that, holy shit, you just wasted your life away without taking risks or chances.
Since we would all love to have the title of "millionaire" at some point in our lives, we're giving you a few pointers on how you can realistically do just that—and, as the title says, it won't require you to get lucky by winning the lottery.
Get To Planning
No, sitting down and saying, "I'm going to be a millionaire this year" doesn't constitute as planning, guys. What does, though, is developing a financial plan that's realistic and can be maintained for the next 365 days. It makes you put your ideas into action rather than just talk about them. According to Entrepreneur.com Contributor John Rampton, follow these three crucial steps when making a financial plan:
- Focus on what matters most
- Focus on what you control by listing your known expenses first in your budget
- Focus on your future by anticipating how much your future self will need to survive
The moment you get that big raise and/or reach the $100,000/year mark in salary shouldn't be the time you go out and start shopping for luxury cars, it should become the moment when you analyze what's next in your financial future. That's why planning is so important—as we said above. Now that you're not living off of Ramen and spaghetti, take that extra money and start saving it, maintaining a similar lifestyle as you were before. Some of the world's richest people are those who refuse to go high-end and, when possible, avoid using credit cards.
Increase Income Outlets
This doesn't mean you should go march into your boss' office and demand a pay raise—although, we've told you how to do that, too—but, instead, understanding that getting to the seven-figure mark is going to take lots of hustle and hard work. If you're making $3,200 per month right now, what can you do to maintain that amount and add an additional $1,500 or so? Whether it's side gigs, freelance opportunities on nights and weekends or investing in something, do the research and follow the money.
Get To Automated Saving
Putting a couple bucks aside each month may make you feel good about yourself and increase your savings over time, but automated savings that go into things like a 401(k) or Roth and/or traditional IRAs is what's going to get you to that next level. Rather than give yourself some wiggle room on what you put aside each month, automated savings will deduct a certain amount of your paycheck and put it into an account without you ever even having it available to use. Per the Entrepreneur article, Rampton suggests putting 10 percent towards investments and 5 percent towards savings.
Research, Study And Learn
As we told you, you're not becoming a millionaire off of pure luck, so, like most things, to get there, you're going to need to educate yourself. Look, no one expects you to become the next Bill Gates with a billion-dollar idea like Microsoft, but, in order to become a millionaire, you'll need to listen to people who are considered experts in certain fields, learning from their experiences to help you get to the seven-figure mark by being more well-rounded in a number of areas.