Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How to become rich and wealthy


Money! Money is always a problem. We have bills, college, cars, food, houses, and more that we have to pay for. Just when one bill is paid, another comes floating in. It can be nerve wracking, especially when a family or individual is tight on money.

So how does one become rich when money is tight?


Time, patience, and sacrifice.

Oh, what, you wanted some secret formula to becoming a millionaire. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but unless you become a celebrity, inherit your family’s fortune, or win the lottery, becoming a millionaire is going to take a little work.


Time plays a huge factor. How old are you? If you are 24, then your chances of becoming rich by the time your 40 or 50 is much higher then if you are now 40. There are so many opportunities when you are young to invest, save, and manage then when you are 40 or 50.

The type of job you have also plays a role. If you are only pulling in $18,000 a year, then your chances of becoming rich will be much harder then someone pulling in $50,000 a year.

The idea behind this article doesn’t have to do with the type of job you have, it has to do with what you can do with your current situation to start allowing you to accumulate some wealth.


A million bucks won’t fall in your lap tommorow. You have to set things in motion and let time pass to see the results.

There is a great article on discussing how to save money by bringing your lunch to work versus eating out everyday.

If you are like me, you eat out 3 times a week, sometimes more. Well, at $7 per lunch, thats $21 spent very quickly.

Hello, Dollar! wrote a great article entitled Brown-Bag It to Half a Million

Here is an excerpt:

Brown-Bag It to Half a Million

“One of the ways I save money is by bringing my lunch to work four days a week. I’ll treat myself to lunch out one day each week, for variety and to hang out with my co-workers. It’s amazing how much this helps me save, and all of it goes straight into our savings account (a.k.a. our future).

But it can’t really be that much, can it? After all, take-out lunches are pretty cheap. Well, that’s true, they are, but let’s just do the math for fun.

I work in downtown San Francisco. On average, when I buy lunch, I spend $7. This includes an occasional sit-down lunch, but usually I get something to go and bring it back to the office.

When I bring lunch from home, it costs an average of $2 for a sandwich (my favorite is peanut butter and jelly), yogurt, and fruit (hey, this lunch-bringing has the side benefit of also being healthy!). Drinks are provided by my employer, so I don’t need to worry about that.

So let’s see, four days bringing lunch at $2 plus one day out at $7 equals $15 per week. Eating out every day would cost $35 per week, so I save $20. $20 a week! That’s over $80 a month — that covers my utility bills right there. Who couldn’t use that?”

I recommend reading the full article.

Thinking about this from a monthly basis, $20 doesn’t seem like a whole lot. However, if you save $20 per week for 50 weeks, you are looking at $1000.

Taking the cheap route for food is just one of the many ways one can save money. Another food/money combo is when you go to shop.


In order to become rich, sacrifice is often one of the many methods to do it.

Let’s use the food/money combo again.

I would recommend going to Sam’s Club (for bulk purchases) or Walmart and buying non-name brand items. We are a very brand loyal and brand conscious society. However, by going with the store brand or some lesser known brand, you can often trim $0.50 to sometimes even $1 off individual items. Combine that with coupons when you can, and you can save quite a bit when grocery shopping. Again, short term, this doesn’t seem like alot of savings, but to become rich, you HAVE to think long term.

What about Smoking

You wanna save quite a bit of money per week, give those cigarettes a boot. There is absolutely no positive benefit that comes from a cigarette, whether its health or finances. Both drain you (physically, emotionally, and financially). You know that! Don’t play dumb.

The following example can be applied to ANYTHING you do in your life which is considered a waste of money, but I will use cigarettes as an example.

Your song walks up to you and asks you for a new bike. You reply with, “I’m sorry son, but we just don’t have the money right now”.

So the son is sad and walks away understanding that the family doesn’t have alot of money. Alot of families are in this position. However, how many families who are in low income brackets are smokers and drinkers? Specifically smoking. How many packs of cigarettes do you think the average parents go through in a week. Lets say the mother and father both smoke 1 pack a day. So 2 packs total per day.

According to Google Answers, the avg price per pack of cigarettes across all 50 states is $3.81

Ok, time for some math

$3.81 (price of a pack of cigarettes) X 2 (packs per day) = $7.62

That is PER DAY!

Ok, so we are talking about persistent smokers here. So lets do weekly, and it has to be 7 days a week because smokers don’t take days off.

$7.62 x 7 (days) = $53.34 / week

Time for the monthly expense

$53.34 x 4 (weeks) = $213.36

So, you are spending, per month, $213.36 give or take.

Now, lets try how much you spend in 1 year

$53.34 x 52 (weeks in a year) = $2773.68

So, if you are a consistent smoker and you or your family goes through only 2 packs per day, you are spending $2773.68 per year just on cigarettes which are going to kill you anyways.

So, when you look down at your son who wants a bike, something that will keep him active, healthy, and give him fun, and you say you don’t have the money, you really need to reassess you finances.

What about bills?

What type of things do you and the family spend money on? How many credit cards do you have?

My wife and I pay $65 give or take on our phone and DSL. The DSL is only $24.99, so we are forking out an additional $40 give or take just on our phone, which we rarely use. Granted, we have DSL, so we NEED a phone line, but there is no reason we should pay extra for things like Call Waiting, Caller ID, Long Distance because we typically spend our time on our Cell Phones. We could probably drop that bill to roughly $25-30 by stripping the extra’s out. That is an additional $120 per year.

What about credit cards?

Only spend the money that you actually HAVE. If you buy things on credit, your eventually going to get run over my the credit truck. College students are the most naive bunch of people on the planet and the easiest target when it comes to credit card companies. They offer you plenty of benefits for buying the credit cards, but they don’t teach you how to properly use them. So many students walk out of college $20,000 in debt.

The best advice is to get the extra cards you have paid off, and stick with only having 1 card for the whole family. Then, when you HAVE to use a credit card, only use it in emergencies. Get a Debit / Check card, that way, anything you pay for is based on money YOU ACTUALLY HAVE in your account.

My wife and I consistently get our credit card balances in the mail and they are $0, because we only use them in situations where our debit card will not cover the charge.

It IS good for your credit to have 1 credit card. Then, once a month, make a small purchase ($25-$50) and pay it off when the bill comes. This will show the credit card companies that you are paying off your card and your credit score will slowly increase.

Do you go out to movies often?

If your state is like ours, to attend an after 5pm movie, for two people, the cost is roughly $19. Throw in a couple drinks, some candy, and a popcorn, and you are looking at $35 give or take just for night at the movies.

Do this 3 times a month, and you are looking at $105 per month. The is just for 2 people. Include a family, and the price skyrockets.

Designate, 1 time a month, a movie night where the family goes to a movie. If you go to a movie BEFORE 5pm, you typically can save about $3 per ticket.

If you can get away with it, stop by a local convienence store prior to the movie and grab a few drinks and candy, then hide them while entering the theatre. This will save you roughly $15 just in food. Note: The above advice might be against theatre rules, so use at your own discretion. I take no responsibility if you get in trouble


If possible, turn off lights when they are not needed. In fact, try to use the natural daylight for your light source until you must turn on lights. Electricity often is a troubling bill for any household, you might as well try and cut it down when possible.

This goes for running water as well. Try to run water ONLY when necessary. When you water your lawn, water it around 5 or 6pm when the sun is going down. If you water it during the middle of the day, the water will most likely evaporate before it can have any positive effect on your grass.


Just shedding bills, turning off lights, cutting down credit cards, and going to the movies once a month won’t necessarily get you “in the money”.

You have to invest your money. Alot of the money you SAVE doing the above examples should then be invested into either a savings account, mutual fund, or stocks and bonds. Let that money you have saved by cutting down on expenses be given an avenue to grow. Savings accounts typically have a low rate of growth, but they do give you more when its all said and done then what you put in. Stocks and bonds are always good for investments, but you must make sure you know what you are investing in. Never hop into a stock that is mentioned by a friend. Research yourself. Make sure you understand the company and what their future looks like. If you go for a mutual fund, make sure you find a trustworthy and reliable company to go through. With many mutual funds, you are telling someone what kind of value you want out of it, and then its THEIR job to buy and sell small bits of stock here and there to make your mutual fund grow. Several times a month, analyze your mutual fund and watch its growth and potential. If you don’t feel comfortable with the direction its taking, then speak with your broker to re-assess your current standings.

A good $20,000 investment into a mutual fund could possible have rewards of $500,000 in 20-30 years.

The key to investments, though, is to put your money in them and then walk away for a long period of time. The idea is to not invest and then pull the money out in 2 years.

Remember, saving money takes time, patience, and sacrifice to see the ultimate rewards.

I heard a story one time of a waitress who became a millionaire simply because she was so strict on how she spent money and what she invested in. If a waitress can accomplish that status, pretty much ANYONE can.

In Conclusion

To become rich, you have to take the time to understand what your financial status is, where you can save, where you can sacrifice, and then you have to be patient and wait. Waiting takes years, not months nor minutes.

Following the above is not a step by step process on how to become rich. It merely acts as advice or methods that can aid one looking to increase their ultimate net worth.

In summary:

  • Bring your lunch 4 times a week, and then eat out 1 time a week

  • Buy groceries in bulk and buy off-brand named items

  • Quit Smoking! Plain and simple.

  • Strip out bills you don’t need. Stop paying extra for things you barely use or do.

  • Go out to the movies 1 time a month. Take food and drinks from home or a convenience store if possible (note: use precaution, as I take no responsibility if you get in trouble)

  • Pay off your credit card bills and then leave yourself only 1 card. Use Debit/Check cards when possible.

  • Turn off lights when possible. Use water only when needed.

  • Invest extra money you have. Whether its savings, mutual funds, or stocks and bonds. Invest it!

I cannot stress enough the issue of investing your money. I am 24, and our parents when they were in their 20’s didn’t have all the investment opportunities we have today. If you are in your 20’s right now, you have a chance to make an incredibly bright future and retirement if you invest properly NOW!

Again, the above is not a road map to success. The items above are merely recommendations and advice that I have learned or gathered over the years or from reading helpful resources online. If you save money now, if you cut your bills now, you open yourself up to a great opportunity of becoming rich down the road.

As long as you have time, patience, and you are willing to sacrifice things, you can achive it.

from here



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