A million dollars might not buy what it used to but reaching millionaire status is still something that drives people. There’s nothing like seeing that seventh digit added to your net worth. So how exactly does someone become a millionaire? Is it just that certain people are wired differently? It turns out that yeah, that’s exactly what it is. Millionaires (or people that will become millionaires) have a different mentality than most others when it comes to money. Fortunately there’s nothing magical or secretive about how they do it. Here are the ways that millionaires view money that allow them to get and keep more of it.
Millionaires see money as exponential, not linear
Most people get a job and get a paycheck where you’re trading your time for your money. The more you work, the more you make. If you stop working, you stop getting paid. Millionaires don’t think like that. Oh sure, they work, but they work on their own businesses, not someone else’s. Just take a look at a list of the world’s richest people. Nobody got there working a 9 to 5 job. They invested money in their companies which continues make them money whether they’re working, sleeping, on vacation or even if they retired tomorrow.
When you leverage your own business, the financial ceiling is unlimited. You’re not getting paid a set amount per hour worked. Instead, you’re getting profits. The better your business is, the more money you’ll rake in. You’ll never realize that kind of financial potential working for someone else.
Millionaires invest in assets
One of the points driven home in the excellent book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, the rich invest in assets. Those assets can be anything that either generates income, increases in value or, ideally, both. A perfect example of this is real estate. It’s very common to see rental properties included in the portfolios of millionaires. It generates a regular stream of monthly income while appreciating in value over time, all while typically requiring little day to day maintenance.
Compare that to buying an expensive car that begins depreciating in value the moment you drive it off the lot. It requires more upkeep, has no tax benefits and will eventually be worth the same amount as a cheap used car (a big fat zero). Which would you rather invest in when building for the future?
Millionaires have multiple streams of income
You’d be hard-pressed to find a millionaire with a single stream of income. Relying on only one (your job) is a risky proposition. If you lose it, you’re basically out of income until you can find another job. Millionaires usually don’t have this problem because they have money coming in from many sources. In addition to a job, they probably have income flowing from one or more of these places:
- Interest – lending money to banks, individuals or companies
- Dividends – stock or bond investments
- Capital gains – appreciation of investments
- Real estate – rental income or appreciation of assets
- Royalties – payments use of patents, copyrighted work, property, etc.
The best part about having multiple streams of income? Well, having more money of course. But the next best thing? You’re not reliant on any one source. If one dries up, you’re not screwed. There are still other income streams coming in.
Millionaires budget money
Over half of all millionaires budget their money. While some people may find it boring or difficult to do, it can go a long way to increasing your net worth. Even if you don’t want to make a full-fledged budget, the most important part is understanding how much money you have coming in and where your money is going out. Use an app like Mint where you can link your bank and credit card accounts so you can see where you spend your money each month. You’ll probably be surprised by what you’re spending it on.
Millionaires pay themselves first
When most people get their paycheck, they pay their mortgage, credit card bills, utilities, groceries and whatever other expenses they have. Then they might spend money on going out to eat, shopping for clothes or a spending spree on Amazon. After all of those expenses, then they might put some money away for savings…if there’s any left at that point.
Millionaires take the opposite approach. They pay themselves first, meaning they immediately take a percentage of their checks and put it in their 401k, IRA, bank accounts, emergency funds or other investments. Then they take the money left over and pay whatever else they need to pay. Getting into this habit forces you to save money and cut back on discretionary spending. The vast majority of millionaires didn’t stumble into their money. It took years of methodical saving to reach the financial freedom they enjoy.
Millionaires are producers while the middle class are consumers
One of the big differences between millionaires and the middle class is the producer/consumer mentality. Think of everything we consume each day: food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, the list goes on. Behind every one of those things is someone who created it and sold it. Those are the producers. While every person is ultimately a consumer, a much smaller percentage of those people are also producers. Those who create are the ones who reap the financial benefits. While the middle class binge watches shows on Netflix, a millionaire is thinking of new TV show idea to pitch to Netflix.
Most importantly, money usually isn’t the most important thing to millionaires
Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
It’s a bit cliche but that doesn’t make it any less true. Many millionaires work as hard as they do because they’re passionate about what they do. It’s the reason that many choose to continue working even after they’ve hit millionaire status. Why do some of the world’s richest people continue to work when they could relax in a tropical paradise and not lift a finger for the rest of their lives? Because they love what they do! The money is more a by-product than anything.
When you find your passion, you’ll work harder and put more time in because you want to, not because it’s your job and you have to. Long work weeks are more tolerable because it doesn’t feel like work to you. Millionaires get ahead because they enjoy what they do.