Are you a 20-something dreaming of becoming a millionaire? The truth is that anyone with a decent enough job can be a millionaire over a period of time. The only question is whether they have the qualities necessary to help them achieve this dream. Here are five must-have habits every aspiring millionaire should have.
Steve Siebold is a self-made millionaire who has interviewed over 1,200 wealthy people from across the world. One of the things he has found common among them is that they all like to read. “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful… The middle class reads novels, tabloids, and entertainment magazines,” he observes (Business Insider). Though the rich do not put much stock in generating wealth through formal education, they do focus on acquiring knowledge even after college is done.
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Associate with high-achievers
It is said that like attracts like. This is the case with wealth as well. People who aim to be rich tend to surround themselves with high-achievers, the people with a “go-getter” mindset who will not stop at anything unless they get what they want. Being in such company inevitably keeps everyone focused on their goals, making it easier to realize them.
Set your dreams
In his book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, author Tom Corley speaks of a habit that can help people become millionaires. He calls it “dream-setting.” “In this process, you define your future life, the future you, by imagining all of your dreams coming true; then you put it to paper in five hundred to a thousand words. The future letter toggles on the reticular activating system (RAS) as well as the hippocampus. Once you turn on the RAS and the hippocampus, they go to work, behind the scenes, searching for ways to attract what you desire in your new, future life,” he says in the book (Awaken The Greatness Within). In his study, Corley found that almost 61 percent of the self-made millionaires practiced dream-setting in some form.
Develop multiple income sources
Most millionaires do not become wealthy just because of one single stream of income. They usually have multiple income streams. For someone with a high-profile job, this could be real-estate investments on the side, managing a small self-owned business, and so on. While the primary income stream provides the money necessary to meet day-to-day expenses, the other streams offer the funds necessary to invest and build up wealth.
Beware of debt
If you plan on retiring as a millionaire, there is one thing that you should be wary of — unnecessary debt. Keeping debt minimal to non-existent is one of the keys to building wealth rapidly. Otherwise, most of your income will end up paying for interest on your loans. Personal finance author Kevin O’Leary has a simple piece of advice for people planning their retirement — pay off all debt before the age of 45.
“The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s… So, when you’re 45 years old, the game is more than half over, and you better be out of debt, because you’re going to use the rest of the innings in that game to accrue capital,” he says to CNBC.
However, do keep in mind that debt can be taken on in order to profit from short-term opportunities. One example of this would be to buy and flip a home that is guaranteed to net a profit. It is the debt taken to fund unnecessary expenses, like buying an expensive smartphone, an extra car, etc., that you need to avoid.