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Millionaires appear to have things so easy. Many of them were either born into wealth, or born with a special talent that has propelled them into fame, and into their prosperous status. Many of us assume millionaires have never had to work hard to achieve their wealth; they’re simply lucky. In reality, however, there are plenty of millionaires who have experienced considerable financial hardships at some point during their lives and had to work extremely hard to get to where they are.

Regardless of how the rich have achieved their wealth, just like the rest of us they have to take certain steps in order to hold on to it. With that in mind, take note of the following pieces of advice that are only for the wealthy, but also for you and me:

1. Examine how your emotions are tied to money

Whether you’ve got a lot of money or a little, there are certain motivations behind the way you spend your money. Many people are emotional spenders without even realizing it. Does shopping when you’re feeling down instantly cheer you up? Or perhaps you go overboard in the amount you spend on gifts for people due to a desire for acceptance. Track your purchases for a month and ask yourself why you’re spending money on certain items. Once you truly understand the reasons behind your spending decisions, it may help prevent you from making future financial choices based on emotion.

2. Save early

It sounds like a simple concept, but the earlier you start saving, the more money you’ll have. Even people that have hailed from humble beginnings have achieved considerable wealth from simply saving and investing while they are young. You may not realize just how powerful compound interest can be…the more you save, the more compound interest you earn.

3. Be wary of lending to others

When you’re wealthy—especially if you got rich quick—it’s inevitable that you’ll be asked by others to share your good fortune. But be very cautious of lending money to family or friends. Not only is there are chance you’ll never get that money back, but you’re also in danger of damaging relationships. People that borrow money from friends or family often only have their own interests in mind and take advantage of the connections they have for their own benefits.

4. Regularly Review Your Finances

Laws related to finance and taxes are frequently altered, which is why it’s important to stay up-to-date on how your financial situation may have been affected by such changes. Also, if your own personal situation has changed in a major way, such as a new career, marriage, divorce, or birth of a child, it’s a good idea to analyze how it may impact your finances. Also, depending on how complicated your situation may be, it’s a wise idea to enlist the services of professionals, such as an attorney, accountant and wealth manager.

5. Establish an Emergency Fund

Whether you’re wealthy or just scraping by, you need to build up a fund that’s reserved for emergencies. This is especially true for people that are self-employed, as your paychecks may be unpredictable. When an emergency arises, if you have the proper funds saved, you’ll save yourself from unnecessary debt and financial hardship.

On another note, if your income supports other family members, you should also have proper medical, disability and/or life insurance set up in the event of a medical emergency or death. Proper insurance will serve as an emergency fund, that when combined with other assets, can provide for your family members should you no longer be able to support them.

6. Invest, invest, invest

Make your money work for you. Many of the wealthiest people in our country own their own businesses, which allow them to generate income or multiply assets. Even if you don’t have the money to start your own business, you can still invest in some. Talk to a financial expert about strategies for investing in stocks in a variety of companies in order to grow your nest egg.

The Bottom line: When it comes down to it, there really isn’t a huge difference between the wealthy and not-so-wealthy in terms of money management. By following the above steps, you’ll be on your way to a more profitable future.

Author Ron L. Brown, CFP®

Ron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of R.L. Brown Wealth Management. He specializes in retirement, estate, and business planning for professionals and entrepreneurs. Ron assists his clients with creating a financial plan to ensure they are able to live their ideal lifestyle during retirement and leave a strong legacy for their family. Ron has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News, Yahoo Finance, Investopedia, and numerous other high profile financial publications.

More posts by Ron L. Brown, CFP®
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