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The secret to getting rich – it’s not as difficult as you think

Being rich conjures up images of large mansions with swimming pools and tennis courts, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, private yachts and jets. But, if you have all these things, are you really rich? Do you actually own them or does the bank own them and you have to pay the bank to use them? So what does it mean to be rich?

What is “rich”?

This will depend on where you now stand in a financial sense. A person earning $500,00 a year will hold a different perception of rich to a person living on the streets or in a homeless shelter. There are so many definitions of “rich” but let me define the term as I see it. You may beg to differ but hey, send me a comment on your thoughts.

To me, being rich means being able to have the lifestyle you desire purely from a stream of passive income or from a career someone else cannot take away. A lifestyle allowing you to spend your time doing whatever you want, whenever you want and wherever you want.

This is a personal thing and everybody will have a different take on it. You are rich when you consider yourself rich!

So what is the secret?

The secret to getting rich is actually rather dull and boring and may sound rather cliched. The secret to getting rich is to live within your means.

Now, most people will say “Yeah. That’s obvious BUT……” and then try to tell you why this is impossible. Too much credit card debt, student loan debts, car loans, home mortgage and the list goes on. So most websites will now go on to tell you how you have to be more frugal, cut down on your spending and reduce your debts. Only then can you start saving to get “rich”.

There is a more exciting side to “living within your means” than frugal living. It can still cut down on your debt (and potentially faster). That alternative is to EARN MORE!

The best way to increase the difference between earning and spending is to spend less. But, by increasing your earning capacity, you can achieve the same result (as long as the spending part doesn’t also increase).

Is “rich” a mindset?

Your perception of being rich or not depends on your current circumstances. As this is different for different people, it makes sense that “rich” is a mindset. Do you have “poor” thinking or “rich” thinking? How you think determines how you act and how you act will ultimately dictate whether you become rich.

You need to make the fundamental shift from being a consumer to being an investor. Now, I am not talking about going out and investing in stocks or bonds or real estate. They will have their place in your financial future as you become an investor instead of a consumer. What I am talking about is investing in yourself and your belief that you CAN get rich. Don’t make excuses or talk about becoming a rich thinker. Actually do it!

Become one of the few who do versus the many who talk.

Making it easier to live within your means

Yet, rich is not only about the amount of money we have. It is also about the quality of our life. Not only can you improve the difference between earning and spending by earning more, you can also improve your quality of life. So, would you be willing to make the change from consumer and begin to invest in your own future?

But how can I earn more? I already work a 9-to-5 job and I don’t have any more time to work. Again, it all comes down to mindset. There are a number of ways to earn more but they all come down to your willingness to change the way you think.

  • Taking on extra responsibilities in your current employment.

Moving out of your comfort zone and taking on extra responsibilities is a great way to grow. Talk to your boss about any opportunities there are to take on more projects.

Think about the skills you have or would like to develop and see if this can fit in with further work opportunities. Become an expert in your field. Stay on top of any new trends or developments. This will give you a distinct advantage of being chosen for upcoming projects.

How about lending a hand to a co-worker who is struggling (but make sure not to neglect your own work at their expense)? Be proactive and look for any cracks or deficiencies in the way the work is being done. There may be opportunities to take on the responsibility of creating change within the company. Make sure you have approval to do so before implementing any significant change, though!

  • Working additional jobs / freelancing / side hustles

If there are no opportunities to take on more responsibility within your company, it may be worthwhile looking at working extra jobs. Even if it is only a few hours in the evening or the weekend, there are many opportunities to work outside your current employment. Who knows, you may even be able to pick up some extra work that you enjoy doing!

Do you have skills that can be marketed through marketplaces such as Freelancer, Truelancer and Upwork? Skills such as writing, researching or creative design. Maybe you have translating skills or can teach English online.

A lot of people think freelancing is only for professionals but this is not the case. If you have an expertise in any job, you can market this for some money. Freelancing is a great way to earn extra income as it can be started almost immediately with minimal upfront capital. We will delve further into some freelancing niches in upcoming articles.

The final opportunity to take on extra jobs I would like to talk about here is the “side hustle”. A side hustle is a product or service that you offer or sell, alongside your current full time job, to earn extra income.

This is different from freelancing. Freelancing is generally an online service but a side hustle may be online or offline. It can be products or services. Some examples of side hustles: selling products on EBay or Amazon, driving for Uber, walking dogs or becoming a personal trainer.

The list of potential side hustles is virtually limitless. It is only limited to what your brain can conceive and your willingness to take part. I will focus on side hustles in further articles. But take a look at the Side Hustle School website to understand the potential of what is available.

  • Passive income streams

Now I will state right up front that passive incomes are rarely “passive” in the true sense of the word. Broadly, you can group them into two categories; those that are capital intensive and those that are time intensive. For example, you can earn a passive income stream from stock dividends. You need a lot of capital for the initial stock purchase but only a small amount of time to maintain the portfolio.

On the other hand, the cost to set up an e-commerce website can be minimal but, to operate it and generate traffic to the website can be time-consuming. I will review several different passive income strategies in future articles. We will discuss the pros and cons of each type and whether the strategy is capital or time intensive.

Conclusion

Now you know that the secret to getting rich is to earn more than you spend. Most websites will tell you that if you live a frugal lifestyle, you can become rich. But, who wants to live frugal? I don’t want to penny pinch for the rest of my working life. I would much rather look at earning some extra income (or a lot of extra income) and build up my wealth that way. And I hope you would too.

So goodbye for now and catch you here at Your Financial Freedom very soon with more information on how you can truly become financially free.

 

Was this helpful? Share it with your friends. After all, they also deserve the fine things that life has to offer.

Gary

26 Comments

  1. Hi Gary,

    Loved the post.

    Rich is definitely subjective.

    I used to think that it was owning my own house and having a nice car, etc…

    The last 12 months, I have gotten rid of most of my assets and been traveling in Asia. right now I am in Thailand, but have been to Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong and Philippines within that time period because I got rid of those money guzzling assets.

    Now I am enjoying my life.

    I think that is rich!

    “You don’t get rich at work. You get rich at home

    Work is where you earn your money.

    It is at home where you decide what you are going to do with your money.

    And it is what you do with your money after you earn it that makes you rich or poor,”

    These are very powerful words indeed from Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Rich Kid Smart Kid”

    Getting rich comes from making great choices consistently over time!

    Hope you enjoy my share with you as much as I enjoyed your post!

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Tim

    • Hi Tim,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I also believe that rich is not only about earning money but what you do with it to enhance your life. We also like travelling around SE Asia and are currently holidaying in Kuala Lumpur.

      Stick with your rich lifestyle. You deserve it.

      Gary

  2. You’re right about how people deifine ‘rich’. I follow the old cliche ‘Health is Wealth.’ If I’m healthy, then I have the potential to do whatever I want. I’m ill, no matter how much wealth I have, I will never enjoy to its fullest.  This article defines my lifestyle.  I don’t waste my money on unnecessary things and I make smart financial decisions.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t like money.  I’ll be reading your other posts so I can become wealthy without being overburdened. Thanks for the info.

    • Hi Pardeap and thank you for your comments. You are totally correct. If you are not healthy, then it becomes extremely difficult to enjoy your life to the fullest. I may incorporate the healthy aspect of being wealthy into a future article. Thank you for the suggestion.

      Berst wishes for a healthy and wealthy future,

      Gary

  3. Hello Gary. I agree with your perspective of being rich. To me, being rich means being able to live a lifestyle of Financial freedom. It means owning several stream of income, freedom from job bondage and 9 to 5 job and escaping the rat race. I am working towards being rich. That is one of my dreams. I want to achieve that with several streams of passive income. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello and thank you for your comments. I am glad that you are working towards becoming rich. If you set long-term goals with specific outcomes and then focus all your energy to achieving those goals, you will become rich.

      In another article on my website, I discuss the difference between “employee” and entrepreneur” mindsets. You may want to read it, as it provides an insight into how to think successfully.

      I hope your passive income streams provide even more than you could wish for.

      Gary

  4. Most people do have their own definition of been rich. Like you said it all depends on the person because the person earning $500000 and the person living in the streets would have an entirely different perception on the subject of been rich.

    A lot of people get it wrong by thinking been rich involves having a car you buy for $100000 or a yacht or a mansion. These things are not important. I always tell people why on earth should you have 5 cars in your garage. What are you doing with 5 cars. This sought of mentality is what a lot of people would consider as been rich.

    When I am talking about that word rich I always prefare using the world wealthy. How wealthy are you. Robert Kyosaki defined the term wealthy the best way. He said been wealthy is asking yourself the question how long can your money last you if you decide to stop working today. That’s what people should look at and use that to determine if they are rich or not.

    If I am able to spend on a regular basis on the things I feel I need or are important and I am not working and that money can last me till the day I leave this world then that’s been rich to me. Everyone just has their own definition of the word rich.

    • Hi Jay, thank you for commenting on my article. I totally agree with Robert Kiyosaki’s definition of wealthy. My goal is to be able to retire within the next 2 years and have no financial concern in doing so.

      I hope you can be in the same situation and have more than enough wealth to last you a lifetime. Maybe even money left over for the next generation/s.

      Gary

  5. Being rich, in my opinion, is when you are able to live comfortably and still have surplus money, investments etc. Wealth has to be sustainable so of course you have to continue earning. How can wealth be sustained ? One has to keep investing and taking part in business ventures that yields good returns. You have mentioned some great on the side business ideas. Proper budgeting is important as it makes no sense earning more and wasting what is earned. 

    Looking forward to reading your article on passive income strategies.

    All the best.

    • Thanks for the comments Brenda.

      I agree that earning extra income is only a gateway to financial freedom if you use it properly. Budgeting is a word many people do not like to utter (or do!) as it has negative connotations. I have tried to stick to positive inspirational themes so far, but maybe it is time for an article on budgeting!

      Passive income articles are on the drawing board.

      Gary

  6. Hi Gary!

    The secret of getting rich is easy but without any effort, we cannot achieve this and there is no saturation point for becoming rich. As an Engineer not getting opportunities at home, I started my career in the Middle East staying away from family. There are always thoughts in my mind to go back home, but when going on vacation, on seeing the expenses  I silently keep coming back for work. Of course , geting rich is a mindset in my opinion.

    Now I am searching and trying for good passive income so that I can live with my family with a financial freedom. Moreover, I am moving towards retirement and creating a passive income source will be helpful. As such, your article gives good insights about getting richand methods.

    Thanks for your article.

    • Hi Prabakaran and thank you for your comments.

      I am an oil and gas geoscientist so I fully understand the working away from family scenario. I also worked in the Middle East (Iran) for quite a while.

      But you are correct when you say that it requires effort to become rich. Even establishing a passive income stream is not really “passive” when you start out. It takes a lot of hard work and time.

      Good luck in finding your own passive income strategy. I will be covering many of them on this website, so do check in often. I hope I can provide you with the information you need to succeed.

      Gary

  7. I always have a  mindset to be rich or to become rich but I will not go out of my way in order to get rich. This will only lead to frustration and regrets for me. I prefer  to live within my means and be comfortable that to go overboard and get pinned down with tons of bills and misery. I am not saying that I will not try to be rich, I have tried but it takes time especially if you don’t have the know-how to do it. To me being rich is having the things I need or would like to have in order to live a good lifestyle without having problems with debt and depression afterwards.

    Having millions of dollars and not happy, is not a good way to live. I will be satisfied to live within my means and be happy but I will always have the mindset to be rich and will continue to pursue my dreams.

    • Hi Delores,

      Thank you for your comments. Having a rich mindset is the only way to go unless you want to spend the rest of your life making somebody else rich at your expense.

      Living within your means and not on credit cards is the basic step towards financial freedom. It will take a lot of time to get there but this is expected. After all, if it was easy, then everybody would already be rich!

      Just live the lifestyle where you are happy, both with yourself and the world around you. That is truly rich.

      Gary

  8. Hey i really enjoyed this article, it was very informative.  I would love to be rich or more wealthy.  I would be comfortable just being Wealthy and to make enough to cover all bills and have good amount extra so i can enjoy myself and not have to struggle.  I am trying to get passive income streams going so ican make this a reality!

    • Hi Justin,

      Thank you for the comments. If you truly want to be rich, you can achieve it with the correct mindset. Study people who have already become rich and those who are on their way to financial freedom (like me!).

      Live within your means and minimize the use of credit. Your aim of starting up a stream of passive incomes will provide extra money which you should save and invest wisely.

      These steps will put you on the road to financial freedom.

      Best of luck,

      Gary

  9. I must say that the way to getting rich quick don’t exist. For so many years I was trying to find some shortcut to earn money fast and easy but I did not find it. I learned the lesson that I must be a patient and most important, consistent. So many people try to get rich quick but what they actually do is losing their money and patience.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my article.

      You are correct. There are so many get-rich-quick schemes on the internet that make fantastic claims but never seem to come through (except for the person taking your money!).

      It is interesting that they have always been called get-rich-quick “schemes”.

      According to the Cambridge English dictionary, a scheme is

      “an organized plan for doing something, especially something dishonest or illegal that will bring a good result for you”.

      I think that sums up get-rich-quick quite well! If you can accept that it takes either time or money or both to establish additional streams of income that will allow you to become truly rich, then you can take the steps necessary to start your journey to financial freedom.

      Wishing you much financial success in 2019 and beyond,

      Gary

  10. There is a lot to do on the side.  I of course do affiliate marketing, but for a while I drove for Uber and Lyft.  I drove for them for extra spending money in my spare time.  It is very difficult to make good money with either of them.

    Affiliate marketing offers the best ability to make some serious money.  It is there if you want to do the work of course and do it right 🙂

    • Thank you for your comments.

      There are countless opportunities to earn extra income if you look for them. Those like Uber and Lyft may work for some people, while other people can earn significant money through an online business.

      My main point is that if you can earn additional income while maintaining (or reducing) your expenses, you will be better off. If you can increase your income by a significant amount while maintaining your expenses, you will be able to save and invest, thereby generating more income.

      Keep doing this and you can become financially free.

      Wishing you every success with your affiliate marketing business,

      Gary

  11. Hi Gary! Most people have a false appreciation of what being financially rich is. They picture all these cars, pools and stuff like that. But as you have stated, that’s not being rich!

    Living inside your means is the key factor. It sounds boring. But it really is a very sound advice. But most people can’t resist all these offers of immediate gratification. And convert themselves in slaves, only living to continue plunging into these instant gratifications.

    • Hi Henry,

      So true. Instant gratification has come from the easy credit which is now available. Buy it now and worry about paying for it later!

      This works ok in a low interest rate world while you have a job. But, interest rates will inevitably rise and jobs are no longer “for life”. Most people live paycheck to paycheck. Remember, around 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in the bank.

      If you stick to your key factor of living within your means, you are on the road to financial success. Generate additional income through a side hustle, increase your savings and invest that money wisely and you are on the path to financial freedom.

      Then you can be truly rich.

      Best wishes for 2019 and beyond,

      Gary

  12.  Hi Gary. Thanks for sharing this educative post. You are absolutely correct about the way people tend to define the word rich. People believe being rich is  having a house, a nice car, a lot of asset. But that’s wrong , being rich is to be happy with ones life . I agree with you saying live within your means. I will strongly share this post so people can get educated

    • Hi and thank you for your comments.

      I agree with you that rich is having the life that YOU desire, not having a lifestyle that is owned by the bank! If having a nice house, new car and a lot of assets is what you truly desire and you can get them by living within your means, then that is fantastic and I would consider you to be rich.

      If you can then further grow those assets, building your savings and investments, then financial freedom is not too far away. That is the secret to getting rich.

      Your friends will be grateful if you share this information for them. After all, there is more than enough wealth to share around. Best wishes for the future,

      Gary

  13. Hi Gary; I do enjoy reading your article. To get rich is a big struggle for the average person. However, following these guidelines will help persons to gain an understanding of what is it to be rich.

     My take on the topic is: Having health and wellbeing, with a mindset that allows you to work hard and achieve the things that are necessary for your freedom. I do not believe that having a lot of money without knowing how to enjoy it is rich. 

    I think that a lifestyle that allows you to tour the world. being able to pay for attraction accommodation anywhere in the world  that is rich’

    DorcasW

    • Hi Dorcas,

      Thank you for your comments on my post.

      Getting rich for the average person is only a struggle because they have not been taught how to become rich. Unless things have changed since I went to school (quite a long time ago!), we weren’t even taught basic budgeting and how to live within our means.

      I like your take on being rich. No point having tons of money if your health is so poor that you cannot enjoy it. And as you say, mindset is very important in your determination to become financially successful. I wrote an article on how your mindset determines your space in life. You can read it here.

      Touring the world and not having to worry about finances could be your definition of rich. To others, staying home and close to family without financial restrictions may be considered rich. In each case, it is the ability to live comfortably and within your means that makes you rich. You control the money – the money doesn’t control you.

      I wish you a rich future and hope that you achieve what you want out of life,

      Gary

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