Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

At the Ernst & Young International Intern Leadership Conference, event organizers conducted a study of college students who were in attendance to learn about their hopes and dreams for the future. Not surprisingly, nearly 60% of them expect to become millionaires at some point. It is somewhat surprising that 5% think they will become millionaires while they are still in their 20s, but the idea isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The number of millionaires in the United States keeps growing each year.

Some people achieve their millionaire status without any effort―easy money they come by through inheritance or by winning the lottery or some other lucky windfall. But the people who get loads of money in either of those ways are usually people who didn’t plan on being rich, and, therefore, aren’t good stewards of their money. In fact, more than 90% of all lottery winners use up their haul within 10 years after winning it. Some even spend all their money in just a few weeks or months. However, for people who design a game plan to become wealthy, or even those who anticipate an inheritance far enough in advance to plan how to spend it, there are several useful strategies for slowly achieving the goal of becoming a millionaire.

Keep your Eyes on the Prize
One of the most important things to remember when aiming toward any goal is to not lose focus. The best laid plans and the most concrete strategies will always fail if you lose sight of the end goal or stray from your efforts.

Do Whatever it Takes, Within Reason
Although it’s important not to stretch yourself too thin or set unrealistic timelines, it is essential that you persevere despite setbacks or roadblocks that might come your way. If you have to work long hours, take extra schooling, sleep in your car, or buy your clothes at a thrift store, then do it. The end result of your hard work will be worth the effort.

Take a Risk Now and Then
In order to grow a nest egg into a substantial chunk of money, sometimes you have to go out on a limb. But taking a risk and being reckless are two different things. Risks should be strategically planned and calculated, so that if the risk doesn’t pay off and you lose money, you’ll be able to take the loss in stride and not be totally wiped out.

Don’t Be Greedy
Wealthy people are often humanitarians, if only for the tax breaks and deductions they get from giving. But philanthropy offers much more than rewards at tax time; the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction you can get from being generous with your money and your time will go a long way toward giving you the confidence you’ll need to stick to your game plan for becoming a millionaire. Not to mention the fact that if you earn a reputation as a philanthropist, those positive thoughts may go a long way toward helping you build a network of influential, successful people who will support your endeavors.

Live Simply
Once you see your plan starting to take shape and your bank account or portfolio is looking pretty healthy, it’s essential that you avoid the mentality of spending money that you’ve earned. The best way to increase your accumulated wealth is to continually save and invest it. The wisest approach to making the most of your success is to live within your means, enjoy some special items, but don’t overdo it on material things, and focus on maintaining financial independence rather than spending your way back to middle-class status.

Even if you aren’t planning to be a millionaire, following these habits and making them a part of your daily life will help ensure that you will be financially stable and happy.

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