You have champagne tastes but a beer budget. Or maybe your budget doesn’t even hold water. You may wonder why you are always struggling financially while other people are making good money and achieving their financial goals. Sure, some rich folks were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths, but others were not. Instead, the differences between you and them were a matter of action – yours and theirs.
It may just be that one or more of the following five stumbling blocks are standing between you and real wealth.
1. You Don’t Recognize Potential
Ever wish you could get one of those brilliant ideas for an invention and hit the As-Seen-On-TV jackpot? Ever dream of starting the perfect business, or finally getting to use your education in a job you actually like. Don’t be that guy who wishes, waits, and lets chances pass him by again and again. Of course, it is not always possible to predict the right course of action all the time. But rich people have a knack for recognizing the potential to make money and monetize their talents, especially when the opportunity is staring them in the face.
Don’t think you have any talents? Here are a bunch of side hustle ideas that can have you making extra money in no time.
2. You Buy Big Things With Little Money
You have the blingiest bling, the techiest tech toys, the worst ride, and a wardrobe straight from the runway – but your bank account is operating on fumes. There is nothing wrong with enjoying beautiful things or even indulging in material luxuries. But unless you develop some capacity to delay gratification – you know, maybe save money toward long-term goals – you will always live paycheck to paycheck, at best.
3. You Want Things on a Silver Platter
You may gripe that Paris Hilton or the CEO of some giant conglomerate have done nothing to deserve being so precious, and you may very well be right. But the fact remains that you are not Paris Hilton, and unless you have a secret rich uncle, you will need to get off your butt and work if you want to make a fortune. Build a better mousetrap, reinvent the wheel, or just work smarter (not just harder) than the average Joe or Jane.
4. You Plan to Fail by Failing to Plan
You get sick or break your leg. A hurricane or tornado rips through town and levels your house. Your company (and your job) are offshored to China and you’re suddenly unemployed. Stuff happens, and you can’t always prevent it. But you can get insurance. And you can put away funds toward a rainy day so that when the unavoidable happens, you aren’t financially devastated. Poor people often skate by on hope and positive-thinking, but while the rich are known for taking risks, they don’t mess around when insuring their health and futures.
5. You Don’t Have Enough (Ways to Make) Money
Poor people make money from jobs where they punch a clock and adhere to a strict schedule. They sometimes work multiple jobs just to survive and get a paycheck. That paycheck is then automatically put towards bills and expenses, and rarely go to savings, investments, or retirement. What’s even sadder, is all of their hard work usually pads the rich man’s wallet.
Rich people make money from investments or from ventures where they call the shots and use their talents. Furthermore, wealthy people often have several income streams operating simultaneously. There is a reason why celebrities venture into other entrepreneurship. You don’t have to give up your job unless you hate it, but there is nearly zero chance that you will ever get productive working at a day job unless you work in Silicon Valley, and you get a share of the spoils of a massive IPO.
The Key to Wealth Is Hard Work
There is no fairy dust or magic wand that will instantly make you productive. Unless you are a trust fund baby or have royal lineage, the only way you will achieve overnight wealth is to pick the right combination of the number on a lottery ticket. A smarter plan is to get smart about money, investments, debts and your financial priorities. Do that, and you may very well see your economic prospects improve sooner than you think.
Audrey Henderson is a Chicagoland-based writer and researcher. She holds advanced degrees in sociology and law from Northwestern University. Her writing specialties are sustainable development in the built environment, policy related to arts and popular culture, socially and ecologically responsible travel, civic tech and personal finance.