11 Ways to Get Rich Slowly

Everyone, -well, most people– want to grow their money instantly, or get rich slowly, even if we have unclear ideas about what that actually means, or why we actually want it. 

Even though BudgetBakers is a personal finance management company, we still believe that money doesn’t solve everyone’s problems overnight. At the very least, a healthy and happy relationship with money can eliminate a source of anxiety in your life, but it cannot make you happy. Only you can do that. At worst, money can become a destructive force in our lives, causing us to see the world in a darker light. 

Often enough, “getting rich” is a goal that stands in for deeper human desires: an end to anxiety, a sense of freedom and security, or the chance for romantic adventure. While of course rich doesn’t really solve most of the human problems we wish it would solve, for many of us, money and the drive to make and keep it does intrude upon our thoughts in ways both productive and destructive. 

The Case for Getting Rich Slowly

You’ve probably heard that a majority of large lottery winners will file for bankruptcy within about 5 years of their wins. You may even have thought or read about what to do if you win the lottery. Somewhere, in the back of your mind, is a voice assuring you that if it were to happen to you, it would be somehow different. 

But the truth is that the human failings that cause newly minted multi-millionaires to go bust are the flaws each of us share. You might be the exception, but you might just as likely be the rule. The challenges you’d face in that situation would be much the same as anyone else; what you should take from the knowledge that most people can’t handle that kind of life change is that it’s probably for a good reason. 

Just like with losing weight or quitting an addiction, huge changes in your life circumstances require huge investments of mental and emotional energy. A sudden stroke of fortune might quiet the part of yourself that worries about retirement or your children’s college fund, but it would also awaken another part of the mind that has needs you don’t even know about. Most lottery winners ultimately go broke simply because they had no experience at managing a large fortune. If that fortune had accrued a little more slowly, they’d have built up the mental and social tools necessary to manage it. 

Instant wealth is a little like instant noodles: it’s gone as quickly as it came, and it carries the risk of being burned. Getting rich slowly, though it’s infinitely less exciting as the idea of instant wealth, allows you to slowly build the habits and defenses that they’ll need to keep their financial affairs in order, and to resist the temptation to squander their good fortune. Getting rich slowly also has the benefit of being something that almost anyone can do, given time, patience, and just a little luck.

So, with that in mind, here are 11 ways to get rich slowly: 

  1. Stick to a Budget

Let’s not overthink this! If you can’t stick with a budget today, then you’re not going to be ready to manage your money when you have more of it. Sticking to a budget is the end-all-be-all of wealth management. That’s because capital preservation is how those who have money keep their money. 

That’s why BudgetBakers offers market leading personal budgeting tools. Get started today, and read on! 

  1. Think a Little About Money Every Day

But not too much! Obsessing about money every hour of the day is destructive to your mental well-being. Just like anything, a focus on money is healthy in moderation. Take 15 minutes to consider your financial status each day, and practice mindfulness about what you’re doing with your money. Pick a time of day that works for you, and stick to it. Set a reminder in your phone to think about finances once a day, and then put it out of your mind. 

  1. Build an Emergency Fund

Like sticking to a budget, building your emergency fund assures that sudden surprise expenses don’t have shocking consequences to your financial health, causing you to go into debt, or worse. An emergency fund will help you in times of need, and give you piece of mind when things are going well. 3-6 months of your basic expenses is a good target. 

  1. Pay off high interest debt. 

While you’re building a fund, pay off the highest interest debt you have as fast as possible. Not only does this build credit, it also makes you more financially flexible in the future. After all, a credit card with a low balance is a free financial cushion that doesn’t cost you anything to have available. It only costs money when you use it. If you’re not using it, pay it off! 

  1. Get a Raise! 

I know, easier said that done. But getting paid what you’re really worth is the only way of achieving financial freedom. Check out our previous tips on getting a raise.

  1. Invest a little every day/week/month

It’s never been easier to begin investing your savings in highly liquid assets that tend to grow over time. With services like the US’s RobinHood, or Europe’s Revolut, you can begin by buying fractional shares in large publicly traded companies and index funds. ETFs, “Exchange Traded Funds” are an easy way to get into the market for a variety of companies in a balanced portfolio that is curated by professionals. 

  1. Seek Passive Income 

Passive income means ways of making money that don’t take much (or any) active involvement on your part. Many people supplement their household income by renting our a room, or buying a small rental property. Owning property, granted you can do so without undue levels of debt, is a great way of building your wealth over time. The sooner you get “on the property ladder” the easier it will be to grow your wealth. 

  1. Turn a Hobby Into a Jobby

You might (or might not) be surprised what there’s a market for when it comes to homemade arts and crafts, fine art, music, or anything else you’re interested in doing. If you’re the neighborhood’s go-to seamstress, or you make beautiful chairs and tables in your spare time, get yourself set up to sell your work to anyone who’s interested. Sure, you may never make a solid living doing it, but you may make some extra money while you get better at something you love doing. 

  1. Continue Your Education 

It may not seem like the path to sudden riches, and it isn’t, but continuing your education into adulthood is one of the best ways to improve your financial prospects long term. That doesn’t necessarily mean seeking an advanced degree or a professional license to do high paid work. Taking a writing workshop or a yoga class counts as education. Investing in yourself, in your health and your long term happiness, is essentially to getting rich slowly. After all, when we’re in it for the long haul, the little things we do for ourselves today can pay back in surprising ways. 

  1. Live Below Your Means 

This is hard for people to do, at any income level, but living below your means is often the most immediate path to financial success. Living below your means equates to spending as if you earn less than you really do. If you can afford to live in a 3 bedroom apartment, try living in a 2 bedroom. If you can afford to eat out every week, only eat out once a month. Small, selective ways of reducing your expenses can make all the difference between coming out ahead, and feeling ahead, or coming out even and feeling somehow behind. 

11. Track Your Net Worth Once a Year 

At the end of the year, often around tax time, I sit down and calculate my net worth. That means I add up the present value of all my assets, and subtract the value of all my debts. If that number is growing year on year, even if I don’t have much more money in my bank account, I’m at least aware that my financial future is on the right track. Having more wealth doesn’t necessarily mean having more cash in the bank. Property, insurance, investments, and annuities are all forms of wealth that should be tracked and understood.

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