The Absolute Simplest Way to Become Wealthy

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Wanna be rich? Want to know the secret to accumulating great wealth? Then it’s time to stop reading about penny stocks, and it’s certainly time to stop watching Mad Money (spoiler alert, Jim Cramer doesn’t beat the market, which means you probably won’t either).  Instead, let’s look at the absolute simplest way to become wealthy and learn how almost everyone can do it!

The Absolute Simplest Way to Become Wealthy

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You’re not going to win the lottery. You’re probably not getting a massive inheritance. And chances are, you’re not going to win that high-profile lawsuit either. Money normally doesn’t come in a windfall, and if it does, you’ll likely lose it all within 5 years anyway.

Your best bet to accumulating great wealth is by keeping it simple. Believe it or not, but millions have already done it in the past, and millions more will do it in the future. If you want to know the simplest way to become wealthy, then just follow these steps…

The Absolute Simplest Way to Become Wealthy1) Save Up a Mini-Emergency Fund of $1,000

Most advisors tell you to save up a 3-6 month emergency fund first, but most of the people just want to tackle their debt right away because they want it gone.

In my book, both approaches are wrong.

When you’ve got tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt and massive bills to pay, it would take you YEARS to save up 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. You’d burn yourself out before you’d even start tackling your debt!

And, if you just jumped on your debt right away without creating a little buffer, something unexpected would likely happen, which would of course (since you have no emergency fund) drive you right back INTO debt! What a buzz-kill!

Instead of saving a ton of money and instead of saving absolutely NO money, I recommend that people put away just a little bit of cash — $1,000. It’s enough to get you through almost any disaster. Sure, you might have to get a little creative to make the thousand bucks work, but I’ve been there, and it’s absolutely doable.

2) Get Out of Consumer Debt AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

Now THIS is the fun part (Seriously. It’s time add up all the debts, and then SLAY them).

Take a moment and add up all your consumer debts.

  • the car loan
  • the boat loan
  • student loans
  • credit card debt
  • medical debts…etc. etc.

Alright, that number is your goal. THAT’s the number that you’re going to pay off in less than 2 years.

To do it, you’ll probably need to cut way back on your spending, and you might even need to take on a part time job, but if you get rid of all this ridiculous debt, you’ll be well on your way to achieving great wealth.

Your broke friends…they’ll tell you that you should invest instead and pay off your debts slowly over time. Well…your broke friends…they’re idiots. That’s why they’re broke. Just smile politely, ignore them entirely, and go kill your debt.

Related: How the Debt Snowball Really Works (Free Tool Included)

3) Save 3-6 Month’s Worth of Expenses

Your debt is gone! Hooray!! By all means, have a party (call it Step 2B if you want ;)), but right after the party, it’s time to save again — 3-6 months of expenses)!

This saving part… it isn’t exciting, and it might even be tough to stay motivated because the goal isn’t quite as defined as paying off the debt. BUT, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to build some serious, long-lasting wealth. This step allows you to KEEP your wealth. It’s your buffer from Mr. Murphy.

We’ll all have emergencies that pop up, but there’s a huge difference between how the wealthy and the broke handle it:

  • The wealthy roll their eyes at their misfortune, pull the money out of their savings to pay for it, build up the fund again over the next month or so, and then go on with life as normal.
  • The broke absolutely freak out because they don’t have the money to pay for the emergency! They end up putting the full amount on their credit card, wallow in their self-pity, and then never pay off the balance.

I’ve chosen to handle my emergencies like the wealthy. I mean…wouldn’t you?

4) Invest 15% of Your Salary

Ask your broke friends how to become wealthy, and they’ll likely tell you to…

  • Win the lottery
  • Get lucky and receive an inheritance
  • Marry into it
  • Become a crook or a thief…

…All very inspiring, huh?

Again, if you want to know the simplest way to become wealthy, stop listening to your idiotic friends.

Wealth is not this far-fetched dreamland that only the elite can get to. Everyone can buy a ticket, and for a reasonable price! All you have to do is stash away 15% of your income every month. And, since you have absolutely no debt (except your house), that really should be a piece of cake!

So here’s the next big question: What do you invest in?

This can be scary and complex, and it paralyses quite a few people into doing absolutely nothing! But, it really shouldn’t.

My first recommendation would be to check out Vanguard.com. Their fees are low and they have some fantastic Index funds that cost very little, yet perform just as well as the overall market.

If this is still a little too much for you, I recently discovered a gem of a website called, “Wealthsimple” (click the link for the full write-up). Just answer a few questions about yourself and they’ll provide a recommended investment plan. It’s simple, effective, and super easy. I started investing with them just over a month ago and I’ve already earned more than 1% (that’s not too shabby for just 1 month!).

The worst thing you can do is follow your broke friends’ advice. The second-worst thing you can do is nothing. The key to the “simplest way to become wealthy” is to invest 15% of your income consistently for as long as you possibly can.

Related: 9 Things the Rich Do That The Poor Do Not

5) Pay Off Your House

Da-da-da-daaaahhh! (sang in a super-hero-enters-the-room type tone). This is my absolute favorite part of all the steps…but it’s probably one of the most disputed steps in personal finance.

Once I put my mind to it, I paid off my $54,000 mortgage in just 11.5 months and I’ve been completely debt free ever since.

  • No car payments,
  • No student loan payments,
  • and NO HOUSE PAYMENTS!!

It was surreal to not owe anyone ANY MONEY for a while, but it soon became the norm (but now I wouldn’t have it any other way). And, it’s been one of the biggest contributors to our growing wealth today.

Related: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Since then, my wife and I have purchased a rental house with cash and we’re about to buy another! If we would have held onto the mortgage, we would have stashed away far less cash each month and would just be ho-humming along like every other poor sucker on this planet.

If you want to follow the absolute simplest way to become wealthy, I would pay off your house as quickly as possible. You never regret it.

So how fast could you do it? Download this free mortgage payoff calculator and start playing with the numbers. I bet you could pay it off a lot faster than you think!!

6) Invest More… Again… and Again… and Again

After you pay your house off, becoming wealthy is a no-brainer. I mean seriously. I work as a financial analyst making less than $100k a year, and my wife Liz stays at home with our daughter. We spend less than 1/3 of that income to live on (did I mention having no debt is AWESOME??!). The rest…we invest. We’d have to REALLY mess things up at this point NOT to become wealthy.

Figure out what you’d like to invest in (we chose real estate) and keep piling your money there for a few years. Within about 5-10 years of heavy investing, your investments will start earning more money than you do.

…did you catch that??

Your money…that thing that you have very little of today… You could have so much of it that it generates a passive income that’s more than you earn at your day job! Talk about wealthy! And it’s all done very simply. No tricks, no gimmicks, no counting cards at the casino. It’s just hard work mixed in with a simple plan.

Will You Become Wealthy?

The ball’s in your court. I just outlined a plan where almost everyone in this nation can become wealthy.

All you have to do is:

  1. Save up a mini-emergency fund
  2. Pay off all your consumer debt
  3. Save up your REAL emergency fund
  4. Invest 15% of your income
  5. Pay off your house
  6. Invest above and beyond the 15%

That’s it!! And that’s as simple as it gets.

Will everyone choose to do it? Absolutely not. I mean, what would this world be without that broke friend giving you bad advice? 😉 But if you’re smart and you want to be wealthy, then you’ll ditch the debt, save up some money, and invest heavily.

What do you think about the simplest way to become wealthy? Are you following this plan?

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16 comments to The Absolute Simplest Way to Become Wealthy

  • JoeBlow

    15% Pffffft. I shoot for half. Most months I make it. Some months I “only” get about 40%.

    • Is your house fully paid for? If you’ve got a mortgage, that’s where the rest of your money should go above the 15%.

      • JoeBlow

        Yes, my condo is fully paid for.

        • Well then you’re doing awesome! Liz and I save over half of our take-home pay too. Most of it goes straight into the next real estate investment (we’ll purchase rental house #2 soon). 🙂

          • JoeBlow

            At age 60 I am a tad more risk-adverse than you. It’s too late to tech this old dog a new trick. The learning curve is always expensive. I haven’t got the time to make up for a mistake. I’d rather continue to do what I’m doing: work hard, live frugally, and save/invest as much as I can.

          • Makes sense JB. Most of the wealthy out there figured out how to do one thing really well, and just did it over and over again. That’s my plan! Real estate, then real estate, and then some more real estate! 🙂

          • JoeBlow

            Well, you’re WAAAAAY ahead of me. I’ve yet to figure out the one thing I do well 🙂

  • WTD

    I would also add to downgrade your personal car(s). Even if paid off it is not out of the question for $1,000 or more unexpected car repairs if car is over 6 years.

    • Hi WTD. I don’t understand your comment. You say to downgrade the car, but then your next statement says that an old car will have problems…?

      I believe your car should be worth less than 25% of your annual income. If it is, then keep it and pay off the debt on it if you have it. If you have a repair pop up, you’ll just have to figure out how to fix it for less than $1,000. Either that, or you quickly save up more money to put toward the repair. Then, once it’s back on the road you start tackling your debt again!

  • $54,000 mortgage? Sounds like a dream. We live in a HCOL area and our mortgage is nearly 20x that. We’d be wealthy if we moved, but we love our community and our family is here. So we’re playing by a slightly different playbook to achieve “wealth” using real estate mostly to build cash flow and our net worth at the same time. Still, I love your suggestions and it’s something I definitely aspire to…

    • Glad to hear your aspirations are there PIMD! Be careful with the mortgaged rental properties. Those can go south quickly, especially when there’s a huge mortgage attached to it. Get them paid off and the cash flow will REALLY start flowing!!

  • Nicole

    Well, I am in the process of building my emergency fund back up again. I am over halfway there. After being in little old house with super drafty windows, I got them replaced.I hope to start again on the mortgage payments soon. Great article once again

    • Just curious – did you deem your windows an “emergency”? You probably should have saved up extra money to pay for the windows. Either way though, I know you’ll tackle the mortgage ASAP. Keep up the awesome work!

      • Nicole

        Well, not necessarily an emergency but it was something I wanted to do since I had been in the house and told myself I would do it at my 10 year mark. I know, been there 10 years and couldn’t wait another 4 before paying off the mortgage? I know, I know…. 🙂

        And thanks! I am still pushing.

  • These tips are great!

    1. Save up a mini-emergency fund
    2. Pay off all your consumer debt
    3. Save up your REAL emergency fund
    4. Invest 15% of your income
    5. Pay off your house
    6. Invest above and beyond the 15%

    About # 4, 15-20% is what I’d recommend.

    • Glad you liked them Oliver! They’re the exact steps I’ve used to get where I am today. Right now, Liz and I just stash away cash, waiting for the next investment opportunity to present itself (hopefully in the form of another rental property!).

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