How To Build Wealth If You're Starting From Zero

Matt Lillywhite

I thought about writing an article filled with loads of cliches on becoming financially independent. However, there’s already enough money gurus out there doing that. So, I’ll let them do what they do best.

Instead, I’d like this article to take a completely different angle. I want to share some strategies that changed my life. And hopefully, they’ll do the same for you, as well.

See, I grew up on the poverty line with a single mom and my little brother. We weren’t rich. Far from it. Nor did we live in a massive house or eat fancy food. But we did what we could to get by.

We only purchased ice cream when it was discounted at the grocery store. Actually, that was the case with most foods. If it wasn’t being sold at a discount, we rarely brought it. As you can imagine, we were pretty damn good at stretching every penny.

But over the years, I’ve managed to improve my financial situation. Sure, I started from zero. But now, I live comfortably in downtown Vancouver and earn more than enough money to sustain a pretty sweet lifestyle.

Here are several strategies that you can implement to do the same:

1) Fall in love with learning about personal finance

According to CNBC, “Americans are still receiving a failing grade at personal finance. And it could not come at a worse time, with the coronavirus pandemic causing massive market volatility, job and income losses compiling at an unprecedented clip, and a level of financial stress for Americans not experienced since 2008.”

If you want to begin building wealth, learning about personal finance should become a passion instead of a chore. Here are several things that you can do today to become more financially literate:

It’s a good idea to learn from people who already have a lot of wealth. Then, try your best to implement those strategies into your own life. When you continually put one foot in front of the other, it’ll only be a matter of time before you make a lot of financial progress.

2) Focus on yourself, instead of other people

A lot of broke people like to play status games with their friends and family. They’ll spend 98% of their net worth on designer clothing or a $1,000 iPhone just to look rich. Then, they wonder why they’re unable to afford a better lifestyle. As Dave Ramsey once said:

“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

If you want to build wealth, it’s important to focus on your own journey. I’m empathetic to the fact that it’s difficult to ignore other people’s opinions. But sometimes, doing difficult things is necessary.

“You’ve changed” is a statement you’ll probably hear a lot. But let me tell you something that took me a long time to realize: change is good. It’s a sign you’re making progress. And if you’re frequently making progress, you’re constantly moving towards the life you desire.

3) Find ways to earn money while you sleep

There is absolutely nothing wrong with working a 9–5. But if you want to build wealth more quickly, it’s certainly a good idea to create several streams of income. For example:

You’re (probably) not going to make a million dollars per year from having multiple streams of income. But when you’re not reliant on your 9–5 to pay the bills, it’ll give you financial peace of mind.

Even if you just earn $250 a month from your side-hustle(s), that’s over $3,000 per year in extra income. And chances are, having more money will make it easier to sleep at night, knowing you can afford to pay rent and buy groceries with ease.

Like you, I want to build wealth and wake up each morning with a massive smile on my face. So when I began implementing the above strategies, my financial situation quickly improved. Suddenly, I had a lot more money in my checking account than ever before.

It’s important to remember that you’re not (probably) going to become incredibly wealthy overnight. But once you take steps towards becoming more financially literate each day, the power of compound interest will enable you to make massive amounts of progress over time. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

Photo via Pexels

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It should not be considered professional Financial or Legal Advice.

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