Most Americans have a well-formed mental image of the typical “American millionaire”. Television and the media have a done a wonderful job associating images of millionaire movie stars, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs with items of extreme luxury – fancy cars, expensive jewelry, and private jets. It should come as no surprise that most people correlate this type of hyper-spending with wealth. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The typical American millionaire doesn’t act or look like George Clooney. Instead, they lead a highly unsexy and frugal lifestyle. This frugal mindset is key to their rich life. They typically don’t spend lots of money on suits, watches, or other non-productive purchases. In fact, in the groundbreaking book The Millionaire Next Door, authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko reveal that over half of American millionaires have never paid more than $140 for shoes, $235 for a wristwatch, or $400 for a suit. Why does the media continue to push images of wealth and consumption on today’s society? Because it is sexy, and sex always sells.
Being unsexy, however, is the quickest way to get rich. But don’t just take it from me. If you want to be rich, then you should focus on the words of billionaire venture capitalist Chris Sacca (@), who told Entrepreneur Magazine in 2016, “My best piece of advice for the quickest way to get rich is to not spend any of your money, and then you’ll have more than you need.” Additionally, Sacca noted, “People get out ahead of themselves in debt with spending on all of their desires. But if you learn to live pretty simply and well, well under your means, you feel incredibly, incredibly rich and that frees you up and gives you the option to start something new, to leave the job you’re not excited about, where there might be a glass ceiling on you. Just don’t spend your money and you’re well on your way to becoming a millionaire.”
That is about as unsexy as you can get, and I love it! Sacca shines a spotlight on one of the major hurdles confronting Americans, our tendency to acquire debt and thereby encumber our path to wealth. Sacca also touches on one of the fortified paths to becoming a millionaire, living well below your means.
Staying out of debt and living below your means allows you to accumulate savings at an exponential rate. Having your money work for you, instead of you working for your money, is one of the hidden treasures of the wealthy. Listen to the rich because they are telling you the quickest way to make millions.