Are You Acting Like A Millionaire?

by Tim on June 27, 2011

Acting like a Millionaire may mean driving a Ford...a used one.

Are You Acting Like A Millionaire?

I hope you are.

Wait a minute.  That doesn’t sound right, does it?  Why would I say you should act like a millionaire?  Well, think about it for a second.  Millionaires are millionaires because they did something right with their money (most of them at least).  Imitating the success of others can be a great way to advance in whatever you’re trying to do.  The real danger isn’t acting like a millionaire – it’s acting like you have millions of dollars.  There’s a small difference in the wording, but a big difference in the results.

Acting like you have millions when you don’t is plain stupid.  It’s dangerous, misleading, deceitful, and a terrible example to those who are around you, especially to your children.   It puts status above actual net worth and that’s a recipe for disaster.

The world is full of pretend millionaires.  Don’t be one.  Instead, if you want to establish a millionaire goal, learn from actual millionaires who have worked hard to get to where they are today.

Millionaire Characteristics

Most of these notes come from the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko.  It’s an older book, but if we allow the millionaire next door to be our millionaire teacher, we will discover that the principles are still  relevant to us today.

Live below your means

It’s the simple principle of spending less than we make.  Millionaires are frugal with their money – that’s how most got there in the first place!  They don’t go into consumer debt for the latest computers, cars, and other shiny things.  No, most of them aren’t living a lavish lifestyle; they’re living below their means and saving the rest.

Reshape Your View on Financial Independence

For millionaires, money is a way to gain financial independence, not purchase things as a status symbol.  You won’t find most millionaires driving the expensive foreign cars, upgrading year after year.  In fact, when the book was written in the 90’s, most millionaires were driving a Ford.  That’s not to say there weren’t millionaires with Mercedes Benzes or BMWs driving around – they were.  The difference is that the millionaires will buy and hold a quality product and avoid the trap of upgrades and add-ons that plague American ‘millionaire wannabes’ today.

Wisely Allocate Your Resources

Millionaires efficiently allocate their time, earnings, work opportunities, and every other aspect of their life to make the most of the resources they’ve been given.  Simply put, millionaires aren’t wasteful.  They know how to budget their money, plan ahead for expenses (major and minor expenses included), and spend time thinking about their financial picture.  Do you spend more time each month looking at deals on eBay or thinking and planning on ways you can increase your retirement account?  Something to think about!

Most Millionaires are Self Employed

I’m not suggesting that you should quit your job and become self-employed.  The self-employed are four times more likely to become millionaires, a stat that is really impressive.  But when you think about why that’s true, I would say that it’s because self-employed individuals are generally self-starters, driven, motivated, and hard workers.  If the weren’t, they’d have a difficult time putting food on the table!  So although you may not be starting a business anytime soon, you can still imitate millionaires in their passion to work hard and self-starting attitude.

There’s no guarantee that you will become a millionaire if you apply these characteristics to your life.  But I am confident that is you do you’ll be on a better path to financial independence.  I’m even more confident that if you choose the path of acting like you have millions when you don’t, you won’t be a millionaire any time soon.

So start acting like a millionaire!

Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Faith and Finance RSS feed.

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