Earning your first million rarely happens overnight. Most of the time, life will subject you to a number of hardships before you learn the importance not only of saving, but also of making your money grow.
But why wait for things to turn for the worse when you can start cultivating good money habits now? Below are some tried-and tested tips from billionaires and millionaires from the Philippines and abroad that may just help you fast-track your way toward your first seven digits.
Always strive to get ahead of the rest
Lifestyle inflation is the biggest enemy of frugality. Living within your means is not enough—you need to live below it. According to Michael Lafferty, British American Tobacco’s CEO for the Philippines, adopting the “think poor to get rich” mindset will help you resist the temptations of keeping up with your growing career. “They get a pay increase, and what do they do? They rush off and increase their spending,” he wrote on the Philippine Star. “So they never get ahead; each time they get more income, they find ways to spend it. And of course it is justified—it always is. But this is no way to get ahead.”
Go for the best bargain
How many times have we heard stories about how the world’s wealthiest people fly commercial planes, drive entry-level cars, live in modest homes, and wear department store-bought clothes? That’s because they know their money’s worth so much that they disregard status symbol altogether. Buying a “need” over a “want” is much prescribed, but buying a “need” at a discounted price can go a long way. Just take it from entrepreneur and Moneywise host Christine Bersola-Babao: “If it’s a pressing need, then I buy. Or, if it marks an important milestone, I buy something special with a special price tag. Most of the time, I wait until the item goes on sale. Spending wisely is very important because many people don’t have jobs,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Get rich slowly
There is no shortcut to earning your first million. Your bank account will only accrue seven digits through hard work, smart financial decisions, and sound lifestyle choices. Gambling and venturing into anything that promises sure returns in a short span of time won’t do you no good. “For Pinoys, it’s very hard to say ‘no,’ especially if it’s a relative or a good friend selling you this or that,” Sun Life Financial Head of Portfolio Management Moi Esguerra said. He added that learning how to walk away from the promise of easy money with little investment will save you the trouble of an unsecured future for you and your loved ones.
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Elon Musk all have one thing in common: they love reading and they do not let any learning opportunity go to waste. Author, motivation speaker, and CEO Khoa Bui said that he made his first million by learning a lot from books and every other opportunity that presents itself to him. “I attribute my success with the knowledge I’ve gained from reading books, buying courses and attending seminars in business and personal development,” he says. “Above all else, the skill and discipline of taking action on the goal that will make the biggest difference in your life, every single day will change your life in ways you can’t imagine.”
Find multiple sources of income
Having a steady source of income is good, but this opens you up to the danger of living paycheck to paycheck with no contingency funds whatsoever. Having multiple sources of income, on the other hand, is advantageous in different ways. According to a Business Insider article, a side gig will not just help you make you increase your net worth quicker but “it also keeps you busy—and being busy makes it difficult to spend what you already have.” So whether it is an online job, foraying into the stock market, or starting your own online store, the goal is to increase your income exponentially, all the way to your first million.