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There are approximately 11 million millionaires in America and if you play your cards right, you can join the list.  Our strategy doesn’t involve winning the lottery or marrying into money either.  Anyone can build long-term wealth if they practice good financial habits.  Remember, it’s not always about how much you make, it’s how much you save.


Never spend more than you earn

You can’t build wealth if your account is always in the negative.  Therefore, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it.  Always be aware of your income versus expenses and don’t be afraid to make sacrifices.  If you have to miss a couple of events to keep your spending on track then so be it.  You’ll get over the initial disappointment.  Too often when money’s tight, people whip out their credit cards to pick up the slack with no clue how they’ll pay it back.  As a result, they find themselves sinking further and further into debt with no sign of relief.  This is exactly what you want to avoid.


Put saving above everything else

You work hard for your money so it’s only right that you keep a portion for yourself.  And not just the leftovers either.  Pay yourself first and adjust the rest of your budget if you have to.  Stop making excuses for why you can’t save and just do it.  Aim to stash at least 10 percent of every check.  More if you can afford it.  Go through your monthly expenses and look for things that can either be cancelled or negotiated to a lower price.  Cell phone service, subscriptions and insurance are just a few things you’re probably paying too much for.  By minimizing your expenses, you’ll have more money for savings.


Make smart investments

One thing that keeps people from reaching their full potential is investing in the wrong things.  Expensive cars and clothes only make you look rich.  The goal is to actually be rich.  Instead of wasting money on assets that will depreciate, set your sights on things that gain value over time.  Ideally, you want to invest in low-cost index funds.  Studies have shown that index funds usually outperform actively managed funds in the long run.  So start making monthly contributions now and let it sit there until you’re ready to retire.


Turn your skills into a business

The most successful people in the world have multiple streams of income.  Find something you’re good at that can be valuable to other people.  There are plenty of opportunities out there that won’t interfere with your day job.  You can freelance, create an app, teach online courses or sell stuff.  Even if you think the idea sounds dumb, give it a try anyway.  The Snuggie, Pet Rock and Slinky were all ridiculous ideas that made people millionaires.