9 signs you'll never be rich

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The Secrets of Millionaires

Contrary to popular belief, "everyone has the same opportunity to acquire wealth," says self-made millionaire Steve Siebold.

Is wealth in the cards for you?

To help you evaluate, we've rounded up nine red flags you might want to watch out for. While no one can predict the future, the following choices most likely won't accelerate your path to riches.

You put too much emphasis on saving — and not enough on earning

Saving is crucial to building wealth, but you don't want to focus so much on saving that you start neglecting earning, which is what rich people focus on.

"The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities," Siebold writes.

There's no need to abandon practical saving strategies. However, if you want to start thinking like the rich, "stop worrying about running out of money and focus on how to make more," Siebold advises.

Some experts say that "it's not about how much money you make, it's about how much you keep," but this shouldn't be an excuse to disregard earning completely. To keep money, you have to earn it in the first place. A common thread amongst millionaires is that they develop multiple streams of income and have smart savings habits.

You haven't started investing

One of the most effective ways to earn more money over time is to invest it, and the earlier you start, the better.

"On average, millionaires invest 20% of their household income each year. Their wealth isn't measured by the amount they make each year, but by how they've saved and invested over time," writes Ramit Sethi in his New York Times bestseller "I Will Teach You to Be Rich."

View 6 simple ways to put more money in your pocket:

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9 signs you'll never be rich

Automate your finances. 

Set up your finances so that money is taken straight from your paycheck and deposited directly into your savings account or a retirement savings account. You can also set up your fixed bills like your Internet and cable to be automatically deducted from your checking account. Automate your finances to save time and prevent overspending. If you see extra money in your account, chances are you’ll find a way to spend it, leaving you little to invest in your future. Automation helps keep your priorities in line so that as money comes in, it is dispersed to your other accounts immediately.

(Photo: Getty)

Cut back. 

At least twice a year, look at your expenses line by line and see if you’re getting the most bang for your buck. For example, do you read the magazines you subscribe to or maximize that gym membership? If the answer is “no,” consider canceling or negotiating a better rate. Take that money you save, and apply it toward bigger payoffs like debt reduction, retirement or an emergency fund.   

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Get rewards. 

Lots of people use debit cards to make it easy to buy and budget for groceries, gas and other routine purchases. Instead of doing that, look into a credit card with a great rewards program for those daily purchases, and set it up to automatically pay the statement balance from your checking account each month. Over the course of the year, you could potentially pocket a few extra hundred dollars just by using a card with a good rewards program instead of your ordinary debit card (just make sure you’re paying off your credit card every month, so you don’t pay extra in interest).

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Boost your income. 

If you love your job and want to grow your career, it's time to think about boosting your income as well. Make it a goal to negotiate a raise this year. Consider your strengths and look at the value you've provided to your company over the last six months to a year, and discuss it during a performance review. This can feel intimidating, but it never hurts to ask.

(Photo: Getty)

Get a side gig. 

Take advantage of your skills, or turn a hobby into profit. Doing so can help you generate extra income – which you can put toward reaching your financial goals. Etsy, for example, is a great place to sell one-of-a-kind products.  If you have Web design, copy editing or other creative skills, consider offering your services on freelance websites such as Fiverr or Elance. These types of side gigs will allow you to earn extra income while also growing your skills.

(Photo: Getty)

Track your progress. 

You can’t save money if you don't know where your money is going. Every month, track your net worth using a personal finance tool or app that will show you exactly where your money is going. This will make you think about your entire financial picture from income and expenses to investments and taxes. With this focus, you can ultimately make the greatest impact on your finances in 2015.

(Photo: Getty)

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The more you can set aside, the better, but even a little bit can go a long way, thanks to compound interest. An easy way to dip your toe into the investing pool is to start saving for retirement using accounts where your money is invested, like a 401(k) or IRA.

You're content with a steady paycheck

Average people choose to get paid based on time — on a steady salary or hourly rate — while rich people choose to get paid based on results and are typically self-employed.

"It's not that there aren't world-class performers who punch a time clock for a paycheck, but for most this is the slowest path to prosperity, promoted as the safest," Siebold says. "The great ones know self-employment is the fastest road to wealth."

While the world class continue starting businesses and building fortunes, "the masses almost guarantee themselves a life of financial mediocrity by staying in a job with a modest salary and yearly pay raises," Siebold explains.

You buy things you can't afford

If you live above your means, you won't get rich.

Even if you start earning more or get a hefty raise, don't use that as justification to give yourself a lifestyle raise.

"I didn't buy my first luxury watch or car until my businesses and investments were producing multiple secure flows of income," writes self-made millionaire Grant Cardone at Entrepreneur. "I was still driving a Toyota Camry when I had become a millionaire. Be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets that you buy."

You're pursuing someone else's dreams — not your own

If you want to be successful, you have to love what you do — that means determining and pursuing your passion.

Too many people make the mistake of chasing someone else's dream — such as their parents' — explains Thomas C. Corley, who spent five years researching self-made millionaires.

"When you pursue someone else's dreams or goals, you may eventually become unhappy with your chosen profession," he writes in "Change Your Habits, Change Your Life." "Your performance and compensation will reflect it. You will eke out a living, struggling financially. You simply won't have the passion that is necessary for success to happen."

You rarely step outside of your comfort zone

If you want to build wealth, be successful, or get ahead in life, you're going to have to get used to uncertainty or discomfort.

Rich people, in particular, find comfort in uncertainty.

"Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset," Siebold writes. "World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn't easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty."

You don't have goals for your money

Money won't just appear — you have to work at it. If you want to eventually build wealth, you have to have a clear and specific goal in place before forming a financial plan to achieve that goal.

Rich people choose to commit to attaining wealth. It takes focus, courage, knowledge, and a lot of effort — but it's possible if you have precise goals and a clear vision, emphasizes self-made millionaire T. Harv Eker, "The number one reason most people don't get what they want is that they don't know what they want. Rich people are totally clear that they want wealth."

You spend first and save what's left over

If you want to get rich, you have to pay yourself first.

"What most people do when they earn a dollar is pay everyone else first," self-made millionaire David Bach writes in "The Automatic Millionaire." "They pay the landlord, the credit card company, the telephone company, the government, and on and on."

Rather than spending and then saving whatever is leftover, save first. Set aside at least 10% of your gross income and make the process automatic, Bach emphasizes. That way, you'll never even see the money and you'll learn to live without it.

You believe getting rich is out of your reach

"The average person believes being rich is a privilege awarded only to lucky people," Siebold writes. "The truth is, in a capitalist country, you have every right to be rich if you're willing to create massive value for others."

Start asking yourself, "Why not me?" he encourages. Next, start thinking big. Rich people set their expectations high. Why not $1 million?

RELATED: View the best money-saving online shopping hacks

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1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

Photo credit: FogStock

8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

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See Also:
7 hard truths about money, in cartoons that will make you smile
18 choices millionaires make that the rest of us don't
11 daily habits keeping you from getting rich, according to a man who spent 5 years studying millionaires

SEE ALSO: 15 ways to guarantee you won't become a millionaire

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