5 ways not to get rich

Apparently people are obsessed with getting rich. I’m scrolling through socials and get a lot of sponsored and other content from people telling how to get rich quickly. First thing that comes to mind: if it worked, you wouldn’t annoy me with this content – you would be enjoying your superyacht with some hot friends in the med, right?

Why do you want to be rich?

If you look at the images and videos that come with the ‘how to get rich very fast’-videos you strive towards an expensive life: supercars, yachts, pretty people, special watches and clothes and other rather superficial stuff that never made anyone really happy except the one selling those items. So I wonder: why do you want to be rich? And what does it even mean, being rich?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can for myself: I feel rich when I have little worries. So no financial worries, for me and my family, for example. A sense of freedom, so I can choose what I like to do, and freedom in where and how I do it. I don’t need a supercar, I just want to have more or even full control over my time. I think my time is the most precious thing I can posses, for example.

There is a video where some motivational speaker tells me to be ‘a monster’, since ‘nice people never get rich’. This really struck me: so becoming ‘a monster’ means getting rich, but then what? You’ll be a monster – apparently the least nice person around, getting rich over the backs of as many others as possible? Amazing right, how some people seem to think that becoming rich should be done by hurting others. I think that in a way makes you the poorest person around.

Some motivational speaker advises you to become a monster, to become rich.

How not to become rich

So, first of all, follow advice from people that claim you can become rich quickly and then benefit from that advice. Somehow people still invest in the stuff they tell you to invest in, while they are obviously not rich yet. Apparently their true business model is to become rich from your money. Another thing I often come across is taking risk: that is true, the more risk you take, the more chance you get in getting rich. And the higher the chances are you end up with *nothing*. I’m from The Netherlands where people in average seem to have a low risk appetite, we’re the most insured people in the world, have extremely high pension funds and awesome debt payment history. Very safe. Not very rich either? Or is having everything nice and sorted a form of wealth? We are one of the happiest people on the planet and one of the richest in the world – but don’t have so many billionaires.

1. Do not have a plan

If you do not have a plan, the chances that you’ll become rich – in what form you want – are near to zero. You need to have a plan: one that you can explain to others, that can hold scrutiny of critics and that is really calculatable. The numbers should add up: doing nothing made no one rich, except people with rich ancestors. You have those? You’ll probably on your superyacht in the med bored to death.

A plan can be to start saving money every month. A plan can be to invest in something. Lower costs. Lowering your mortgage or other loans. Getting solar panels. I’ll get back to this a bit later with tips how not to make this work.

2. Do not be consistent

Whatever you do, don’t stick to it if you do not want to get rich. I mean, a plan is one thing, but executing it is another. Just try something for a month, give it up and then try something else. I can promise you, that getting rich is not for you. Take the simplest way to accumulate wealth: saving money, if you don’t do this consistently, you won’t save money – cannot invest it, or use it to lower costs and then you have nothing. If you would stick to the plan, you might end up rich without taking enormous risks anyway. Even with low interest rates I challenge you to see what saving an amount of money every month brings you in 10 years.

Whatever you do, don’t stick to it if you don’t want to get rich!

3. Make your OPEX as high as your credit score allows you

Everyone knows that getting in debt is the best way to not get rich. (OPEX means operational costs, for example monthly recurring costs). You’ll be paying the bank and credit card companies, the shops with payment plans, lease companies for stuff that is never going to be yours. I mean, if you would use that saved money to lower your debt, save the money that you saved on the debt to lower the debt you’ll end up with no debt and thus no costs. I know, if you’re really good in investing and taking risk you get money cheap somewhere, invest it in something that gives your more in return then you pay in interest and then get rich like that. I’m not that good in investing, or do not have the guts to get in debt over my ears to try this – so my advice not to get rich is to keep as much debt if you want. In case you do want to get rich: lower that OPEX. Solar panels, insulation, home improvement, paying of debt, imagine not having any cost for living, low energy bill and just possessions that are yours and not some banks.. isn’t that way to rich of a feeling for you? And within reach.

Getting in debt and work just to pay of your debt is the best way not to get rich at all.

4. Want to get *rich* very *fast*

The fastest way not to get rich, is to trying to get rich (too) fast: getting rich means taking risks, getting rich fast means taking A LOT of risk. This means, that the chance that you’ll fail and not get rich in stead, so my advice not to get rich is to try to get rich too fast. Combine this with no plan, no consistency and a high debt and I can almost guarantee you that a bankruptcy becomes a real opportunity! I see people investing money they need in stuff they don’t understand to quickly and then think: Way to go, you won’t become rich ever this way! Otherwise you’d be taking it slow, making a plan, understanding what you’re doing and even test your strategy. If it doesn’t work, or you don’t have the stomach for it you can still bail out and try something else. It’s very careful and defensive, so better dive in and hope for the best right? Quick example:

5. Don’t get advice from the right people

Better take advice from a 15 year old crypto entrepreneur, or an investing influencer that probably doesn’t look anything like what you see without the visual filters they all seem to adore. You don’t want to take the risk asking advice from someone that is knowledgeable and has a proven track record. It’s possibly very boring, means you need to have patience, a plan, combined strategy and not make you rich in a few months so you can buy all that crap to show of to people you don’t even like. Cynical? No, I mean if you truly don’t want to be rich – get that advice, they probably do it for their best interest!

The best advice to loose your money will probably come from a 15 year old ‘crypto entrepreneur’ that lives in his parents basement.

How to recognize someone that gives good advice? Well, they’ll never tell you what to do, they’ll try to teach you how to make informed decisions. They’ll never advice you something they would benefit from themselves, that would make it advertising more then advising. Also, they’ll ask questions and not instantly tell you where to put your money. Another thing that should ring the alarm bells if they promise you something they didn’t get ever (and even if they are giving you advice from their self earned superyacht in the med, wonder if this would still work, for you, right now) or that is not remotely predictable – ever. So a good advise also shows you the risks, downsides and different outcomes. No instant Lamborghini’s for you, sadly.

So if you do want to get rich

Figure out what it means to you, figure out what you need for that and if there is a strategy where you can live with and maintain during the process – and go for it. Use time in your advantage, enjoy the small gains in the beginning and use them to get bigger ones. In the meanwhile – enjoy the time you already have. I have lost too many people around me, that died before reaching their goals.

My strategy probably won’t make me superyacht rich, it’s just a matter of lowering my OPEX costs, giving me financial freedom, room to invest in different things (like more lowering OPEX), saving money and after successfully doing this for a decade I now come to a point that I seek advice to how to invest what I earn towards to point I no longer have the urgency to work. I’m not just saving money, I’m saving time.

You can spend your money once, so make it count.

Final wisdom: You can spend your money once, so make it count.

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