Empower Blog

April 17, 2023

How to Build Wealth: Think Like a Self-Made Millionaire

Financial Planning, Podcasts
If the idea of saving up for your child’s education, buying a house or retiring down the road seems like an impossible dream, it might be time to take a good look at how you spend your money.

Anyone has the potential to reach their goal of wealth with discipline and a plan. We may not all be meant to be self-made millionaires. But there are lessons you can learn from observing the habits of those who have earned great wealth. By consistently applying these approaches, you may find that your long-term dreams start to feel more achievable.

Start Early

Self-made millionaires aren’t made overnight. They build their wealth through small, consistent habits that add up over time.

One strategy is to “pay yourself first” by prioritizing saving over spending — making sure you put money in savings for unexpected emergencies, such as car repairs and contributing to a retirement fund, no matter the amount. After all, small amounts can grow to big savings over time.

It's never too late to change your mindset from spending to saving, but it takes effort. Think about how every dollar you save helps contribute to your goal of building wealth. With practice, you’ll see how every little bit of savings adds up.

Put Thought into Every Spending Decision

When it comes down to it, every purchase you make involves a choice. How much thought do you put into your spending decisions? Are you buying the item because you want it or is it something you actually need?

Self-made millionaires don’t let emotions drive their decisions. Instead, they are intentional and logical. They weigh the long-term benefits (think investments), associated costs (needed maintenance) and if there is an opportunity to resell the item when they no longer need it.

The point is not to give up spending entirely – it’s more about asking yourself if the item or experience is a want or a need. Will charging a weekend getaway with your friends be worth the anxiety of receiving the credit card bill at the end of the month? Can you save a little by ordering a smaller size soda – or could you order water and tuck the savings away if you wait to have a soda from home?

Make a Plan – and Stick to It

Think of your financial goals as a journey; you need a road map to get there. Self-made millionaires develop their plan and they stick to it – and they revise it to reach their destination when detours arise.

For many of us, long-term goals can feel too big or far off in the distance. One way to reach your goal is to break it down into smaller, short-term goals. That might mean setting a goal to make a budget this month, then be diligent about putting away the amount budgeted for savings the next month, no excuses! Your plan not only shifts your mindset from spending to savings, but also helps you build your savings toward your long-term financial goal.

Take the Next Step

No matter how big or small your financial goals are, CommunityAmerica is here to help you develop a plan to reach them. We believe that financial peace of mind is for all members, regardless of where they are in their financial journey.

Starting out? If you’re just starting out thinking about short- or long-term goals, a Financial Well-Being Coach at our Community Access Centers will work with you to develop a customized life plan to help put you on a path to thrive.

Already investing? If you have investments and want an objective and knowledgeable second opinion, talk to one of our Wealth Advisors for ideas and insights on maximizing your financial future.

Latest podcast: Listen to the podcast below to pick up more helpful habits of self-made millionaires.


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About the Author
Brad Scott
Brad Scott

Vice President of Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica

Brad Scott serves as the Vice President of Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica, working with their wealth advisors to help better serve the member while developing and growing professionally.

Securities and advisory services offered through Copper Financial Network (Copper Financial), LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Copper Financial is a SEC registered investment adviser. Copper Financial is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica Credit Union. Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica is a marketing name used by Copper Financial. For important disclosures from Copper Financial, including our Form CRS, please visit here. Investment and insurance products, including annuities:

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