9 Preventable Ways People Are Hurting Their Chances of Becoming Millionaires
If it were up to most of us, we'd become millionaires by hitting the lottery jackpot.
Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Even so, there are still simple steps we can take to increase our chances of becoming a millionaire.
No, it certainly won't happen overnight, but these moves could at least remove any roadblocks preventing us from getting to that goal.
Take a look:
1. You Don't Buy an Apartment Complex
This year has been a rollercoaster. Historically, though, real-estate investing offers the best long-term returns. (Does the name Rockefeller ring a bell?)
That’s why we like investing with pros like DiversyFund. They’ll help you make long-term investments in apartments and office buildings all over the country — and you don’t have to be a millionaire. You can get started with only $500.
You can see exactly which properties are included in your portfolios — like a 200-unit apartment complex in Killeen, Texas or a 59-unit building in San Diego. And you don’t have to be the landlord — DiversyFund does all the heavy lifting.
Because they know how to ride out the market’s ups and downs, they’ve historically seen annual returns of 17% to 18%, though they can’t make any promises.
As a partial owner, you make money on rent payments and when property values go up. It takes just a few minutes to sign up and own your first apartment building.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
2. You Don't Buy $1M in Life Insurance
Oh, to be a millionaire. Look, not all of us have the money to set up trust funds for our loved ones. But you could still give them $1 million — and you don’t even need to have the money in the bank.
A company called Bestow can help you leave your family up to $1 million in term life insurance, and it can cost less than your monthly Netflix subscription.
We get it — it’s one more bill, and who has time to sign up? But if you were born after 1966, you can take advantage of Bestow. You don’t even need to leave your house.
We hear people are paying as little as $8 a month. (But every year you wait, this gets more expensive.)
It takes just minutes to sign up and see how much you can leave your loved ones — even if you don’t have seven figures in your bank account.
3. You're Not Buying Pieces of Amazon or Google (For as Little as $5)
Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company.
But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.
That’s why a lot of people use the app Stash. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — buying pieces of other companies.
That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google or Apple, for as little as $1.*
The best part? When these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.
It takes two minutes to sign up, plus Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.**
4. You're Giving Up 300 Extra Points on Your Credit Score
Listen. A good credit score can open up a ton of opportunities for you. It can help you buy a car, take out a mortgage or even open a business.
So if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — try using a free website called Credit Sesame.
Within 90 seconds, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes less than 90 seconds.
5. You're Not Using Up Your Entire Paycheck
No, we’re not talking about going to Whole Foods and buying out its fancy cheese supply with your paycheck. Instead, we’re talking about creating a zero-based budget, a budget that finds a place for your every dollar.
You’ll want to start by tracking a month of expenses. How much do you (or don’t you) have remaining? Then, consider your financial goals. Do you want to save money? Invest money? Pay off debt?
Work backward to cut your expenses until you can achieve that goal. It might take some patience, but it’ll pay off.
6. You Could Be Wasting $690/Year on Homeowners Insurance
You’re probably wasting money right now. And it’s probably on something you’d never expect — your homeowners insurance policy.
This isn’t something you actively think about — you just know you’re required to have it.
It’s easy to find out, though. To see if you’re overpaying for your policy, check out a website called SmartFinancial. It’s a digital marketplace where you can get quotes and compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best price.
Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars when they switch home insurance companies this way. It takes just two minutes to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all your options side-by-side. Get started here.
7. You Haven't Canceled Your Car Insurance
People love to tell you to shop around. “You should be getting three different quotes to get the best price on car insurance,” they say.
Sure, this sounds like good advice. Here’s why it’s wrong: Comparing only three companies isn’t nearly enough. We suggest comparing 40. But who has time for that?
A company called Gabi will do it for you for free. It gets people an average of $825 back in their bank accounts a year — and you’ll get the same coverage you already have.
It doesn’t matter when you last renewed; you can get a check from your old company for the time left on your previous policy. (Read: They probably owe you money.)
You don’t have to make any calls or fill out any forms. It takes two minutes to see how much Gabi can put back in your pocket. And the best part? Because we’re driving less, some insurers are slashing prices this month.
8. You're Not Learning From Others
One of the best ways to eventually become a millionaire? Learn from others! These could be the millionaires themselves, personal finance experts or real-life people who’ve had success. Search the internet for blogs and websites, listen to podcasts and read books.
Here are a few of our favorite resources (ahem, besides ourselves):
- “How to Money” podcast
- “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
- “The Side Hustle Show” podcast
- “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
- “The Money Nerds Podcast"
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel
9. You Leave Behind $500 in Free Stock
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $500!) if you know where to look.
Whether you’re got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $5 to $500 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
The Penny Hoarder is a Paid Affiliate/partner of Stash.
* This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers.
** You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash.
***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.