15 Zillionaires Share Practical Advice to Get Rich (Plus How to Start)

Money quotes
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While we’d like to think that the Zillionaires we’ve quoted would appreciate the ideas in this article, please note that, as far as we know, none of the individuals quoted herein sponsor or are affiliated with any of the products discussed in this article.

In case you missed trivia night at the bar this week, here are fun “Did ya know” facts about some of our favorite rich people:

Ellen Degeneres worked a number of jobs before getting her big break. Think: Waitress, house painter, vacuum cleaner seller and legal secretary.

A young and ambitious Dave Ramsey was forced to file for bankruptcy. Then the bank asked him to hand over $800,000.

Then you have Richard Branson, who quit school at 16 to start a youth-culture magazine. He handed out the first edition for free.

Now, these three are collectively worth something like $5.5 billion dollars.

How can I do that?

15 Motivational Money Quotes From Millionaires and Billionaires

We all need a little motivation to get our finances in order, and sometimes advice from Mom and Dad just doesn’t cut it. (No offense, but it means more when it comes from someone like Beyoncé…)

So to help us all out, I found some of my favorite faces and quotes to help you start managing your money.

1. “I know many of you want to have an emergency fund, but then you talk yourself out of it before you ever begin saving. Because you know you can’t just snap your fingers and have plenty saved up, or you think you can’t afford to start saving now. No more excuses. You can do it.” — Suze Orman, author, financial advisor, motivational speaker and TV host

Personal finance 101: Once you break that paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, start an emergency fund. Some people call it a “rainy day fund.”

“Without an emergency fund, you have no backup plan if you run into an unexpected car repair bill, lose your job or worse,” writes one Penny Hoarder.

As a rule of thumb, your emergency fund should hold enough money to pay for six months of living expenses, which includes rent, food, gas and bills.

But here was my question: Where do I keep this money so I don’t spend it all?

Open a separate bank account. Let me recommend Aspiration’s Spend and Save Account. My co-worker recommended it to me — it’s where she’s putting her tax refund check.

Rather than letting your money sit idly, pending an emergency, it’ll reap 2% APY on your Save balance.

Opening an account is an easy way to make your emergency money start working for you.

2. “What counts for most people in investing is not how much they know, but rather how realistically they define what they don’t know.” — Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Once you have saved — and made — some money, I wanted to include one smart tip — from a very smart man — about investing money.

There are now apps that help you invest, without all the jargon. Like Stash.

You can start with as little as $5 a week, and embrace the “set it and forget it” method.

Oh, and you can snag a $5 bonus to invest when you sign up now with code PENNYH.

3. “Think about the Christmas shopping that you have to do or all of the birthday presents you’re going to buy or even your groceries. If you could move even just half of that to purchasing online through a cash-back rebate site, it could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year that you could put directly into a savings account.” — Kyle Taylor, founder and CEO of The Penny Hoarder

Of course I have to sneak in some sage advice from our founder, Kyle Taylor.

We write about a lot of cash-back apps — because if you can make some money back from your purchases, why not?

We created a list of nine rebate sites that’ll pay you up to 70% cash back. One of our favorites (mostly because it’s super easy to use) is Ebates.

When you shop through the Ebates portal (over 2,000 online retailers) you earn points for each dollar you spend.

So, for example, when you shop on Amazon (shamelessly my favorite site — if you can’t tell), you earn five points per dollar. Once you spend $20, you’ll earn 1,590 points, enough for a free $10 gift card!

The Ebates sign-up process is really too easy. You can do it here.

4. “I don’t care if you’re managing $100,000, $1,000, $100, $10, $1 or 10 cents. All that matters is you manage whatever money you have.” — T. Harv Eker, author, businessman and motivational speaker

Whatever you’ve got, manage it.

The best way to get started is by checking your credit report. I know, I know. None of us want to do this.

However, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of what you might owe. Or perhaps you’re one of the 25% of Americans who has an error on their credit report. Those poor scores can hinder every part of your financial wellness…

So, pour yourself a glass of wine, and check your credit report for free on a site like Credit Sesame. You’ll thank yourself later.

5. “The more hustle I poured into that [dishwashing] job, the more I got back. Sure enough, before I left that kitchen to become a filmmaker in New York, I was a line cook. I had two promotions.” — Casey Neistat, YouTube personality, filmmaker, vlogger and co-founder of the social media company Beme

Casey Neistat understands the value of hard work. He dropped out of high school at 15 and worked 45 to 60 hours a week to support his family. He started out as a dishwasher and worked his way up to making salads… “a pretty big deal,” he said.

If you want to channel your inner hustle like Neistat, consider entering the growing gig economy.

There’s an option for each personality and interest.

A universal favorite, of course, is Uber. As a driver partner with Uber, you are an independent contractor. You create your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want.

Your earnings will be calculated by adding a base fare, plus time and distance traveled after your pickup, and Uber charges a service fee.

If you want to give it a try here are a few of the things to keep in mind: You must be at least 21 years old, have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you are under 23 years old), have a valid US driver’s license and pass a background check.

Also, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.

Here’s a link to sign up to use the Uber app.

6. “It doesn’t matter how you live. It doesn’t matter what car you drive. It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear… The more you stress over bills, the more difficult it is to focus on your goals… The cheaper you can live, the greater your options.” — Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” shark, among other titles

Where are all my “Shark Tank” fans?

Mark Cuban is my favorite shark. And even though he’s worth billions, he knows the importance of thrifty living.

So let’s address the items he’s talking about.

First, “It doesn’t matter what car you drive.” So consider buying a used car to save some bucks.

Second, don’t worry about your clothes so much. I’ve recently become obsessed with the “capsule wardrobe” trend. If you grew up wearing uniforms to school like me, then it works well.

Right now, I’m working to get rid of my more over-indulgent pieces. Rather than being a great human and donating the pieces, try selling them first. You could snag some extra bucks through a site like Letgo.

Third: Bills! Unfortunately, you can’t really purge that expensive electric bill, but you can cut back. If you’re not seeing the results you want when you unplug here and there, a free app called Clarity Money will actually negotiate your bills down for you.

It starts by scanning your bank statements for areas where you might be overspending or overpaying and then does the hard work by contacting the companies on your behalf! If they’re able to negotiate a discount, they keep 33% of the savings as a fee for their services. And if they save you nothing, you owe nothing.

By saving money on bills, you can focus more on your bigger financial goals. And if you don’t have any… here’s your step-by-step guide.

7. “If people haven’t laughed at your dreams, then you aren’t dreaming big enough. Just keep pushing forward!” — Daymond John, businessman, investor, television personality, author and motivational speaker

You know him from “Shark Thank.” Daymond John is always encouraging dreamers to keep on dreaming.

And, hey, you can even make money while you’re dreaming in deep sleep.

We call it “passive income,” and there are several ways you can make money while you sleep, including a few simple app downloads.

8. “I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do.” — Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Thanks to Bezos, I have a hard time saving money with an Amazon Prime account and impulse spending tendencies. But I found a few ways to save a few bucks.

One of our contributors doesn’t have that issue, though: Steve Gillman lives a rich life — by being frugal.

No, he’s not cheap. He’s frugal, which means he can live without debt; even his home is paid off. Here’s how he does it.

9. “Successful entrepreneurs tend to be insatiably curious about almost everything, and often they are good at learning by doing. Their open-minded, can-do attitude is among their best assets.” — Sir Richard Branson, a “tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker” (according to his Twitter bio)

Involvement, fun and creativity are keys to success, according to Branson. (I’m not just being sarcastic here; he really is deemed “sir.”)

If you’re not feeling completely satisfied at your day job, consider striking up a side business. We recently interviewed three successful entrepreneurs that started businesses from scratch and now offer free courses on how you can do the same.

And even if it doesn’t pay all the bills, it will help you release some creative, passionate energy.

10. “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” — Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

This guy’s had some controversial headlines in recent years, but I love his advice.

You earn your money and you want it to grow, but these days you can never be too careful with it. Identity thieves are out there — and they’re constantly coming up with new scams.

If you really want to make sure your money doesn’t go anywhere you don’t know about, check out a free service like Credit Sesame. It lets you check your credit score for free, but also insures you for up to $50,000 if your identity is stolen.

Think you’re invincible? So did our contributor, Jamie Cattanach. When she was 18, someone opened an AT&T account in her name. She assumed it wasn’t hers, so she didn’t acknowledge the bill — until debt collectors began phoning and her credit score plummeted.

Once you sign up for identity protection, they keep a tab on your finances and inform you anytime someone applies for any kind of credit using your name. Plus, they’ll pay up to $25,000 of your legal fees if someone does steal your identity. It’s completely free and kind of a no-brainer.

11. “…I didn’t go to college at all, any college, and I’m not saying you wasted your time or money, but look at me, I’m a huge celebrity.” — Ellen Degeneres, a huge celebrity

We all know Degeneres loves to dance, and maybe it’s because she’s never felt the weight of student loans on her shoulders.

That’s because she didn’t go to college, and she reminds us: That’s OK. You don’t need to sink thousands of dollars into a college degree to find success.

But if you do have tons of student loans, consider refinancing them. Using Credible, students have saved thousands by refinancing their loans — including Jammie Proctor who’s saving an estimated $5,000-$7,000 a year, and Ashley Williams, who’s saving about $18,000 in interest.

If you want to find out if refinancing will save you big, check out this nifty flowchart.

And if you’re feeling at all grumpy today, watch this.

12. “I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.” — Beyoncé, also known as “Queen Bey”

How can I write a post about famous, inspiring, wealthy people without including Beyoncé?! Exactly. Impossible.

So this quote goes out to all you ladies, especially if you’ve always wanted to venture out on your own and start your own business.

We know just thinking about investing money into something that’s not making money yet is daunting to even think about. But have you considered a business grant?

We found six that cater specifically to female entrepreneurs.

Don’t know how to put one together? We’ve got you covered there, too.

13. “I think the single biggest thing that money gave me — and obviously I came from a place where I was a single mother and it really was hand to mouth at one point. It was literally as poor as you can get in Britain without being homeless at one point. If you’ve ever been there you will never, ever take for granted that you don’t need to worry. Never.” — J.K. Rowling, novelist

Sure, J.K. Rowling reigns over Hogwarts now, but she wasn’t always worshipped. She once opened up and shared that she was a single mom, as poor as possible without being homeless.

Now, she looks back on the experience with gratitude and says she doesn’t take anything for granted.

If you’re a single mom — or any parent for that matter — who’s struggling, we hope this quote gives you some hope. We also hope you’re taking advantage of coupons and freebies.

Nope, you don’t have to go to any extremes — Pampers gives out free coupons for diapers.

14. “Dogs have no money. Isn’t that amazing? They’re broke their entire lives. But they get through. You know why dogs have no money? No Pockets.” — Jerry Seinfeld, comedian, actor, writer, producer and director

Is your bank account dry as a bone? (Get it?) Are you tired of empty pockets?

Quit scraping the bottom of the food bowl, and make some extra cash in your free time by taking surveys.

MyPoints is a legitimate survey site that pays you to answer questions. When we say legit, we mean the Better Business Bureau granted it an A+.

However, it’s worth noting, the cash won’t just pop into your pockets… unfortunately. You’ll get paid in points, then use them to purchase gift cards. (But if you do want the cash, we have an article about how to sell your gift cards.)


15. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” — Dave Ramsey, “America’s trusted voice on money” (according to his website)

Have you spent money you haven’t earned? Then you might have some debt. And if those payments are intimidating? You have some options.

Consider refinancing your loans or consolidating them. By refinancing your loans, you’re taking out a totally new loan — with (ideally) a lower interest rate. By consolidating your loans, you’re lumping them into one sum with one interest rate.

Either route could save you tons. A great resource to get you started is Fiona, which can help you borrow up to $50,000 (with no collateral needed) and compare interest rates from several lenders.

Once you get that debt paid off, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief — maybe even become a fresh prince. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Your Turn: What’s your favorite money quote?

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Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.