7 Life Lessons To Become Secret Rich From The Very Wealthy

life lessons from the very wealthyIf you want to become wealthy one day, what is your best option for getting there?

Some might say to play the lottery.

While this could provide you with wealth if you hit the jackpot, the odds of actually hitting the jackpot are slim.

And let’s not even get started with the fact that you will most likely end up penniless in a few years.

If you really want to become wealthy, you need to learn from people who are wealthy and do what they do.

Makes sense right?

They know “the secret” of managing their money so the tips and suggestions they offer are ones you should listen to.

It’s the same idea with most anything in life.

If you want tips on how to get ahead at work, you seek out someone in the position you want to see what you need to do to get there.

Or if you want to run a 5K, you seek the advice of someone who runs 5K races.

And when buying a car, you seek the advice of an expert that knows how to buy a car at a great price.

So it shouldn’t be a shock that learning money management from those who are wealthy is what you should do.

The problem is finding these wealthy people to talk to.

Luckily, you don’t have to look very hard.

In this post, I am going to share with you 7 tips to become secret rich from the wealthy so you too will know how to build your wealth and become financially free.

Your Guide To Becoming Part Of The Secret Rich

Defining The Wealthy

Watch television or the movies or read magazines and you would think that the rich spend their money on high end cars, giant houses, lots of jewelry and the finest clothing money can buy.

But you would be wrong.

The majority of the wealthy don’t live this way.

Yes those people you see on TV and in magazines are wealthy, but they are the wealthy elite.

They started their own businesses and grew them into dominant corporations.

They can easily buy a giant house and a boat and not have to worry much about money.

The wealthy that I am talking about and the ones you should be striving to mimic are the hidden wealthy.

These are the rich people that you wouldn’t even know are rich.

They are secretly rich.

Some of you might stop reading here.

Being a secret rich person doesn’t sound like much fun. You probably want to flaunt your wealth, right?

Actually you don’t.

If everyone knows you are rich, you will get hounded by long lost family members looking for financial help.

You’ll get phone calls and junk mail nonstop to support various causes.

The real fun is having invisible wealth.

When you are secretly rich, you can do all sorts of things.

  • You can go to a Walmart during the holidays and pay off all of the outstanding balances on the layaway gifts.
  • You can take your friends on a relaxing vacation with you.
  • You can leave large tips for unassuming wait staff members who really impress you with their service.
  • You don’t have to worry about money.

When you stop and think about it, being secretly rich is a lot of fun.

So how do you get to the place of being secretly rich?

The Formula To Become Secret Rich

formula for stealth wealth

When it comes to getting to a status of wealth and having stealth wealth, many people don’t know where to start.

Others that have started began by cutting their expenses.

This is a good start, but isn’t the complete formula for wealth.

Here is the wealth formula:

Reduced Spending + Higher Earnings = Wealth

As you can see, while cutting spending is a requirement and a great start it is not the only thing you need to do to become wealthy.

I say this because cutting your spending is finite.

In other words, you can only cut so much.

You can cut out the expense of cable and the expense of gas if you can walk or ride a bike everywhere.

But you still need to eat. You still need shelter and you still need running water.

Once you get to this point, you are done cutting your expenses.

If all of that cutting doesn’t result in a ton of savings, then you are going to have a hard time becoming wealthy.

In fact, many people won’t even get to this point.

This is because they will find that their quality of life suffers too much.

Think of it this way.

Cutting your spending is like a rubber band. When you stretch out a rubber band, it either snaps back or it breaks.

This is what happens to many people.

They either cut back so much they hate life (rubber band breaks) and they give up and go back to their old way of living.

Or they get to that point and go on a spending spree to make themselves feel better (rubber band snapping back).

You have to find the right amount of cutting back that you can sustain over the long-term and still be happy.

This is what happened to me.

Back in the day when I was battling credit card debt, I reduced my “fun money” to $25 a month.

The first month was great.

I was committed to getting out of debt and stayed in a lot. But that second month, I hit the wall.

I hated not being able to go out with friends, not doing anything fun.

So I rebelled.

My stretched rubber band snapped and I went on a spending spree. So much for getting out of debt!

Luckily I realized what the problem was before I did a lot more damage to my finances.

I adjusted my budget and allowed myself more money to have fun with.

While this meant it would take me longer to get out of debt, I knew that I was more likely to achieve my goal this way than by trying to go to extremes.

Adding In Higher Earnings

increased earnings chart

The second part of the wealth equation is where most people don’t focus their attention.

This is a shame since technically, your earnings are infinite.

You can get raises at your current job, move to a different employer for a higher salary, work another job, start your own side business, have rental income or investment income, etc.

The list for growing your income is virtually endless.

Again though, if you go too far with this part of the equation, the rubber band is going to snap back or break, just like it did with your spending.

The result again is to find the happy medium.

Don’t work 5 jobs and have zero free time just so you can get out of debt quicker.

Increase your income enough that you still have your freedom but you are making progress on your goal of paying off debt or becoming wealthy.

Combining The Two

When you combine reduced spending and a higher income, your result will be wealth.

For example, if you were only to reduce your spending, you might be able to save $250 per month.

In one year that comes to $3,000. Not bad.

In 20 years, you have an extra $60,000.

But let’s say you worked on increasing your earnings too.

You earned a promotion at work that pays you an extra $833 per month.

That is $10,000 per year or $200,000 more income over 20 years.

And here is the fun part.

If you take the $10,000 from your promotion and the $3,000 from savings and invest that money at 8% for 25 years, you are looking at over $1 million dollars.

This won’t allow you to buy a yacht, but you would be part of the secret rich and have very little worries about money.

Real Life Lessons From The Secret Rich

secret wealth ben franklin

Now that you know the formula for becoming part of the secret rich, what are some practical lessons you can use to help you succeed?

Below are 7 tips from the wealthy that you need to live by.

If you can follow these lessons, amassing stealth wealth will be much easier for you.

Here is the list and below it I go into more detail about each one.

#1. Having money is better than not having money

#2. Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor”

#3. Memories are better than material objects

#4. Watch your “lifestyle leverage”, especially early in your career

#5. Having goals is incredibly important

#6. You must live in the here and now

#7. It helps to be incredibly lucky

Action Steps On Life Lessons From The Very Wealthy

#1. Having Money Is Better Than Not Having Money

The point here is that money provides you with options.

And I completely agree.

When you have money, you can choose to take a job in a field you love without worry over the salary.

When you have money, you don’t worry if something breaks because you have the money to repair it.

The bottom line is when you have money, life is less stressful.

Your Action Step:

If you have money, keep saving and investing.

If you don’t have money, you need to follow the wealth equation I talked about above.

Focus on cutting back on your expenses and then start working to earn more money.

#2. Don’t Become “Cash Rich” and “Time Poor”

While we all strive to have enough money so that we can do what we please with our lives.

Just don’t sacrifice your time trying to achieve it.

If you spend all day at work and only see your children to tuck them in at night, you may want to reassess your priorities.

In other words, don’t make money your idol. See it as a tool for getting you to where you want to be.

Your Action Step:

Learn what opportunity cost is and weigh all decisions, not just financial, using it.

Remember that everything has a cost, not just financial, and you need to know what you are potentially giving up when choosing one thing over another.

#3. Memories Are Better Than Material Objects

I think this is a learned point.

In my teen years, I was all about the object: status symbols.

I wanted name brand clothing and the cool sports car.

Now that I am in my 40’s, all I care about is hanging out with my friends.

Even if we sit around all night talking, it doesn’t matter. I enjoy their company and I have those stories and memories for the rest of life.

And I wouldn’t trade any of that for designer jeans.

Your Action Step:

Learn to appreciate life. By learning what is important in life, you will enjoy your time more and worry less about trying to keep up with others.

When you do this, you will be amazed at how much more satisfying your life is.

The sooner you realize happiness comes from experiences and not things, the sooner you can build wealth.

#4. Watch Your “Lifestyle Leverage”, Especially Early In Your Career

This is important.

Many people graduate college and stop living the college lifestyle.

They buy a new car, new wardrobe, and rent the nicest apartment they can find.

They leverage their future.

If you are a soon to be graduate, keep living the college lifestyle.

It’s OK to live with Mom & Dad for a year or two and drive around the old beater a couple more years.

With the money you save, you can get a jump start on your retirement.

Your Action Step:

Question purchases, all purchases.

Do you really need it? Will it help to get you to where you want to be in 5 or 10 years?

Advertisers are good at getting us to buy on emotion.

They know our brains have 2 sides, impulse and reason. They develop advertisements so that we make impulse buys.

In a few hours when the reasoning side of our brain catches up, we regret the purchase.

This is what we all call buyer’s remorse.

To overcome this, stop and question purchases to save money.

When you think you want something, wait to buy it. Wait an hour or a week or more.

Many times you will find you no longer want it or even remember it in the first place.

#5. Having Goals Is Incredibly Important

Goals are important. They keep you motivated and lead to success.

I see setting a goal as challenging myself.

I feel that I need to be challenged to grow and learn and I never want to stop doing either.

Growing makes me a better person.

Your Action Step:

Learn to set goals for yourself. Don’t make the mistake of setting many goals at once.

Take it slow.

I like to break my long term goals into short term goals.

For example, paying off $15,000 worth of debt sounds daunting. After a few months, you might give up.

Instead, keep your ultimate goal to pay off the debt, but set up a smaller goal.

Focus on getting your debt under $10,000. You’ll notice the progress more and will stay motivated throughout the entire process.

Once you get your debt to $10,000 have another goal to get it to $5,000.

If these increments are still too big for you to stay motivated, then make them even smaller. Find what works for you.

#6. You Must Live In The Here And Now

This one is hard, but is important.

I like to visualize my future. I imagine what life will be like when I have the money to retire, waking up when I want and spending my days doing as I please.

While this is good, I must remind myself to stop and smell the roses.

Life is a beautiful thing. Don’t miss it by living in the past or future.

Your Action Step:

What’s in the past can’t be changed and what lays ahead no one knows.

It’s necessary to have goals as mentioned above.

But it is equally important that you learn to be present and enjoy today.

Take advantage of the life you have and enjoy it!

#7. It Helps To Be Incredibly Lucky

This is interesting, and is true. There is an old saying that goes “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

Preperation Opportunity Luck

If you prepare yourself for the opportunity, don’t be surprised when it arrives.

Most of the people you see who are lucky appear so because they took the time to prepare for opportunities.

For example, if you make it a point to save 15% of your paycheck you will build up a nice nest egg.

One day, you might be approached about an amazing job that you would love to have.

The only catch is that it pays less than your current salary.

Since you prepared financially by saving money, you can earn a lower salary and still survive financially.

Put another way, you might see declines in housing prices and think, “man, others are so lucky to be buying houses right now. I wish I could, but I’m in debt up to my eyes.”

They are lucky, but are so because they prepared themselves for the opportunity.

They didn’t know housing prices would tumble.

But by staying out of debt, they prepared themselves to take advantage of the situation, whether it be with houses or stocks or something else.

Your Action Step:

Believe in yourself. Believe that you too are lucky and prepare to take advantage of opportunities when they knock.

No matter what happens, stay positive with your attitude.

Stick to creating goals for yourself and get your finances in order so that you are in the best financial shape possible.

Final Thoughts

So there is the blueprint for you to become part of the secret rich.

You need to make it a habit of keeping your expenses low and finding ways to increase your earnings.

As you do these two things, reread the life lessons of the wealthy and learn from them.

In fact, I encourage you to bookmark this post and read them over and over again at various times.

The reason is because when you are in different stages in life you will look at them from a different perspective.

In other words, you will always be learning from them.

And this takes me back to my original point.

Learn from those who are where you want to be.

Seek out those that manage their money wisely and pick their brain.

Learn from them and then use those tips and techniques in your life as you grow your wealth.

25 thoughts on “7 Life Lessons To Become Secret Rich From The Very Wealthy”

  1. I would generally agree as well – especially on the lifestyle leverage. That can be a huge issue, especially if you’re needing to pay off debt when you’re first on your own. That time should be focused on paying it off and starting to build up a solid nest egg and not being extravagant. I would also add that many are also looking for opportunities to grow their money and wealth. They may not always work out, but many do.

  2. Hey, that’s pretty good. I agree with everything especially this one – It Helps To Be Incredibly Lucky. I feel I’m super lucky and it keeps me going through good and bad times. I know it will get better later. I guess that’s being an optimist too.
    Cash rick, time poor — It depends on what you spend your time on. I don’t have a lot of time because I spend most of the day with my kid. That’s still good.

    1. I think that luck is simply being ready for an opportunity when it presents itself. I consider myself to be lucky as well. But like you, I’m an optimist and I think that helps a lot.

  3. Very interesting! It’s really good to read a post about the lesson’s learnt from those who are rich. I’m sure many people can learn from this.

  4. When I think of the wealthy I don’t always see happiness. “I’ll be happy when I have …..” is their mentality. So memories being more important than material things resonates most with me.

    Most of the McMansions in our area are empty most of the time. People are too busy working and earning more to enjoy what they already have. It’s a death spiral.

    1. It is sad that so many chase the status of wealth and then never really enjoy it because they have to work that much harder just to keep the things they bought.

  5. I love this list Jon! Right now, I’m really focused on the “time poor” equation. I have four children running here, there and everywhere and I want to be involved with as much as their lives as possible. There will always be time when they are gone to make money. They will be living in my house as kids only once. I can’t miss that.

  6. Lee @ The Value Geek

    I love how you put action steps under each one. I dug into your website more because of that. Keep up the good work.

  7. “Memories Are Better Than Material Objects”, but it’s easier to accumulate stuff while watching TV and playing on the internet. It’s a constant struggle in our house to save for memory-making.

    1. It is easier to accumulate stuff when you have advertisers coming at you from every direction. I’m the same way – let me know if you figure out how to overcome the struggle.

  8. I completely agree with this list. As I grow older am realizing that in the grand scheme of things, time is the most precious thing you can spend and experiences and memories what you should be spending that time on. With time you can always make some more money, but you can’t buy back time to spend with your loved ones forexample. Striking a balance is certainly crucial.
    And yes, Luck accounts for a lot in life!

  9. “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

    I think that’s pretty much my career motto. Jobs in the entertainment business are ridiculously difficult to get – if you have high expectations like, you know, a living wage and health insurance. When the tiniest opportunity comes along, you have to be prepared to wedge yourself in there and kick butt like they’ve never seen before.

  10. Great stuff here Jon, agree with the points you make here & this is similar to what Tom Coorley and Rich Habits espouses in his book / blogs :)..

    While sure cutting expenses are great though, for me definitely generating residual income is a life lesson you are sort of hinting at here but not sure it’s explicit.. What are you thoughts on this i.e. having multiple residual income (or call it passive I suppose if you’d like ha) streams

    Really thought provoking though and thanks for writing!

  11. Kelly @ Brainy Chick Finance

    Great tips! Another resource for readers would be “Millionaires Next Door”. Its a personal finance classic, but really hits home about how Millionaires aren’t all that flashy or buy every expensive items they can buy.

  12. Great points from those that are already rich. I really think being rich isn’t how much stuff you have but being able to do what you want and not have to worry about money. Like treating a friend to dinner or going on a last minute vacation or whatever else you want. It’s up to you i would be rich if I could stay in a cabin reading all day on the lake but others need much much more

  13. I live in for the moment while still aiming for the future. Past is past so what I do now for the present and the future.

  14. Thanks for these tips. My biggest takeaway is “Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor.”” It’s easy to be so caught up with career that we neglect the most important people in our lives.

    I just wish our cash flow were better though

  15. That is true! Goals are really important. With goals in mind, you know that you’re going somewhere and have a direction in life.

  16. When will I be incredibly lucky? Should I look for it or wait for it to come by? I prefer to look for it so by the time it comes I am ready to grab it.

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