The easiest way to be wealthy is to be born rich. If that’s not an option, the key is to just curb spending, keep working, and invest, invest, invest.
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That’s according to Jaspreet Singh, a money expert behind the Minority Mindset brand. Singh, a first-generation American, licensed attorney, and serial entrepreneur, is also CEO of Briefs Media, which publishes daily business and markets newsletters. When he was growing up, Singh said, his parents, who were Indian immigrants, didn’t instill him with guidance about investing or saving. But what they did do was impart a set of values.
“I saw how hard my parents worked, and I wanted to take care of them,” Singh said in a TikTok last year. “So I went on my own quest to become financially educated.” After a good deal of trial and error (including countless pivots, opening and shuttering a business, and even getting scammed), Singh figured out his method of success (mainly real estate investing), and has made creating and spreading financial guidance his raison d’être. The Minority Mindset was born to teach others how not to make the same mistakes he made, centered on “thinking differently than the majority of people” about money.
Singh’s guidance—which he dispenses in spades on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram to over 2.5 million total subscribers and followers—is aimed at those without generational wealth or much prior financial knowledge to rely on. But becoming wealthy is surprisingly easy, Singh insists. In a recent interview with GOBankingRates, he outlined a three-step plan for anyone, in any financial situation, to build wealth.
Step one: Spend less than you make.
Spending all the money in your bank account—much less going into debt—all but guarantees you’ll never be able to rise above your station. This is where most Americans fail, he says. “Most Americans work to buy nice things like fast cars, nice vacations, and luxury clothes,” he told GOBankingRates. “But if you spend all your money, you will never become wealthy.”
That could be harder than it sounds. Lifestyle creep is a difficult-to-avoid part of climbing the social ladder. In order to keep pace with peers, people often end up in debt—or close to it—while attempting to spend in line with their salary. But living below one’s means is critical to building wealth, regardless of income.
Some easy ways to do that include moving money straight from your paycheck into your savings as soon as your paycheck hits, logging each of your purchases and bills as they come, and keeping a close eye on small, day-to-day charges that can add up rapidly.
Step two: Work to earn more money.
In other words, don’t get comfortable. Regardless of how frugal you are, there will always be a limit to how many expenses you can cut, Singh pointed out. But if you keep your nose to the grindstone, there’s no limit to how much money you can earn. That’s your sign to ask for a raise—even in this shaky economy.
“If you’re only making $40,000 a year, there [are] only so many costs you can cut before you’re truly just living a miserable life,” Vivian Tu, a Wall Street trader turned finance TikToker and self-made millionaire known as Your Rich BFF, told Fortune. “It’s a lot easier to job hop every two years and get a 25% raise, and then have that additional $10,000 when it’s in your salary, than it is to try and get there by cutting out every penny off of your Netflix subscription, off of that avocado toast, or that Starbucks.”
And if the salary negotiation falls flat, taking the time to read up on side hustles and maximizing earning power can be the gift that keeps giving. Lucrative side hustles like web programming, graphic designing, and data analysis can rake in over $50 an hour.
Step three: Invest what you don’t spend.
Investing is an imperative not just for building wealth, but for retirement. “Just like how you can’t get rich by spending all your money, you also won’t become wealthy by saving all your money,” Singh said. Where and how to invest varies widely based on income, debt, and expenses, but Singh broadly encourages stocks, rental properties, businesses, and one’s own education as lucrative areas.
Generally, experts recommend making routine investments—ideally of around 15% to 25%—of after-tax income. “If you need to start smaller and work your way up to that goal, that’s fine,” Mark Henry, founder and CEO of Alloy Wealth Management, told Fortune. “The important part is that you actually start.”
Wealth advisors to the super-rich—and even industry titans like Warren Buffett—confirm that investing isn’t just for people with bottomless resources. “I can say unequivocally that the best strategies for managing money are equally applicable to all levels of wealth,” Jonathan Shenkman, advisor at Shenkman Wealth Management, told Fortune.
A 2022 Harvard Business Review article encourages people who don’t come from generational wealth to make a mental shift by letting go of limiting beliefs before they touch their bank account.
“When you grow up lacking money or the resources to make enough of it, thinking that there is a shortage of resources, or watching people around you live paycheck to paycheck, you may be more likely to believe that wealth is reserved for a select few,” personal finance educator Anne-Lyse Wealth wrote. Overcoming this mindset calls for practicing “thought work,” or “consciously paying attention to your thoughts and choosing to entertain different ones instead.”
Diving into the world of finance and investing can sound daunting, Singh acknowledged, especially for those living paycheck to paycheck or without much wiggle room. But even so, he says, “you just have to get started!”
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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