IT is possible for minimum wage earners to become a millionaire. That's if they remain conscious of their spending habits, prioritize savings over expenses, and learn the game of diversified investments, a financial blogger and self-made millionaire said.
Tyrone Charles Solee, author of the blog millionaireacts.com, said that unlike most, he did not earn his first million by starting his own business. Instead, his journey to financial freedom began when he started saving at the age of 21, when he had his first job after graduation.
Solee practiced delayed gratification. Instead of spending his salary each payday, he chose to set aside money for savings first and spent what was left until the next payday. He learned financial literacy and started investing in bond funds.
Solee earned his first million when he was 26 years old, after four years and seven months of employment.
The journey to earning his first million, though, wasn't a walk in a park. "Tinipid ko talaga ang sarili ko (I tried hard to economize)," he said, recalling the times he refrained from buying new clothes, declining invitations to dine with friends, and refraining from riding taxis.
"I realized my dream to become a millionaire by living below my means, by being frugal and investing in investment products like unit investment trust funds (UITFs)," said Solee, who was one of the invited speakers during Grand Land Inc.'s forum over the weekend. He gave a talk about "The Mind of a Millionaire and What It Takes To Become One" before a Cebuano crowd.
Solee said to be a millionaire isn't only for people who are already born rich, but also individuals whose mindsets are geared toward attaining financial freedom.
"Even minimum wage earners can become millionaires," said Solee. He said that one has to either look for another job that pays higher than the current one and religiously adopt the strategies in growing money in investments and savings, or stay in the current job but continuously look for other income streams and adopt the same strategies.
Networking with like-minded individuals is also beneficial because, according to Solee, it helps one stay motivated and focused in achieving one's goals.
What hinders young professionals from attaining financial freedom are social pressures and the so-called income trap.
"We understand the value of financial freedom. However, we become weak when it comes to social pressures. We easily gave in and the last thing we know, we have already spent more than what we should. On the other hand, we become victims of income trap. When we see an increase in our income, we also increase our lifestyle. The key here is to earn more but desire less," said Solee.
Although there were things he sacrificed in his journey to financial freedom, Solee said he did not have any regrets in terms of finances because all his sacrifices have already paid off.
"It is just that I chose the 'pay now so I can enjoy later' rather than the 'enjoy now but pay later' principle," he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 10, 2015.
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