Think like a millionaire

Let's face it. We all could use a little more cash.

While there are endless ways to get more money, I wondered why is it that some people always seem to have more. If you are like me I prefer the simple things in life. Nice things are nice but it is not everything. So I asked myself the question, what does money mean to me? Well, in my case it has everything to do with freedom and having choice. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of extra and my parents worked hard. I like nice things, but I would rather have freedom, so I became a saver. I know everyone thinks differently about money. I wondered…

So how does one think like a millionaire? 

Well, what I know for sure is I wouldn’t take money advice from someone without money. So I figured 
the best way to understand how a millionaire becomes a millionaire is to study people who are 
millionaires. How do they think? More importantly, what did they do to get there? 

After doing some light research¹ here is what I’ve learned.


  • Are frugal, and commit to consistently save more, spend less and they have discipline

  • Enjoy living below their means so they can save more

  • View spending above ones means, rather than saving for retirement, as being dependent on your paycheck even if you have an abundant one

  • Live in a home they can easily afford

  • Believe being frugal and living below their means allows them to save more of what they earn, and believe if you spend everything you earn you are no closer to freedom

  • Don’t require a budget forever – it can be good to have one up front, but once a spending plan is in place, self-discipline replaces the need for a budget. If they decide to save x they only spend y.

  • May take on a side hustle, keeping options open and or creating multiple streams of income

  • Invest in real estate where they have tax advantages and can leverage appreciation for other investments for more real estate

  • Prefer low cost index funds to invest, a strategy used by Warren Buffett.

  • Spend more time on researching investments, improving their financial literacy to take on risk

  • Spend more energy toward personal growth; read and exercise more and are thoughtful about where they devote their time and energy

  • Are more likely to study history, self-improvement and read about successful individuals

  • Sleep less, work more get up early to tackle top goals and are more self-directed in life

  • Think a lot and ask themselves questions to redirect efforts, such as “How can I make more money?” “Does this job make me happy?”

  • Don’t follow the crowd, they craft their own path

  • Ask for feedback to make sure they are on track and growing

  • Are resilient and persevere through the ‘nay sayers’ and setbacks

  • Seek counsel and have key relationships and mentors

  • Are consistent, take personal responsibility, have goals, work exceptionally hard and are conscientious.¹

So where do you fit in to this list? 

Even if some of these traits don’t apply to you, the one key piece that is vital for all of us to retire well is to spend less and save more – consistently over time. Remember, it is never too late to start thinking like a millionaire and start saving more. 

Related Items

¹, 17 things millionaires do differently from everyone else, Hillary Hoffower, updated December 27, 2020, 17 Things Millionaires Do Differently From Everyone Else ( , last accessed November 29, 2021 

This information is provided for educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. Neither Voya® nor its affiliated companies or representatives provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax advisor or attorney before making a tax-related investment/decision.