Many people want to be rich, but few of us actually consider ourselves wealthy. Whether you're working for minimum wage or even if you have a prestigious job on Wall Street, there's probably a big gap between your financial status and your financial aspirations.
What can you do to close it? For one thing, maybe you need to stop holding yourself back. Here are 10 reasons you're probably keeping yourself from getting rich.
1. You're trusting the wrong investment pros
So, you think you're being smart with your money and are investing it, but you're nowhere close to being rich? If you're largely leaving your investment decisions to someone else, you could have a problem.
Do you really know what they're doing with your money? It's not necessary for you to become an expert on the stock market, but you also shouldn't take a totally hands-off approach to your investing.
Investment firms want to make money for themselves, so be alert and advocate for yourself. And, consider using a low-cost, automated investment service like Wealthsimple.
2. You have an attitude about wealth
Rich people are often depicted as greedy, selfish exploiters in movies and TV shows, like HBO's Succession. If you've seen a lot of that stuff, you may be afraid of getting rich, because of what it might turn you into.
In reality, many of the wealthy were just like you at one time, but they started a business or made an invention — and things took off.
Rich people are often normal people who took advantage of opportunities. You shouldn't think that having money is a crime.
3. You waste a ton of money
Some people earn enough to make them rich, but they don't reap the benefits of the lifestyle because they fritter their income away.
If your expenses typically leave you with almost no money at the end of the month, you need to take a serious look at your spending habits.
Treating yourself to good times and everything your heart desires can get costly very fast. Set a budget and stick to it.
4. Your mindset is all wrong
Some people subconsciously feel they deserve to be poor. These feelings can be linked to growing up with less than others, in a family that had to make a lot of sacrifices.
But being rich in adulthood comes from working harder and smarter. That's something anyone can do.
Though wealth can let you buy exclusive things, being rich is not a VIP club. Don't sabotage yourself with negative self-doubt. Believe in you.
5. Your networking stinks
People who aren't rich won't be able to give you good advice on how to get that way. They might even hold you back.
If you want to get ahead, cultivate meaningful personal and professional relationships with people who have influence. Go to networking events and join professional organizations.
Put yourself in places where wealthy, influential people are your peers, and interact with them.
6. Savings? What savings?
Stuff happens, and a big expense can come along out of the blue at any time. You might find yourself blindsided by a big medical bill, or bang up your car and need to pay a large auto insurance deductible out of your own pocket.
Most people don't have emergency savings to cover a financial setback.
If you're in that group, it's no wonder you're not building wealth. You're probably building up debt instead. But if you have decent savings, you'll be able to weather whatever rainy day comes along.
Start saving and calculate how much you need to save each month to reach your goal.
7. You're a penny pincher
But don't get too carried away with saving money, because that can keep you from becoming rich. When you just squirrel away cash in a savings account — or under a floorboard — you're not giving the money a chance to grow.
If you're serious about reaching your financial goals, learn from other people who have gotten to where you want to be. Rich people aren't afraid to let go of some of their money and put it to work.
Start investing so your savings will do more than build up cobwebs. As a MoneyWise reader, get $10,000 managed for free for one year when you sign up for your first Wealthsimple account. Sign up now to take advantage of this special offer.
8. You think long hours is all it takes
Your job probably isn't going to make you rich, no matter how long you stay at your computer or workstation. There are limits to how much you're going to make working for someone else.
Few millionaires achieved that status by logging 80 hours a week for some company. If a person could get rich merely by working more, we'd have far more rich people in the world.
Investment and innovation are the keys to being rich.
9. You like to keep up with the Joneses
If your goal is to be wealthy, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to look the part before you can afford that.
It's better to wait until you're really and truly rich to buy the flashy cars, hottest clothing and fancy home. Make these sorts of luxury purchases too early, and you'll go broke.
Your efforts to work, save and invest will be for naught if you deplete your assets by spending too much too fast.
10. You're waiting for your big break
Sometimes big breaks do happen, but being rich isn't about opportunity falling into your lap. It's about charting your own path and making your own opportunities.
If you think you're going to be rich someday because you'll win the lottery, be discovered by a modeling agency or correctly pick which stock will be the next Apple, you could be waiting forever.
Don't rely on luck. Make your big break happen on your own terms.