If you have any debt besides your mortgage and/or if you don't have at least 3 months of living costs in an emergency fund, focus on taking care of that first. When you are ready to focus on building wealth (even with a modest salary), here are 4 things to think about.
1. Be super organized
Know your numbers inside out: how much you own, owe and spend (and on what) each month. This means tracking your spending, maintaining a budget, allocating and tweaking your money continuously. Camping vacation next year? under control - budgeted and money saved a little each month. Valentines day dinner out in four months? Yup, budgeted and saved up for. It is completely possible for someone who is not at all organized to become it, if you have enough motivation (and some simple tools) to do it.
2. Be super frugal
There is no wealth without sacrifice. The funny thing is that the sacrifice many times merges into its own reward. Like feeling awesome about geeking out with your numbers and budget. Or loving your low-cost vacations just as much as something more expensive. Or enjoying a home-cooked meal with your loved ones just as much as going out to a restaurant. Your mindset matters and it creates a rich life in every sense of the word. Focus on, and spend a little on the things that matter to you and save ruthlessly on everything else.
3. Focus on your health
Wealth without health is simply not worth it. Make sure to eat well (yes, pay for good vegetables and protein), get enough sleep and regular (free) exercise. This makes you more happy, confident and also lowers costs for medical care later in life.
4. Invest by starting small and learn all the time
Investing is an amazing way to have your money working for you instead of the other way around. Whatever you can save and invest from the difference between your income and expenses, is such a powerful tool to build wealth.
This is a huge topic but there are some investments that are surprisingly easy to start with. For the stock market: make sure to avoid the risks that make you loose money and don't invest money that you don't need within 10 years. For more info about this type of investing strategy (diversified buy and hold), check out the principles of bogleheads.
For real estate: Make sure you are not over-leveraged (on a portfolio level), fully understand the numbers behind your investments (e.g. cash-flow positive, LTV ratio etc.). Check out the "bigger pockets" podcasts to learn about real estate investing. To invest in real estate with small amounts, you can look into and learn more about REITS - Real Estate Investment Trusts.
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