How Can I Be Rich? Retraining Your Mind to Think Like a Capitalist

The following post is a contribution from, a blog that is all about figuring out how to make your money work for you so that you can spend your time the way you want.

gold coinsWhen it comes to personal finance, one of the most common frustrations I hear people express is “how can I be rich?”  When you live paycheck-to-paycheck or are swimming in debt, how are you supposed to stash any money?  Or more importantly, even if you are able to save some money, what are you supposed to do with it once you finally have it?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what it means to actually “be rich”?  Is wealth measured by how much money you have in the bank or by the size of the paycheck you bring home?

Or does it have more to do with something else.  Can you be rich by simply handling your money just a little bit differently than you are now?

In my opinion, YES, of course you can.  Becoming rich is all about what you do with your money to make it work as hard as it can for YOU.

The Mentality of a Capitalist:

One of my favorite quotes about money comes from the book “Your Money Ratios” by Charles Farrell.  Within the Introduction, he gives the reader a great mantra to live by:

“All decisions you make should help move you from being a laborer to being a capitalist (p. 11)”

Farrell defines being a “laborer” as being someone who works for money and a “capitalist” as being someone who makes their money work for them.

Read that quote twice and let it sink in.  Which one would you rather be?

But yet we tell ourselves the same old excuses:

  • My job doesn’t pay enough
  • The bills are too high
  • There’s no way I can save for retirement
  • I’ll start later …

When you make excuses, YOU keep yourself from being a capitalist.  Not your job.  Not your bills.  YOU.  Believe it or not, you are in control of your own decisions, and what you choose do with your money is up to you.

Becoming rich is not a question of how, it’s a question of how badly you want to do it.

How Can I Be Rich Also?

If you accept that building wealth and becoming a capitalist is your choice, then you’re off to a good start.  But you will need to go beyond simply restraining yourself from making needless purchases and being extremely frugal.  This means that you will need to open your eyes and start looking for things to buy that will make you more money.

Where might you ask?  How about instead of buying the latest Apple product, why not buy Apple stock?  The Apple product is certain to decrease in value and be sold on eBay in a few years for a fraction of the cost.  The stock however gives you the opportunity to own a piece of one of the top companies in the world.  So which one sounds better to you?

Sometimes being a capitalist means simply being financially educated.  For example, knowing the ins and outs between an IRA vs 401k (or RRSP for my Canadian friends) can result in you leveraging them to their maximum benefit.  Consider:

  • Instead of stuffing $10,000 away in your regular savings account every year for the next 30 years and collecting almost nothing in interest, why not harness the power of compound interest and grow that $300,000 into a potential $1,132,832 (assuming an 8% annual return).  That’s 3.8 times more!
  • Instead of waiting a few years to start a Roth IRA, start one now!  Suppose you got a 10 year late start.  If you were able to reach the maximum contribution of $5,500 per year and achieve an 8% annual return, that’s a difference of $623,058 (30 years) as opposed to $251,691 (20 years) if you had waited.
  • Instead of waiting to receive the maximum 401k matching contribution from your employer, you need to jump all over than opportunity right from the start.  Assuming your employer pays 2% on your salary of $60,000, that could potentially result in an extra $135,940 by the end of 30 years (assuming an 8% return).

And finally, being a capitalist means going above and beyond to do what others are not willing to do.   You could take advantage of any one of the passive income ideas that are out there and start making money on the side while you keep your day job and work.   This means making money from a blog, rental income, eProduct, dividend stocks, freelancing, or even your hobby.  The choice is yours how you want to do it.  Click on the link to my page and pick one that you think will work the best for you.

It Starts With You:

Each of us is entitled to rich in our own way.  There are many free tips and tools out there at our disposal.  But the push needs to come from you.  There is no one out there than cares about your money the way you do.  I can never stress this enough.

Don’t wait around for someone else to tell you how or what to do.  Look for the answer, listen to the advice, and decide for yourself if what you’re hearing is right for you.  You’ll run into a few challenges and you’ll run into a few dead ends.  But don’t ever let a bump in the road stop you.  As long as you never stop asking yourself how can I be rich, then you’ll always have the fuel you need to get to where you want to go!

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?


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  1. Great post! And I totally agree that we all need to redefine “rich.” The rich that I am aiming for isn’t sitting on a tachy eating caviar, it’s just financial freedom which looks totally different than that!

    • As long as you can survive on your own without employment income, then you are the definition of rich and wealthy. I’m also trying to redefine what it means to achieve this and work towards it little by little.

  2. absolutely. being rich means totally different things for various people. For me it`s about having enough money that would secure me financially, and being able to travel.

    • I love how much travel plays into most people’s definition of being rich. When I was on a business trip in SC, I saw a man and woman in their 40’s just kind of hanging out on their balcony in the morning drinking coffee, smiling, and not looking like they had anywhere in particular. It’s one of those mental snapshots I have of what it must mean to be wealthy enough to travel and have no worries.

  3. Different people definitely have different meanings for the word rich. I’m still trying to figure that out for myself.

  4. All the YES in the universe to this. We want to be rich!!! It’s taking us longer than most, but we are letting go of our past attitudes toward work and money. Thanks for the magnificent reminder that will keep us on track.

    • It’s quite a process re-training yourself to think differently about work and how you can leverage money for your benefit. But it can also be very liberating once you start seeing results from your efforts. You realize that this whole thing really does work and that its only just a matter of time so long as we stay on track.

  5. Yeap, you have to retrain yourself to become an investor. We all starts off as consumers, but if you don’t become investors, you’ll be stuck in the consumer spending cycle. Unfortunately, most kids aren’t educated about finance so they keep repeating their parents’ mistakes.

    • I once read that every time someone spends money, another person earns it. It’s not enough to just say I’m going to stop spending my money and be less of a consumerist. If you don’t take advantage of the other side of the fence and become an investor, you miss out on a world of opportunity that few people know exists.

  6. I think it is important to put your money to work. That’s why I invest in peer-to-peer lending in addition to my 401K and IRA. It’s a much better reward than a savings account even with the rare charge-off.

    • P2P is a great way to diversify your assets. I’d imagine it is somewhat Recession proof. When times are tough, more and more people will probably turn to P2P when they can’t get regular loans. Again, one person spends, another person earns!

  7. I agree, to me rich isn’t driving a Rolls Royce or eating at some luxurious restaurant. Rather I define rich as have your debts paid in full, money in the bank, and able to have complete freedom of your time and do as you please.

    Also I think mindset plays a big roll in whether you become rich or not. If all you do is tell yourself that you will never have any money at that you will be broke all the time and that you will never go any further in life it’s because that is the reality you accept.

  8. Absolutely true about taking emotional aspects out of the equation, briefly. You focus on all the right issues here.

  9. You’re all over the internet this week! 🙂 used to see myself JUST as a video editor, but now I think of myself more as an entrepreneur, which make me income potential limitless if I work towards it. Just that shift in mindset is helpful to make more money.

  10. Rich to me is financial independence. Or as some call it F* U money 🙂 Investing early and taking advantage of compounding interest is definitely the best path to becoming rich for the average folk. Getting a side hustle is an awesome catalyst to getting you there quicker 🙂

  11. It takes a lot of work to be rich, and definitely moving from laborer to capitalist is a key idea. Instead of thinking about increasing your maximum hourly wage, you want to find to make money all the time without working on just one task. Owning a business and owning real estate are the main ways most people get rich. There are many paths to wealth, but those are often the most straightforward ways to it.


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