How to Think Like a Millionaire


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This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of

Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke; broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.” – Anonymous

While I’m nowhere near millionaire status, I am always inspired by the stories of ordinary people who manage to work their way into a wealthy lifestyle. Some of them are small business owners, others are company CEO’s, but the one thing they all have in common is the millionaire mindset when it comes to managing their money.

Real millionaires–the ones who have earned it through hard work and determination–don’t spend their money on unnecessary things. They drive average cars, wear average clothes, and look for deals sometimes more than the rest of us. They are rich, instead of just looking rich, and keep more of their money in the bank rather than squandering it on flashy material things that have no real value. They’re smart, intentional, and a huge example to those of us who live on a much smaller income!

But instead of being jealous or envious of their wealth, we need to adopt their mindset as our own, and learn what we can from their success. Because the reality is, if you can manage the money you have right now well, you’ll be in a much better position when you are blessed with more.

Changing the way you think is the first place to start. Here are five ways to start thinking like a millionaire:

Wright down your goal to keep yourself on target!

Have a Goal in Mind

Having a goal means you have motivation and meaning for your money. You’re not just saving because it’s the right thing to do — you’re saving for retirement, a newer car, a down payment on a house, or that trip you’ve always want to take. Millionaires have goals too, and this is what keeps them from spending frivolously on things that won’t help them get there.

I’m sure you’ve heard those horror stories of professional athletes who sign million-dollar contracts, then are somehow broke after they retire. It’s because they didn’t learn to manage their money well during their peak playing years, nor did they have a specific goal in mind for when they finished.


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Think about where you want to be in 20-30 years. Do you want to be out of debt? Fund a retirement account? Pay for your children’s college education? You need to have goals so every action that you take today, is one that brings you closer to them. 

We'd all like more hundred dollar bills in our wallet! Here's how to think like a millionaire.

Think Before You Spend

Thinking before you spend is critical to a millionaire mindset. Of course, there are plenty of celebrity millionaires who blow their fortunes on private jets, island mansions, and excessive weddings, but the true millionaires, the ones that manage their money well, are always thinking about the implication each purchase has on their overall finances.

When considering any purchase {big or small!}, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Can I borrow this item from someone else?
  • Can I find it for less elsewhere?

I have gotten myself into more trouble because I swiped a credit card without thinking, when I really should have done my homework and scouted out other alternatives first. Patience is key!

Don’t Be Wasteful

Always, always, always be thinking about how you can use old items in new ways. We throw away more food, more paper, and more perfectly usable items than necessary, and while I’m not advocating at all for clutter, you should consider if the item has any repurposing value at all before you toss it.

Here are some ideas:

  • Pair different pieces of clothing together to make new outfits
  • Shop from your pantry and bring new life to leftovers
  • Pass along older magazines to friends who might enjoy them
  • Turn shipping or shoe boxes into organizing containers for storage
  • Recycle junk envelopes and notecards into scrap paper
  • Give away items you don’t use anymore to a local thrift store {just make sure everything is in good condition!}

Smart millionaires are resourceful and “make do” with what they have, because they know that saving money on these seemingly smaller items, will allow them to spend their hard-earned dollars on more important things.

Successful people read books! So download an app, get out your Kindle, or read books on your tablet!

Never Stop Learning

Millionaires are always learning about something new — whether it’s how to manage their wealth or increase it. I honestly believe that when you stop learning, you stop living. Life should be an education in itself.

While you don’t have to immerse yourself in the latest investment manual {that sounds incredibly boring to me too!}, you should be learning about money fairly regularly, especially if you want to be smart with it.

Some of my favorite money saving blogs are:

If you’re looking to dive into a few books, here is what I would recommend you start with:

Kick up your feet, relax and plan a trip--you've earned it!

Believe in Your Success

Lastly, and probably the most important point to remember, is that millionaires believe they will be successful. It can take a long time to make {and save!} the money needed to establish an emergency fund, pay off all debt, fully fund a retirement account, and invest in other valuable assets, but it’s possible — for all of us.

Be confident in your financial situation, no matter how big or small. Find those opportunities to save, and focus on spending smart. Believe you will make it, then work hard on getting there!

These 5 steps might not launch you or I into a million bucks right away, but they will help us start acting like one. Because half the battle of being frugal is thinking like you are frugal. And frugal living is a lifestyle and a mindset more than anything else.


Kalyn Brooke is a life management expert for busy womenKalyn Brooke who crave a simpler and more organized life. Through her recognizable, down-to-earth approach, she provides a daily dose of inspiration and guidance, whether you’re looking for smart money tips, time saving routines, or anything in-between. When she’s not experimenting with ways to do even the most mundane tasks more efficiently, you can find her crafting detailed to-do lists in her bullet journal, or indulging in—yet another—personal development book. Meet Kalyn and learn how stay on top of it all at



  1. March 13 at 12:04PM

    This is so true! My grandpa was a millionaire and to his dying day he clipped coupons, drove an average car, and was always looking for new ways to learn about his money and how he could manage it better. It truly is a lifestyle and because of that choice on his part he and my grandma were able to afford nice things like cruises, without having to take out a loan for a vacation (never do that btw. terrible idea.). One more tip I would add to this is to seek out people who are further along on their journey to financial security and ask their advice. That is especially important if you’re going to invest in stocks or mutual funds, a good manager who can advise you on what to purchase and what not to purchase and WHY to do or not do those things is invaluable to making your money work for you as best it can.

    • Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings
      March 13 at 03:30PM

      I love that added tip, Lizz — we can learn so much from those who are much older and wiser {and have a lot more experience with money than we do!}

  2. March 13 at 03:09PM

    I’m loving this post! I’m starting my house hunt in a few months and right now i’m trying to save up all I can. I’ve hit a snag and so it used the money I had in savings so i’m starting from the ground up. It’s sad but I think i’ll be OK. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to pin it for my other savers.

  3. March 13 at 05:47PM

    Great ideas here – it is amazing how much more money I feel like I have now that I am paying attention to where it is going. My budget, envelope system, and telling my money where it will go each month has made such a huge difference – we got rid of all three of our school loans in one year and pay cash or use the debit card for everything now. Starting to think like a millionaire has me focused on paying our mortgage off in at the most 13 years (if not sooner). I only wish I had started to focus on budgets and money at an earlier age. I paid cash for the deductible to have my windshield replaced this morning (long story!) and boy did it feel good. Eating out as a treat every once in a while tastes so much better when we pay for it with cash!

  4. March 13 at 11:11PM

    love this post. i live on a farm and i think farmers tend to be savers by nature…it’s a great way to be…not clutter, but we never buy something new if something old can be fixed. i frequently trade clothes and accessories with friends and it’s a fun way to save money…everyone gets something ‘new’ and no one spends money. there are so many ways to be thrifty if you just think about it!

  5. March 14 at 09:10AM

    You are so right! We had a neighbor one time who was a millionaire, but drove a plain jain little truck, and dressed in overalls and mud boots. You never would have known he was wealthy. I never put two and two together then – I just assumed he was different than other millionaires, but no I realize that being wealthy isn’t so much about living extravagantly as being financially secure.

    Another book I would add to your list is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. stanley, and William D. Danko. It was the first really financially sound book I ever read, and completely changed my thinking!

    • I LOVE what you said about how being wealthy is not about living extravagantly. It’s so true! Thanks so much for the book rec — I’ve been wanting to read that one!

  6. March 14 at 07:27PM

    This is such a true story. Many people who cannot afford things they would like to have, make them just look wealthy. On the same time middle class looking people can really be millionaires. Very interesting story!

  7. Will
    March 15 at 02:26PM

    My father in law makes around 3 million a year but drives a used Impala and dresses ordinarily. If you just met him you would never know that he retired rich forty years ago

  8. March 19 at 10:06AM

    Great advice! I covered this topic on my blog in the post linked above from my name. I come from humble beginnings, and have made good financial choices in line with the advice you’ve given here and I’m less than 2 months away from paying off the second mortgage of my life, this time on a $500K property!

    I think building wealth is more about being a good steward of your resources than about a high salary.

  9. March 19 at 11:19AM

    I have some people in my life that are millionaires and they’ve come by that by lots and lots of good decisions to be frugal and wise with the money they had. These are great tips!

  10. There is always so much to learn! When I want that bigger, better house, posts like this bring me back to reality. Sure, we could afford it, but do we want to?!

  11. March 19 at 12:30PM

    Love this post. Great advice 🙂

  12. March 19 at 10:51PM

    These are some great ideas, I think as a culture we tend to spend way more than we need to in order to “better” our lives, when what we really need to do is scale back. I also agree a lot on thinking about what you are spending. I was at Walmart today for a few thins, and in the middle of the store I realized that three-quarters of the stuff I was getting could be purchased at the dollar store for even less than Walmart. The quality, would be just as good too. So I made a choice and left my cart at the store and headed out. I will be heading to the dollar store tomorrow (again, at my lunch hour, some kid free time and work free time during the day, the back to the office).

  13. March 20 at 02:03AM

    These are great tips! I just love your blog. I recently launched my own blog at, where we empower women to achieve financial independence while maintaining a fashionable lifestyle. We are already up and running and would love it if you checked us out sometime! Keep up the amazing work!
    XO, CGS Team

  14. March 20 at 10:05AM

    Great points Kayln. I’m believing in my success…I have to. That’s why I’m still plugging away. I like your shameless plug! LOL!

  15. March 21 at 12:57AM

    I’ve only just started being more resourceful and trying to think up new ways to use what I already have. Let me tell you, that has probably saved us at least $100 a month on groceries alone! I also completely agree that you must keep learning. If you think you know it all, you won’t make it far. Great advice!

  16. Angie A.
    March 22 at 08:10AM

    I am starting from zero at 55.
    Huge and unexpected life changes , new job, shady business partner/loss of business and bankruptcy have my head spinning. Just trying to stay in my tiny little house at this point. No money or credit rating left to move. I find myself asking ” How”?
    You can live on cash, I’ve done it and continue to do it. However, I will never be able to retire,not because I live extravagantly, but because I only have a finite number of years left to work. My budget leaves me 100 a month for anything other than shelter, trans, housing. Putting 9% into my 401K from a 36k annual salary wont allow me to survive , so I will work until I drop.
    Any advice on that?

    • Kelly
      March 30 at 02:33PM

      Good luck Angie. You are blessed to have an income producing job! I 54, am starting over as a single mom who now needs to find steady employment. I am usually the only one over 25 at the rare interview I get called for ( when they look at education amd experience instead of the dates). I don’t get jobs that I am more qualified for, able to handle, or even closer to than others. I am now taking a class called.Getting Ahead in a Getting By World, I have high hopes. I worry I will lose my home ( its paid for) and can’t even consider retirement …without any income or savings at this point. I fear for the future for me,and worry on my kids behalf for theirs. I wish you the best!

      • Kelly
        March 30 at 02:36PM

        Oops, sorry for the typos, using my tablet!

    • Angie, I can’t even begin to imagine the stress and worry you must feel — I’m so sorry you are going through this right now! Whenever I find that there’s nothing left in the budget to save, {even though we live as frugally as possible, like you}, that means I must try to bring in extra cash any way I can. I’ve do pet sitting jobs, sell some of my clutter, and try to earn rewards from sites like Ibotta, Swagbucks, etc to put more money in my pocket. It’s never a huge amount, but every little bit helps! Praying for you. <3

  17. March 22 at 07:28PM

    I absolutely LOVE this article!
    To me, it ultimately comes down to the first and last points, setting goals, and believing in your success!
    If you have a clear financial goal in mind, and you believe you can reach it, the rest will fall into place. Everything you do will have you thinking about your goal (if you truly believe in it), and you will make all the right decisions to help you get there!
    Positive thinking creates positive action, and you can’t go wrong with positive action;)

  18. January 22 at 03:11PM

    This is all so true. People assume to be wealthy you have to flash what you have and that’s not the case. Very nicely written post!

  19. March 22 at 10:04PM

    I’ve done it and continue to do it. However, I will never be able to retire,not because I live extravagantly

  20. May 12 at 10:33AM

    It is in reality a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Linn
    April 29 at 08:21PM

    It was a great idea and I really enjoy. It kind of motivate me how to behave like a millionaire. In the beginning, I didn’t have any goals and just a guy who will spend the valuable time by watching video. Fortunately and thank to god, now I know the truth of myself what I want to be, I want to be a millionaire. I have been looking ideas from expertise and books to brighten my future and this post also inspire me the mindset for being millionaire. Really thanks

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