Previously, I have discussed the importance of patience in becoming a millionaire. As a self-made millionaire couple (granted our student debt was small because of scholarships and cost of college being a lot low in prior to 2000s), our wealth has been a result of simply investing each year the money that we had left over after saving, for example, by cooking nearly all our meals at home.
So, what does discipline have to do with it?
If you are wondering that, the answer is that based on my conversations with friends and family members who are not millionaires and some of them have actually had higher total incomes during the two decades that it has taken us to become millionaires, my understanding is that they always have an excuse for spending. The car is too small for their family, they need a bigger house because of having another kid, they need a new grill/TV/phone/handbag, etc. Saving is the last item on their list, taking care of their needs and wishes is a higher priority.
As a result, something always comes up and they end up spending the money that should have gone to their investment account. If you want to know our secret, in order to take advantage of tax free investment options like 401(K) and IRA, we simply told ourselves that this money never belonged to us. If there was a need or a want and we could not fund it from our regular pool of money, we just waited.
I can totally understand things that are beyond your control, for example, a health emergency for which you had to come up with that $3,000 deductible, but I know people who blow their budget because they take an expensive vacation or throw away their perfectly find TV because they want even a bigger set.
Folks, if you do not have the discipline to save and make those sacrifices, let me tell you that you will never get off that treadmill. You will work your whole life simply to pay your bills and at the end of it all, you will have nothing more left than to rely on the modest social security payments.