There are only two ways to become rich: Make more. Spend less.
I am 27 years old, and one habit in particular I notice the vast majority of society (but specifically starting with 20-somethings) nurtures is the habit of making more to spend more.
As my father would say, "Expenses rise to meet income."
Here's a typical 20-something scenario, fresh out of college:
- Graduate and immediately try to land the highest paying job possible, or the one with the most immediate upward mobility (forget any sort of investing in a lower paying position in order to learn things for a longer term payoff).
- Receive first promotion within a year, immediately upgrade apartment.
- Receive second promotion year 2, buy a sports car.
- Receive third (big) promotion year 3, buy a ring you can't really afford for that "special someone," maybe even throw down a mortgage on a house.
- No more promotions for a while. Salary ceiling becomes fixed. Meanwhile, habit for spending has already been established.
- Etc. for the rest of life.