Our culture is obsessed with money. We want to get rich overnight. We want to press the easy button and see nine zeros show up in our bank account. We want the wealth, but we don’t want to put in the hard work and sacrifice it takes to get there.
So, if you’re wondering how to get rich quick, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you’re looking for the quickest right way to get rich . . . grab some coffee and settle in. We’re about to show you how to get from where you now are to where you want to be (with zeros on the end).
Is It Possible to Get Rich Quick?
Absolutely—and there are a million wrong ways to do it. Proverbs 13:11 (ESV) tells us, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
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Dave Ramsey got rich quick. When he was in his twenties, he bought into nothing-down real estate. And he made his first million not too long after. But his financial success was nothing but a house of cards. Because it was all built on debt. The banks called his loans and it all fell down around him—sending him straight to bankruptcy.
Of course, Dave isn’t the only one who learned this lesson the hard way. People do a lot of dumb stuff trying to figure out how to get rich quick. Remember the Beanie Baby craze? Yeah—people collected those as an investment. Yikes. What about the lottery? Americans spend billions of dollars on lottery tickets every single year just to go home empty-handed (and even more broke).
Listen: Getting rich quick doesn’t work 99% of the time. Sure, you’ll occasionally see someone strike it rich. But like a gold strike, it’s super rare. If you want to build real wealth, you have to stop being in such a hurry to get rich. You have decide to be the tortoise instead of the hare—because slow and steady wins the race every time.
And that’s exactly what Dave did. His story didn’t end with him broke and broken. He decided to swear off debt for good and rebuilt his life using the Baby Steps we all know and love today. He paid off debt, saved and eventually became a millionaire again—the right way. Dave Ramsey is a Baby Steps Millionaire, and we’ll show you how you can be one too.
Now, let’s bust some popular myths floating around out there about wealth and how to get rich quick.
Myth #1: Wealthy people make risky investments.
When Ramsey Solutions surveyed over 10,000 millionaires for The National Study of Millionaires, we found that almost 80% of them built a huge chunk of their wealth through their employer-sponsored retirement plan.1 That’s right! The average, everyday millionaire doesn’t make risky investments. They put their money in investments that have a steady track record of growth over time.
Myth #2: Wealthy people take dumb risks to get rich quick.
When you put all your money in flashy money trends (like crypto and NFTs), you’re likely to lose it just as fast as you got it. The same goes for single stocks! Not a single millionaire in our study said investing in single stocks was their top wealth-building tool.2
Sorry to break it to you, but building wealth (the right way) is boring. Really boring. It’s not flashy or wild. It’s not a rollercoaster. Building wealth takes time—especially when you’re investing the right way.
Myth #3: Wealthy people have high-paying jobs.
You might assume that millionaires are doctors, CEOs or even bankers. But in The National Study of Millionaires, we found that the top five careers were engineers, accountants, teachers, management and attorneys.3 And when it comes to their salaries, 93% of millionaires gained their wealth by working hard . . . not because they had big salaries.4 In fact, one-third of millionaires we surveyed never made six figures in a single working year of their career.5 Now that’s impressive, right?
Myth #4: Wealthy people inherited all their money (or just got lucky).
Wrong again! Here’s the truth: 79% of U.S. millionaires did not receive an inheritance from their parents or other family members.6 Isn’t it great to know that the majority of millionaires really did work for their wealth (and made their wealth work for them). They didn’t wait for a rich uncle to come riding in on a white horse with a million-dollar check. They rolled up their sleeves and got to work! That means the average person really can work hard and win with money (that’s you!).
The Quickest (Right Way) to Get Rich
The right way to get rich quick is to get rich slow. How slow is slow? Folks who follow the 7 Baby Steps built their wealth in about 20 years. Not as bad as you thought, right?
The thing is, those Baby Steps that Dave Ramsey followed to get out of debt and build wealth actually work (but we always knew that). And Dave isn’t the only one who became a millionaire with the Baby Steps.
There’s a large and growing group of people out there who have followed the Baby Steps all the way to millionaire status. We call them Baby Steps Millionaires. And get this: They did it in 12–17 years (or less!) from the time they started investing.
In Dave’s new book, Baby Steps Millionaires, he shares that it usually takes Baby Steppers two and a half to three years to finish Baby Steps 1–3. Then it takes another 17 years or so to finish steps 4–6—and reach millionaire status.
So, are you ready to become a Baby Steps Millionaire too? Let’s do this!
Start With the Baby Steps
The first three Baby Steps focus on getting out of debt and making sure you have a solid emergency fund for when Murphy comes to visit—and he always does. Work these steps one at a time with focused intensity. Once you knock out one step, you can move on to the next! But here’s the common thread holding each Baby Step together: a zero-based budget.
Here’s a quick overview:
Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 for your starter emergency fund.
Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt (except the house) using the debt snowball.
Baby Step 3: Save 3–6 months of expenses in a fully funded emergency fund.
This is where it starts to get really good. Baby Steps 4–7 focus on investing, building wealth, and giving generously. These steps are where your money invested over time (and continued hard work) will pay off down the road. And the beautiful part is that you can do these steps at the same time!
Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income in retirement.
This is where you get to start investing for your future. And we’re not talking about another get-rich-quick scheme. We’re talking about investing 15% of your income in growth stock mutual funds that have a proven track record of growth over time. Yup—we told you. It’s not flashy. But this type of steady investing will be what grows your wealth over the next few decades. (Slow and steady wins the race, remember?)
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Baby Step 5: Save for your children’s college fund.
If you’ve paid off all your debts except the house and are rolling on your retirement investing plan, it’s time to start saving for your kids’ college. We recommend a 529 college savings plan or an Education Savings Account (ESA). Your kids may not go to college, or they may even decide to do a trade school. Either way, if your goal is to set them up for success later, starting now is the best thing you can do.
Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early.
Now that you’re investing and saving, it’s time to pay off the house. And when you do, it’s going to feel really, really good. Think about it: You won’t have a mortgage payment for the rest of your life. When you pay that last payment, you’re completely debt-free. Did you hear that? You’re debt-free!
Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give.
This is where all your hard work pays off. You’re debt-free. You don’t have to make a single payment to anyone because you own everything you have. You’re continuing to invest, and your investments are growing with time. Now you get to have fun. You get to be generous with what you have. You get to leave an inheritance for your kids (and their kids). You get to leave a legacy for generations to come. Now that feels good.
How Anybody Can Get Rich
Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Anyone can build wealth. Yup—even you. With patience, focused intensity, and hard work, you too can become a millionaire. It all starts with you—the person in the mirror.
John and Maddi are Baby Steps Millionaires. After getting married and finding out Maddi had spent $20,000 on credit cards in John’s name, they were headed down the road to divorce. But with counseling and a good hard look at the person in the mirror, Maddi decided she needed to change. John and Maddi committed themselves to the Baby Steps. And today, not only are they debt-free, they’re Baby Steps Millionaires.
You can become a millionaire from absolutely nothing. If you’re thousands or even hundreds of thousands in debt, you can still turn it around . . . all the way to becoming a millionaire.
So, instead of trying to get rich quick, try changing your mindset to the quickest right way to get rich. Your journey with money doesn’t end when you’ve paid off those credit cards. That’s just the beginning. Pick up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s new book, Baby Steps Millionaires, to find out how you can become a Baby Steps Millionaire too.