Be A Millionaire Day - May 20
Show me the money!
Be A Millionaire Day - now that's my kind of holiday! If you are a millionaire, do you know that you can "officially" celebrate your good fortune every year on May 20? If you are not yet a millionaire, you can use this day to get inspired and reflect on ways you can make it happen.
Of course, "making it happen" is often a lot easier said than done. To me, money is a lot like love. The more desperate you are in your pursuit of it, the more it will elude you. Although I am no millionaire (at least not yet ☺), I think that becoming rich starts with adopting the right attitude about money and really getting a handle on whatever deep-seated beliefs you may have about it, especially if you feel at all intimidated by the subject. Below are 10 fun and productive ways to celebrate Be A Millionaire Day. But first, a background about this little-known holiday ...
Be A Millionaire Day - Background
Be A Millionaire Day (also known as National Millionaire's Day) is not some bogus holiday I just made up. It is an actual celebration that is observed each year on May 20. Exactly how and when it started is not clear, though. I wish I could tell you more about its history, but unfortunately, I could not find anything. However, if you Google "Be A Millionaire Day," you will find it mentioned on numerous money-related websites that also discuss ways you can turn your financial goals into reality.
This holiday was the main topic of a Fox News feature story from May 14, 2012 in which Alison Gilman Aquino, a financial adviser for Edwards Jones, is interviewed about ways you can reach the one million dollar milestone in your total net worth. Her tips are listed below. (Most of these you probably know already, but it never hurts to be reminded.)
- Put time on your side by investing "early and often."
- Pay yourself first whenever you receive your paycheck.
- Control your debts and spend less on things you don't really need.
- Take advantage of tax deferral by contributing to your retirement account before taxes.
- Reinvest your capital gains, dividends, and interest from your assets.
- Don't be too cautious when investing as taxes and inflation can really take a big bite.
- Think long term when it comes to your financial goals.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #1: Read "The Millionaire Next Door"
As it turns out, many millionaires, whether they have a job, own their own business, or are self-employed, gradually accrued their wealth the old-fashioned way, i.e., by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Although this method takes time (and of course, the less you are able to sock away each year, the longer it takes), it is the safest, surest, and most straightforward method and does not require much in the way of creativity or risk taking, only patience and the establishment of good money habits.
As this book shows, millionaires are not at all what you may think. Unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, they do not all go around flaunting their wealth by wearing huge diamond rings, living in bulbous mansions, or driving fancy cars. In fact, many millionaires are surprisingly frugal - which is one of the main reasons they became rich in the first place. This top-selling book puts forth seven rules you should observe if you aspire to join their ranks.
No matter how rich you may be, chances are pretty good that when it comes to money, there is never enough!
What would you do if you had more money?
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #2: Get Your Financial House In Order
Use this holiday as an opportunity to take that first step to getting your finances in order. Whether you are having problems making ends meet or just want to be able to add more to your savings account, one good start is to make a list of all the ways you can get rid of the fat in your spending.
Much has been written throughout history about money and the pursuit thereof, but no one had more to say about the subject as it relates to one's everyday life than Benjamin Franklin. A founding father, inventor, entrepreneur, and diplomat, he was a self-made man who was the true 18th century embodiment of today's "millionaire next door." Below are some of his most famous quotes related to money management, frugality, self-development, and personal productivity that have steered many people on the right path for centuries.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #3: Watch "Maxed Out"
Has your spending gotten out of control? You might want to think about cutting your credit cards in half (with scissors, that is).
Credit cards make it all too easy to buy a lot of cr@p we don't really need and cannot afford. This documentary is a revealing look at how credit card debt is hurting the average American and it will make you think twice before you whip out the plastic.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #4: Play Monopoly
What could be a more fitting celebration of Be A Millionaire Day than a game of Monopoly? Some people prefer Classic Coke, I prefer the Classic Monopoly board. When we were kids, we'd play until all hours and rarely ever finished a game.
There is nothing like a good old-fashioned game of Monopoly to celebrate Be A Millionaire Day. Over the years, there have been many different Monopoly board themes, but this is the classic version you know and love.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #5: Play "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"
"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" is a TV game show in which the contestants are awarded cash prizes for correctly answering a series of multiple-choice questions that become increasingly difficult as the game progresses. This show began in 1998 in Britain, and it was then introduced to the US in 1999 with Regis Philbin as the host. In 2000, the board game version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" was released by Pressman Toy Corp.
If Monopoly is not your cup of tea, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire will play up to 5 people, and it has enough questions and fake money to keep you busy all day. A DVD version of this board game is also available.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #6: Listen To Songs About Money
One of my favorite money-themed songs is the very catchy "It's Money That Matters" by Randy Newman (see video below).
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #7: Read "Think and Grow Rich"
You probably will not be able to get through this book in just one day (nor should you, as it needs to be fully digested to get the most out of it), but Be A Millionaire Day is the perfect time to take a first stab. First published in 1937, this time-tested classic is one book that millions who have actually grown rich swear by.
This inspirational classic is one of the best selling books of all time, and for good reason. "Think and Grow Rich" is not just about getting rich (although it is an important byproduct), but about personal development and Universal Law. I especially like his techniques for controlling your subconscious mind so that it serves you (rather than the other way around).
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #8: Read The Money Speech From "Atlas Shrugged"
Of all those who have ever written about money, Ayn Rand's views are, in my opinion, the most thought-provoking and, well, right on the money. In her groundbreaking novel, "Atlas Shrugged," Francisco d'Anconia provides an eloquent speech at Jim Taggart's wedding reception that truly gets at the heart of what money is (and isn't). Far from being "the root of all evil," money serves to keep immorality in check. As Mr. d'Anconia states in the following excerpt,
"So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
Mr. d'Anconia's speech on money can be read in its entirety right here.
You probably won't be able to finish this classic in just one day, but Be A Millionaire Day is the perfect time to get an introduction to "Atlas Shrugged" via the famous money speech. Of course, "Atlas Shrugged" is far more than just a book about money and business. It is a philosophical tour de force in the form of a brilliantly-crafted novel that will have you fully engaged from beginning to end.
Deep down, how do you really feel about money?
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #9: Read "Winning Through Intimidation"
Despite its title, this book is NOT about intimidating people and trying to bend them to your will. Rather, it arms you against those who would do the same to you.
Are you struggling to take your business (or life) to the next level? This pithy gem provides that one ingredient you may be missing, whether it is in your business or personal life, i.e., methods you can use to make sure your hands don't get chopped off the next time you try to reach for your chips.
Be A Millionaire Day Activity #10: Read "Rich Dad Poor Dad"
If you are looking to be financially independent (and who isn't?), this hugely popular book will steer you in the right direction.
The author of this best seller provides a thought-provoking look at the different teachings of his two "fathers," one his actual father, who was highly educated but living from paycheck to paycheck, and the father of his closest friend, a multimillionaire 8th grade dropout from whom he derived a more useful education about real life.