There are No Shortcuts to Wealth – What I Learnt When I Tried to Get Rich Quick


Written by Liz

Just your regular 27-year-old, queer, super-introverted, FIRE-chasing, frugal Singaporean, who lives a pretty good life while earning only a modest salary, but still plans to retire at age 40 with $1,000,000. Click here to read more

July 21, 2018

When I was 22, I was young, naïve, broke, and greedy. And I fell for a get-rich-quick scheme that swindled me of almost everything I had.

I saw an advertisement on binary options trading and was taken in immediately. I injected about $2,000 of my hard-earned money, thinking it would be great to make some easy cash. After losing many trades, I decided to cut my losses and pull out.

But my “broker” refused to let me withdraw whatever cash I had left in my account. In the end, he bled my investment account dry, and I was left out in the cold. (If you’re interested, you can click this link for the full scoop on what happened.)

A huge loss, for a broke young adult. But that was when I learnt one of the biggest lessons of my lifetime.


There are No Shortcuts to Wealth

Think about it. If options trading was as easy as they make it sound, would they want to share the secret to their success? Would they want more competition? Would they want someone else eating into their pie? Wouldn’t everyone be trading options to make easy money?

No, to every question above.

There is no such thing, as easy money. There is no such thing, as a quick way to get rich. There is no such thing, as a shortcut to becoming wealthy.

All those get-rich-quick schemes on the Internet? They’re all rubbish. Nobody’s going to share their success with you. Nobody’s going to want more competition.

And sure, maybe the people behind those schemes are rich. But that’s only because they prey on people who are not. They take advantage of the greed of imperfect, fallible human beings.

Like me, and like you.


The Best Way to Acquire Wealth

So, how do you acquire wealth?

You work. You get through the daily grind. After your pay-check comes in, you sacrifice luxuries. You live simply. You save a huge chunk of your income by throwing it into low-cost index funds.

Month after month, year after year, you watch your money grow. Your dollars turn into hundreds. Hundreds turn into thousands. Thousands turn into ten thousands.

You wait patiently, as compound interest does its magic over the years.

That’s the best way to acquire wealth.

Not the easiest way. Not the quickest way.

But the best way, to acquire wealth.

Except… It’s not sexy.

Nobody wants to listen to preachings about working hard, and saving hard. Nobody wants to be told that they should work a 9-to-5 cubicle job, be a little miserable, but earn a decent pay-check. Nobody wants to be told that they should give up their awesome house and fancy car. Nobody wants to be told that they should live a simple down-to-earth lifestyle.

But everyone wants to be sold dreams of making easy money. Fantasies of working from home while making a pretty penny. The belief that they could one day own their own private jet.

Everyone wants to jump on the chance of an impossibility. Everyone wants to believe that they have that one-in-a-billion opportunity.

Which is why people go to casinos. Why people risk the odds of the lottery. And why people bet their life savings on a stock they hope will explode through the roof in the future.

Sure, one in a billion people will have their chance at becoming wealthy by pure luck. But what about the rest of us? We return home with our tails between our legs.

Because there are no shortcuts to wealth.


My Story of Rags to Riches

After I got scammed of every cent I had, I decided to find proper work. I started tutoring students for $15 an hour, which eventually turned into $25 an hour. I flipped items online for profit, making about $300 a month. I even sold off about $3,000 of useless crap lying around my room.

After graduation, I found a full-time job that paid me $2,800 a month. I slowed down my side hustling, but still tutor students for $25 an hour. That, coupled with monthly interest from my bank account, allows me to save anywhere between $2,500 to $2,800 a month.

On top of that, I get twice-yearly bonuses. I fully intend to save every dollar of that bonus, which brings my savings to $35,000 to $40,000 a year.

Is it easy? No, no it’s not.

I work a full-time 9-to-6 job, plugging away at my cubicle for 45 hours a week. I tutor students for extra income on some weekdays, and on the weekends as well. I dedicate my entire Saturday and half my Sunday to writing as many blog posts as possible. I invest my effort, time and money into developing viable income streams. I hustle, every single day of my life.

That’s not all.

I track every single cent in and out of my bank account (I kid you not, I know what’s in my bank account, down to the very cent). I choose to forego every luxury I can think of – no house, no car, no restaurants, no cafes, no clubs, no bars, no alcohol. Anything that costs more than $20, I would agonize over.

But I’ve already amassed a six-figure net worth, at the age of 25.

You know how I could accumulate all the money that I have?

Because I no longer dream about getting rich quick. Because I no longer fantasize about finding an avenue where I can make easy money.

Because I know that every cent was painstakingly earned. Because I get that every dollar was exchanged for blood, sweat, or tears.

And because I understand that there are no shortcuts to wealth.


To building wealth slowly and steadily,


Become a Millionaire and Retire Early on a Modest Salary Book Cover

You May Also Like…


  1. 5am Joel

    You’ve got a great attitude. There’s no substitute for working hard. 35k-40k annual savings is no joke. Congrats! This amount + consistent hard work will pay off big time in the future. Keep it up! Your future self deserves it.

    • Liz @ Splurging on Freedom

      Yes, I totally agree, Joel! Hard work is the main ingredient to success in every facet of our lives. Thanks so much for the encouragement, and I sure hope it’ll pay off in the future too!