13 Useless Ways You’re Trying to Get Rich

It is possible to increase your wealth slowly, but trying to get rich quickly might actually cost you money.
Updated April 11, 2024
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If getting rich was easy, everyone would be wealthy. However, if you are willing to work at it and take your time, you might be able to build a substantial nest egg over years and decades of saving.

Trying to get rich fast can be more difficult. For many people, real wealth is built over a long period and requires a series of smart financial decisions. Trying to get rich quickly can be riskier — and the odds of succeeding may be long.

If you are hoping to boost your bank account, it might be wise to steer clear of placing your hopes on the following ways to try to get rich.

Buying lottery tickets

mehaniq41/Adobe young man holding lottery tickets in hand

Buying a lottery ticket is usually a waste of money. Your chance of winning a large amount of money is slim.

People generally spend more on lottery tickets than they ever make back. Odds are that rather than getting rich, you will simply make the lottery itself even richer.

Investing in meme stocks

Tada Images/Adobe apps in meme stock folder on iphone

Meme stocks are investments that quickly jump in popularity after getting a lot of attention from groups online. Prices for these stocks can be based more on internet popularity than fundamentals.

In short, investing in meme stocks requires a tolerance for risk, and there is no way to be sure it will pay off.

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Finding high-value items at garage sales

pressmaster/Adobe clothes and old suitcases at garage sale

Sometimes, people unknowingly sell a valuable antique or similar item for next to nothing at a garage sale. However, it’s not an everyday occurrence.

With easy access to the internet and appraisals, most people know their item is worth more than $1. So, hunting garage sales in hopes of getting rich might not be the best use of your time.

Betting on sports

Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe man using smartphone and laptop to bet on online sports

Betting on sports has never been easier: You can make bets directly from your phone in the comfort of your living room. Some sports betting apps might even offer a free first bet.

But gambling typically is not a great investment strategy. So, you might want to put your money in other places.

Pro tip: Finding ways to trim your expenses — such as searching for more affordable car insurance — can help you save more cash so that you build wealth over time.

Buying penny stocks

hasbisahin/Adobe graph showing decrease in the value of fft coins on smartphone

New investors often find the low prices of penny stocks appealing, but these are among the riskiest types of stocks.

While it’s possible to invest a few hundred dollars and make back thousands, there is also a chance you could lose all your money.

Betting on cryptocurrency

Chinnapong/Adobe cryptocurrency on top of tablet with binance trading app running

Cryptocurrency has made some people rich, but others have not done nearly as well.

Over the past year or so, the value of Bitcoin has plummeted, a reminder that investing in cryptocurrency can be risky.

Flipping houses

JackF/Adobe woman holding papers stressed during home renovation

While you can make money from flipping houses, it can also be a risky business venture for some people.

For example, contractors can run into unforeseen problems, and you could wind up paying much more to flip the house than you expected.

In addition, home inspections don’t always catch every issue, and property valuations are not always correct.

Investing in art and collectibles

Antonio Diaz/Adobe man looking at beautiful paintings in art gallery

It is nice to enjoy art and collectibles, but they don’t always make the best investments.

To invest successfully, you need a thorough understanding of each piece’s market value and authenticity. The art and collectibles market sometimes attracts scammers selling reproductions or fakes.

Even if you do purchase an authentic piece for a great price, you need to find a buyer who will pay the right price. This can take a lot of time, and you might never find the perfect buyer.

Day trading

AntonioDiaz/Adobe young broker sitting in office trading stocks

Day trading can be risky. Many traders find it difficult to form an effective trading strategy.

Fears, desires, and impulsive actions can result in poor trading decisions that cost you more money than you make.

Publishing with a vanity press

makasana photo/Adobe man checking new books from a package

If you have written a book and hope to make the best-seller’s list, you might resort to a vanity publisher. This type of publisher charges you to publish your book and then keeps a percentage of the royalties.

It is possible to make money when going this route, but it’s not easy to do.

Investing in timeshares

Cheryl Casey/Adobe colorful tropical townhomes with white balconies and grey rooftops

Investing in timeshares can result in you losing money. They often come with extra costs and have a reputation for being difficult to sell.

In fact, you might have a difficult time selling your timeshare for the price you paid for it.

Investing in a startup

mavoimages/Adobe three young employees working on laptop together in office

Investing in a startup company isn’t always a bad idea, but do your research and evaluate how likely your investment is to see a return.

No matter how much research you do, however, it’s difficult to tell whether a startup will become a multimillion-dollar company or never get off the ground.

Some crowdfunded startups aren’t even legitimate companies. These scammers will take your investment, and you will never see a penny.

Joining a multi-level marketing company

adam/Adobe man in the background, sitting on a table and writing in a notebook, with a multi-level marketing pyramid in the foreground

You might have friends — or friends of friends — in your social media feed asking you to join a company and sell products. Perhaps you will get to work from home and choose your own hours, but the real money comes from you recruiting others.

While these types of companies aren’t technically pyramid schemes, there is no guarantee you will make much money.

For one thing, there are startup costs and investments in products before you jump on board. And don’t forget all the time you will spend trying to sell products and recruit others.

Bottom line

KMPZZZ/Adobe woman covers her face in distress as she contemplates her expenses

Trying to get rich quickly can backfire, and might end up costing you money. For many people, a slow-and-steady approach to building wealth makes more sense.

If you are unsure about how to invest, consider meeting with a financial advisor who can offer professional advice. In the meantime, take steps such as paying down debt that can help move you closer to your financial goals.

Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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