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How You Can Build Wealth Without Owning A Home

Homeownership. It’s long been touted as the epitome of the American dream, a sign of independence, a barometer of whether or not you’ve really made it financially.

But the reality is that home ownership isn’t for everyone. Today, more and more people are eschewing costly mortgages, expansive living spaces they don’t want or need, and years of being tethered to a house. Instead of looking for a property to invest in, they’re seeking new ways to earn, keep, and grow wealth over the years.

Here are four ways that could be key to helping you flourish financially without locking up your money in a mortgage.

Photo: Shutterstock/Jirsak

Invest In Your Potential And Your Education

Opportunities to move into a new field or get a better-paying job in your current field are always worth checking out. Whether you’re looking to go back to school to finish your undergraduate degree in a high-paying field or get a master’s degree in a new field, you could find that your newfound skills enable you to realize increased earnings.

A Kansas State University study compared the financial status of three categories of students: those who dropped out and didn’t return to school, those who went back to college but didn’t complete degrees, and those who returned and finished their degrees.

Individuals who returned to school and earned degrees tended to earn more; in fact, students can expect to earn an average of $4,294 more post-graduation compared to what they were earning before completing their degree. On average, their yearly wage growth increased by another $1,121.

Photo: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Look Beyond Real Estate Investment

Owning your own home might not necessarily be the best investment out there. In 2010, the Federal Reserve released the report “American Dream or American Obsession?” which revealed that the rate of return on U.S. real estate between 1975 and 2009 was below 0%. During that same time period, the stock market’s average was 3.375% after taxes and inflation.

Today, investing is easier than ever thanks to a plethora of websites, apps, and programs that let you look beyond real estate and consider other options for growing your money. Homeownership is no longer the only means of improving your financial standing.

Photo: Shutterstock/Light And Dark Studio

Consider Going Car-Less

High car prices and steep gas prices are causing many drivers to reconsider not only where and when they drive, but whether they actually need a car at all. Those who live in urban centers can look for alternative transportation means such as public transit, or seek out living and working opportunities that allow them to walk or bike to their destinations.


Eliminating auto loans or leases (and the subsequent car insurance costs) as well as cutting out the need to fill up with costly gas could save you hundreds of dollars every month. Can’t live without a vehicle? Consider having just one car for your entire household and enjoying the benefits of carpooling.

Photo: Shutterstock/YanLev

Make The Most Of Work-From-Home Policies

Working remotely from where you live has become much more widely accepted when compared to employment opportunities in the days before the pandemic. But rents can be high, depending upon where you live, so if it looks like you might be working remotely for the foreseeable future, consider looking beyond major metropolitan areas to set up shop.

According to, some of the most affordable U.S. cities in which to live include Wichita, Kansas, Toledo, Ohio, Lubbock, Texas, and Springfield, Missouri.

As a renter, you have the flexibility to relocate to a location that’s more affordable. You might also find that in smaller towns and mid-size markets you can enjoy more living space for less money.