There are different types of millionaires. There are those who were born into wealthy families and get a head start with money that the vast majority of us don’t get. There are those who take big risks that pay off with big rewards. Then there are those who slowly but surely build their wealth through wise money choices.
So, how do most millionaires become rich?
Three Paths to Wealth
If you weren’t born into money, it’s a little too late for that option. The second option might be a viable one, but for all those big money risks that pay off, there are many more that don’t. Plus, it can be difficult to take big money risks if you don’t have big money in the first place. The third option of building wealth over time through smart money choices, however, is something that is available to most of us.
You can learn from the financial habits of millionaires. We can’t control all of our circumstances, and some people have the misfortune of being burdened with things like enormous healthcare expenses that make it far more challenging to accumulate wealth. However, most people can take control of their finances in a way that can lead to real wealth. You can follow this list of millionaire money habits that get results.
1. Save, Save, Save!
We live in an impatient society. We have instant access to most of the things we want. Instant gratification has benefits, but it also has consequences—such as the fact that we can spend money easily before we have time to think about whether or not we should.
Another serious consequence of our fast-moving world is that we expect to get everything we want right away. But when it comes to building wealth, millionaire money habits take time. That is certainly the case with saving.
It sounds mundane, but saving money slowly over time really is how most millionaires become wealthy. Starting young is one of the best things you can do. If you are late to the game, there is still time to build wealth, but it will take more effort to catch up. That’s okay. The key is to use these millionaire money habits to make it happen.
Set a Goal and Save
Financial experts recommend saving 20 percent of your net pay (what you actually get after taxes). That can be a tall order when you are younger and starting out, but even beginning with a smaller percentage is much better than not saving at all. Start with 10 or even 5 percent. Just get into the habit of saving.
Consider Your Savings Untouchable
The best way to save money is to keep it out of easy reach. That can mean putting it into your savings account right away. If you get paid by direct deposit, you can probably arrange for the percentage you want to save to go directly into savings while the rest goes into your checking account. You can also just transfer that money right into savings as soon as you get paid.
Then keep it there and don’t touch it. A millionaire money habit of saving involves thinking of your savings as something you never touch. You can set up another savings account for short-term needs like car repairs, emergencies, or holiday gift-giving. You can also seek out short-term loans with customer-friendly rates, if necessary.
2. Live Below Your Means
Living within our means can pose a major challenge. When we follow Instagram accounts flaunting extravagant vacations and possessions, we want to live that way too. You don’t see many self-made millionaires flaunting their lifestyles because it isn’t glamorous. It’s just smart.
But it goes further than living within your means. A key millionaire money habit involves living below your means. You set aside savings that you don’t touch, and you build spending habits and expectations that help ensure that you don’t use more than you make.
One helpful tip is to cook more often. Going out to eat is fun, but it’s also expensive. Instead of treating a night out like a regular occurrence or something you do when you don’t want to cook, treat it as something that you only do on special occasions.
3. Set a Budget and Stick to It
Millionaire money habits are mostly about mindset. A major part of that is creating a budget and sticking with it. Here’s how:
- Write down what you make each month.
- Subtract the amount you want to save.
- What is leftover is what you have to work with.
- Then write down your fixed expenses, the things that are necessary like your rent or mortgage and utilities.
- Budget a fixed amount that you can stick to for food and other necessities.
- If there is more leftover, you can either save more, budget a little discretionary money for your occasional wants, or use a blend of the two methods.
- Keep track of your expenses as you pay for things so you see how much you have left until you get paid again.
- Use coupons whenever possible, especially on things you buy often.
- Stick to your budget and don’t touch your savings.
4. Drive a Sensible Car
One of the biggest lifestyle traps we can fall into involves the vehicle we drive. Each time you watch TV or are surfing online, pay attention to how many car and truck ads you see. New cars are expensive and pretty unnecessary. A major millionaire money habit that will really help is to change how you think about the car you drive.
The car you drive should be reliable and inexpensive. You can save so much money by driving a reliable used car that you keep as long as it remains reliable. You will save thousands right off the bat just by purchasing a used car. Then you keep on saving the longer you drive it without opting for another car purchase.
The fact is, the only thing that really matters about the car you drive is how well it gets you where you need to go. It doesn’t need to impress anybody. People who are impressed by flashy things probably aren’t worth impressing, and self-made millionaires tend to worry more about their goals than they do superficial things like fancy cars.
5. Enjoy Like-Minded People
On the topic of other people, are you spending time with people who share your values? If you feel like you have to spend money and acquire things to impress other people, they probably aren’t the right people for you.
Self-made millionaires tend to be in relationships with those who share their values and lifestyle choices. It is far easier, and really just plain necessary, to live the thrifty lifestyle if your partner is on the same page.
The same goes for the friends you spend time with. You will likely have more in common with people who share your goals and who also practice millionaire money habits. Instead of going out to eat often or going on expensive vacations together, you can enjoy frugal activities that are still fun but less financially taxing.
6. Keep Learning
The final millionaire money habit you can take with you is to keep educating yourself on wise financial practices. There are always new money-saving innovations to learn and habit-strengthening tips you can put to use. Avoid popular fads and stick with sensible ways to live.
Implement these millionaire money habits to build wealth and the lifestyle necessary to achieve it. If you do need short-term money, borrow wisely. Use a fair lender like Power Finance Texas if you need cash in a pinch. And if you’re looking to reduce your loans so you can start building wealth? Check out our guide to paying debt off quickly, even with low income.