As a kid, you probably did a project that revolved around a question like this: What would you do if you had $1 million? How did you answer? Would you still answer the same way? A better question to ask – if you aren’t a wealthy person yourself – would be, “What are some ways that the wealthy became wealthy?”
If you aren’t sure, here are 10 habits many wealthy people have in common:
The rich person cliché you sometimes see and read about often tends to portray the wealthy as drivers of rare sports cars and wearers of only the most absurdly expensive clothes. However, the vast majority of wealthy people actually lead very low-key lifestyles, living comfortably within their means. They understand that in order to make their wealth last and grow, they need to spend conservatively and maintain a financial cushion for the future in case they need it.
Tip: Don’t overspend. Create a budget so you know what money has available to you at any given moment. This will also let you create an emergency fund over a period of time.
You might hear the phrase “It’s an investment!” and wonder what it actually means. When you invest in yourself, you do things to build your skills or create new ones. Perhaps you want to change careers and need more skills to become more attractive to future employers, like graphic design or time management.
Tip: Take a free online class in a subject that could help you in your current career or one you hope to have someday.
If you’re an extrovert, this one might be second nature to you. But if you’re an introvert, you might cringe at this next piece of advice, and that could end up costing you dearly. You’ll invariably meet people who could help you in your personal and work life when you put yourself out there, which could prove invaluable if you’re ever fired, laid off or are looking to make a career change. You never know how they could help you in your career or even as a friend and confidant.
Tip: Take a friend with you to do volunteer work at a place whose mission aligns with your values. You’ll build that relationship, as well as create more. And since it’s likely you find someone who shares your passion in helping others, you’re much more likely to enjoy your time there.
Your mother probably told you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all – and she was right. That’s not to say you let others walk all over you, but you should definitely think twice before saying whatever first comes to your mind. By burning bridges, you could not only sabotage your current job but also future job hunts.
Tip: If you’re upset with someone, keep quiet and then vent by working out, calling a friend to blow off steam, or writing it out in a private journal. Not only will you keep from insulting the other person, but this will help you develop restraint and self-control to be the bigger person.
If you’re unhappy with your current career situation, don’t continue the cycle, thinking things will change on their own. Instead, write down some goals and measurable steps you can take to transition into a position more in tune with your comfort zone. Experts say that 70% of the wealthy create and make at least one major goal happen.
Tip: Take 5 minutes to write out what you’re unhappy about, and ways to do something about it.
It’s very easy to put things off, particularly if you’re a busy person. But if you put something important off and rush at the last minute to complete that task, you are sacrificing the quality of your work, creating undue stress and making your life more complicated than it needs to be. This is a very self-destructive and self-sabotaging habit, so cut it out!
Tip: Create deadlines, even if you’re the only one who knows about it. Create an incentive to help you meet your goals, and don’t be afraid to reward yourself.
It can be humbling to admit that you don’t know how to do everything, but the wealthy understand that they must surround themselves with people who are smarter and more qualified than they are. By doing so, they learn how to become a better version of themselves.
Tip: Go talk to someone you respect who has accomplished at least one thing you hope to one day achieve yourself. Ask them to be your mentor, even if it means meeting a few times a year.
The vast majority of wealthy and successful individuals make it a point to get a jump start on their day. Some notable early risers are Richard Branson, Barack Obama, and Jack Dorsey, a trio who are very unlikely to fall out of bed 5 minutes before they need to be somewhere.
Tip: Experiment with your bedtime. Try it for just a week, and see how you feel about getting up a little earlier (say about an hour or two). Chances are that you’ll end up feeling better rested and more productive.
Far too many Americans spend hours in front of the television when they should be reading, volunteering, socializing, or exercising. One report says that 67% of the wealthy watches television for just an hour a day or less.
Tip: Give up half the TV-watching time you usually use and try doing something that you know will help you reach your goals faster.
When you wait to buy something, especially if it’s expensive, you might find out that you don’t want it after all, or you just forget you ever wanted it in the first place. By waiting, you find out what’s important to you, and end up with more money to put towards your larger goals.
Tip: Get an accountability partner and run every expense above a pre-determined amount before you purchase it. It is also advisable to create a spending journal to keep track of all purchases below your cut-off amount.
Now that you understand more about how the wealthy became and stay wealthy, you can start doing things to work toward the 1% status. However, maybe you’re willing to make changes, but you’ve just been hit by a large bill with little funding available. Unless you’ve already saved up, you might need help now rather than after you’ve become wealthy sometime in the future.
In times like these, consider getting a title loan, which could help you in ways nothing or no one else could.
Hopefully, you’re not in any kind of urgent financial situation, but if you are, you have a very easy way to get emergency cash at your disposal. And if you’re not in a dire situation but just want to develop the same healthy habits of the rich, start your journey right now!