Many of us have dreamed that one day we'll hit the big one… maybe buy a lottery ticket and get that million-dollar jackpot. But is it really luck that makes people rich? We don't think so.
Rich people tend to do things differently than the average person. Some of their habits breed success and wealth. Your chances of becoming wealthy certainly aren't guaranteed, but you have much better odds if you emulate the rich in their success-breeding habits. Here are eight ways you can improve your chances of becoming wealthy by acting the part.
1. It's Not Too Early To Start Planning Your Retirement
As the adage says, “the early bird catches the worm,” and the same is true when saving for retirement. Time is on your side when you're young and by starting as soon as you are able, the money could pile up thanks to the magic of compound interest. If you work for a company that matches your retirement funds, you should contribute the maximum that they match. If you are self-employed or don't work, contribute to an IRA.
Even if you can't maximize your contribution at the moment, any small contribution is better than none. You can step up each year and make that small amount larger until you reach the maximum. Rich people plan for retirement when they are starting out, and you should too.
2. Automate Your Savings
Your savings goals and retirement plans will be especially effective if you automate them. Have funds deducted from your pay to go directly into your plan and savings accounts. You might be thinking, “hey, how can I afford that with all of my expenses and needs?”
The truth is you can because not all of your needs are needs. Wants consume an awful lot of our paychecks and you need to separate a want or a “feel good thing” from your future goals and retirement. Transferring the funds automatically helps you avoid the temptation to spend it.
3. Avoid Carrying a Credit Card Balance
Use your credit cards to your advantage only. Discounts and rewards are fine, but only without the cost of interest, fees, and increasing debt. Carrying debt each month is costly and if you have serious problems, your credit rating will be affected. Learn to live within or, better yet, below your means.
Rich people are much more likely to have great credit and know what they need to do to keep that rating.
4. Live Below Your Means
Millionaires are all over the place these days, but you'd be surprised at how many are difficult to pick out in a crowd. That is because the vast majority of them live below their means and don't spend their money on every little creature comfort they see.
While it's true that it's easier to do that when you're rich than if you're not, you too can learn to live with the philosophy of “less is more.” Once you do, your decisions on money and expenditures are more focused and your goals become easier to achieve.
5. Educate Yourself
Take advantage of the wealth of information available to you to help you make smart money decisions. Spend time each day reading. Many rich people do that every day, whether it's the Wall Street Journal, Money magazine, Newsweek, the latest financial book, personal finance blogs, or even watching financial news networks like CNBC.
The more you read and educate yourself, the better equipped you will be to face the decision-making process.
6. Avoid Temptation
Do not emulate friends, coworkers, family members, or the “the Joneses” when it comes to spending habits and accumulating “things.” Chances are pretty good that they can't really afford a lot of their purchases, run up credit card balances, and are out to compete with each other.
Wealthy people are focused on goals, evaluate them all the time, and post them where they can see and think about them every day.
7. Have a Sense of Urgency
Rich people tend to be doers. They get an idea, research it, and then make a focused plan to achieve their goals. They don't make excuses or “hope” for the best. They make it happen. How? They network, research, listen to others, then evaluate, and re-evaluate their ideas and plans. The difference between them and you is action.
Urgency and action make things happen. Wishing and hoping alone doesn't accomplish anything.
8. Find a Mentor
Wealthy people quite often say that they had mentors to help guide and advise them along the way. Seek out successful people who you can relate to through business and personal achievements so you can learn from them.
You will find that in many cases, people love to talk about their successes and how they were achieved and will want to share those experiences with you.
Good Habits or Good Luck?
The wealthy practice good work habits. They tend to get up early, do things that make them healthy in mind, body, and spirit, and they don't waste time on “what if” and “if only” thoughts. They don't seek out palm readers and read fortune cookies to guide their actions. They simply use their skills and the skills of others around them to plan and achieve their success and financial rewards. The idea of good luck or bad luck does not play into their success at all.
What are you going to do now that will secure your financial future tomorrow?