Financially successful people have several habits in common — and they might not be exactly what you’d guess. These are the 8 habits for financial success that anyone can learn and act on.
Here are the habits I’ve observed in people who are successful financially:
1. They spend less than they earn.
This allows them to prepare well for emergencies, catastrophic events, and the inevitable unexpected expenses that come up in life. Do the same and you’ll be in pretty good shape right there. That’s because spending less than you earn keeps you from living paycheck to paycheck (or gets you out of that cycle if you’re in it right now.) It lets you take advantage of opportunities, and prevents unexpected expenses from derailing your plans.
2. They are concerned with how much things cost.
The vast majority of the well-off people I know use coupons, check prices, and try to get good deals. They’re not worried that other people will think they “look poor” or think they can’t afford stuff. (They KNOW they can afford things and see no point in wasting money.) They’re concerned with managing their money wisely, and not spending more than they need to. They don’t, however, use coupons or buy things just because “it’s a good deal”. The only use them for things they would be buying anyway.
3. They’re generous with their time, advice, and money.
They donate to selected charities and causes, they give thoughtful gifts to their family and friends, they’re there when you need them, and they’re open to giving advice or telling about their experiences if asked. Paying attention to their spending and to costs allows them to be more generous.
4. They’re not afraid to say no.
Generosity does not equal being a pushover or having a lack of foresight. The word “no” is a great addition to any vocabulary, especially when people make requests that are unreasonable or that are not feasible. “No, I’m sorry, that’s not something I can do right now” works great. (Check out this post for more ways to say no.)
5. They value hard work, both in themselves and in others.
Come to think of it, the well-off people I know are mainly small business owners — or they were before they retired. (And if you’ve ever owned a small business, you know just how much hard work is involved.) They are hands-on people. They make things happen, and don’t wait around for wealth to magically appear. When they fail, they get up and try again. And again and again.
6. They don’t buy things they can’t pay for in full, right now.
(Although some of them may still use credit to earn rewards — but only after they have the money to pay for their purchase.) This goes along with the ability to say no. When they want something, they don’t use “creative financing” or finagle some way to buy it now anyway. (Yes, this means many of them are debt free.) Instead, they wait until they have the money or work harder to get it sooner. And if they don’t have the money or believe the money could be better used for something else, they don’t buy it.
7. They save and invest regularly.
Once they’ve made their money, they do useful things with it. They invest for the long term; they think about what they want their future to look like 20 years from now, and what they want to leave to their children. They also save for rainy days, and for specific things they’d like to buy.
8. They pay attention, learn, and grow.
Financially successful people are aware. They pay attention to the details, and don’t let things pile up. They make sure they do things right, even if no one else would ever know. Integrity matters, as does constantly learning and growing.