There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you are jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain – do something to make more money yourself. – Gina Rinehart
Having read countless material/articles and books on personal finance and habits of the affluent, here is a summary of what all those articles and books agree the affluent have in common. I have included some of the books I have read on some of the points for reference. They say knowledge is power, but I say without consistent application, knowledge is useless. It is only when we put into practice what we know, that knowledge becomes power to the beholder. The list below is not exhaustive, and if you are lucky, there might be a part two to this article. Here are the 20 attributes of the affluent that we might learn from and implement on the journey to success.
1. The Affluent have/develop multiple streams of income, whether be it passive, active, or from business ideas. This is what sets apart the 1% from the rest of the population, it is their ability to create multiple streams of income, and not just rely on one source of income to create wealth. Bear in mind that it is not what you make that contributes to your wealth, but rather, how much you get to keep after you get your earnings. A good pay does not equate to economic success, but a fat savings and investment account does, especially with compounding interest working in your favour. Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
2. They automate their savings and investments to maintain consistency in their financial plans. Automation is crucial when it comes to avoiding missing payments into your investment and savings accounts. David Bach (The Automatic Millionaire).
3. They learn how to manage their finances and are not arrogant to ask for help from “experts”/coaches, especially those who have walked the same road and have made it. This is an important point, before any so-called adviser can give you any financial advice, check their credentials, and check their own financial statements to see how their finances are performing. Never let anyone handle your finances or see your own personal statements, without first proving their competence in the same field. Their advice should come with solid backing and proven strategies about their own finances. Take advice from those who are where you want to go. How can a person give you advice on how to get to the moon when they themselves have never been to the moon? Retire Inspired (Chris Hogan).
4. They live on a budget. It is part of managing their finances well. Every penny is accounted for, and every pound is given instruction on where to go. If you do not learn to instruct your money on where to go and how to behave, it will elude your coffers and instruct you instead on how to live from pay cheque to pay cheque. As one wise men once said, “A budget is simply telling your money where to go, rather than wondering what happened to your money.” Dave Ramsey (Total Money Make Over).
5. They live well within their means and control their spending. They are frugal. They shop around for bargains. They are not frivolous. Very cautious when it comes to spending, as they know that every penny spent takes away from their wealth (especially if it is still in the early days of building wealth). Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door).
6. They save “at least” 10% of their working income for savings and investments, and balance their money well to cover for other things such as leisure/fun, giving, and other expenses within reasonable spending. George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon).
7. They always think LONG-TERM! They consider the future and prepare for it. This is why it is always important to save and invest for the long-term so that one’s future is covered.
8. The affluent spend time studying investments and making wise investment choices. They are not afraid of risk, and know how to manage risk well by seeking advice and doing some research in their chosen fields of investment. Tony Robbins (Money Master The Game).
9. The affluent also give time to self-education so that they keep learning and growing. A mind that stops learning, stops growing!
10. When it comes to making purchases, they prefer to buy quality Products/Merchandise/Clothing/Footwear/Furniture/Property that lasts for years, instead of cheap merchandise that needs replacing regularly. Their rule is buy once, and keep forever, that is why they are interested in antiques and goods that have high value with a long-life guarantee. When it comes to quality furniture, once bought, they always have the option to have it upholstered after some years to keep it looking new. When it comes to shoes, instead of buying a new pair of shoes, if it is quality, they can have the shoe resoled again to maintain newness. Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Mind).
11. They buy property that appreciates. Good quality property! When it comes to property, so many factors come into play that could either make you more money, or deplete your wallet and the value of your property. Things to consider are location/neighbourhood (is it in a marketable area? and if you were to sell, will you get a good profit from the sale? Does the area help increase the value of your property?), age of the building, are there schools nearby? etc.
12. The affluent are paid for value instead of time only. Their pay is results based rather than time based only. Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad).
13. They entertain power thoughts. Their mind always focuses on the positive because they know that the quality of their thoughts will influence the quality of life. Negative thoughts are replaced with power thoughts that counteract the negative. They train their minds to focus on positive energy and the things they would want to attract in their lives. What you dwell on and focus on, you attract! Cindy Trimm (Command Your Morning).
14. The affluent do not buy cars brand new, but they buy quality second hand cars from reputable dealerships. Buying a brand new car is a waste of money as the car losses a 1/3 of its value within a year. Dave Ramsey (Total Money Make Over).
15. They affirm the positive on a daily basis. They profess and confess the positive at all times, and believe what they are saying (autosuggestion). Positive affirmations and declarations are part of their daily lives for there is power in doing so. Out of thin air, things fall into place for them according to the words they declare! Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich).
16. They do not procrastinate! They have a DO IT NOW attitude/mentality which causes them to act immediately, for they know that the diligent rule.
17. They maintain and nature positive relationships. They keep a diary of important dates (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries etc.), and always send thank you notes.
18. They are laser focused on tasks, and complete what they start. Insignificant things do not distract them.
19. They are grateful and show gratitude every day of their lives.
20. They are health conscious and exercise on a regular basis. What is the point of having a lot of wealth and being sickly? You will not enjoy the wealth at all; this is why making healthy decisions is paramount to ultimate success and living a fulfilled life. The health benefits of exercising are limitless, as I am sure most of us are aware. Thomas C. Corley (Millionaire Habits).