In my five-year study on the daily habits of wealthy people I uncovered certain things the wealthy do to create, maintain or grow their wealth.
The 80:20 Rule
This rule requires that you set aside 20% of every paycheck and learn to live off the remaining 80%. You do this no matter how much money you make. If you get a raise or bonus set aside 20% of that raise or bonus in addition to the 20% on your regular pay. If you stick to the 80:20 Rule you will save a lot of money and you will be wealthy long before you reach retirement age. You will be one of the few among your friends and colleagues because, unfortunately, most parents don’t teach their kids the importance of saving, so nobody saves.
Budgeting & Saving
Below are some guidelines regarding budgeting and saving:
- Don’t spend more than 25% of your monthly net pay on housing. It doesn’t matter if you own or rent. Stick to this 25% rule.
- Don’t spend more than 10% of your monthly net pay on entertainment. This includes bars, movies, restaurants etc.
- Don’t spend more than 5% of your monthly net pay on auto loans and never lease. Leasing is something I call a Poverty Habit. Buy your cars and take good care of them.
- Stay away from accumulating credit card debt. If you are doing this it means you are living beyond your means and you need to cut back on something.
- Always invest your savings prudently. Never gamble your savings on get rich quick schemes. There’s no such thing. The power of compounding can grow your savings and make you wealthy. Saving just $250 a month over 40 years will produce $500,362 at a 5% return.
- Max out your contributions to the company retirement plan. If the company matches your contributions, great. That’s free money. Always take free money when you can get it.
- Know what you spend every month. Create a monthly budget and track what you spend. I have a budget template I’d be happy to share with you readers.
Most of the wealthy don’t make a lot of money. But they do save a lot of money. They make a habit of saving until it hurts. They focus on accumulating wealth through savings. Savings and investments are two different things. Your savings should never lose money whereas your investments represent a portion of savings that you are willing to put at risk and lose. How much you take out of your savings and invest depends on your risk tolerance. Conservative wealthy people do not put any of their savings at risk. Moderate wealthy people put 25-50%% of their savings at risk. Aggressive wealthy people put more than 50% or more of their savings at risk.
If the wealthy invest part of their savings they typically invest it in one or more of the following:
- Their businesses
- Their retirement plans
- Guaranteed products like variable annuities & life insurance
- Real Estate Investments
- Education for their Children
Accumulating wealth is not about hitting it out of the park. It’s about getting singles. You get enough singles and you win the game.
In my five year study on the daily habits of the rich and the poor, when it came to money, there were significant differences between the two groups. Let’s take a look at some of the research:
- 67% of the wealthy said they are frugal with money.
- 8% of the wealthy shop at Good Will stores.
- 85% of the wealthy in my study stated that they have always believed that no matter what an individual can always save money if they really want to. Only 2% of the poor share this opinion. 73% of the wealthy in my study were taught the 80:20 Rule by their parents.
- 6% of the wealthy lease cars. Conversely, 45% of poor people lease cars. Leasing a car is a Poverty Habit. Wealthy people don’t lease cars. They purchase their cars and will drive them as long as the engine holds out.
- 44% of the wealthy purchased a used car in the last five years. Wealthy people purchase and take good care of their cars. Purchasing a new or used car and owning it for the long term is much cheaper than leasing a new car every three years. The savings can be as much as $2,000 a year. If you want to walk in the footsteps of the wealthy begin by purchasing your cars.
- 16% of the wealthy gamble on sports at least once a week vs. 52% of the poor. 9% of the wealthy play the lottery every week vs. 77% of the poor.
- 100% of the wealthy save for retirement vs. only 19% of the poor