Becoming a millionaire is a dream many of us share, and for a good reason. Becoming a millionaire certainly comes with its benefits. When we think of being a millionaire, we think of financial stability, status, and becoming financially independent. We also tend to think of millionaires as uber-wealthy people that either got lucky by winning the lottery, were born into money, or achieved something we can’t, but that isn’t the case.
As of 2018, over 5.3 million millionaires were living in the US. Most of them are self-made, meaning they could amass their small fortune through hard work and good money habits. These are people that live in your neighborhood, and you likely wouldn’t even know they are millionaires. Now, everyone’s financial situation is a bit different, but that 5.3 million figure should show you that with the right mindset and money habits, there is no reason you can’t follow the same path.
I’m not saying absolutely everyone can achieve millionaire status, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to put yourself in the best financial position possible. Below are habits many millionaires share. Hopefully, you already have a few of these habits, but if not, no worries. There is no better time to start new millionaire habits than right now!
Don’t Carry Debt
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most millionaires don’t carry any debt. Debt is a financial killer, and being able to steer clear is an absolute must for anyone aspiring to gain better financial stability. Any interest being paid on a loan or credit card is money out the window that could be put to much better use elsewhere.
Have Emergency Funds
Another financial staple is the idea of having an emergency fund. Typically stated as four to six months worth of expenses set aside for emergencies. Hopefully, you’ll never need to touch it, but life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Having an emergency fund will allow you not to take out a loan or strain your regular finances in case of the unexpected.
Save for Big Purchases
Along the same lines, not carrying debt, millionaires tend to save up for big purchases. Being able to pay for a big purchase in cash will avoid the dreaded interest you’d pay on either a loan or a credit card. It will also give you much-needed time to change your mind on any purchase and not buy on impulse.
Have a Budget
You don’t get to a million dollars of assets by not knowing where your money is going. Most millionaires have a budget written down. In today’s world, that might mean using one of the many budgeting apps or websites. Still, millionaires are tracking their spending in one way or another and will adjust their spending when necessary.
They Spend Less Than They Make
Another habit that shouldn’t come as a surprise is that millionaires will spend less than they make. By keeping their expenses to a minimum, millionaires can maximize their income, easy as that. Income is also not their main focus when it comes to make this work. Income can be difficult to control yourself, but cutting spending is entirely within your control.
Invest Their Money
The way most millionaires created their wealth is by investing. Leaving money in a traditional savings account or even a high-yield savings account just doesn’t cut it. Most millionaires build wealth by making consistent monthly and likely automated contributions to all their investment accounts. Millionaires can take advantage of the compound gains on their investments. The longer your money is invested, the more gains you’ll see. The important thing is to start investing as soon as possible and to be consistent with it.
They Are Patient
Millionaires are patient people in many ways. As mentioned before, they will save up for large purchases instead of buying on impulse. They also understand that wealth isn’t built overnight. When investing, get rich quick schemes almost always lead to failure as there are no shortcuts, and millionaires understand that. They know they aren’t going to get rich overnight and elect to make the smart investments that will get them there over a few decades instead.
They Don’t Time the Market
Timing the market is a practically impossible task, and millionaires don’t attempt to do so. By making consistent monthly contributions to their investment accounts, millionaires will get the most from their money. No one can predict when the market is at the top or when it’s at the bottom. By investing their money no matter what the market is doing, they can avoid any panic, fear, or greed that other investors will have by trying to time everything just right.
They Have the Millionaire Mindset
You might not know your neighbor is a millionaire because they don’t act rich or look rich. They didn’t amass their wealth by buying the biggest house, the expensive luxury car, or wasting money on fancy vacations. Most millionaires will actually be quite frugal in their spending habits. They don’t feel the need to impress others with their wealth or the need to “Keep up with the Joneses.” By having the right mindset with their money, most millionaires will seem less wealthy than their peers. They are quietly keeping their living expenses low and setting themselves up for a bright financial future.
Don’t Follow Others
Similar to having the right mindset, millionaires don’t follow what everyone else is doing. Although there are a lot of millionaires out there, a vast majority of us aren’t. Why would you follow what the masses are doing if they aren’t on their way to becoming wealthy? Millionaires won’t do what everyone else is doing just to fit in. Being able to follow their own path is what lead most millionaires to their current status.
Millionaires Have Their Own Goals
Since they aren’t following the crowd, millionaires will have different goals than others. If you are attempting to achieve a goal because you think it’s what you should do instead of what you want to do, you won’t be nearly as passionate about it. By pursuing what makes them happy, millionaires are more likely to succeed in those efforts.
Surround Themselves with Like-Minded People
No one wants to feel isolated, and millionaires are no different. Part of being successful is surrounding yourself with other successful people. When you surround yourself with others with similar mindsets, goals, and other attributes, you’ll be more likely to stick with your goals, try new things, and be overall more successful with your ventures.
Buy for the Long Term
Millionaires get the most for their money. Many times that means buying something with the idea of using it for as long as possible. Buying the cheapest item can lead to having to replace it over and over again, costing you a lot of money. Purchasing quality, long-lasting items even at a higher price can drastically reduce spending over the long term.
Take Advantage of Employer Benefits
There are many benefits an employer might offer to their employees that millionaires will take advantage of. One of the top benefits would be making contributions to their retirement accounts. Many companies will match an employee’s contributions to an extent, and millionaires will make sure they contribute the amount required to take full advantage of that employer matching.
With larger companies, you might also get discounts for different products and services. Millionaires will explore the various options available to them. This could be anything from legal services to buying a car. Taking advantage of any discounts, no matter how small, will add up throughout a career. By investing those savings, the benefits are magnified that much more.
Multiple Income Streams
Most millionaires don’t rely on one source of income. For most of us, our primary source of income is our 9-5, but there are plenty of other ways to bring in more money. There are tons of side hustles available to us these days. More traditional methods like dividends, rental properties, or even a second job are still readily available. Multiple income streams can accelerate wealth accumulation by helping to wipe out debt or boost investment amounts.
Never Stop Learning
Another vital trait many millionaires share is that they never stop learning. There is always something new out there, and millionaires will find it. It might be seeking advice from a professional, reading a self-improvement book, or really anything that can help them improve upon what they are currently doing. Knowledge allows us to see all the options available to us and pick the one that achieves our goals to the best of our abilities.
Think About Improvements
It’s not enough to just learn new information, but you’ll need to be able to figure out how to apply your new knowledge to your own life. Millionaires are always thinking about a way to improve upon what they are currently doing. Maybe it’s a way to make more money, save more money or maybe save a little bit of time in their day. No matter what it is, millionaires will always look for a way to make it better.
Get a Good Night Sleep
Not everything about being a millionaire revolves around money. In fact, a decent amount of millionaire habits don’t. One of the most important things anyone can do to achieve their goals is to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep doesn’t allow you to function at your best, and if you’re not at your best, you won’t achieve all your goals. Getting enough sleep is crucial when it comes to achieving success.
Get Up Early
Getting up early has a few advantages. For one, you’ll have more time in your day to achieve your goals. Another is that you won’t feel like you’re in a rush from the moment you wake up, which can affect your entire day. Having the ability to wake up and be productive right away sets the right tone for the rest of your day. It will help you accomplish your goals even with life’s daily distractions.
Exercise has been proven to have many benefits, and most millionaires will take advantage of those benefits. Overall good health is essential in being about to be at our best, and exercise is an essential way of accomplishing that.
Visualize Your Future
It’s been shown that visualizing yourself accomplishing any goal dramatically improves your chances of accomplishing it. Millionaire constantly pictures what it would be like to achieve their goal. Imagining yourself in the best possible outcome for your plans will help keep you motivated and following through on your plans.
There is a saying; if you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right. Meaning, if you think positive, you’ll be more likely to succeed. If you think negatively, you’ll likely fail. Believing in yourself and your plan is a crucial part of becoming a millionaire. Thinking negatively can lead to poor decisions derailing your hard work.
Don’t Give Up
Just keep going! No one said that becoming a millionaire will be easy, and there won’t be bumps in the road. In fact, you should count on some blocking your way or taking a detour at some point, but the point is that you need to keep going. Keep working hard, keep investing, keep doing all the good things, and you’ll get past anything standing in your way.
Building wealth isn’t necessarily easy. You’ll need to work hard at not only accumulating wealth but keeping it as well. Now that you know the habits of self made millionaires, you can start to form some on your own and become the next millionaire next door.
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing around with his kids.