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I have always been fascinated by rich people. Not because I’m jealous (maybe a little), but because I’m truly curious.
What things do rich people do that poor people don’t? How did they become rich? Do they have super high-paying jobs? Did they receive an inheritance? Did they marry into money?
Since I don’t personally know any rich people that I can ask these questions to I did my own research. I read The Millionaire Next Door, which was a very fun and relevant book, despite being published over 20 years ago. It reveals a lot of the common characteristics of the rich and even includes some funny anecdotes from the wealthy interviewees.
I don’t expect to be rich in my life-time, at least not in the monetary sense. However, I am working towards creating a debt-free and stress-free life for my family. A lot of the things that rich people do that many poor people don’t would help facilitate these goals.
Let’s review some of the things rich people do that most of us probably don’t do.
Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to track your money and save. Rich people create a budget that they stick to WOF, without fail. They know exactly where their money is going each month.
People don’t budget for many reasons. My husband feels budgets are too restricting and make him feel like he’s depriving himself. I just feel that it’s a lot of work and would be hard to stick to if only one of us (myself) is actually willing to follow it.
Our lives have been a bit paycheck to paycheck these last few months with the end of the year expenses, holidays, and strong push to be debt-free. Before the end of 2017 I plan to have one more close review of our finances and to start using the envelope system to make next year great. Once our small debts are paid off I will attempt to convince my husband to create and follow a budget that doesn’t feel too restrictive.
BUY USED WHENEVER POSSIBLE
People think that because rich people have a lot of money they buy everything new. They don’t! They even use coupons and cash back sites. Rich people have a strong understanding of where and how money should be spent. They typically spend money to make more money.
Take for example a new car. A new car loses 9% of its value as soon as it leaves the lot. By buying a car that is just a year old you can save a few thousand dollars.
Used baby items go for next to nothing. When our daughter was born there were several items I wanted to buy new, such as her car seat, crib, and stroller. Everything else was either gifted to her, purchased at a garage sale, or second-hand shop.
Shop around. If you have to buy new try to get deals or shop online. There are even high-end consignment shops where you can purchase like new items at a fraction of the original price.
Rich people are always reading, but not just any reading material. They read to learn. They read the news, financial papers, self-improvement books, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Many rich people will purchase the audiobook version of books because multi-tasking means more free time to make more money.
I’ll admit I like reading mysteries and cheesy romance novels, but they aren’t teaching me much. *sigh* I just love happy endings…
I have started reading investment books like I said I would be to hopefully make 2018 a great year. I spend 2 hours driving to and from work listening to the radio. As a compromise I think I’ll start listening to some self-help audiobooks on the way to work and listening to the top hits on the way home.
DON’T WATCH TV
Rich people believe time is money and therefore spend little to no time watching television. I’m pretty sure they aren’t Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Instead they are doing something productive, like reading.
They also don’t spend time on social media platforms, commenting on your cute dog photos, and leaving emoji-filled birthday messages on Facebook 😉
In the past we replaced our cable with an Amazon Fire TV stick to save money. I finally finished watching Season 2 of Stranger Things, but don’t have much time to peacefully watch TV without the kids.
LEARN NEW SKILLS
It can be fun to learn new skills like speaking a different language, dancing, cooking, blogging, etc. Rich people are always learning new skills that they can make a profit on.
A financial blogger wrote about how his wife turned her soap making hobby into a 5 figure business. One of my co-workers bakes and sells his own dog treats and does especially well around the holidays.
I’ve dabbled in jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, and other crafts. I’ve thought about starting an Etsy shop, but am focused on other endeavors at the moment.
Rich people invest. They invest in stocks, real estate, artwork, gold. They invest in both tangible and intangible items.
All my life I have been a saver. I paid for my car in cash so that I wouldn’t have a car payment. I used most of my savings to pay off my student loan debt. I used the cash I saved after college for a down payment on our home.
Other than my deferred compensation plan I do not have much saved. All the cash I had was kept in savings accounts earning little to no interest. Had I invested that money who knows how much I would have now.
Once I feel knowledgeable enough I will begin exploring different investment outlets.
BUY TO LAST
When the rich make purchases they buy high quality items that will last. For example, let’s say you buy yourself a faux-leather jacket. Now this jacket may last you 2 to 3 years. A real leather jacket is significantly more money, but will last a lifetime.
This is what you would call smart shopping. Buy clothing items that both last and can be used interchangeably within your wardrobe.
I enjoy some great savings by purchasing items at the end of the season. E.g. Last year I scored a great deal on winter boots, $8! However, I know these boots won’t last me forever.
NETWORK/SURROUND SELF WITH SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
You are the sum of the 5 people closest to you. That’s probably not a good thing for me since it includes 2 toddlers. Though I have to say my cupcake decorating and play-do sculpting skills are on point.
The rich surround themselves with people who are successful, which provides them with new opportunities for growth. By networking they can even meet potential new business clients.
I have been trying to surround myself with successful bloggers in hopes to also gain blogging success. Next I would like to meet some money gurus/entrepreneurs to expand my financial knowledge, which I could then share with all of you.
SET LONG TERM GOALS
Rich people set long term goals. People who set long term goals tend to save significantly more for retirement than people who look ahead only a few years. Rich people can look ahead 20 to 30 years and tell you exactly how much they will have saved.
I know that I want to have money saved for retirement, but have not even begun to figure out how much I need to be saving to retire comfortably because it is such a long ways away. My parents are at the age that they should be retiring and they have very little saved. They are investing in stocks when they should be investing in areas of less risk, such as bonds.
Because I don’t want to be like my parents I am going to force myself to write down and create long term goals for myself. They will include budgeting and setting aside a specific amount each month for retirement.
Write down your goals. By writing them down and visualizing them you are more likely to achieve them.
LEARN FROM OTHER’S MISTAKES
Why make a mistake if you don’t have to? The rich are very calculated in nature, hence all the planning and budgeting they do. They educate themselves as much as possible so they can reduce the risk factor in their decision making.
When the rich make mistakes they learn from them. By networking with other successful rich people they can also learn from mistakes that their peers make too.
My family and I do things a bit differently compared to the majority of the people we surround ourselves with. Therefore we are prone to certain types of mistakes with regards to side hustling. Our latest endeavor was purchasing a car to flip for a profit. Instead we ended up losing money. This was a costly mistake, but one we won’t make again. Gotta stick to what you know until you know something else.
DON’T LOOK RICH
One year I was inside a Tiffany’s jewelry store. Now they aren’t the highest end jewelry store, but they do attract a certain type of crowd. I noticed that the sales people would rush to help the men and women who were dressed the fanciest assuming they had the most money to spend. While browsing around I saw a woman with sneakers and sweatpants on. She was purchasing multiple pieces of jewelry, more than anyone else in the store. She actually had to call someone over to help her because the sales people were too busy speaking striking up conversations with the fancy folk.
Rich people don’t look rich. They don’t live in mansions or drive expensive cars. They live in a modest home and invest the money they save. They drive gas-efficient commuter cars.
No problem for me here.
Being rich may not be a goal of yours, but if you’re reading my money posts maybe you would like to live a more financially stable life too. Be frugal, educate yourself, invest, surround yourself with successful and like-minded people, and write down your long-term goals.
How many of these 11 things do you do that the rich do too? If you have any tips share in the comments below.