How is it that the rich always seem to be getting richer, while the poor tend to stay poor? Some of it is certainly a result of the way our society works. Some people start off at an advantage, and others have more roadblocks to overcome. We all do the best we can with what we’ve got.
For some, though, their best is simply better than the rest of us.
Wealthy people – whether self-made or inherited – tend to share some common good habits that keep them at the top.
Here are nine things that rich people do differently. These habits keep their cash flow both growing and safe:
1. They invest in education.
Wealthy people put a high value on lifelong learning. They often pursue advanced degrees and certifications. They stay on top of current events in their field, as well as worldwide economic news. They develop a strong understanding of political issues, especially as they relate to their financial interests. They look beyond the education required for their job, often supplementing their work by attending seminars, conferences, and conventions.
2. They go above and beyond.
People who are successful at work are the ones who arrive early and stay late. They commit themselves to professional development. They make an intentional effort to grow their network. They are eager to take on extra projects, and they enjoy helping others to succeed as well. These are the people who stand out when the opportunity for a promotion comes up. People who do the bare minimum rarely get ahead.
3. Their financial savings plans span their entire life.
My friend’s father grew up in relative poverty. Despite this, he built tremendous financial success for himself and his family. He remembers always saving at least ten percent of his paycheck – even as a teenager washing dishes for minimum wage. Compound interest is a beautiful thing. The earlier you start saving, the more you will benefit from doing so. Start a retirement fund before you turn thirty.
4. They contribute new ideas.
Successful people make themselves indispensable by continuously adding value to their environment. They do not coast off the ideas of others. They do not simply follow directions and go home when the clock runs out. They improve upon existing processes and create new products.
5. They are passionate about their work.
It is hard to go above and beyond if you do not love what you are doing. This is a recipe for burnout. Successful people are deeply invested in their line of work. They care about the outcome, and put their heart and soul into their business. This fuels the long hours and hard work that might hold others back.
6. They take responsibility for their own success.
Successful people do not blame others when they fail. They do not let outside circumstances prevent them from reaching their goals. If a success-oriented person wants a college degree, they do not complain that their parents can’t foot the cost. They seek out scholarships. They work part-time. They take out loans, and work hard to repay them promptly. They create success for themselves, regardless of their circumstances.
7. They refuse to fall victim to debt.
Wealthy people quickly learn the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt, such as a mortgage or an educational loan, is an investment. Bad debt, such as high interest car loans and missed credit card payments, will eat up your net worth. Successful people take on minimal debt, and do so with the utmost care. Then, they work to pay it off quickly to avoid unnecessary interest payments.
8. They sacrifice and compromise.
Most wealthy people are very frugal in their daily lives. They do not waste money on fancy cars or expensive cups of coffee. Instead, they invest in things that accrue value over time, like real estate. They save their splurges for things that truly bring them joy.
9. They don’t waste time.
Time is your most precious and strictly limited resource. Successful people know to use it wisely. Harness your free time to enrich your life. Take a class, pursue an extra project for work, or learn to invest your money. Using your free time in a productive way is one of the most intelligent things you can do.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Wealth is a wonderful thing, but the satisfaction of having earned it is even more so. Be responsible with your money and ambitious with your work. The monetary reward will fall second to your sense of pride in your achievements.