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Which of These 3 Millionaire Habits Do You Follow? And Will They Make You Rich?

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As another new year rolls around, it's natural for us to turn our attention to habits we want to adopt or changes we want to make. I don't know about you, but I've got a few financial goals I want to achieve in 2024 and beyond. It isn't easy to build wealth when high living costs chip away at our wallets. But some people can put money aside, no matter what's going on around them. I want to be one of those people.

The trick is knowing how to cultivate a millionaire mindset and build helpful habits into our routines. Popular author Tom Corley spent five years interviewing over 350 people, rich and not-so-rich. The summary of his research includes responses to over 144 questions and shows some stark differences in people's routines and attitudes.

Find out whether you already practice any of the following habits that many wealthy people share.

1. Balancing your checkbook

Balancing your checkbook used to involve checking the stubs against your statement to know everything was correct. Fewer people write checks these days, but the habit of monitoring your accounts is still a goodie. Over 90% of the rich people Corley spoke to balanced their checkbook each month. In comparison, only a third of people who were struggling financially did the same.

Why it could help make you rich

A regular check in on your spending can help you increase the gap between what you spend and what you earn. The more you can increase that gap, the more money you can put into your savings or brokerage account.

What you can do

Keep an eye on your day-to-day bank balance and schedule a fixed time every month to look over your finances. This will tell you if your spending is on track, if you're meeting your goals, and whether you need to make any adjustments. A budgeting app can also make it easier to monitor where your money goes.

I have a monthly calendar alert so I don't forget to check-in. I try to make financial tasks more fun by rewarding myself with a piece of cake or chocolate bar. But I also consciously cultivate a positive attitude toward managing my money. Rather than viewing it as a chore, I try to take satisfaction from being in the financial driving seat.

2. Building strong relationships with people you admire

A wealthy mindset isn't only about saving and investing money. People and relationships matter too. If you're running a project or setting up a company, each member of your team can be like gold dust. Moreover, if you neglect your personal life in your pursuit of wealth, you risk being a Scrooge-like figure sitting alone and counting your money.

Rich people say they've actively built relationships with people they admire and sought mentors who can help them along the way. Indeed, 86% of the rich people Corley interviewed said they associate with success-minded people, while 93% said a mentor was responsible for their wealth.

Why it could help make you rich

Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, relationships are important. The people you spend time with can inspire you and challenge you. Corley argues that consciously surrounding yourself with successful people will help you adopt their good habits, work ethic, and passion. On a practical level, your network may help you find a new job or support you if you launch your own business.

What you can do

If you have ambitious money goals, you may find you need to put in a lot of hours to achieve them. But don't neglect your relationships. Corley's research showed that 80% of rich people called people on their birthdays and around other life events. They send thank-you notes. These are habits you can adopt, too.

This isn't about superficial networking where you exchange business cards or LinkedIn messages and never speak to that person again. Look for ways to help others and take an interest in people's lives. Be appreciative when people do things for you. Try to be active in your industry by attending events and following up on the connections you make.

3. Keep learning

Lifelong learning isn't necessarily about collecting degrees. Rather, it's about fostering a spirit of curiosity. According to Corley, many wealthy individuals didn't finish college. But they do invest time in self improvement and developing new skills. Indeed, 94% of the rich people he spoke to kept informed about current affairs. Moreover, 96% of the self-made millionaires said they spend 30 minutes a day on education, career, or self-improvement.

Why it could help make you rich

According to Harvard Business Review, ongoing learning is good for our wallets, relationships, health, and careers. We live in a fast-changing world, and increasingly need a mix of skills to succeed.

If you are a retail investor, there's a direct connection between learning and improving your wealth-building abilities. The more you learn about investing, the better the decisions you can make. At a professional level, a commitment to self improvement can help you adapt and stay on top of your game. This could be the secret to getting the next promotion or successfully applying for a new job.

If you're an entrepreneur, keeping on top of the latest trends will help you identify opportunities before your competitors. You can't always hire people to fill every gap in your business. Sometimes it makes more sense to develop those skills yourself, whether that's marketing, coding, customer service, or something else.

What you can do

Follow those millionaires and set aside time each day to learn something new. Everybody learns differently. If you're not a big reader, try listening to podcasts during your commute. If you want something more formal, look for free (or paid) online courses that pique your attention and go from there. You might even look into in-person evening classes.

If you catch yourself watching a lot of cute kitten videos online, try to consciously switch to a TED Talk or educational YouTube channel. That's not to say kitten videos don't have their place. But sometimes there's value in being more intentional about the time you might otherwise spend on aimless web browsing.

Bottom line

When you think about money habits, it is easy to get dragged into the details and lose track of the big picture. This year, I'm not making resolutions around skipping my regular takeout latte. I want to build broad habits and attitudes that help me focus on what's important. The idea is that if I can get the big things right, the smaller things will take care of themselves.

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