If you believe that wealthy people light $100 cigars with $20 bills, or that they never wear the same pair of socks twice, then think again. The vast majority of wealthy people demonstrate some habits, behaviors and attitudes that would surprise, if not shock you:
1. They focus on earning more — not just saving more.
It goes without saying (but it never hurts to be reminded) that prudent saving is essential for anyone who wants to build their wealth. But wealthy people don’t just focus on saving. They also pay close attention to increasing their earning capacity by upgrading their skills, expanding their network, and making smart investments. They see both sides of the wealth building equation, not just one.
2. They drive older cars (and some really, really older).
True, some wealthy people drive a new car (often because it’s paid for by their company). But many folks who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars happily hold onto their cars for 5-10 years. The most celebrated example of this mindset is Sam Walton, who drove a 1979 Ford F150 pickup truck even though he could have bought a new car every day. Here’s a quote from Walton that says it all: “Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?”
3. They work really hard.
It doesn’t sit well with some people who picture wealthy people spending their day eating bon bons, but sometimes the truth hurts: most wealthy people work extremely hard. When other people are seeing a movie or watching a ballgame, they’re in a meeting or putting together a presentation on project management, customer relationship building home security systems, and the list goes on. Wealthy people also typically work well beyond the 9-5 workday. Of course, they’re compensated very well for their time — so this isn’t a pity party for overworked millionaires. Rather, it’s just an acknowledgement that most wealthy people aren’t trust fund babies who do as little as possible.
4. They donate — and not just for the tax break.
According to research, households that earn $2 million or more give the greatest proportion of their wealth (14%) to charity each year. And no, this isn’t just to get the tax break. While this is obviously an incentive, it’s not enough to offset the donation. Interestingly, research has also found that low-income individuals and families also give a sizable portion of their wealth to charity. So, what about the middle-class? Well, that’s where the story isn’t so inspiring: compared to the rich and the poor, they give the least amount or their annual income to charity.
The Bottom Line
As we all know here at AffordableComfort.org, you don’t have to be rich, to live rich! But if do want to significantly increase your net worth and join the one percent, then keep the above in mind — and good luck!