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Did you know there are about 12 million Americans today with a net worth of at least $1 million?1 And the good news is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a professional athlete’s salary) to reach millionaire status. No matter who you are or where you came from, you have the power to create the financial future you want for yourself and your family.
Here’s a list of five simple habits that average millionaires practice every single day — and you can, too.
1. They’re avid readers
President Harry Truman once said, "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." One of the reasons millionaires become millionaires is because of their constant desire to learn.
To them, leadership books and biographies are much more important than the latest reality show or who got kicked off the island. When they have free time, they use it wisely — by reading.
2. They understand delayed gratification
Everyday millionaires spend most of their lives sacrificing temporary pleasures for long-term success. They have no problem buying an older, used car, living in a modest neighborhood and wearing inexpensive clothes. They don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses.
These decisions allow them to do things like save for retirement and college, and build up a large down payment for their dream home. They realize that instant gratification is fun — but delayed gratification is so much better. Today’s sacrifices set them up for tomorrow’s success.
3. They stay away from debt
One of the biggest myths out there is that average millionaires see debt as a tool. Not true. If they want something they can’t afford, they save and pay cash for it later.
Car payments, student loans, same-as-cash financing plans — these just aren’t part of their vocabulary. That’s why they win with money. They don’t owe anything to the bank, so every dollar they earn stays with them to spend, save, and give.
Debt is the biggest obstacle to building wealth. I tell everyone: You need to avoid it like the plague. Your dreams are too important.
4. They live on a budget
Your budget is your plan. And you can’t build a million-dollar net worth without a plan. Success isn’t an accident. You are in charge of your own wealth building.
Just like you build a house by starting with the foundation, you build wealth by starting with the budgeting basics. And then you keep following them. When you’re making a lot of money, you don’t stop managing it, right?
Average millionaires have made a habit of budgeting every month. They know what’s coming in and what’s leaving their bank accounts. If you only remember one thing, it should be this: Budgeting is the key to winning with money. You have to tell each dollar where to go at the beginning of the month, so you don’t wonder where it all went.
5. They give
Sure, some rich people can be selfish jerks — just like anyone else. But the everyday millionaires who live down the street, the ones you don’t even realize are wealthy, are some of the most giving people you’ll ever meet. I know because I’ve met a lot of them. They work hard, save and respect the ability of others to do the same.
Whether it’s tithing at church, donating to a charity, or just giving to friends and family, these people have generous spirits. They realize the most important thing you can do with wealth is help others.
That’s actually why they continue building their wealth. They realize they can’t take it with them when they die. Instead of spending it all on the latest toys, they choose to leave a legacy for the people who mean the most to them.
Chris Hogan is a #1 national best-selling author, dynamic speaker, and financial expert. For more than a decade, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, spreading a message of hope to audiences across the country as a financial coach and Ramsey Personality. You can follow Hogan on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.