Whether you’re content with your current financial situation — and want it to stay that way — or aiming to increase your wealth, learn the secrets that keep wealthy people on top, both financially and professionally.
1. Be Prepared
It may be hard to grasp the fact that you’re putting money aside for 20, 30, even 50 years down the road. Wealthy people prioritize their lifetime financial security by planning ahead for retirement.
Contribute the maximum amount to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a 401(k), if available, as early as possible.
Overall, save at least 15 percent of your yearly income. People are living longer than ever before. If you retire at age 65 and live to 95, that’s 30 years without a paycheck — not to mention the growing medical expenses. You have to save!
Avoid overspending by setting up recurring transfers from your checking account to your savings and investment accounts. You can also set up an auto deduction from your paycheck to your retirement account.
3. Rethink Your To-Do List
Wealthy people are action-oriented; they don’t create thousands of lists that never get tackled. They create daily action items and don’t allow themselves to hit snooze when it’s time to act.
When making a to-do list, be realistic. Create your top three action items; anything more will most likely be ignored. Stop the insanity of hoarding long lists and set yourself up for success from square one.
4. Invest in Your Financial Future
One thing most wealthy people have in common is that they all have a team backing them. Managing money in today’s volatile markets can be risky. It can pay to hire a professional to help you meet your long-term financial goals. Would you be your own lawyer or cut your own hair? Do your research to find the right financial advisor.
5. Embrace the Power of ‘No’
Wealthy people don’t waste time with people, events, or activities that don’t enrich their lives. We can all empathize with the internal struggle of whether to accept or politely decline a sincere, friendly invite to a dinner party, networking event, or coffee.
Wealthy people are results-driven and accept invitations sparingly. Commit to only saying yes to people and events that will inspire, excite, improve, or challenge your worldview.
In the same manner, remember, a yes means yes. Wealthy people know the value of keeping their word.
6. Goal Setting
Setting goals is one thing, but monitoring milestones and adjusting goals to reality is what creates success. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) can help you make targeted goals while staying on track and motivated.
7. Be an Early Bird
Start your morning off like a millionaire. The most successful people wake up three hours before their workday even begins.
Three hours may seem daunting; take it in increments. Wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, and push yourself to accomplish more. The extra hours will not only stand as a buffer for the unexpected, but as a period to reflect, plan, and grow. Take the time to build yourself, whether physically or mentally. People who make time to nurture their minds and bodies with activities other than their urgent workload have greater success in all facets of life.
Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.