20 things rich people do to become and stay rich people

One of my all time favorite books is one the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. This book completely revolutionized the way I feel about money and opened my eyes to the true differences between what the main stream perception of wealth is and the actual reality of it.

Even if you don't like reading at all (well, you are reading this), I still recommend you force yourself to pick up this book. If this book was required reading in high school, the world would look a lot different for the next generation.

Below is my top 20 facts about the wealthy across America. These facts have been gathered by many books including the book The Millionaire Next Door. Yes, they will surprise you

1. Live on a Monthly Written Budget

Rich people are rich because they understand what it takes to become rich and stay rich. There is a saying that goes like this:

"What gets measured, gets managed".

People who are proactive and plan out exactly what their money is going to do month in and month out are rich people. These are the same people who tell their money what to do instead of wondering what happened at the end of each week/month/year to all of their money. To put it simply – rich people are in full control of their money and their future.

2. Set Goals

There is a difference between wishing it were better or simply being better. Rich people are incredible at remaining proactive and setting goals, while poor people are incredible at reacting and wishing things would get better.

If a goal is not clearly defined, written down on paper, and given a time frame, then it is not a goal at all....it is merely a wish. Rich people understand this and this is why the majority of rich people set daily, monthly, yearly, and annual goals. Not only do they know where they want to go, but they know how and when they will get there.

3. Pay with CASH

Of course rich people pay with cash because they are rich and they have cash, right?

There's more to the story:

Rich people pay with cash because they are actually very frugal with their money. Poor people make poor decisions with money over time while rich people do just the oppositte – they make very good decisions consistently over long periods of time. This is one of the reasons why rich people love to pay with cash; they're going to pay less for something than poor people.

Here's an example:

A poor person will walk into the furniture store and buy a new couch and finance it over the next 6 years a 0% interest.

A rich person will walk in with cash and pay 10% less than the retail price of the couch because they have cash.

4. Don't Watch (that much) Television

According to the Motley Fool, the average American watches just under five hours of television per day. On the other hand, millionaires typically only watch television for one hour per day.

Why is this?

This is only my opinion, but I believe they simply don't have time to waste because they are too busy with providing value versus watching television.

5. Have Good Daily Habits

Author Hal Elrod of the best-selling book The Miracle Morning does 6 things every single morning:

Minute One – Complete Silence
Minute Two – Daily Affirmations
Minute Three – Visualizations
MInute Four – Scribing
Minute Five – Reading
Minute Six – Exercising

He believes if he can spend one minute each morning in silence right when he wakes up, then another minute focusing on his priorities and his unlimited potential , and the third minute on visualizing where he is now and where he will be, he will have created a daily outline for success.

In addition, Hal spends another minute each day journaling, another minute reading or learning something new, and the last minute of his daily routine doing push-ups, jumping jacks, air squats, etc.

When you first think of him doing each one of these things for only one minute, you may think it's completely silly. However, when he creates this routine over and over again, think about how much differently his daily habits are than you or I. Hal Elrod is very wealthy, and wealthy people in general are masters are creating and sticking to good daily habits.

6. Drive Two Year or Older Cars

According to the book, Stop Acting Rich, the average millionaire in America drives a car valued at $31,000 and the average decamillionaire ($10 million or more) drives a car valued at only $42,000. If this is the case, then why is it when we see someone with wealth, we see them in $100,000 cars?

The answer is you're only seeing the small fraction of wealthy people. The rest of them aren't willing to pay a premium for a new car that drops 60% – 70% in value the first four years. They would rather invest their money in things that go up in value and let poor people buy new cars that drop on average 11% by the time you get them from the car lot to your driveway.

Also, millionaires don't lease cars. They take the extra minute to do the math and they understand that leasing cars is the most expensive way to drive and operate a vehicle. This is also the reason why you only see the option to lease a new car in today's car commercials.

Related: Car Payments are Not a Way of Life

7. Bargain Shoppers

Believe it or not, the extremely wealthy are also some of the greatest bargain shoppers. According to the Millionaire Next Door, they like to shop at factory outlets, they buy cheap vodka, and their favorite make and model is the Ford F-150. Although we may see television shows depicting the wealthy only buying Gucci purses, sipping grey goose, and driving Mercedes Benz, the majority of wealthy are actually focused on getting a deal.

Related: How to Shop, Save Money, and Earn Cash Back

8. Homeowners

97% of millionaires are also homeowners, and the average home of a millionaire is valued at $320,000 according to author Thomas Stanley. Owning a home is a great way to leverage your money, and wealthy people understand this.


A millionaire may have a $320,000 home with a mortgage of $1,500 or an annual payment of $18,000. If the housing market increases by 10% over the next year, the homeowner would now have a home valued at $352,000, or a $32,000 gain on investment.

If that same millionaire opened up a brand new mutual fund and invested $18,000 this year and received the same 10% return as the housing market, their gain on investment would be $1,800, not the $32,000 gain they saw with the gain with their home.

Related: How Much Does a 30 Year Mortgage Really Cost You?

9. Financial Independence vs Financial Status

Wealthy people care more about the balance of their investment portfolio than they do about impressing strangers with their financial status. They're focus is on gaining and maintaining true financial independence than impressing a stranger a stoplight in a brand new Porsche.

10. They Go to Work

Yes, believe it or not wealthy people go to work. Forget what you see on the Real Housewives of Orange County, the truth is the majority of wealthy people can be found at work 45 – 55 hours per week on average.

11. They are Self-Employed

Most millionaires in America are actually self-employed entrepreneurs. Interestingly enough, entrepreneurs only make up 20% of the workforce, however 67% of millionaires are actually entrepreneurs, or they work for themselves.

They also are deliberate in choosing the right career path. They identify what they are good at and focus their efforts in providing value into the market. This provides them with a great return on their efforts, and is why the majority of millionaires are self-employed.

12. They are Self Made

Eight out of ten millionaires are first-generation wealthy. They started out just like you and I and put in consistent effort over time to eventually become a millionaire. Although there are plenty who inherited their extreme wealth, the facts show that 80% of millionaires started out just like everyone else.

13. Don't Become Millionaires Until Age 50

Patience is a virtue. We have all read the story of 16 year old who developed an app and became a millionaire overnight, but the truth is most millionaires don't achieve millionaire status until age 50. This is because most millionaires earn a modest salary and focus on living on less than they earn, investing heavily over time, and achieving that millionaire status nearing retirement.

Related: Retirement Calculator – What will your money look like?

14. Children are Financially Stable

More is caught than taught. The majority of wealthy people also raise money-smart children. This means their kids don't grow up and live in the basement forever, but instead are financially stable on their own two feet. The wealthy have developed good daily habits, they are careful with their finances, and over time this behavior is "caught" by their children.

15. The Majority are Russian

Fun fact here, but the largest majority of millionaires in North America are of Russian descent. One of my favorite speakers and businessman, Gary Vaynerchuk, has his famous quote on the top of his website: "I day trade attention and build businesses".

In case you couldn't tell by his last name, he is also Russian.

16. Their Kids go to Private School

Wealthy people are extremely intentional of where they invest their money, including where their children go to school. The majority of their kids do go to private school, however the majority of wealthy also are first generation rich and attended public school. Personally, this is another fun fact, and if you're wondering, the Peach children attend public school...and ride the school bus.

17. They Have College Degrees

Actually, four out of five millionaires in North America have college degrees. Although we love hearing about the Mark Zuckerbergs and the Steve Jobs drop out of college and become billionaires, the facts do show that this is a very very small percentage. The majority of wealthy have college degrees.

18. They PAY Attention and Invest

Wealthy people invest a minimum of 20% of their income and over time increase that percentage as they
build wealth. They also spend double the amount of time on planning their investment strategies than
non-millionaires. They take a very active role in understanding what their net worth is and are deliberate
in paying attention to the value and returns on their investment.

A great tool you can start using right away is to track your own net worth in real time is from Personal Capital.

19. Rich People Network and Socialize

One of the wealthiest people I know is also a master networker and socializer. When I first met this decamillionaire, I had no idea he was wealthy at all. What I did realize immediately is this person knew everyone, had a friend everywhere, and spent the majority of his time building relationships with people.

Thomas Stanley explains this to be the norm for the majority of millionaires. They spend as much time investing in relationships as they do intentionally building and maintaining their wealth. They view wealth as not just what they have accumulated in terms of assets, but also what they have built in terms of relationships with people.

20. Rich People Give Like Crazy

Jesus says in Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The majority of wealthy people are also extreme givers of their time and money. They invest their money not only in building wealth, but allowing the power of their wealth change lives and the have a positive impact on world they live in.

Wealthy people understand incredible amounts of generosity have an extremely high return on their investment in the form of blessings and attracting positivity into their own lives. The majority of the wealthy are also very discreet about their giving, meaning they aren't interested in how you or I feel about their giving. They are much more concerned with the impact their giving will have on others than on themselves.

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