7 Highly Effective Habits of Wealthy People

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If you want to be wealthy, who should you study? Rich people, right?

Growing up, I was only familiar with people who I knew from my environment and upbringing. It wasn’t until my teenage years where I was exposed to kids from wealthy families.

Since then, my perspective on what it takes to become wealthy has drastically changed.

Top Habits of Rich People

Here are seven habits of wealthy people you can implement to start building wealth.

1. Drive modest cars

According to a study by Thomas Stanley in The Millionaire Next Door, 37% of millionaires buy used cars rather than new ones. According to a report by Kelly Blue Book, the average new car loses up to 65% of its value in the first four years.

Also, according to the study done by Stanley, the average value of a Millionaires’ car is around $22,500. If Millionaires drive modest cars, then what should average people who aspire to be Millionaires drive?

2. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Steve Siebold, the author of How Rich People Think, states that rich people surround themselves with like-minded people. If you hang around people who are successful, driven, and hard-working then it is much more likely that you will be too.

If you hang out with people who are lazy, prone to complain, and unproductive, then what do you think your bent will be?

As Mark Twain once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

3. Avoid the accumulation of debt

When members of the Forbes 400,  the wealthiest 400 people in North America, were interviewed, 75% of them say the number-one key to building wealth is to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

Yet, the average household debt in the United States is on the rise. According to a recent Reuters article, the United States has posted the largest household debt increase since 2008.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Those who understand interest earn it; those who don’t pay it.” I don’t know about you, but I would rather make interest and not pay it. If you’re in debt and want to pay it all off, check out these ideas to get out of debt fast.

4. Set goals

Tracie Taylor leads Millionaire U, a three-day real estate training course for “advanced” students. In her class, she states, “People with goals are the ones who succeed.” Tracie is not the only one who says setting goals is important.

Mary Kay Ash was also an advocate of goal setting. Mary founded Mary Kay Cosmetics, which, at the time of her death, had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries and total annual retail sales of over $2 billion.

Listen to what she had to say, “We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal. My goal is to live my life in such a way that when I die, someone can say, ‘she cared’.”

5. Try to get the best deal

There are many examples of getting the best deal, but the one that works for everybody, whether you are wealthy or not, is clipping coupons.

You might think that this is only done by people who “need” to save money, but you would be mistaken.

Did you know that even movie stars clip coupons? According to an article featured in The Week, Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank clips coupons. Who would have thought?

6. Read non-fiction books

Do you enjoy reading? I am not much of a reader, per se, but I do listen to a lot of audiobooks.  I am a huge fan of Automobile University, which is learning while I drive to and from work.

It turns a boring, seemingly unproductive drive to work, into a classroom. If you have a long drive to work, you should consider giving this a shot. If you are old school and like to read paperbacks, you are not alone.

Warren Buffett has a stack of books by his chair that he loves to read. It is evident that successful people like to read. As the renowned economist Barry Asmus said, “Leaders are readers.”

7. Do work that you enjoy

The late Steve Jobs said this at a Stanford commencement speech in 2005

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the year’s roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle…”

Watch the full speech here:

YouTube video


Habits shape who we are. Hopefully by reading some of the habits of wealthy people above you have discovered some habits that you can implement in your own life.

It is also important to note that there is a difference between wealthy people and rich people. Wealthy people think long term whereas rich people think short-term.

It pays to be wealthy, so start putting some of these habits into practice today.

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  1. Ibrahima Danfa says:

    I live so poorly with my wife here in Dakar, Senegal. So, we are looking for help. We don’t want to be rich, we just want to get a normal life. We are looking for help around the world. For about 3 years, there have been some months with no work. Please, if you have any ideas about that, you let us know. Thanks, from Ibrahima and Masja.

    1. We have a lot of posts on this site about ways you can make money. I don’t know if they will work in your country or not, but you could check into it. It wouldn’t hurt and might even help your situation.

  2. I loved it so much. Truly, we need to stay out of debt and have good habits.

    1. Yes, you are right. We do need to stay out of debt if at all possible and have good money habits. Thanks for dropping by to comment. 🙂

  3. I’m a newcomer to this newsletter. I love the article and enjoyed the comments. I’m doing all the things in the list. I’m not totally out of debt, but Lord willing, next year in June 2019, I hope to be.

    1. Welcome! We are so excited you want to pay off your debt. Hopefully some of our posts can help!

  4. Where is the survey of the Forbes 400 that Dave Ramsey references? Is it online?

  5. Grethen Grunt says:

    This is an awesome and very interesting article for everyone to view.

  6. This is a good post and the comments are appreciated.
    Have you all read Napoleon Hill and / or Robert Kiyosaki (that’s just 2 of many really excellent authors)?

  7. houston real estate listings says:

    Great piece, Deacon! I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been reading a lot of articles like this and I can say yours is pretty unique. I love reading books – both fiction and non-fiction. But, I guess I should concentrate more on the “right books!” Can I just add that these habits should be accompanied with determination? If you’re not determined to be wealthy, then none of this will work for you. Thanks for this!

  8. Scott @Youthfulinvestor.com says:

    Cool list! I was always made fun of as a youngster because I never read fiction or any stories for that matter. My face was always planted in the wonderful reference and text books I had that sought to teaching history, science, politics, religion, etc. You wouldn’t believe how easily fascinating the world is with the right books. It’s even better when you are able to recall one of those millions of new nuggets you’ve learned at the right time; like in an argument, solving someone’s problem, or just getting a smile out of someone.

    1. Thanks! That is great that you were into reading at a young age. Unfortunately I always dreaded reading when I was a kid. Now I really enjoy reading but like you said, reading is more enjoyable when it is the “right books.”

  9. Melissa@LittleHouseintheValley says:

    I like the idea of buying a used car, but I did it once when I was young and unbeknownst to me, the previous driver had never had regular oil changes. The car was a real lemon and ended up costing me a lot! Now I buy new and drive them for 10 years or more. Maybe I would consider buying used if the car was a year old or so.

    1. That sounds like a horrible experience. I know how you feel, I bought an old lifted Ford Ranger once and it seemed like I was always fixing something. I think the key is to buy something that has been well maintained (comes with maintenance records) and to check out the known mechanical problems online before purchasing. This has worked great for me on the past 4 used cars that we bought. If you can get a vehicle that is at least 3 years old, it has already depreciated 20-40%, which will save you a lot of money up front.

  10. Save Big, Live Better! says:

    Great post!
    Its so true that it all seems so simple and common sense, but then why arent we all rich!?! All those little simple things can add up to greatness if you get them all under control in a sustainable way!
    The first point about rich people purchasing used cars I never would have guessed! But I guess that’s just another delusion a lot of us have to get rid of – that being rich means you have to LOOK rich. 😛

    1. You’re right about getting things under control in a sustainable way. I believe that with discipline, knowledge, and self control everybody has what it takes to become wealthy. It is hard work but, from what I can tell, it is worth it.

  11. Grayson @ Debt RoundUp says:

    These are awesome tips Deacon. It is always fascinating to know what Millionaires do and how they keep their money. Most people strive to become Millionaires, but don’t know how to do it. These are great tips.

    1. Thanks Grayson! It is so true, most people want to be wealthy but they think it is a pipe dream. Hopefully you and I can help change that by teaching others how to manage money well so that they can achieve their goals in life.

  12. Canadian Budget Binder says:

    Great post Deacon,
    I’m going to say we follow all of these tips because we want to be comfortable in life. We want to have options in our life and not have money control our every decision. Share on my FB page to see what my fans think! Cheers Mr.CBB

    1. Having options in life and not being controlled by money is key for us too. Thanks for sharing on FB!

  13. Wow these are some really interesting insights. I’m not sure how I feel about buying used cars these days. The prices of used cars are so expensive it seems like you don’t save a whole lot buying used.

    1. Hi Lina, I know how you feel about buying used cars because I used to feel the same way. And then I bought a new car. I bought a brand new Nissan Altima and I loved it. It had a push button start, great sound system and drove like a dream. What I didn’t love was the car payment, the insurance that was 60% higher then my current used car and the registration was 4 times what my current car is. I also was not a big fan of losing $5,000 in value in the first year of owning it; Like they say, a car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. I now drive a 2001 Infiniti G20 that I paid $3,700 for. It has maintained it’s value and the monthly costs are substantially less then when I had a new car. Now I know first hand how much money can be saved by purchasing a used car and I will never buy new again.

  14. I’d have to say that I follow all of those…so why am I not rich yet?? 🙂

    It’s simply a matter of patience for most; wealth is not built overnight, that I know for certain.

    1. That is funny, I know what you mean. I do all of these as well and although it has helped our financial picture, we are not wealthy like Warren Buffett. I think you hit the nail on the head though. It takes time to build wealth. We just have to keep on doing these things and sure enough over the next 30 years we just might be on the Forbes 400 list.

    2. Wealth is a mindset. You got it. Keep it!
      But to attempt to address your question, given the wealth mindset, then other supporting characteristics come into play, such as assets (in their many forms). e.g. Influential persons you know or capital available to invest.
      Sometimes a mentor or coach is helpful.

  15. I like this list, but don’t agree with the debt one. It can be a great way to leverage money to invest. I don’t pay my 2.29% mortgage because I earn more in stocks, or even a 3% savings account.

    1. I agree with Pauline – paying down your debt doesn’t always make sense if you are getting a higher rate of return elsewhere. But that only makes sense if your ‘After Tax’ return exceeds the interest you would pay on your debt!

      1. The challenge is that you might not always get a return that beats your debts’ interest rate. For instance, the “Lost Decade” is a great example of that. The S&P 500 didn’t make anything between March of 2000 to April of 2010. If you had a loan at 6%, you would have been better off paying off your debt than investing it making 0%. I am not anti-investing, but I think people need to prioritize paying off non-mortgage debt before they start investing. Thanks for your input Jon!

    2. Although it is true that many people have become wealthy by using debt, much more than that have become broke by using debt poorly. I think that is why the Forbes 400 said the best way to become wealthy is get out of debt and stay out of debt. Although debt is not bad in and of itself, it can be a snare and hinder people from becoming wealthy. By the way, if you can tell me where I can get a 3% on my savings please let me know. All I can find is less than 1%. Thanks for your feedback Pauline!

      1. My savings account is in the UK, with santander. 3% for a year, then they usually have a similar offer after the term, the only trick is to move your money, because they lower the rate to 1% or something. I make a google calendar reminder and open a new one to transfer my money.

      2. Thanks Pauline. I will check it out!

      3. I agree. It depends on each person’s investing skills too.

        Long term returns in the stock market depend on someone’s ability to hold when returns are below average. Comparing this to interest rate on debt can be detrimental if it causes you to sell early. This is why investing money in the stock market should be done with excess savings instead of debt.

        The trap of leverage leads many to think they can mortgage up to accumulate properties with disregard to the risks and work involved. Compounding interest is much more powerful than leverage, and it effects debt just as it does positive returns.

        I like the resources you included in this post. Using Audible for non-fiction books is a great tool to grow wealth.

  16. Mandy @MoneyMasterMom says:

    We’re doing pretty well except for #7. Derek needs to love what he does. We’re planning for that to be possible soon – we’re all over #4 🙂

    1. I’m glad to hear that he has plans to transition into doing something he loves. It makes such a difference. As far as #4, I am a huge advocate for getting out of debt and it is awesome to hear that you are too!