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Financial habits of successful people

Date: 14 January 2016

Financial success is not an accident and it’s not about luck. Instead, it’s all about planning for the future and developing great financial habits along the way. Here we discuss five financial habits of very successful people, plus a few non-financial ones. Best of all, these practices are not exclusive to the rich and famous – they’re all habits you can develop in consultation with your financial adviser.

1. Live within your means

Do you struggle to pay the bills each month or do you have the reassurance of a slowly rising savings account? Actress Keira Knightley famously paid herself just US$50,000 last year despite the fact that her acting and other work brought in over US$2 million. Success is about earning more than you spend, which begins by developing an awareness of what you spend, then setting strict budgets.

2. Set small, realistic goals

We’d all like to earn more each year but dreaming about it will get us nowhere. In order to make more money there are certain small, daily steps we need to take. These are the things successful people concentrate on, rather than only looking at the big picture. It may mean making five more sales call every day, setting a specific time to do the less productive things (answering emails etc) and working hard the rest of the day, spending more time at networking events or keeping a list of to-dos. The little changes in one’s daily life can make a very big difference to annual earnings.

3. Familiarise yourself with finance matters

A person with a clear understanding of the way a car engine works is far less likely to have a problem with their car thanks to the fact that they know the maintenance essentials and the danger signals. Along those same lines, the wealthy are good with money because they understand the various options open to them no matter what’s going on in the market. They regularly seek counsel from financial advisers and spend time reading up on financial matters.

4. Take action

Successful people don’t believe good things come to those who wait, they go out and create their own financial fate. Some people spend money on lottery tickets week after week, hoping for a financial miracle, while successful people are busy putting steps in place to ensure financial success. They see the clear value in a visit to their financial adviser and not watching TV in hope.

5. Don’t buy what you don’t need

Wealthy people put their spare money into investments that will provide returns. Those that are not as successful with their money tend to fill their homes with items that make them feel wealthy – laptops and big-screen TVs and tablets etc – but which essentially drain their spare funds and prevent them from becoming financially successful.

6. Lifestyle habits

Research has proven that financially successful people eat less junk food, count calories and exercise at least three to four times a week. They get up three hours before going to work, network and/or do volunteer work five or more hours per month and spend less time on the internet and watching TV. They value relationships and actively seek to build friendships with people both within work and in their private lives and spend time every day reading information relating to their careers in order to advance their skills and knowledge. Finally, they pass on these traits to their children, ensuring they will also grow up with a financially, physically and socially healthy outlook.

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