58 Habits to Increase Wealth

By in Investing, Saving, Wealth | 34 comments

How Habits Relate to Wealth

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” Charles Dickens

Who can argue with such an accomplished man as Charles Dickens? Dicken’s isn’t the only one to recommend developing habits. This article discusses the power of habits and how, with discipline and a plan, you to can achieve wealth and greater life contentment.

Growing wealthy is not a mystery. If you crave a wealthy life, you can learn to develop and practice habits which will build wealth.

The Power of Habit Leads to Wealth

It is widely believed that small changes, practiced regularly, lead to out-sized results. Many great accomplishments began with tiny actions, implemented again and again. There’s research supporting the financial and personal benefits of quite a few of these habits.

In an interview with Charles Duhigg, bestselling author The Power of Habit, he talks about his own habit changing wins. As a result of delving into the the study of habits he’s lost 30 pounds, runs most mornings, and is much more productive. He diagnosed his habit of eating a chocolate cookie every afternoon and uncovered that he was actually craving more socialization. Using that newly gained insight as a trigger he replaced eating the cookie with a walk around the office to talk with his co-workers. Not only is Dugigg thinner due to his habit changes, he is certainly wealthier as well, due to the success of his book.

My 96 year old father in law has a daily schedule. He plans when he eats, snacks, exercises, shops, and goes to bed. During his working life, he and my mother in law saved a part of every paycheck. Since he retired (with full retirement at age 80), he gets a juicy Social Security check and has built up savings to cover all his expenses, with some left over for emergencies. Oh, and did I mention, he’s lived on his own with no help for his entire life. I can’t help but conclude that his lifelong discipline and commitment to habit contributed to his longevity.

Peru Coast-Experiences Create Wealth

Peru Coast-Experiences Create  a Wealthy  Life

How Many of These Wealth Building Behaviors Do You Practice?

PRINT OUT THESE WEALTH BUILDING HABITS

These wealth building habits were culled from a variety of sources, why not examine which one’s you possess and which one’s you’d like to develop. And add to the list in the comments.

  1. Get a college education
  2. Get to work early and stay late
  3. Do more than is expected at work and get promoted
  4. Have a side business
  5. Take risks
  6. Learn from your mistakes
  7. Try something new
  8. Contribute regularly to  a ROTH IRA
  9. Contribute to a work retirement account
  10. Be patient
  11. Be disciplined
  12. Eat out infrequently
  13. Transfer money regularly into a savings account
  14. Invest regularly
  15. Order water only with meals out
  16. Drink alcohol infrequently
  17. Avoid extravagant and ostentatious people
  18. Live in a low cost region
  19. Buy a modest home
  20. Keep your vehicle 10 years or more
  21. Take the stairs
  22. Exercise regularly
  23. Bring lunch to work
  24. Maintain your possessions
  25. Spend more on needs-less on wants
  26. Drink water
  27. Eat more rice, beans, potatoes, and peanut butter
  28. Buy fruits and vegetables in season, canned, & frozen
  29. Trade walking for driving when you can
  30. Pay your credit card bill off in full every month
  31. Give your kids more time and fewer things
  32. Don’t equate net worth with self worth
  33. Use the library
  34. Compare prices
  35. Designate part of every paycheck to saving &/or investing
  36. Do not pay to have a check cashed
  37. Learn a new skill
  38. Get an advanced degree
  39. Give to charity
  40. Write down what you appreciate and value in life
  41. Enroll in a work retirement plan
  42. Put all investing dollars into unmanaged, low cost, index funds
  43. Start saving and investing NOW, no matter how old you are
  44. Take up low cost recreation and hobbies
  45. Want less
  46. Ask for a raise
  47. Eat less meat
  48. Think less about money and more about living
  49. Buy I Bonds and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS)
  50. Never compare yourself with those above you
  51. Spend time with nature
  52. Own a pet
  53. Don’t pay full price
  54. Set goals
  55. Review your goals regularly
  56. Make time for fun and relaxation
  57. Get married
  58. Stay married

Action Steps:

  • List several “new” wealth habits from the list to try this week.
  • Add some of your own “wealth habits.”
  • Spend time and money on what matters most to you.

 Can’t Get Enough Wealth Habits?

Family Money Values writes Develop Healthy Wealth Habits

Get Rich Slowly hosts a guest post by Dough Roller in Understand the Seven Habits of Wealth

CNBC highlights The Highly Effective Habits of Millionaires

This is one of the most popular articles on this site. A version was previously published. (some prior comments remain)

What are your best habits? Which ones lead to wealth?

    34 Comments

  1. I am going to print this out and hang it on the wall. Great list. When I look at it were are decently on track which is good but there are some areas we could work on. I like simple tasks that you can tackle. It makes completing them a lot more manageable.

  2. @Miss T- I’m happy you find the info useful. Keeping things simple is definitely helpful (and not so easy) :).

    Barb

    April 18, 2012

  3. Taking risks and being disciplined may conflict with each other. One great advice, drink water!! It looks so simple but now I realized that if I keep my drinking to only water, I can save a good amount of money. Some of your tips are not only useful for increasing wealth but also for keeping health. Thank you for sharing, nice points!!

    Leesburg va real estate

    April 18, 2012

  4. Hi Leesburg, ACtually, I look at wealth much broader than just in monetary terms. Wealth encompasses so much more.. including health and life fulfillment.

    Barb

    April 18, 2012

  5. What a great list. It’s amazing what keeping these in front of you can do to derail your ADD…. ;-)

    AverageJoe

    April 19, 2012

  6. When I look at it were are decently on track which is good but there are some areas we could work on. Thanks for sharing.

    Liz

    April 19, 2012

  7. I wouldn’t call “get married” a “habit” or a “small change.” Also, having a pet has saved me money some ways – I was more willing to rent a room in a shared home, whereas without my dog, I probably would have just rented a fancy 1-bedroom in a highrise without my dog. But the dog has her own expenses to take into account.

    Otherwise, the list sounds like a pretty good list of small changes we can make to improve our quality of life as well as financial situation.

    Kellen

    April 19, 2012

  8. @Average Joe and Liz- Glad the list was helpful.
    @Kellen- Thanks for the “balanced” comment. You got me there… getting married is definitely not a small change or a habit :).

    Barb

    April 19, 2012

  9. Super list, Barb. It really is that simple, being consistent in the application of a few principles (56 isn’t that many).

    101 Centavos

    April 20, 2012

  10. The list sounds like a pretty good list of small changes we can make to improve our quality of life as well as financial situation. Thanks..

    Jam

    April 20, 2012

  11. Great tips! The only one I partially don’t agree with is working late. I’m all for getting to work early and being uber-productive, but there’s more to life than working all the time. ;) People need balance in their life.

    Little House

    April 20, 2012

  12. @101, @Jam- Small changes yield some outsized results. Being consistent in positive behaviors is always a challenge.
    @Little House-I agree, I should have included a tip on being balanced as well. :)

    Barb

    April 20, 2012

  13. So funny, Prairie Eco Thrifter, that was my first thought! I am going to put this on the wall. We do many of these, but there are definitely some areas for improvement.

    Melissa@PersonalFinanceJourney

    April 21, 2012

  14. Some of them are at a very high level. “Learn from mistakes”, “take risks”. These are easier said than done, isn’t it? And to develop this 58 habits I may take a couple of lives.

    Overall your objective is fulfilled with the list.

    SB @ One Cent At A Time

    April 22, 2012

  15. @Melissa, I’m so pleased you find the article helpful and placing the article in easy viewing.
    @SB-It’s easy to write them down and much harder to implement!!! I continue to try :)

    Barb

    April 22, 2012

  16. We are decently on track as well! Areas we could improve on: Make time for fun and relaxation, ask for a raise (specifically the hubby), and use the library. For some reason, I haven’t set foot in a library for quite awhile–very valuable resource!

    Amanda L Grossman

    April 22, 2012

    • @Amanda, From your honest report, sounds like you’re doing great. I’m lucky as El Carino is the “fun promoter” in our family, always pulling me away from the grind.

      Barb

      April 22, 2012

  17. Some advice I’ve learned from the famous Duggar family: “Buy used and save the difference!”

    Tori

    April 25, 2012

  18. While I practice frugal living myself and love personal finance, anyone who abided by all 58 of these would certaninly NOT be someone I’d want to hang out with. (Talk about a bore!)

    “17.Order water only with meals out” <– What is up with this that keeps appearing on PF sites lately. Gimme a break you bunch of cheapskates!

    Edward

    April 25, 2012

  19. You may want to re-phrase #52. Don’t compare yourself to those that appear to have more than you. Most of us came in this world the same way, so I don’t think of anyone being “above me”. (Unless they live upstairs).

    sheena

    April 25, 2012

  20. @Frodo-Glad I could add to your list.
    @Tori-Great tip, I like it; buy used and save the difference.
    @Edward-Hey, what’s wrong with water???
    @Sheena-That’s an attitude that will serve you well throughout life.

    Barb

    April 25, 2012

  21. So to increase wealth I need increase my carbs and decraese my meat an poultry . I will increase my wealth, but die early. LOL. Contribute to a Roth or Employer plan. These are just clever vehicles created by our politicians to screw us. This list is crap.

    Wall Street

    April 27, 2012

  22. Some of these I just can’t follow even though I know they are smart ideas (for example, drinking only water with meals). But I guess if you follow most of them you can allow yourself a little wiggle room with a few.

    Mike Collins

    May 3, 2012

  23. @Mike, You don’t need to be perfect, just on the right track ;)

    Barb

    May 3, 2012

  24. Great list! Agree with some of the other comments, though…’getting married’ is a strange habit to ‘practise’. Especially hitting you right at number one. Staying married, clearly, an excellent habit (and one that not as many find easy to do). Also having a pet seems an odd choice, is that because it makes you a happier person? Most of my friends with pets end up spending what to me seems like ridiculous amounts of money on shots, vitamins, even surgeries, to protect their pet(s). But I’ve never been a ‘pet person’.

    Karen Reyburn

    November 6, 2012

  25. Also, although a college/university education used to be the norm for building wealth, I’d argue that it definitely is not, these days. I know a vast number of people with university degrees who are struggling to find work, and those with no degrees who are running one or more successful businesses.

    Karen Reyburn

    November 6, 2012

  26. @Karen, You bring up a “wealth”of topics for consideration and discussion. Any list certainly is not proof of anything but more guidelines and ideas to mull over. If not a “pet person,” then having a pet would not be a plus for you. The data about marriage supports the reality that in general, the majority of wealthy folks are married, clearly not all! In spite of the touch economic environment, the more education one has, the higher their lifetime earnings, in general. Thanks for weighing in.

    Barb

    November 6, 2012

  27. I love this list. Personally going to the library and reading personal finance books for me has made a profound effect on my life. I’ve read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Richest Man in Babylon and I feel much more comfortable with money and I’m making better faster decisions when it comes to our finances. Great list, I’m printing as I write. Thanks for sharing.

    Charles

    October 31, 2013

  28. That’s quite a list! The only habits on the list that I don’t practice are: 4-Have a side business, 18-Live in a low cost region, 46-Ask for a raise, and 52-Own a pet.

    I don’t have the inclination to have a side business. Call me lazy. I live where I do because this is where I grew up. I have lived elsewhere, but I keep coming back here. I have never asked for a raise, because it seems that I am always paid well above the average for my line of work. I don’t own a pet, although our son has had a few hamsters and goldfish. My wife mostly took care of them.

    Bryce @ Save and Conquer

    April 29, 2014

  29. @Bryce-From your detailed report, sounds like you are doing great!!! And how nice to work in a field where you are well compensated! That makes life so much easier. I don’t think you’re lazy, just satisfied- and there’s nothing wrong with that!

    Barbara Friedberg

    April 29, 2014

  30. @Barbara – Maybe you could write a series of posts which gives 50+ habits for everything! Would be very useful and entertaining.

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