Money

5 money habits that will help you get rich

A man walks through the paddock area on Belmont Stakes Day before the 148th Belmont Stakes.
Eclipse Sportswire | Getty Images
A man walks through the paddock area on Belmont Stakes Day before the 148th Belmont Stakes.

Seemingly small habits can get you pretty far.

As socio-economist Randall Bell writes in his new book "Me We Do Be," our lives are "the sum of our habits and routines. Our tiny actions, good or bad, add up and make us what we are."

The wealthiest, most successful people tend to adhere to certain habits. Here are five that have worked for them and could work for you.

1. Automate your finances

Putting your financial plan on autopilot will save you money, time and mental energy, says self-made millionaire Chris Reining, who crossed the $1 million threshold at age 35 and retired at 37. "I automated my money years ago, and the benefit is I don't have to make decisions about where my money should go, how much I should invest, what I can spend, do I have enough savings, and so on," he says.

Chris Reining
Holly Whittlef
Chris Reining

2. Save the bulk of your income

The wealthiest people tend to have the discipline to keep a large chunk of their paycheck. Take former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Jay Leno, who saved every dime of his "Tonight Show" money.

From the moment he entered the working world, "I always had two incomes," he tells CNBC. "I'd bank one and I'd spend one." And he made sure to spend the smaller amount.

3. Bank any surplus money

Whenever you come across any extra cash — a bonus, birthday check or small windfall — send it to straight to savings, suggest early retirees Justin and Kaisorn McCurry. It's all about thinking about money as something to save and invest, rather than something to spend.

4. Pay yourself first

It means just what it says: Whenever you earn anything, the first person you should pay is you.

In other words, consistently send a chunk of your gross income to a tax-advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k), Roth IRA or traditional IRA. The easiest way to stick to this habit is to make it automatic.

5. Talk about ideas, not things

"Millionaires are creative," says Keith Cameron Smith, author of "The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class." "They spend time thinking about new ideas."

While the masses talk about cars and movies, millionaires own the car companies and produce the movies. They understand that "ideas are the most valuable asset in the world," Smith says.

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