Despite what lottery ads tell you ( "Hey, you never know!"), get-rich-quick schemes are almost guaranteed to fail. If you play New York Powerball, for example, your chances of winning are about one in 292 million.
Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, surveyed 233 wealthy individuals, mostly self-made millionaires, on their daily habits.
He compared their answers to responses from 128 poorer individuals, or those with less than $35,000 in annual gross income. Corley also read hundreds of books on success and psychology, all to figure out what successful people do differently.
He co-authored the recently published book "Rich Habits, Poor Habits," which explains his findings.
Here are three rich-people habits to copy, according to Corley:
1. Create a list of money goals and look at the list every day
Eighty percent of the wealthy are "obsessed" with pursuing goals, he found. They refer to both daily and long-term goals regularly.
So if you're tired of your bank account never exceeding a certain number, channel the frustration into a concrete money goal, Corley recommends. Write down a list of money goals and put them somewhere that you can them every day.
Personal finance experts say that savings goals should include short-term steps. For example, you could write, "I will put $5,000 into emergency savings this year by setting up an automatic transfer from my checking account into my savings account of $14 each day. "
Reviewing those goals daily will keep you focused on the long-term and avoid spontaneous purchases.
"Your biggest leverage comes from investing in yourself, " Corley says.
2. Follow the 24-hour spending rule
"Learning to delay gratification rather than seeking immediate satisfaction is essential for success," Corley writes, "particularly when it comes to things like investing, business and making money."
Every time you're tempted to buy something, consider whether it's something you truly need or if it's just something you kind of want. If the purchase is a want, such as a new tie or a fancy handbag, delay it for at least 24 hours, he suggests.
While you wait, you're more likely either to remember your long-term financial goals or to do research on how to find a better deal.
3. Save 20 percent of your income
The vast majority of wealthy people in Corley's research save a significant amount of their income. Corley recommends putting 20 percent of your monthly net pay, or what you take home after taxes and other deductions, into savings.
For example, if you take home $2200 every month, put $440 dollars into savings. You could set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account so you don't forget.
Over time, you'll start to see your savings account grow.
"Eighty percent of the rich in my study did not become rich until age 50," Corley says. "It takes a long time to create wealth."