Save and Invest

Wealth manager: 'The solution to your money problems isn't more money'—it's this

Twenty20

Most Americans, 60%, don't have enough in savings to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense. And more than one in five, 21%, aren't saving at all.

That said, "the solution to your money problems isn't more money," wealth manager and best-selling author David Bach writes in his 2019 book "The Latte Factor."

Instead, he says, the answer lies in forming "new habits."

Bach recommends you rethink the way you spend — and start with the small stuff. Think about any regular inessential expenses you may have, like your morning coffee or overpriced lunch, and consider which might be worth cutting back on. If you invest what you save, that money could grow substantially, he points out, thanks to compound interest.

The solution to your money problems isn't more money. It's new habits.
David Bach
wealth manager

He isn't the only self-made millionaire who believes in starting with small changes.

"I know there are some people out there that say you shouldn't worry about the $5 latte, but the more I think about it, cutting out the $5 latte was a good place to start," says early retiree Chris Reining, who saved $1 million by age 35 and quit his job two years later. "Because if you try to downsize your house, get rid of all yours cars and make all of these drastic changes, it's so overwhelming and you're not going to do any of it."

After cutting out his morning coffee, Reining eliminated the $15 lunches he bought every day. Next, he cut out the bigger things, such as the $1,000 a month he spent on flying lessons.

"The small changes will lead you to be able to make the big changes," Reining says. Plus, "you can always go back and add the small changes in later."

"Now I buy a $5 latte and it's no big deal," he adds, "but I think it was really important to get the ball rolling by starting with something small."

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There are other relatively simple habits you can adopt, besides making your own coffee, that can also help you build wealth over time. Automating your finances, or having your money sent directly to investment accounts, savings accounts and creditors, for example. And surrounding yourself with high-achieving people and having specific goals for your money can also help you earn more.

What you do each day matters. The most successful people benefit from what he calls "rich habits," author and socio-economist Randall Bell found after studying high achievers for years, because they consistently follow rituals and routines that help them get ahead.

Ready to change your habits? Read up on simple money habits that will help you earn more, money habits that will help you get rich and rich habits of highly successful people.

Don't miss: 38-year-old retired millionaire shares his No. 1 saving tip

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