It sucks being broke. There are not many people who would pass up on an opportunity to become wealthy. Sadly, very few people are aware of what it takes to get there. The following are 15 powerful and mind-blowing money habits to help you become super rich. One of them is guaranteed to keep your marital love flame burning!
1. Save but invest more.
There are those who save for retirement and there are those who invest for retirement. But saving and investing are two different things. Saving entails stocking money away in relatively safe and low-yield accounts (savings or money market accounts, certificate of deposits, etc.) for easy access or emergency use. Conversely, investing is the action of using cold hard cash to buy riskier products (stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, etc.) with the anticipation that such investments will appreciate in value and yield higher returns over time. Tax-sheltered retirement accounts, such as an employer-sponsored 401k account, a traditional or Roth IRA, give you arguably the best opportunity to become ultra rich.
2. Take advantage of market opportunities.
Diversification is essential to investing. Regardless of how well-diversified your portfolio is, stock market meltdowns will occur. The percentage of your portfolio allocated to a major asset class will depend on a host of factors, including your age, risk tolerance and investment objective, among other things. There are times when you need to violate your portfolio allocation percentages to take advantage of lucrative market opportunities. These are events where the price of a particular security drops to a low level that the astute investor simply cannot resist buying the dip. When you make a habit of buying investments at low prices, you give yourself an opportunity to become wealthy. This practice will no doubt disrupt your portfolio allocation, but you can always bring things back on track with portfolio rebalancing.
3. Max out your 401k or IRA.
The maximum annual amount you can contribute to your 401k in 2019 is $19,000. But if you are 50 years and older, the IRS allows you to contribute an additional $6,000 in "catch up" contributions. For traditional or Roth IRA accounts, the maximum contribution is $6,000 or $7,000, if you are 50 years and older. Constantly maxing out your retirement accounts is a great money habit that is guaranteed to make you wealthy.
4. Set up an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is money stashed away to help you cover the cost of the unforeseen expenses that life will throw at you. Financial experts recommend you have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. Having an emergency fund around prevents you from prematurely tapping into your primary retirement accounts during emergencies. Let the money in your retirement accounts stay untouched to ride the wave of compounding returns.
5. Open and contribute to a brokerage account.
After maxing out your tax-advantaged retirement accounts (401k, IRA), a brokerage account offers you yet another excellent opportunity to supercharge your money. It gives you access to a host of asset classes to choose from. Always max out your primary retirement accounts before opening up and contributing to a brokerage account.
6. Use credit cards judiciously.
With double-digit interest rates, credit card debt is one of the worst debt you can accumulate. And if you only make the minimum payment, it could take you years to shell out this debt. According American actor and author Hill Harper, "credit card interest payments are the dumbest money of all." There is not a magic number as to how many credit cards you should carry. What matters is how you use them. If you want to become rich, don't treat credit cards as piggy banks; use them prudently.
7. Run away from the lottery.
The lottery is nothing but a fool's game. According to a study from The Insured Retirement Institute and Center for Generational Kinetics, 15% of millennials sadly and foolishly consider the lottery as part of their retirement plan. Regrettably, the vast majority of people who play the lottery will never win! In fact, an author who studies millionaires for 5 years discourages people from playing the lottery if they want to get rich. You are more likely to win in the stock market than you are in the lottery. Consider investing your money in either a 401k, Roth, or traditional IRA account to build sustainable wealth.
8. Treat cash as your servant, not king.It is prudent to have some cash around, especially for emergency purposes or to take advantage of lucrative stock market buying opportunities. But stockpiling cash in savings accounts as a means to get wealthy can spell disaster for your financial bottom line. Robert G. Allen, an American businessman, once asked, "How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case." Because of inflation, a dollar today has more buying power than a dollar tomorrow. Therefore, if you want to become rich, treat cash as your servant, not your king. Invest it to maximize your returns.
9. Pay down debt.
Debt is a cancer that needs to be excised! You can't get rich when you are shackled down by debt. It prevents you from finding the money to invest and save for retirement. If you truly want to tackle debt, these debt-pay off methods may help you eliminate debt, free up money to invest, and help you become wealthy.
10. Celebrate financial success with your spouse.
This is probably the single most important wealth-building secrets. Your spouse is one of the most important person and relationship you will ever have! If the two of you are not fully on board financially, your wealth-building plan is doomed to failure. Whenever you reach a financial milestone, celebrate your success together. Go out on an adventure, just the two of you. Express gratitude to your spouse for being a great partner in wealth. Celebrate each other. Plan your next adventure for the next financial accomplishment. This will not only ignite the passion in your marriage but also put you both on a path of becoming wealthy.
11. Don't sign up for retail store credit cards.
Signing up for nearly every major retail store credit card can impede your quest of becoming wealthy. Having too many credit cards is not only bad for your credit but also hard to manage. Besides, when you sign up for too many retail store credit cards, you may be tempted to spend money that you otherwise would not spend. Resist this enticing and bad money habit to give yourself a shot at financial glory.
12. Be skeptical of discount deals.
Discount deals pop up everywhere: "Spend X dollars and get Y dollars off". You cannot say with certitude whether or not such deals are real. There have been many documented instances of retailers misleading consumers with fake pricing and discounts. In an article published in Money, it was noted that more retailers have misled customers with fake and deceptive pricing schemes. In fact, JC Penney and Khols are two retailers that were hit with lawsuits in 2015 for deceiving consumers with such tactics. Another problem with discount deals is they lure you into spending money you probably had no intention of spending. Don't spend money just to get a discount deal. Doing so is a bad money habit that will stymie your chances of getting wealthy.
13. Educate yourself or embrace the rich.
Partnering with the rich and becoming financially literate are crucial in helping you become rich. You can hate the rich all you want, but they are not going anywhere. Being envious of or hating someone requires an expenditure of considerable energy. Instead of becoming envious of the rich, channel that energy to find out how they became more financially stable than you are. Better yet, take a financial literacy course to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to help you manage your money and become rich.
14. Stop spending money on stupid stuff.
Let's face it. We live in a society where we are made to believe we need everything. We constantly spend money on things that we don't really need or on stupid stuff--stuff that does nothing but drain our finances. An amazing article on Busy Budgeter outlines some of the most ridiculous and stupidest things people spend money on. A few honorable mentions on that list include but are not limited to timeshares, extended warranties, fast food, lottery tickets (duh!), name brand items, among others. Buying or financing stuff you cannot really afford is also a dumb money move. Avoid spending money on unnecessary stuff to give yourself an opportunity to become wealthy.
15. Maximize or increase your salary.
One way to become rich is to increase or max out your retirement account contributions from year to year. But it's hard to increase your contributions if your salary remains stagnant. There are various ways to give yourself salary a boost, including asking for a raise, finding a side hustle, learning a new skill, or leaving your employer altogether. According to an article published in Forbes, employees who stay in companies longer than 2 years get paid 50% less. So, you may want to consider leaving your current job for a salary boost if you want to become rich.
The bottom line
Becoming rich or building wealth is not a mystery; it's a mental game. It's a game that requires sound financial discipline and judgement. By making small changes and tweaking your financial habits, you will put yourself on a path to financial bliss.
Please share this article. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please click here. Here are a few other articles you may find useful: 3 simple ways to handle stock market volatility | 10 shocking reasons why you will be broke at retirement | A simple portfolio to supercharge your returns | How to invest $50 | index funds vs ETFs vs stocks.