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6 Daily Habits of The Wealthy

by J. Money on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

rathre be rich mug

I love when people research the rich, and then tell us all their secrets so we can try and be like them too :) (I really do – I’m not being snarky there). There’s something about the simplicity of it all that really grabs me and helps me realize that most of these traits ARE do-able if you really care enough to go out there and try ‘em.

Such is the case with this recent article my homegirl Farnoosh did for Yahoo! Finance recently, when she interviewed a financial planner named Tom Corley on his latest findings.

In a nutshell, he:

“…spent five years observing more than 350 “rich” and “poor” people, how they live, work and even sleep and captured them all in his book, “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” He defined “wealthy” as earning at least $160,000 annually and holding at least $3.2 million in assets. “Poor” was income under $30,000 a year and less than $5,000 in assets. “

I like how “poor” is really not *that* poor, but more like recent college grads and over 60% of the world’s general population (I just made that number up, but it sounded good right?), but whatever – I get his point ;) The opposite of wealthy. And since I kinda-sorta-but-not-really fall into that wealthy category myself (the $100k+ part, not the $3.2 Million in assets (yet)), I thought I’d list out all these habits and see how I compare. Maybe they’ll help us reach it faster?

Here are the main daily habits he’s since extrapolated: (S.A.T. word)

  1. They’re early risers – [FAIL] According to Corley, 44% of them wake up 3 hours before they start their 9-5. WOW. While I’m using this time to sleep, or check on the baby, or sleep some more, they’re out there reading and learning and working out. This is an area where I’d love to improve as it seems a lot of successful people wake up early (like this guy over at The Minimalists – a new blog I recently started reading). I work best in mornings anyways!
  2. They keep a running list of tasks — [WIN!] And I cross off over 70% of them on a daily basis too, just like those wealthy pimps :) This has been by far the best thing I’ve learned to do over the years of self-employment. Or in my career, for that matter. A clean mind = more productivity!
  3. They don’t take long lunches — [WIN!] Unless I’m networking/going on walks talking with other bizness men and women and collaborating… Though I guess that has nothing to do with lunch, now does it? I guess I should mention I sometimes take a walk in *place* of a normal lunch break during the week ;) Does wonders for clearing the mind, too.
  4. They count their calories — [FAIL] Apparently a majority of wealthy people limit alcoholic consumption and keep junk food snacks to under 300 calories per day. Double fail. I like to drink beer and munch on nonsense habitually, though I’m not too proud of it (with the latter, at least). I’m one of those skinny boys who has lately learned how to put on a few pounds and now has to make sure he’s paying attention more before it gets out of control. But maybe now knowing “the wealthy stay healthy” it’ll be more motivation to wise up! Haha…
  5. They don’t gossip – [FAIL/WIN] I don’t know how to answer this one because I don’t really gossip about *people* per se, but I definitely talk about other businesses/blogs/etc and give my opinions any ol’ time I’m asked (and sometimes even bring up myself). So I guess it’s kinda half fail and half win? Usually it’s more about learning from others on what not to do (or do more of), so it’s certainly more productive than just gossip for the sake of it…
  6. They limit their internet usage — [FAIL/WIN] But I believe I should get some sort of dispensation here considering my life is ON the internet, haha… Kinda hard to avoid that when you’re a blogger ;) But as for the getting on Facebook 24/7 and just browsing around at useless information, well, I’m definitely the king of NOT doing that. In fact, I recently shut down my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts because they just weren’t doing anything useful for me. They felt like little extensions of myself out there just blowing in the wind and I didn’t see the point of ‘em anymore. Though of course that would never happen to my J. Money stuff ;)

So I have 2 wins, 2 fails, and 2 half-and-halfs. Even Steven as always ;) But it’s nice to see I’m doing some stuff right. I think I’m gonna focus on the “waking up early” part more in the future. That seems to be the best bang for your buck.

Which habits do you guys relate to? Anything missing this list that would be smart to do? It kinda reminds me of the “ways rich people think vs. middle class” post we did earlier in the year – only with ACTION ITEMS attached. Which I like. You can get your mind right all day long on a topic, but until you actually start *doing something* about it there’s not really much of a point.

Anyways, food for thought… Under 300 calories worth, of course ;)

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(Photo by gawd)


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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skint in the City July 30, 2013 at 6:13 am

Nice list! I win on three and fail on three, so even stevens here too. My wins – making lists, limiting lunches and gossip. Fails: internet limiting, calories and early mornings.
Diana Vreeland, famous former Vogue editor, always said it was inelegant to begin work before lunchtime – and she did pretty well for herself! No matter how much people tell me it’s the route to success I will NEVER be able to start my work day at 6am . . .
To this list I’d also add having the ability to differentiate between the urgent and the important tasks – not always the same thing and I have to remind myself of that all the time . . .

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2 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Haha indeed… usually “urgent” means “the tasks that are the easiest to complete right now with no work” haha…

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3 Free Money Minute July 30, 2013 at 6:20 am

I would say I am very similar to you in what you outlined. I am currently getting up early (5AM) but I am working a modified schedule at work temporarily. I have gotten away from working out and eating as well as I once did. That will be my focus area. Thanks for the motivation, as always.

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4 Aimee July 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

Count calories… hahaha!!! A wise man once told me “It’s not everything in moderation, it’s everything in excess. Eat too much, work out too much.” I can totally roll with that. I always say the thing I like most about hiking is replacing all the calories I burned when I get home.

I make lists, don’t even take lunch sometimes (I eat while I work all day), and have been getting better about mindless internet usage. Waking up ridiculously early is not for me. I naturally wake up around 7 on the weekends, but can’t bring myself to wake up earlier than I need to during the week. I am guilty of gossiping some times, although I’m a saint in the gossip category compared to my mother. I guess that was kinda gossip right there… sorry Mom!

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5 Lance @ Money Life and More July 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

I think the first one is the funniest (I think I saw it somewhere else too) but if 44% wake up 3 hours before work, that means a bigger percentage, 56% don’t… soooo what does that mean?!

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6 David Hunter July 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

I was thinking the same thing! Ha

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7 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm

HAH! Didn’t even catch that :)

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8 John S @ Frugal Rules July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

Nice list an I always like reading about research on habits of the rich as well. I am likely doing best with #1 as 5:30 is late for me – I am usually up by 5:00 or a little earlier. I NEVER used to be that way, but having three little hooligans running around means I need to get work in when I can. My biggest fail..#4 – I am guilty of not doing this and need to get my act in gear!

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9 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Kids DEF help out for sure :) Though they also wear you out and make it harder to wake up earlier!

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10 jestjack July 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

I have observed rich folk tend to buy quality products that endure and are willing to pay a bit more for the product or service….And one might make the distinction between …”old money” and “new money”. That is the newly minted wealthy…versus the established wealthy that were basically born into it and have it contained in their DNA. I’ve noticed a big difference in these two sub-sets.

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11 Slackerjo July 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

Unless I win the lottery I will never be rich. Since I routinely forget to buy a ticket, that probably won’t happen. That’s okay because I am not hard wired to live the be rich lifestyle. While being rich probably is pretty awesome, I feel exhausted reading what one has to do to become rich. It just seems like work, work, work all the time. No thanks. I’d rather live modestly and enjoy my down time.

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12 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

“I feel exhausted reading what one has to do to become rich.” – haha… good one.

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13 David Hunter July 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

One thing missing from the list is… Wealthy people are SAVERS.

I’ve never met a wealthy person who wasn’t a saver.

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14 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm

True true… I haven’t either.

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15 Mark Ross July 30, 2013 at 9:05 am

Great list! I’m doing 3 of those already, so that’s good for me, right? Now, I’ll just try to do the other half and see if I can do things the riches do. Thanks for sharing this by the way..

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16 Dan Meyers July 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

Just like Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But it turns out he regularly slept in!

I think it’s good to have discipline, but I don’t think waking up early is a predictor of wealth!

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17 Leona@allmydollarsandcents.com July 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

I saw this article also. I’m doing 4 out of the list–so I’ll sit back and wait for the dough to roll in.

;-)

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18 No Waste July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

Well, I definitely count my calories.The total doesn’t concern me, but I do count them.

Another bullet point that I’ve also seen is that the wealthy tend to be voracious readers.

Fiction, Non-Fiction, whatever. They just read.

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19 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Yup! Never stop learning.

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20 Dana July 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

They don’t gossip. What-what? I need to work on becoming a master of money like you. One step at a time though. One baby step at a time indeed. I do possess many of these attributes of wealthy people. So this isn’t impossible!

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21 Michelle July 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

I am not a morning person at all. Right now I would love to go back to sleep haha

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22 maria@moneyprinciple July 30, 2013 at 10:27 am

Two fails: I don’t count calories (there are more exciting things to count, I believe) and I don’t limit my internet use (and I should, really but then I’ll be missing on many lovely friendships :)). Was there something about watching TV on this guy’s list or am I confusing this with some other ‘study’?

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23 Aimee July 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I personally would lump TV in with mindless internet… unless it’s like Discovery or 60 minutes or something equally enriching.

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24 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:42 pm

A different study, but I’ve seen that before too.

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25 a terrible husband... July 30, 2013 at 11:12 am

1 – A+ (Wake up at 5am or earlier every day)
2 – B (I keep a list, but fall behind and catch up a lot)
3 – A (Only when necessary)
4 – F (rarely – and even then usually for “shock value of how much I stuffed into me”)
5 – C (working on it)
6 – D- (lately I’ve been spending more time online than necessary)

Not bad. Not decent though either. Good reminders!

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26 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Lovin’ your site my man, that post you did on commitment was spot on :)

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27 a terrible husband... August 1, 2013 at 6:29 am

Thanks, J$! It’s been fun – and scary – to write, but I’ve had some great feedback and it keeps me accountable!

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28 Jake @ Common Cents Wealth July 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

That’s a pretty interesting list. I’m similar to you in that there are a few passes and a few fails. I find it hard to believe that the majority of rich people count calories, but maybe that really means they just watch what they eat (and not actually count every calorie each day).

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29 Anne @ Unique Gifter July 30, 2013 at 11:39 am

Well poop. I’d be in the 50/50 zone, too, I think. I don’t really want to fess up to specifics ;-)

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30 Retire By 40 July 30, 2013 at 11:54 am

Well… I don’t gossip, that’s about it. What’s rich by her definition anyway? Ahhh.. I see 3.2 million in assets, I guess I’m not rich yet.
I’m rich in life man.

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31 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I’d rather be rich in life than in assets :) Or stop working once I get those assets and THEN enjoy life for the rest of it, hmm….

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32 May Bohon July 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

J. Mo!!!
Come join 5 Club with us!! :) –> http://5clubapp.com
It’s an app inspired by Jon Acuff’s new book, “START,” in which he talks about being selfish at 5am –> http://www.thestartbook.com

Let’s see, your list looks like this for me:
1. Fail/Win –> winning at this is way more beneficial than failing
2. Frustrating Fail –> lots of tasks, definitely not a 70% completion rate, I struggle with time management
3. Fail –> need a mental break from my clients, but sometimes I run errands and tackle tasks during that time so…also Win :)
4. Fail –> I eat lots of small mostly-healthy meals/snacks and swim. I figure those habits can take place of calorie-counting.
5. 90% Win –> Waste of time, but some times it can be a trap.
6. Fail/Win –> I’m starting to blog more often now, but still find myself getting distracted on the interwebs thanks to FOMO.

Isn’t honesty fun? :)
Thanks for sharing!
May

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33 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:54 pm

LOVE THAT APP!! Just made a pact w/ Melissa from Shoestring to try 5am tomorrow – Thursday :) Want to join??

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34 Nick @ ayoungpro.com July 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Ouch, I’m only doing 2/6. Time to start some new habits!

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35 Angella July 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I’m 3/3. I love my sleep, sweets, and internet too much. ;)

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36 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen July 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

They’re early risers – Super fail on this one…I am so not a morning person! the only thing I can say is that I now wake up 15 minutes earlier than I have to. Trust me that this is an achievement on my part.
They don’t take long lunches – Decent. I tend to work at my desk to maximise time. I sometimes take long lunches though to catch up with friends. Relationships require work!
They count their calories – Fail. I try to eat healthy as much as possible though…does that count?
They don’t gossip – Haha fail. I don’t gossip as much as other people…but I certainly like to catch up on what other people I know are doing.
They limit their internet usage – Fail again. I’m constantly reading blog articles online and researching and looking at new websites. It’s kind of a part of being in the interactive industry and being a blogger though. So how does that work then?

So I think I have 2.5 maybe?

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37 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

15 mins earlier is a great start :) Not many people do that!

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38 Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen July 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Forgot the list one. That one I do!

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39 Elvis R. July 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hey I have a few wins and a few fails.
The morning thing- that is hard for me as well as I stay up late 3 times a week blogging. (Same as you I suppose) Fail
I do make lists with goals.- Win
The lunch thing – I still work for the man and if I’m having a bad day Ill take 45 to walk first then eat. It helps me with stress. Sometimes I make a call to catch up with friends.
I do watch what I eat- Win
I dont Gossip – Win
I am not a heavy internet user. Win

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40 Angela July 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Oh THIS is why I’m not rich! I sleep too late and like to take the time to chew my food!

I thought it was because I wasn’t gifted with enough IQ, talent, or the temperament to go out in the world and start a mid-level company or to be hired by one into upper or mid-level management or sales, become a surgeon, a pilot, a professional athlete, a regularly working commercial actress, or novelist, etc.

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41 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Haha… do I sense some sarcasm? :)

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42 Kevin @ RewardBoost.com July 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm

If I could spend less time browsing the internet and more time working on my business, I think I would be quite a bit further ahead than I am now. I have definitely recognized the opportunity and am working hard to implement a change. I’m too curious about politics and current events, and I need to shut that off while I’m working!

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43 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:57 pm

At least it seems you blog about your political findings/thoughts – so that’s halfway productive! :)

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44 Romanian July 31, 2013 at 2:01 am

Really nice list, gets you thinking… I kind of fail at everything on the list (or am just like your last two, half win, half fail). The most difficult thing for me would be the waking up part. Since I spend most of my day in front of the computer and I get really tired because of that, if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep daily, I am a wreck. And usually my body wants 10 hours from me. I know, such a waste…

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45 kdice July 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I agree these are fun, but let’s not confuse correlation and causation. Just because these things are correlated with being rich doesn’t mean they will cause you to be rich. Many of these seem to fall under the category of self-discipline. So, it isn’t that you have to count calories to get rich, it is that you have to be self-disciplined. That also tends to show up in other areas, like your food intake. /end statistics talk

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46 Steve August 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I’m glad you mentioned this. We should not delude ourselves into thinking copying some wealthy folk’s single habits will magically make us wealthy. Getting up early and counting our calories will make us healthy, not rich. You have to turn those habits into something that will generate a lot more income.

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47 J. Money July 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm

For sure – well said :)

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48 Michelle's Finance Journal August 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

No wonder I’m not rich. I’m not doin well in most of them.
1. I like to go to bed late and wake up late. FAIL
2. I do keep list of tasks to do so I won’t forget, but I don’t think the quality of my tasks are that good. FAIL/WIN
3.At work, I don’t take long lunches although I’d like to. FAIL/WIN
4. I never count calories. Don’t even know how. FAIL
5. I don’t gossip at work, but I do join in on occasional gossip in my personal life. FAIL/WIN
6. Although I don’t post things much on facebook or other social networking sites, I do continuously check on them. My fingers just move on my smart phone.

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49 J. Money August 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Well #1 can be okay if you’re staying up late and hustlin’ ;)

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50 maire August 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I think getting up early is relative to your business. For example some people get up early because their clients live in a different time zone. I usually get up at the crack of noon. A well rested brain thinks clearly.Enjoy!

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51 maire August 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm

ps I also wanted to say that getting up early doesnt make you healthy-It is one of the major causes for type 2 diabetes and most heart attacks happen early in the morning.Lots of sleep makes us less stressed,helps our immune system and stops us from need facelifts (thats why its called beauty sleep).I need my ten hours to feel in top form and to make sensible decesions about money and life. Enjoy.

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52 J. Money August 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Hey, don’t gotta tell me twice! If you’re hustlin’ all night, then sleeping in is usually around the corner – at least for me. Though I like to go on 3-day binges and then sleep for like a week, haha… which is also prob. not good for you ;)

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53 Marie-Therese September 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I was really intrigued to find that I win in a lot of these categories. Wow. I’m on my way. Thank you for this excellent post!

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