Comparing yourself to others is harmful and self-destructive.
But LET’S DO IT ANYWAY haha!! 🤣 Because it can also be very fun and interesting.
Though seriously, when we look at others, we usually see the best version of them and compare it with an average version of ourselves. It’s unfair and inaccurate. So keep this in mind as you read through the below stats. You could be a statistical outlier, and that’s OK! (I am, in many ways.)
I found the following statistics while tooling around on the Rich Habits website. The site founder, Tom Corley, has surveyed hundreds of extremely wealthy and poor people throughout his life to better understand their habits.
What I like about studying habits is that it’s less about the current position that someone is in… Rather, it paints a picture of who they are over time and where they’re likely headed.
Here are 10 habits of millionaires. And for funsies I added commentary on the ones I do/don’t relate to (spoiler alert: I have 7/10 of these habits currently 😅).
Habit #1: 88% of Millionaires Read 30 Mins or More Every Day
As far as comparisons go, I’m off to a bad start! :( If I’m being honest, I’ve probably only gotten a couple hours of reading in during the past few weeks. Wait, can we include blogs and reading finance news on the Internet?… If so, I definitely do that 30+ mins each day!
Here’s more breakdown on the 30 mins reading per day:
- 63% listen to audiobooks during their commute.
- 79% read educational, career-related material.
- 55% read self-help books, articles etc.
- 58% read biographies of successful people.
- 94% read current events.
- 51% read history.
- Only 11% read for purely entertainment purposes.
Habit #2: Most Millionaires (67%) Watch Less Than 1 Hour of TV Daily
Furthermore, 63% of wealthy people spend less than 1 hour daily “surfing the Internet.”
Well, I guess I FAIL in this category, too. Wife and I usually spend about 1 hour watching TV each night, maybe a little more if we’re hooked on a fun series (like our most recent fav, Ted Lasso). But, this TV habit will be kicked shortly when we invite a little one into our home and all our free time disappears! ;)
Habit #3: Most Rich People (86%) Like What They Do for a Living
Woohoo! I definitely align with this one. I love what I do for work currently – and so does my wife!
Probably the most interesting thing I learned about this survey question is how the financially struggling people answered… While most “rich” people liked what they did, 96% of “poor” people said they did NOT like what they did for a living.
Surprising? Not surprising? Maybe when you have financial stability it changes the way you perceive your work?
Habit #4: 76% of Millionaires Exercise at Least 4 Days a Week
This makes sense. What’s the point of accumulating a bunch of money if you’re not healthy enough (or alive) to enjoy spending it!? Investing your money coincides with investing in your health.
My wife and I work out at least 4 times a week. Lately, it’s been more like 6 times a week! 💪 (Again, this habit will probably go out the window when we have kids haha.)
Habit #5: 67% of Millionaires Said They Were “Frugal With Their Money”
Other frugal stats for millionaires:
- 30% of wealthy people clip coupons
- 8% shop at thrift stores!
This dispels the myth that rich people splash around money without thinking. It’s actually the opposite… Most wealthy people are quite intentional with spending, looking for added value and discounts wherever possible. My wife and I are proud to say we align well with this spending habit. We love us some Goodwill bargains. 😍
Habit #6: Most Wealthy People (55%) Spend Less Than $6,000 on Vacations Each Year
Ah, crap. Not only did my wife and I blow $8k+ on vacations last year ($4k on our Hawaii trip alone), but this year we’ve got $10k in our travel budget! Oooops.
But, this is a habit I’m OK not conforming to. Vacationing is something I want to incorporate more into my life, not less. Well, that’s how I feel today… Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune later in life. 🤷♂️
I’m curious to hear what your average annual travel budget is.
Habit #7: Wealthy People Do Not Buy Lottery Tickets (94%)
Only 6% of surveyed wealthy people buy lottery tickets. Whereas, 77% percent of survey respondents who struggle financially play the lottery weekly. 😬
My wife and I don’t play the weekly lotto. But we love going to Vegas every now and then and playing craps (at the cheapest table we can find). Gambling can be fun… But not as a lifestyle!
(Ooooh this reminds me, I have to write a post about a book I read called The Luck Factor which has a great section on “lucky” people and how they pick lotto numbers.)
Habit #8: 81% of Wealthy People Use Credit Cards With Reward Options
Yep, yep, yep! Credit card rewards are a no-brainer. Wifey and I have a handful of rewards cards that give us cash back, travel points, and other free goodies – all for doing regular spending. (We pay off our CC balances every month before any interest kicks in, so these rewards are technically “free.”)
Habit #9: Most Millionaires Buy Used Cars
Even though they can afford to buy new cars, 87% of wealthy people said they never purchased a new luxury car in their lives. 44% said they purchase a used car every 5 years.
We found our 2010 Prius about 6 years ago on Craigslist. Still runs great! In fact, it’s about to hit the 100k mile mark soon and join the mileage-high club.
What are you driving these days?
Habit #10: 65% of Millionaires Have Built 3 or More Streams of Income
This is kind of obvious when you think about it. Most people with a net worth over $1mil would have their assets and income diversified somehow. Stocks, bonds, REITs, rental real estate, home equity, side hustles, business ownerships, W2 incomes, Social Security etc.
My wife and I have more than 3 streams of income and plan to always have our nest egg spread out across multiple investments. This is a habit that was drilled into me at a young age – never put all your eggs in 1 basket!
So, there you have it. Millionaires read a lot, are fitness freaks, they don’t watch TV, never go on vacations or do anything fun…. They are like boring, frugal robots. (And if you don’t follow along, you’ll be financially doomed!) Just kidding. Like I said at the beginning – these are great habits to reflect on here, but don’t take them all too literally.
What do you think? Notice any familiar habits with your own life?
Have a great week ahead,
P.S. Extended reading if you’re interested:
- 16 Habits That Transformed 177 Ordinary People Into Self-Made Millionaires
- Everything I Was Taught About the Rich Was a Lie
- RockstarFinance: Rich Habit Series, 20 x posts by Tom Corley!
Joel is a 35 y/o Aussie living in Los Angeles and the guy behind 5amjoel.com. He loves waking up early, finding ways to be more efficient with time and money, and sharing what he learns with others. Rise Early | Retire Early!