Four Money Habits that Will Make You Rich
You don’t need to win the lottery to become wealthy. It’s much easier than that, and a whole lot more likely to happen if you create and maintain good money habits. Taken together, here are four money habits that will make you rich.
1. Save and invest
Always, always, always save and invest a portion of your income. Start out at 10%, and increase it each year from there until you’re setting aside a large percentage. If you do this from your very first job on, you’ll have painlessly accumulated a good sum of money. Do not touch this money at any point along the way, no matter how tempted you are. (Touching the money your money earns for you is another matter.)
2. Diversify your investments, income, and skills
This is the old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” mantra, and it’s a mantra for good reason. Things happen to all of us, no matter how charmed our lives might be most of the time. Investments go bad, employers go out of business, and skills become outdated. Invest across industries, companies, and types of investments — and understand your investment choices. Make sure you aren’t devastated by a job or income-source loss by having multiple things to fall back on. Even if you intend to spend your whole life working at the same job or in the same industry, you should still keep multiple skills sharp and flexible. Volunteer somewhere, start a side business, or take up a hobby that has the potential to make money.
3. Prepare for emergencies
Keep an emergency fund on hand of at least a year’s worth of household expenses. If that seems like a lot of money to have sitting around “doing nothing”, remember all the people who have been unemployed for years or experienced multiple layoffs within a short period of time. Besides, it’s not doing nothing. It’s helping to protect you. This emergency fund should be accessible and safe, not in investments. Laddered CDs can work, so long as you’ve got enough in them to leave you with a year’s worth of expenses after early withdrawal penalties.
4. Insure adequately
Keep a good health insurance policy and disability policy in force, or live in a country that provides good medicine to its citizens without bankrupting them. Health care expenses are a big cause of bankruptcy, so guard against them even if you’re young and healthy. No one plans to get sick or injured.
Create and maintain these good money habits, and you’ll be on the path to wealth. It’s never too late to improve your financial situation, and you might be surprised at how quickly things can go from bad to great once you start taking control of your financial life.