The thing that consistently differentiates the wealthy from the poor or middle class is that the wealthy have specific money rituals, things that they just will not compromise when it comes to how they approach money.
If you are like most people, you will have thought about being wealthy, an probably more specifically what it will bring you.
But have you ever thought about what it takes to be wealthy? What you need to do on an ongoing basis to achieve wealth? This is normally where the story gets murky.
If you are like most other people that are yet to achieve the wealth that you desire, it is fair to say that you don’t have the rituals of the wealthy, at least not all of them.
So here are 5 money rituals that are common among the wealthy people that I have researched. By implementing these rituals daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, you will be ahead of 95% of the population that aren’t doing these steps. And let’s be clear, less than 5% of people retire with enough money to support their lifestyle, that should scare you.
1. Manage Your Money
This step sounds relatively straight forward, but do you really know where all your money goes. I suspect the answer will be not really.
To understand how you are using your money, you need to establish a system to manage it.
This system should identify buckets or categories that identify the type of expense that each item of expenditure relates to.
For example, you will have expenses that are essential for living, such as the cost of housing whether it be rent or mortgage payments, and others that are not essential, such as eating out or going to the movies. You still need these expenses, they are just different.
Create a system that works for you, and identifies the main categories of your spending.
And then the task is to reduce the spending in those categories that are not essential. The wealthy understand the value of money and tend to be very frugal, or selective of where and when they will spend. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a life, just be mindful of where your money is going.
They know they need their money to be working for them to be wealthy.
You will be surprised at how much you are spending on categories that are not helping you become wealthy, and are nothing more than emotional spending.
2. Don’t Spend it…Invest it.
This is a big one…
It is nothing revolutionary to suggest that you need to invest your money before you spend it, or at least a portion of it.
There have been many people promoting over the years the notion of investing 10% of your income before you spend anything.
This is a valid concept, however the percentage is not the important part.
The key to success is understanding how much you can manage and ensuring that you make it a ritual to consistently invest a defined amount every time you get paid.
There are many things that you can choose to invest your money in, but the three most common investments of the wealthy are:
- Property, and
- Shares or Stocks
Most people believe that when they finish school or college or university that their learning days are complete. Don’t let this be you.
The most important investment that the wealthy have is in themselves. Warren Buffet has suggested that he read more than 100 books on money and investing before he was 20.
Successful and wealthy people never stop learning, never stop investing in their education, adapting new skills to assist them in the pursuit of financial freedom.
If you want to achieve your financial freedom via property investing, learn everything there is to know about it. If it is share investing, learn everything about stock markets, trends, strategies.
Education is a ritual of the wealthy that is not well known or respected by those that are not wealthy. So there is a clue right there, right?
3. Have a Plan
This is a ritual that could be expanded to include goals.
Wealthy people have a plan, they know where they are going and how they are going to get there.
There is a well-known saying that you don’t plan to fail, you fail to plan, that explains why so many people and for that matter businesses fail to achieve their goals.
If you believe the statistics, working in the nine to five grind is not the path to wealth, no surprise there really. And recent events should convince you even more of this fact.
So you need a plan that identifies how YOU are going to achieve wealth.
It could be a strategy to invest in passive income streams, or starting your own business. Many home based businesses have gone on to make sales in the millions.
The key to this ritual is that you need to know how you are going to make progress, and when you identify your strategy, write it down and put it into a plan.
Don’t be afraid to seek help with this step, get a mentor or life coach who can guide you.
4. Make a Contribution…
This is my favourite discovery of all the research I have done. It is this step that has brought me the greatest lessons and ultimately wealth.
The wealthy believe that the more you give, the more you will receive in return. Simple as that.
Make it part of your plan that you will give some of your money to charitable organisations that will benefit a cause or community that has relevance to you.
There is no doubt that the benefits you will receive, which won’t all be financial, will far outweigh the amount that you give.
To be successful in life you need the right mindset… the feeling of gratitude that you will derive from giving is a great way to build on the right mindset to be successful.
Contribution is a ritual that ALL wealthy people have mastered and practice regularly. There are many examples to refer, but Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates are two that stand out.
Just to wrap the importance of this point up, the lesson I learned about contribution is that it turns on the concept of reciprocity, and reciprocity is a powerful provider.
5. Live Below Your Means
Number four may be my favourite discovery, but number five is the most profound and certainly the one that you MUST start doing immediately.
As you set out on the path to wealth you will be tempted to buy the latest technology gadget, or the expensive car. Most of the time you do these things to impress other people…
But that is not what the wealthy do.
The wealthy spend their money on appreciating assets, ie things that go up in value.
A brand new car losses approximately 20% of its value the instant you drive it off the lot.
In the book ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ the studies suggest that even if they can afford the brand new $100,000 car, the wealthy won’t buy it. They are more likely to be driving a car that is a few years old.
The lesson of this ritual is that if you earn $1,000,000 per year and also spend $1,000,000 per year, you are still broke.
To make progress in your financial freedom goals you have to live below your means, spend less than you earn.
The best way to understand this step is to implement step one. When you know how much you are spending, and what you are spending on, you can learn to live below your means.
This step also requires some discipline to not be caught in the ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome. Spend your hard earned money on what assists your plan rather than what impresses those around you.
So there you have it, the 5 money rituals of the wealthy. Pick one and start doing it today until it becomes a habit, and then a ritual.
And then move on to the next one.
Remember, success requires ACTION. The best action you can take today is to get your money management process in place as soon as possible. It’s the foundation to your house that everything else is built upon.