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6 Habits of Rich People That You Should Steal

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Some people are wealthy thanks to their inheritance or a stroke of luck on a winning lottery ticket. But the rest? They’re doing little things every day that you may not be doing, even if you think you’re doing everything right.

Sometimes, the things that are making the rich richer may seem like they’ve got nothing to do with money (what does going to the gym have to do with your bank account?). The good news is that we’ve narrowed down their little tricks and secrets so you can take their habits straight to the bank.


It may seem scatterbrained to juggle a main job and a few other things at the same time, but this is a money-making strategy that’s bringing in big bucks, says Tom Corley, author of Change your Habits, Change Your Life, who spent five years studying the habits of wealthy people. “Sixty-six percent of the wealthy in my study started out either poor or in the middle class,” Corley says. “One of the strategies they used to build their wealth was creating multiple streams of income.”

Nearly all of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s study began their careers working for someone else, and on the side, they had a second business doing something they liked doing. But most didn’t stop at two sources of income: Corley says that 65 percent of the wealthy people had at least three gigs at once.


You let your gym membership lag because you simply don’t have time for it. After all, isn’t an extra hour at the office going to do more for your bank account than that hour at the gym? Turns out, it isn’t. According to a recent study reported by Psychology Todayphysically active men made 14 to 17 percent more money than less active men. 


Have you ever gotten a tax refund and then immediately spent the day shopping for lavish outfits followed by an expensive night out? Chances are, a rich person would have put his refund into his savings account, and then continued on about his day. That’s because they use very strict budgeting tactics to accumulate their wealth, Corley says: 25 percent or less of their monthly net income is spent on housing, 15 percent on food, 10 percent on entertainment (including bars, movies and restaurants), 5 percent on auto loans (they never lease), and 5 percent on vacations. 


Wealthy people have a vision of where they want to be in life, and they write down this vision in the past tense, as if they’ve already achieved it, says John Ganotis, founder of Credit Card Insider, a consumer education company. Next, they make a habit of reading this visualization the first thing in the morning.

“The idea is to embed this into your sub-conscious to help guide decisions throughout the day, and identify opportunities to move the vision closer to reality,” he says. For example, you may subconsciously think about this vision when you’re asked to go out for a few beers, and you may turn down those beers when you realize that you should really be going home to learn how to code your app to move closer toward your vision, Ganotis says.


A survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the upper 20 percent of the wealthy spend about 16 percent of their income on pensions and insurance—and that’s more than six times as much as those in the lower 20 percent spend, Corley says.

But you’re barely scraping by, so you shouldn’t be investing and paying for insurance at the moment, right? Wrong, says Eric Neumann, wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual. “Insurance and pensions are needed for everybody, no matter the income,” he says. He says that even those in the bottom 20 percent of the income bracket should be putting aside 15 percent of their income toward pension and insurance, and his general rule of thumb is to save 20 percent of your paycheck.

Neumann says that most people are able to do this by prioritizing their needs over their wants. “Although they will be more dependent on social security in the future, they also need to offset with their own retirement plan, as the social security is increasing for retirement, and is projected to increase again in the future,” Neumann says. “Also, insurance is costing [the middle income] group a higher percentage of their income versus the top 20 percent group, as most insurance plans are not cheaper for the lower income group.” 


Twenty-seven percent of the rich people in Corley’s study failed in business at least once in life. “Then, they got back up on their horse and tried again. And that persistence, that never quit attitude, enabled them to learn from their mistakes and failure, and ultimately succeed in life,” he says. 

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How Can I Save Money During Wedding Season?
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According to one survey, the average American spends more than $600 on wedding-related costs—and that’s just to attend as a guest. If you have two or more events coming up this year, that adds up quickly! But with careful planning and some inside tricks, you can make it through wedding season without breaking the bank. Here are some tips so that you can focus on the stuff that matters.


You’ve been racking up airline miles for months (maybe even years), and now is the time to use them. Leverage those air miles you’ve earned, rent a car or book a hotel room with that cash back, or see if your credit card offers discounts to certain retailers where you can shop with reward points rather than cash. Some credit cards let you redeem your cashback rewards for boosted value gift cards, which means you could redeem for even more value.


If you’re already traveling a long distance, consider flying out a few days early. Since weddings usually require guests to travel at peak weekend times, you can save by flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday. You will be spending more on lodging each night you are there, so factor that in as you plan your budget.

Even if you don’t add any extra days, book your transportation as soon as you finalize your travel dates. Once upon a time you could save money waiting for last-minute flights, but with so many budget airline options, you won’t be doing yourself any favors waiting until the last minute.


The bride and groom will likely negotiate block room rates for their guests, but don’t assume that is the best price you can find. Before booking, check around the web to see if you can secure a room at the same hotel for a lower price. You also might find cheaper options farther away from the venue. A short drive can be worth it to save $30 each night, but be prepared to take cabs or skip the open bar so you can drive yourself back at night.


Rather than booking a bunch of hotel rooms, find a great group house online. Depending on the location, you can find some incredible homes for less than $100 per night. Even better, you can save money by cooking and socializing at home rather than out on the town. You will need to account for transportation from the rental property to the wedding, but a cab will likely be cheaper than opting for the hotel where the couple has arranged transportation. If you don’t know many people at the wedding, ask the couple if they have other friends looking to share accommodations. Not only will you save, you might make new friends!


Find out where the couple has registered as soon as possible. The earlier you scope out the registry, the more options you will have to find a gift that fits your budget. Guests attending bridal showers and engagement parties tend to snap up the less expensive items ahead of the wedding, so try to purchase your gift at least four or five months out. Not only will you look totally on top of things, but shopping early will give you time to get on the mailing lists for the stores where the bride and groom are registered and keep an eye on sales.


Get a bunch of friends together and go in on a big-ticket item that no one person can afford. Not only will you each likely spend less than you would alone, you will be able to get the couple an expensive item that they might not otherwise receive. (Added bonus: You’ll be first on the invite list when they christen their new grill.)


Consider giving your time and/or your talents in lieu of a physical or monetary gift. Maybe you are a skilled photographer, makeup stylist, or hand letterer. There are lots of ways to contribute to your friends’ weddings that will save both of you money. Even offering to help run errands the weekend of the wedding will be greatly appreciated, and it will ultimately be a more meaningful gift than a $50 salad bowl.


It may not sound romantic, but when you see items like picture frames and champagne on sale – stock up! Then all you have to do is slip in a beautiful photo of the couple, get some nice wrapping paper, and you’re good to go!


Unless you are part of the wedding party, you should not focus too much of your budget on your own attire. Women can invest in a classic black, navy, or gem-toned dress and mix it up with accessories. (Stay away from patterns; they are memorable.) It’s also a good idea to get a good, comfortable pair of neutral shoes that you can wear to every wedding. If you’re hesitant to wear the same dress in front of your friends, swap dresses with a friend or rent a designer dress.

Men will find it easy to change outfits just by mixing shirts and ties with one great suit. If you are attending a black-tie wedding, a black suit and black tie will fit the bill, or you can rent a tuxedo from a local shop or online.


As much as you would love to attend every wedding, shower, or bachelor(ette) party, it isn’t always practical. You might have already taken a big vacation this year, so you cannot afford to attend a destination wedding in the Bahamas. Or maybe your friend’s fiancée invited you to her shower just to be polite. It is acceptable to say no. True friends will understand.


Don’t forget that you are there to celebrate your loved ones and the fact that they have found their partner in life. It’s not worth overspending and risking feeling resentful over what should be a happy occasion. Remember, your friends do not expect (nor want) you to go into debt so that you can be a part of their big day. They would much rather have the pleasure of your company than an expensive gift. Stick to what works for your personal budget and have a great time honoring your friends.

It’s that time of year: Wedding bells are ringing. And ringing. And ringing some more. Feeling overwhelmed by all the events on your calendar? The Discover it Miles Card will automatically match all the miles you earn at the end of your first year, which means 20,000 miles can turn into 40,000. The best part: There’s no limit to how much they’ll match. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Live Smarter
5 Ways to Avoid Extra Rental Car Fees
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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Walking into a rental car dealer should be a simple task. Walk in with a reservation, your ID, and your credit card, and walk out with a set of keys. But more often than not, picking up and returning a rental car is a dizzying array of add-on offers and potential fees. How do you make the most of your vacation without getting tripped up by unnecessary costs? Condé Nast Traveler has some smart tips for keeping it under budget, and we’ve added a few tips of our own as well. Because you can never save too much money.


Are you paying for your rental with a credit card? Your credit card company likely provides its own rental car insurance. Your own car insurance, too, will often cover rental car trips. Check with both to determine whether you really want to spend extra on the rental company’s collision damage package. No, you don’t want to be fully liable if you total your shiny rental car. But that doesn’t mean you need to shell out a pricey daily fee for peace of mind. In fact, some credit cards don’t offer rental car insurance if you’re also covered under the rental agency’s collision damage waiver, so you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you get it. Make sure to check whether your credit card coverage is primary or secondary insurance, though.


At some rental car agencies, you can prepay to have them fill your tank after you drop the car off. That means you’ll save time on the way back, and generally, the price-per-gallon seems relatively cheap. The problem? You’re probably not going to run your rental car down to empty right as you pull into the return lot, and then you’ve just given the agency free gas. It’s never a good idea to leave filling up to the agency. Unfortunately, that’s doubly true on the return end if you've opted for the prepay—you’ll get hit with a huge premium if you forget to fill the tank and have to buy gas from the company when you’re handing over the keys. You don’t want to get stuck paying $15 per gallon.


It’s super convenient to hop off the plane and go right to the rental car agency, but that convenience comes at a price. Airports charge rental agencies concession fees to operate on their property, and those costs get passed along to you. If you can take a quick (and cheap) train or cab ride to a nearby agency a few miles away from the airport, you’ll probably pay lower rates.


If you’ve got a travel credit card, you might get a discount at some rental car partners. Citi cardholders, for instance, get up to 20 percent off Hertz rentals, while Visa cardholders can get up to 25 percent off National car rentals. Chase’s Sapphire Reserve credit card gives discounts at Avis, National, and Silvercar.

Your employer may also provide rental car discounts, as do some airline and hotel rewards programs. You can even find a discount on Groupon. So don’t reserve blindly. A little research into coupons could save you significant money.


In most cases, it’s better to show up early than late. But with rental cars, you can be penalized for returning your car too early. Depending on when you return it, you could be charged a different rate than what you originally planned. If you return a car on Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning, you might end up with a weekday rate charge instead of a weekend rate. If you have a weekly rental, you’ll be paying for a full week whether you return it after five days or the full week. If you return a weekly rental after four days, you might end up paying the day rate, which could be more expensive. In short: You want to stick to your original plans as much as possible, and if you do need to return your car early, call the agency first to check how it will affect your bill.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]


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