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10 Surprising Things Financially Successful People Do Differently

10 Surprising Things Financially Successful People Do Differently

The financially successful often get a bad rap in our society, especially from the poor. We see footage of Donald Trump on TV, or watch movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and think being financially successful means living a gluttonous life of excess at the expense of the impoverished. This may be true for a few, but for many financially successful people, their success is only part of the story.

What we don’t see is the passion, hard work, mistakes, thrift and plain old smarts that went into creating the lifestyles of the rich. The media didn’t follow them around with cameras when they were living in cars, working in diners, or recovering from debilitating addictions, before they achieved their financial success.

The good news is babies aren’t born with millions of dollars in their bank accounts, and everyone has the ability to become financially successful. As Wallace D. Wattles put it,

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“Talented people get rich, and blockheads get rich; intellectually brilliant people get rich, and very stupid people get rich; physically strong people get rich, and weak and sickly people get rich.”

Here are 10 surprising things financially successful people do differently:

1. They surround themselves with positive people and do not waste time on negativity.

It is interesting to note that 67% of wealthy people watch one hour or less of TV every day, and only 6% watch reality shows.

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2. They make sacrifices at first.

The financially successful will accept a reduction in income, drive a cheap used car, and downsize their house when they’re first starting out. They then take the money they save and invest it or re-invest it in something that will make them more money down the road. Sometimes, wealthy people choose to live frugally their whole lives. Warren Buffett is known for driving his car until it looks so disreputable that his employees pressure him into buying a new one.

3. They don’t waste time complaining.

If something bad happens, they change course, learn from it, or look for a way to use it to their advantage.

4. They make paying off debt and saving money a priority.

They know that “When one is bound by debt, he has no choice but to stay in a miserable job, location or house against his own will.”

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5. They don’t blame the government or economy for their situation.

Instead, they take full responsibility for themselves and their actions, and believe they are in charge of their own futures. As Jim Rohn pointed out, in the six years it took him to make his first million dollars, the fact that a Republican President was replaced by a Democrat didn’t make one bit of difference.

6. They focus on long-term financial goals.

Instead of just making money and spending it, they take the time to create financial plans which enable them to reach long-term goals, and then they stick to those plans.

7. They don’t assume they already know everything.

86% of wealthy people love to read and believe in lifelong education. 88% of them read educational or work-related material for 30 minutes or more each day. 63% listen to audio books as they commute to and from work.

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8. They offer services or create things of value.

They don’t just consume what other people have produced.

9. They do more than show up at the office, do their jobs, and go home.

They seek out ways to go above and beyond the call of duty, even if they are wage earners in a 9-5 job. 44% of financially successful people wake up three hours before work starts.

10. They are more excited about the process of creation than the money they make.

It’s not that they don’t care about making money, but money isn’t their top priority. The financially successful get satisfaction from making their clients and customers happy.They don’t necessarily need all of the latest gadgets and toys.

A Final Thought: While none of us have control over the government, our negative friends and relatives, or the economy, we can control how we think. If we can adopt a financially successful mindset, sooner or later we will become financially successful in reality, and in the meantime, we will FEEL financially successful, even if we’re strapped for cash. So we have nothing to lose by changing our thinking. Happy success!

Featured photo credit: International Currency Money/epSos.de via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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