You may already know that toxic behaviors that can derail your finances. But just as important as breaking bad money habits is forming good ones.
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Below, CNBC Make It rounds up seven simple money habits you can adopt today that will help make 2018 a more lucrative year.
If your financial plan isn’t on auto-pilot, change that immediately, encourages self-made millionaire David Bach. Automating your finances— sending your money automatically to investment accounts, savings accounts and creditors — allows you to build wealth effortlessly.
It’s “the one step that virtually guarantees that you won’t fail financially,” Bach writes in “The Automatic Millionaire.”
“You’ll never forget a payment again — and you’ll never be tempted to skimp on savings because you won’t even see the money going directly from your paycheck to your savings accounts.”
In fact, thanks to micro-investing apps such as Acorns, you can start by simply investing your “spare change.” The app will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically put any spare change to work.
The key takeaway: Start investing sooner rather than later to take full advantage of compound interest. As Bach explains, “the miracle of compounding can transform a relatively small but consistent amount of saving into major wealth.”
“The number one reason most people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want,” self-made millionaire T. Harv Eker writes in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” “Rich people are totally clear that they want wealth.”
To reach that level of clarity, he suggests writing down goals for your annual income and net worth. Like all goal-setting, be realistic, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. After all, the wealthiest people aren’t afraid to think big.
Pretend that extra money, such as a bonus, birthday check or any windfall, doesn’t exist.
Get in the habit of putting any surprise cash, even if it’s just that $20 bill you found in your coat pocket, to work. Apply it to student loans, credit card debt, your emergency fund or an investment account. It’ll add up.
Plus, establishing this habit early on will help you avoid lifestyle inflation when you get more surprise cash in the form of a raise.
Rich people tend to read. They continue to teach and invest in themselves long after formal education is over. “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” self-made millionaire Steve Siebold writes in his book “How Rich People Think.”
If it works for the millionaires and billionaires, it could work for you.
Check out CNBC’s round up of some of the best personal finance books out there, or consider Bill Gates’s favorite books of 2017.
In addition to reading, wealthy people tend to wake up early. Self-made billionaires Richard Branson and Jack Dorsey start their days at 5:00 a.m., and they’re far from the only successful people to get up before the sun.
In a five-year study of hundreds of self-made millionaires, author Thomas C. Corley found that nearly 50 percent of them woke up at least three hours before their work day actually began.
We can’t guarantee that joining the early bird club will make you rich, but it can’t hurt, and it will almost certainly make you more productive.
Who you hang out with matters more than you may think. In fact, your net worth tends to mirror that of your closest friends, Siebold points out.
“Successful people generally agree that consciousness is contagious, and that exposure to people who are more successful has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income,” Siebold writes. “We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.”
This is an update of a previously published article.
Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo