As many financial planners will tell you, building wealth is a process made of many small actions that add up over time.
So if you want to see your bank account grow over the next year, adopting new money and lifestyle habits now is a smart way to start.
Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, spent years researching and interviewing self-made millionaires on their daily habits. He published the results in his best-selling book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.”
In a recent post on his website, Corley recommends people adopt several key habits in 2017:
1. Have more money automatically transferred into savings
Setting up an automatic bank transfer every month from your checking account to a savings account is a great way to build wealth, Corley says.
Put aside $100, $50 or even just $20 each month, he suggests. By not seeing it in your checking account, you’re less tempted to spend it.
“The more you have in savings, the more options you have to make money,” Corley writes. “Having money set aside in savings allows you to take advantage of opportunities. Without savings, opportunities pass you by.”
Some examples of this include having enough in emergency and retirement savings that you can invest money in the stock market, launch a side business or purchase real estate that could yield a profit.
2. Build a relationship with one successful person
“Wealthy, successful people are very particular about who they associate with,” Corley writes. “Their goal is to develop relationships with other success-minded individuals.”
Surrounding yourself with goal-oriented people will more likely than not encourage you to follow your own goals.
If you don’t know have highly motivated people in your network, Corley suggests volunteering to connect with other driven people, or joining a professional group.
3. Devote 20 minutes a day to developing a new skill
Wealthy people have share one important trait: They are dedicated to self-improvement, Corley’s has found.
Reading a book about an unfamiliar technique, taking a class or joining a local meet-up group are great ways to develop a new skill. In fact, learning a new skill could help you land a job, one former Google career coach says .
“When you do things that are outside your comfort zone and outside that circle, it causes discomfort,” Corley writes. “But each time you engage in a new activity that causes discomfort, you expand your circle; you grow as an individual.”
4. Adopt a “frugal mindset”
“On its own, being frugal will not make you rich. It is just one piece to the financial success puzzle, and there are many pieces,” Corley writes. “But being frugal will enable you to increase the amount of money you can save.”
To be more thrifty with your money, Corley recommends three steps.
1) Be more aware of how you spend your money.
2) Only buy quality products and services.
3) Spend as little as possible by shopping around for the lowest price.
5. Track every penny you spend for 30 days
“Do you know where your money goes?” Corley writes. “Some do. They’re called self-made millionaires.”
By taking one month to track all of your spending, you’ll be able to see if you are spending excessively or if you are getting charged erroneously by any vendor.
“At the end of the 30 days review where your money went,” he says. “You’ll be surprised what you may find.”