The secret wealthy people know about money

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Does money keep you awake at night? Is it hard to make ends meet, and does thinking about the future—how you’ll help your kids pay for college or ever be able to retire—make you feel panicky? Do you think if you just had more money so many things would change?

Most people believe that how much money you have is all about how much money you make, but that’s just not the case. It’s about how much money you KEEP.

Have you ever wondered how people who make $30-40K a year end up millionaires? Or what about the celebrities and sports figures who can’t pay their taxes and file bankruptcy?

The key to keeping your money is having good lifestyle habits.

This morning I was scrolling through the countless articles online that talk about what happened in 2013. The article that really grabbed my attention was about celebrities who went broke.

Through their own talent, luck, and opportunities, they were able to make very large sums of money. Now, I know that none of us is in their position; we don’t make millions of dollars a month or a year for what we do. And we tell ourselves that if we had that kind of money, we wouldn’t have any problems. I bet at least a few celebrities told themselves the same thing.

But no matter how much money you make a year, if you spend all or the majority of it, you’ll never be wealthy.

Just look at winners of mega lotteries. More than 90% of them are broke.

Examples are all around, and it’s not just the rich and famous. The majority of the people who live in high-end neighborhoods aren’t wealthy—they’re keeping up with the Joneses and trying not to get caught with more debt than they can pay.

Many of them even feel like they can’t afford to save any money…because they have such huge payments on cars, houses, and boats. It’s unbelievable that they can’t even see the problem they’re creating.

What it comes down to is this: The wealthy are the people with lifestyle habits that help them make and save money and build and keep wealth.

I’m always amazed when I see stories about a school librarian who never made more than $25,000 a year but retired as a millionaire.

So, how does someone like you or me do it?

On his website,, Tom Corley outlines the differences between the habits of the rich and the poor. Surprisingly, most of them aren’t even money-related.

How can that be? Isn’t making and saving money all about money?

Actually, it’s about discipline, focus, self-education, creating opportunity, and developing a wealth mindset instead one centered on poverty and lack.

The wonderful thing about these habits is that anyone can pick up them up immediately.

Here are some of the ones that could start to change things for you:

  • 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
  • 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.
  • 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.
  • 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.
  • 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.
  • 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.
  • 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.


You shouldn’t look at these statistics as one-offs; instead, look at them all together as a complete picture.

Wealthy people use their spare time to focus on making money, investing money, and creating (and sticking to!) their household budget. They take good care of their bodies so they avoid medical bills, stay focused, and don’t miss work. They look for ways to create new opportunities and contacts. Most of them are even frugal!

Wealthy people have a map, a success plan, a blueprint—call it whatever you want. They know what they want—peace, comfort, the ability to sleep at night—and they go get it. They also pay attention to their whole lives—body, mind, and spirit.

Here’s the key: You can’t become wealthy in any capacity—money, relationships, spirit, etc.—if you pursue the habits of poverty. Create new habits and develop a wealthy mindset!

I’d love to know what habits you’re struggling with and also what’s working for you—tell me in the comments.

About Joe Serio

Dr. Joe Serio is a keynote speaker, trainer, and author who helps the people in your organization navigate resistance to change so they can move forward successfully.

2 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    I have a question about my challenge with money. I have part of my pay check drafted into my savings account because if I don’t, I will spend all of it. Inevitably, when I build up a small amount, I end up using it for life’s little emergencies and cannot seem to build up a decent emergency fund. In addition, I struggle with a moderate shopping addiction. When I go shopping, I feel compelled to go over every inch of the store in case I miss something good. I try to ask myself, “Is this something I really need?”, but all too often, I find a way to justify more purchases. When I get my stuff home, I almost feel a certain “high” for a short period of time, but that quickly goes away when I sit down to pay my bills. Any suggestions on addressing this destructive habit and building an emergency fund?


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