The famous joke runs something like, I know money doesn’t buy you happiness but I’d rather cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. It works because it’s true. Happiness isn’t dependent on wealth, we all know that, but there is something to be said for having enough money in the bank to cover your expenses, fill your emergency fund, pay for your education, and ensure that you can keep the lights on at the end of the month.
No matter what your end goal, here are five habits of five real millionaires that you should think of adopting in order to help you on the road to financial happiness.
1. Save the majority of your earnings
US comedian and self-made millionaire, Jay Leno, has famously never touched a penny of his ‘Tonight Show’ earnings. This is despite the fact that at the height of his career he was earning around $30 million USD a year.
His technique? Have two jobs.
He would bank his highest salary and spend the second. It’s common sense that the more you save now, the more you’ll have later in life. So learn now how to bank a generous chunk of your income every month.
If you don't have the time for two jobs, then the easiest way to do this is to put your savings away at the start of the month, as soon as your salary hits your bank account, and then build your budget around the rest. If you fall into the trap of waiting until the end of the month it’s easy to eat into your savings without even realising. The Oval app simplifies this process for you by letting you set up an automatic savings step. Just choose the percentage of income you want to save each month, and Oval takes care of the rest.
2. Make saving fun
Millionaire author, financial advisor, and television host Suze Orman has a simple but potentially life altering suggestion. She says that by making saving ‘fun’ and associating it with a positive feeling of success and accomplishment, rather than a negative sensation of ‘doing without’, you can reset your whole attitude towards saving.
Making it a pleasurable activity means you are not only more likely to do it, but you will stop thinking “when can I stop doing this?” and start thinking, “When can I start?”
3. Keep learning
China’s wealthiest female billionaire, Zhou Qunfei says, "When you have the ability to learn, you have the ability to continue to grow," A totally self-made woman, Zhou has never turned down an opportunity to learn a new skill or gain more in-depth knowledge in any area. This includes, amongst other things, gaining her commercial truck driver’s licence.
If you want to do well and open up new possibilities, then never stop learning. Every opportunity you are given to improve and adapt you should take. This can be anything from reading a financial advice book, downloading a money saving app, or even opening your first investment account. The more you learn, the more you are able to do.
4. Believe in yourself
It sounds too simple to be a genuine piece of advice from such a successful executive, but when Indra Nooyi attended her first interview at Pepsi, she trusted herself, her skills, and her ability to do the job. It led to employment and the beginning of an incredible career. Now, years later, that self-belief has lead her to the position of CEO of Pepsi with a net worth of $80 million USD.
True self-belief is a difficult skill to learn. When was the last time you pushed an idea forward that you were fully confident in even though you knew it wasn’t fully backed by those around you? When was the last time you went to an interview and were completely yourself, instead of pumping up your resume at every opportunity?
Take leaf out of Nooyi's book and believe in yourself first.
5. Live within your means
One of the world’s most famous billionaires, Warren Buffet, lives in a house that is worth .001% of his total wealth. Bought in 1958, he has never seen the need to move away to larger acreage.
His advice? Financial success has a lot to do with the ability to live within your means.
If you are achieving happiness only through the accumulation of material wealth you will always prioritise spending over saving. Get into the habit of only spending the money that you have, instead of the money that you wished you had. By doing this, you are much less likely to find yourself in a life that you cannot afford.