Some may describe the following tips as secrets on how to get rich, but I like to call them habits that will help us become our best version of ourselves. We all want to do better in life, and all of these can help better our lives in some aspect. Some of these are going to be savings tips and some are just ways to live better that will lead to a wealthy lifestyle. (For related reading, see: 8 Essential Tips for Retirement Saving.)
1. Find Good, Thoughtful Books to Read
Great leaders and successful businessmen and women are all known to have read…a lot. Alexander the Great had libraries that he took with him everywhere he went and Bill Gates goes on reading retreats with multiple books and just lets his thoughts create new ideas from these books. Reading allows you to learn new ideas and tricks but also allows you as the reader to learn from the failures of others.
2. Create an Exercise Plan that Works for You
Studies have shown that having an exercise routine gives you more energy throughout your week. Exercising also helps with brain function and of course ultimately helps you stay healthy and prevents extra doctor visits and medications that cost money. It doesn’t have to be intense. Go bike, run, do push-ups, Pilates, yoga… whatever works for you.
3. Stop Eating Out for Lunch Every Day
It is easy to eat out for lunch every day and fun. But it is also more expensive than brown bagging it or going home for lunch. You can save a good amount of money by making your own lunches instead of dropping at least $12.00 a day on lunch. (For related reading, see: 7 Money Saving Tips for Eating Out.)
4. Stop Getting Drinks after Work Every Day
I know this seems tedious but it is the same logic as eating lunch out every day. You may not be the person that gets the $10.00 cocktail but still that $5.00 beer can be $5.00 saved for that trip you want to take or the new used car you have your eyes on.
5. Learn How to Cook
By learning how to cook you will potentially create a new hobby and start saving some serious dough. Eating out as I said before is expensive and cooking can be fun. Have your friends over and make pizzas. Trust me, homemade pizza is awesome. (For related reading, see: How Cooking at Home can Save You Real Dough.)
6. Meal Plan the Week Out
This goes with learning how to cook. Planning out your meals allows you to know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store, no more and no less.
7. Have At-Home Date Nights
Date night at home is sometimes more fun. Create the environment of a date with special food, candles (for the romantics), board games, or your favorite movie. I even put up a tent in our living room once and we had a movie night in the tent. It was fun and different and I believe we even made pizzas that night. (For related reading, see: 5 Ways to Date on a Budget.)
8. Cut the Cord
I know most Millennials probably don’t have cable anymore but for those that still do, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Today we have Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and they all have different apps like Vimeo and Sling. It is easy to see your shows, you just might not see them until the day after airing. You can also get a digital antenna that allows you to get the main local stations: ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS. Ours works great. (For related reading, see: Alternatives to Cable TV.)
9. Take Advantage of Different Grocery Stores
In Omaha we have Aldi, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Hy-Vee and Costco. My wife will go to all five sometimes as the savings can be impressive depending on the specialty of the store. Aldi is cheap across the board but usually doesn’t have the best selection. And we all know Costco is bulk buying at its best, take advantage of it.
10. Put Away The Rest
These nine habits I just listed all will help you grow your wealth. However, the most important part is making sure you save the rest and not spend it on frivolous wants. Create goals and save what is needed to meet them. What is left is what you have to live on, and if you don't have enough to live your lifestyle now you will need to rethink your savings goals and your expenses. After you have enough for your needs start looking into the wants you can buy in life. (For related reading, see The 7 Best Places to Put Your Savings.)
Ultimately changing habits takes time and none of these will stick immediately. Creating financial stability is not easy. Be persistent and also be patient in seeing the results. Unfortunately, real wealth is not getting rich quick. It is being disciplined and patient. When you have enough saved, start to invest. Make sure you know what you are doing and if you don’t, get help from a fee-only financial advisor so you don’t end up wasting your efforts.
I challenge you to not eat out for 30 days and see the impact on your wallet.