The World's Wealthiest People Have These Everyday Habits In Common

Financial habits are some of the easiest to create. Developing a solid foundation of savings and debt management can be a tricky process, and a long one at that. However, it's something that everyone can afford to strive toward, and it's simply too important to ignore.

Building financial literacy and a core of high quality habits doesn't have to be a gigantic chore. In fact, it's a great idea to borrow the approaches to money and lifestyle management that some of the world's wealthiest people employ in their own lives. While there's always going to be a stark difference between how the 1% lives when compared to the rest of us, many of the habits that wealthy people have made a part of their life can be copied entirely or modified to fit the typical day to day lifestyle that you experience. From prioritizing savings to getting enough sleep each night, many of the things that the world's wealthiest do regularly are simply tweaks to a routine that can be adopted wholesale for overall improvements throughout the average day. These are the habits that some of the world's wealthiest have made routine in their own life, acting as a sort of blueprint for improvements for those who aren't fortunate enough to be in this fiscal upper echelon.

They set an early alarm

A consistent theme among millionaires and billionaires is an early alarm clock. The world's wealthiest people pride themselves on being early risers, and for those who've heard nearly any motivational speaker before this won't come as a surprise. Getting up early is so commonly cited as a piece of the success puzzle that it's become almost a joke.

But getting up early accomplishes a few important things for those looking to emulate the ultra-rich. Not only does an early alarm clock help create a routine of early activity — often before others begin their day — but it almost certainly ensures an early night as well. Getting enough sleep is fundamental to putting in peak effort during the day, no matter what that effort is aimed toward. Of course, there is a sort of early mover advantage that absolutely accompanies an early morning start to the day. If you're out of bed even just an hour before you need to be, you'll have quite a bit of extra time to dedicate to your morning ritual and mental preparation for what's to come each day. Indeed, many of the habits that wealthy people incorporate into their daily life requires a time commitment, and freeing up a bit of time before you engage yourself in the tiring tasks of the day is the perfect way to create additional mental space for some of the other beneficial practices that high earners prioritize.

They shy away from debts

Wealthy individuals generally don't need to rely on leveraged capital unless they're purchasing significant assets: Like new businesses. This isn't really the kind of lifestyle that the average saver will ever find themselves involved with, but the lesson remains an important one. The takeaway is that the world's wealthiest people remain financially stable by reducing or eliminating debt repayment obligations, especially those that carry high interest rates.

Credit card debt is the biggest culprit here, but car loans, personal loan repayments, and any other high interest borrowing should be used sparingly and reduced or eliminated as quickly as possible. Interest can work in one of two ways: If you're investing in stocks, bonds, or a savings account, interest trickles in to increase your wealth. But if you're paying interest on borrowed money, the inverse becomes the reality, and that borrowed cash increasingly erodes your financial stability by costing more and more with the passing of time. While totally eliminating the use of credit cards and lending products might not be feasible, the takeaway can be applied by everyone. When you buy a new car, plan to keep it for as long as it runs; when you purchase something with your credit card, only swipe the plastic when you have a plan to pay it back.

They read extensively

Warren Buffett is famously bullish on the habit of daily reading. He claims to read around 500 pages every day in order to prepare his mind to navigate the nuances of new opportunities. Reading and thinking go hand in hand for the billionaire, and the more time he spends thinking the better he finds himself able to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to investments, business deals, and even daily life.

Other incredibly wealthy people cite reading as a critical habit as well, not just the "Oracle of Omaha." Reading has the incredible ability to establish new pathways of information and reasoning within the very structure of your brain. The result of "your mind on books," as it were, is a more capable and thoughtful individual. This can show itself in a number of important ways. First of all, readers are without a doubt more enabled when it comes to forming ideas, considering new opportunities, and even speaking with confidence on a variety of topics. But reading will also help you socially. It's been proven that people who engage with stories create true emotional attachments to the characters and locations they explore with their imaginations. Readers are therefore more emotionally perceptive and available when it comes to forging meaningful relationships with people in the real world, whether that be socially or professionally.

They prioritize emergency funds

The importance of an emergency fund can't be overstated. This savings pool is created for the express purpose of staving off financial hardships that visit your door at some time in the future. Emergency funds should ideally be large enough to cover between three and six months worth of expenses. This cash can be the difference maker between long lasting difficulty and a bit of conservative belt tightening in the event of an illness, injury, or lost job.

While emergency funds are a crucial part of everyone's life, 57% of Americans reportedly can't afford $1,000 emergency expenses without resorting to financial tools beyond their savings. The richest among us, however, routinely prioritize emergency savings above many other financial goals. In the same vein as their aversion to creating and maintaining debts, wealthy people go out of their way to ensure that emergencies are already managed before they arise, financially that is.

They do their best to stay healthy

Prioritizing health and wellness is something that everyone can do, at least in some way or another. Most extremely wealthy people won't have time to exercise like a full fledged athlete, but they often carve out a bit of time in their day to walk, run, or hit the gym for a quick session. Exercise and eating well can make for a more fulfilling life on the whole.

Since childhood, virtually everyone has been told that regular exercise is good for the mind and body. The reality is that regular physical activity can improve bone and muscle strength, mental acuity and brain health, and reduce the risk of disease. These features of routine physical exercise make for a life that's truly worth living. Wealthy people generally don't spend their work lives accumulating gigantic fortunes only to find themselves incapable of enjoying the fruits of their labor as a result of limited mobility or other physical ailments. As a result, they spend time taking care of their bodies so that they are able to fully take advantage of all that their financial heft can make available to them. While there's no surefire way to ward off mental decline in old age, bone or muscular injury, or a variety of limiting diseases, exercise can play a big role in minimizing their onset or effects.

Many make competitive sports a priority

Above and beyond general fitness, many of the world's most wealthy routinely engage in competitive sports, specifically. Playing tennis, soccer, or even joining a bowling league provides the same foundational benefits that an active lifestyle can generate, but there's an added depth.

Competitive sports are a fantastic learning opportunity for children, and the life lessons that come through participation in team or individual competition don't end when childhood does. Competing against others imparts fantastic habits that translate into the workplace and social life beyond it. Those who take on the challenges of the field, arena, or court are often well prepared to handle adversity while managing emotional responses to hardship or even those of successes. Competitive sports offer themselves up as a cauldron of fast action and decisive decision making. In team settings, they help people learn to lean on their peers, building trust and supporting bonds in the process. Wealthy individuals play sports to keep their bodies fit and their minds sharp.

They start planning for future expenses incredibly early

The wealthiest people around start planning and saving for future expenses far earlier than is strictly necessary. One great example can be seen in college fund planning. Wealthy Americans prepare financially for their kids to go to college while they're still infants. The average total cost per year now sits at almost $36,500, meaning a four year education is likely to require almost $150,000.

The combination of compounding returns and time makes this gigantic figure a manageable feat when spread over the intervening 18 years between birth and enrollment (with doubling occurring roughly every seven years, leading to about two and a half doublings). Even without considering interest or other value accumulation, savers will need to set aside a little over $8,300 per year compared to the full yearly sum required during just a child's time in high school or during each successive year of college!

Spreading required savings goals out over huge spans of time makes them far more manageable. The world's wealthiest, as well as its poorest know this to be true, but those who make and maintain massive fortunes act on this knowledge with far greater regularity.

They aren't afraid to ask for advice

Seeking out advice is a common practice among people from all walks of life, but when it comes to finances, many people with less in their bank accounts shy away from professional or even personal assistance. The world's wealthiest aren't afraid to work with financial advisors and others who help them make sense of the world around them. Another approach that is commonly seen in this arena can be viewed through the people they surround themselves with. Many people find themselves hesitant to welcome colleagues and peers that are more capable, experienced, or even smarter than them. But the wealthiest individuals bask in the successes of others.

Surrounding yourself with knowledgeable and confident people allows for a natural free flow of ideas that can make your business, investments, and personal life flourish in ways that simply wouldn't be possible in an insulated environment. Steeping yourself in a situation with people who can give great advice and then asking them for their take can unlock many doors, including some that might have otherwise been shielded by knowledge gaps or process biases. The world's wealthiest ask for advice from others routinely.

They prioritize sleep

In addition to being early risers, wealthy people are diligent about their sleep. It's well documented that sleep acts as a reset. While you rest, your body and mind are recovering from the rigors of the previous day. Getting too little sleep raises the risk of developing chronic health problems. The body also regulates hormone levels through the natural cycle of sleeping and waking, meaning that a proper night's sleep is fundamental to quality overall wellness.

Those who enjoy the greatest volumes of wealth know how important sleep is to a highly functional day of work, and they prioritize this part of the nighttime routine as a result. Many of the world's wealthiest report getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, which might seem like it flies in the face of the early riser advice touting a rise and grind mentality. Rather than spending more hours toiling away at your craft, it turns out that the best way to emulate the financial titans of our world is to recapture those nighttime hours. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour repurposes a nighttime routine that might otherwise be occupied by late night television or other hobbies that serve only to create imbalances in your physical and mental functionality. Sleep helps improve metabolism and heart health, respiratory and immune systems, and it improves your ability to reason, perform fine motor functions, and interact socially with others.

They pay themselves first

In practice, paying yourself first means mentally placing savings at the front of the line when allocating money to bills, expenses, and other spending considerations. Of course, some of your expenses like the mortgage payment or a car loan can't be avoided without the potential for a significant penalty, but directly behind these necessities should come your savings needs.

Wealthy individuals prioritize savings above nearly all else. Whether it's the process of building up or bulking out an emergency fund, or adding to a retirement account, savings — as an expense — consistently comes before things like vacation spending or new clothing purchases in the budgetary math of wealthy people. Savings contributions don't have to be massive slices of the total budget, but they should be placed ahead of nearly all other spending categories. When savings falls to the back of the line, it's incredibly easy to slip and not make a contribution. Just like paying yourself first becomes a positive habit, failing to invest in your future can also develop into an ongoing practice.

They engage in dream setting

This practice is one in which the individual takes time to explore their ideal future self. Surveys show that self-made millionaires and many wealthy individuals take time out to engage in dream setting. Envisioning a future in which all of your dreams have come true can be a powerful mental exercise in developing a plan to achieve that future. Considering what that ideal life might look like is the first step, but then you'll need to sit down with a pen and paper (or at your computer) and write a page or two that explores these features and feelings in greater depth.

61% of self-made millionaires participating in a recent survey claimed to have used this technique to contextualize their road to riches. It's a fantastic tool that helps individuals develop a set of goals and prioritizes a roadmap that can help them achieve those things. Taking a few minutes in the evening to think through your goals and the dream life that you'd love to one day enjoy can make for a transformative experience that helps you positively approach strategies to make that dream a reality sometime in the future.

They explore additional moneymaking opportunities

Additional streams of income factor heavily into wealthy people's daily lifestyles. Income streams appear as another buzzword when considering opportunities to improve financial standing, but that's because they act as such a powerful lever on the scales. An additional income stream could be found through dividend-paying investments, business opportunities, real estate income, and many other money making ventures. It's important to keep in mind that these may start off as a trickle of additional capital flowing into your budgetary math, but over time, outside income generating sources grow into solid earners that produce tremendous financial value. For instance, if you purchase a real estate investment in an effort to generate rental income, you might break even for the first few years as the income generated covers mortgage payments and other expenses. But over time rental prices will almost assuredly increase, and your ownership stake will balloon. If you hold the home for long enough, you'll be making almost exclusively profit from the rent generated.

The reality is that the majority of wealthy people don't rely solely on their paycheck to create lasting financial stability. Additional sources of income can be difficult to build up in the present, but they'll continue to pay out in a major way over the long term, buoying your finances and placing your habits more in line with the world's wealthiest.