There’s no shortcut to success. Getting rich is the result of consistency—working day in and day out, saving every month, and watching money grow over time.
Building such habits can be boring. It’s a lot more exciting spending your money on a fancy dinner than stashing it in an emergency fund. But it’s also much less lucrative over the long haul.
SafetyNet’s Roshni Chowdhry offers three boring habits that will yield wealth:
Habit 1: Prioritize Savings
As many as 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, meaning one unforeseen financial emergency can throw them into debt. That’s a scary number. The solution, though, is simple: Treat your savings as you would any other bill by prioritizing it every month. If possible, set up an automatic deduction from a checking to a savings account, and you won’t even have to think about it.
Not sure how much to save? Try following the 50/20/30 rule if you can afford to, and aim to build up three to six months’ worth of household expenses. If that sounds daunting, keep in mind that saving something is better than saving nothing. Having even a few hundred dollars set aside can prevent you from leaning on credit cards when unexpected expenses come up.
Habit 2: Live One Raise Behind
When you get a raise at work, it’s tempting to upgrade your lifestyle. But if you can maintain your current lifestyle while earning more, you’ll be able to sock away more in savings and investment funds without feeling the pinch.
Habit 3: Make (and Follow) a Budget
Budgets are one of the least sexy ways to achieve wealth, but also one of the most powerful. To maximize your odds of success, think of your budget not as a financial corset but as a roadmap to financial freedom. When you follow it, you’ll have the money to do the things that matter most to you.
If you’re not sure where to start, the Internet has plenty of budgeting templates (and even videos) to lead the way. One classic cornerstone many mention: You should aim to spend no more than 30 percent of your income on rent or a mortgage.