Though I’m a financial advisor, there have been times when I wished to be like some of my clients. They not only anticipated their wealthy future but retired early because of it. These individuals are so disciplined that they make the right decisions regularly, something that even experts such as me find difficult at times. Too often we do things that prohibit us from becoming rich or retiring completely.

People who are financially responsible and successful don’t suddenly become wealthy overnight—it takes hard work and dedication. If you want to be rich, you need to have focus and discipline, be willing to forego instant gratification for long-term gain, and develop habits of the wealthy. Here are 10 things you can start doing now to get on the right track.

1. Start Early

Have you ever heard the saying “The early bird catches the worm?” Well, in this case, it means retiring with more money. The quicker you start investing your money, the more time it has to grow. So if you’re currently employed or self-employed, take advantage of an IRA contribution as soon as possible. If your company is generous enough to offer a matching retirement plan contribution, sign up for it immediately upon eligibility—it could be the difference between retiring comfortably and never retiring at all.

Let’s say you invest $10,000 today and don’t touch it for 40 years. On average, if your return per year is 8 percent, then in 40 years you would have amassed over $217,000. But if you waited 10 years to start investing and put in $20,000—twice as much money—at the end of those 10 years, with the same annual return rate, you’d only have earned just over $200,000.

Stop procrastinating–saving and investing your money today is better than waiting until tomorrow.

2. Automate

You are the primary obstacle to your economic success. It’s easy to put off what must be done and instead satisfy urges by spending more than you can afford. If becoming wealthy is your goal, this habit is detrimental.

The best way to ensure future financial security is to automate your savings by setting up regular recurring transfers from your checking account into a savings or investment account. You could also set aside automatic deductions from each paycheck which go directly into an employer-sponsored retirement plan. This will help you break any bad money habits and save what you would likely otherwise spend. So, put 15 minutes on your calendar right now to do it! Your rich future self will thank you for it later.

3. Maximize Contributions

You’ve likely been told that when it comes to retirement account contributions, it’s best to start small and then increase the amount yearly by at least 1 percent. And while this is true, if you’re someone who has procrastinated in the past, know that even a small starting contribution is better than none. The issue with gradually contributing more money into your retirement accounts each year however is that oftentimes those efforts result in gradual results–not what we want if our goal is to retire rich. So save as you mean it from day one by maxing out your 401(k) (or contributing as much as your employer will match) and watching your nest egg grow exponentially over time.

If you’re starting to save later in life, this is especially true. You might worry that maxing out your contributions will make it difficult to pay other bills, but it’s easier to get in the habit of spending less if you don’t have that extra money to spend in the first place. It’s much harder to cut back your budget year after year as your contributions increase.

4. Never Carry Credit Card Balances

High-interest debt that constantly accrues is one of the most prominent obstacles to your financial stability. It can be extremely detrimental, causing you to spend thousands on avoidable fees and interests—and not allowing you to save as much as you could. If being wealthy is a goal of yours, you need to put an end to carrying credit card balances and only making minimum payments.

Credit cards can be very helpful when used correctly, but you need to make sure that you are not overspending and racking up debt. It is wise to learn how to maximize rewards, points, discounts, and monthly cash flow from your credit card use so that you can get the most benefit without getting into trouble. Remember that it is important to live within your means in order for this strategy to be successful.

5. Live Like You’re Poor

Have you ever met somebody who seemed very humble, and then later found out they were actually quite wealthy? I had an older client who was stuck in 1983; he wore ugly brown suits and running shoes, drove a beat-up baby blue Volvo station wagon, and lived in the same modest house he bought 40 years ago. As it turns out, this man was a successful entrepreneur and multimillionaire—and even richer because of his humble millionaire habits.

Many millionaires are probably not who you would think because they’re smart with their money and don’t spend unnecessarily. It might be easy to live below your means when you have millions, but if you make far less, minimal spending now will help a lot in the future. The key is having a “less is more” mentality and sticking to it–even when your income or net worth goes up over time.

6. Avoid Temptation

We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us to spend, spend, spend: from TV and magazines to friends and family. It can be very difficult to resist the pressure to overspend, but it’s important to remember that doing so can lead to debt, undersaving, and financial insecurity in the long term.

Keep yourself away from negative financial associations whenever possible. That includes abruptly ending all harmful habits: don’t go to the mall, unsubscribe from emails sent by retailers, and decline invitations that will require you to spend money.

Afterward, fill these temptations with things that inspire you.

7. Be Goal-Oriented

Having goals is crucial because they inspire us, give us purpose and help to keep us motivated. Although many of our objectives may be similar, (e.g. paying off debt or saving for retirement), some people desire more unique outcomes like starting their own company. However, the importance of these aspirations is often diminished by daily stressors and eventually buried beneath them until we forget about them entirely; this neglection usually leads to poor money management skills Consequently, if your goal was simply to become affluent, it will remain nothing but a figment of your imagination.

If you want to make your goals a reality, it is important that you commit time to think about them, prioritizing them, and assigning saving amount targets. Additionally, you should display these goals in places where you will see them often as reminders. This way, you stay accountable and are more likely to achieve success.

8. Get Educated

If you want to get rich, study key financial concepts and educate yourself on current trends. Adopt a habit of consuming educational content related to finance every day, whether that be through reading The Wall Street Journal or following experts on Twitter. Money is a science – if you commit to studying it, you can master the art of making it.

Don’t let yourself get bogged down- only listen to advice from people you trust so that you don’t wind up wasting time or money on things that won’t help you.

9. Diversify Your Portfolio

investors who are experienced know not to invest all of their money in one area. They diversify & spread their wealth among a variety of different investments, like stocks, real estate, collectibles & more. Having a portfolio with many types of investments means that you could have potential growth from multiple sources & be protected if one investment fails.

One approach to diversification is investing in an asset allocation fund, such as a target date or “life strategy” fund that considers your risk tolerance. If you can’t buy a property outright, look into purchasing real estate mutual funds, ETFs, or REITs; some of these may provide reliable income. Also research crowdfunding–with this method now even novice investors are able to back startup companies. The key here is not overloading any single investment with too much money.

10. Spend Money to Make Money

While it may be costly to achieve wealth, unless you have the same financial acumen as Warren Buffett, blindly gambling on stocks is not the way to get there. Emotions like greed and fear can prevent you from becoming rich if you let them rule your decisions. assembling a group of diverse financial professionals is the best way to take control of your finances and set yourself up for success. To set yourself up for success, hire a comprehensive and qualified team of financial experts who will provide you with objective advice, specialized knowledge, and tailored support. While this may come at a higher cost than if you were to manage everything yourself, it is often worth the investment to have somebody else take care of the heavy lifting while also providing continuous assistance.

It’s crucial that you interview multiple candidates to ensure you can find someone whose professional opinion you trust and gel with, as well as whose methods are appropriate for your circumstances. Additionally, even if you do have an advisor, it’s still essential that you stay in the loop concerning where your money is going—and why this is so.

More from DailyWorth:

  • Get the Most Bang For Your Budget 
  • 10 Reasons You’re Not Rich Yet
  • Is It Too Late to Start Saving?
  • The Costliest Mistakes You Can Make on Your Taxes
  • 7 Warning Signs You’re in Financial Trouble

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