I feel like good money habits are an important piece in wealth building that do not get mentioned that often. If you make $100,000 per year and blow $90,000, you will be poorer than a person who makes $50,000 but was able to spend $20,000. Below are some of the good money habits that helped me get to where I am today, and I believe they will do the same for you.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to habits. Humans are creatures of habit. Poor people have poor money habits, and rich people have rich money habits. Let’s cover the top 6 good money habits that can push you toward your next tier of wealth.
Also known as living below your means or spending less than you make, this is a good money habit. This is basic, but if you fail at this, it will be hard for you to get ahead financially. It is hard enough to start at 0. If you start at a negative, life will be tougher for you. If you make $100 dollars, spend $80. Move the other $20, if not more, into a high-yield savings account. This will be your investment fund later. The saving rate is at 5% at the time of this article. It is not bad to have your saved-up money in a savings account while hunting for the next investment opportunity.
This 20% buffer between your saving and your earning, I call it the wedge or the buffer zone. It will allow you to start having more control in life.
For real estate agents, that means saving 20% of your commission. Too hard for you? Well then, you have to sell the next home and the next home and the next home. Brokerages like eXp Realty have automatic investment plans.
More than anything, this teaches you discipline. Getting wealth or investing in real estate requires discipline. If you don’t have the discipline to save 20% or more of your income, then you might as well quit now because everything from now on will be difficult.
And did I mention don’t TOUCH IT! Set it aside, and forget about it. Don’t even remember that it exists.
Avoiding Debt is a good money habit.
Or should I say bad debt. There is Good debt that helps you acquire assets, build equity, and generate income. And there is bad debt, aka consumer debt, credit card debt. Debt that sets you back for years. Save the dramatic comeback-from-debt story for someone else. If you’re reading this, just simply do not have it. If you are knowledgeable about credit card point hacks, leverage the card. If you can’t control your spending, simply do not have a credit card.
For once I saw a post at a bank that advertised taking out your home equity for a vacation…or a…motorcycle. Bad idea. Just don’t do it!
Everyone has debt. Rich people have good debt that makes them money. Poor people have bad debt that costs them money.
FOCUS ON YOUR MAIN INCOME STREAM WHILE STARTING A SIDE HUSTLE.
Most people will suggest starting a side hustle. I would think you already have an opportunity to make good money at your current main job. Make the most out of it. Focus on your job, get to the highest pay scale that you can humanly get to. Do a great job, get promoted.
Only when you see there is no growth potential and you can do your job with one eye closed, then start thinking about another source of income. You can start taking that money that you made in your main job to start investing (wisely) in solid dividend-paying stocks, income-producing real estate, start a side business, go to that MLM meeting.
People with bad money habits rely on one income stream.
People with good money habits diversify their income stream. It doesn’t hurt to have a job, let’s say IT, Real Estate Agent, House Flipper, and at the same time, have income coming in from Long-Term Rentals, Short-Term Rentals, Mid-Term Rentals, Apartments, Interest from banks, Revenue share from the brokerage, Dividend-paying stocks.
If real estate is your side hustle, great! Focus on your main job still and keep this as a side hustle and learn how to automate your side hustle.
If real estate is your main gig, great! FOCUS on it even more. Don’t get sidetracked.
Keep meticulous records of your expenses. This habit will not only help you stay within your budget but also allow you to identify areas where you can cut costs or reallocate funds more efficiently. There are various budgeting apps and tools available to simplify expense tracking.
For me personally, one of my best hires in the business is hiring a bookkeeper. They will keep you very honest with your income and spending every month.
Running a business unfortunately has expenses. If you don’t keep track of this monster, then eventually it will become a Frankenstein and consume you. This is a good book to read.
Taxes can be a significant expense for real estate professionals. Develop a good tax strategy by working with a tax professional who specializes in real estate. They can help you take advantage of deductions, credits, and other tax benefits available to real estate agents and real estate investors.
There are multiple tax structures that you can set up, so by all means, consult with your CPA. Everyone starts out by putting their long-term assets into Schedule E while building up their portfolio, then move into the GP-LP structure, and ultimately the Trust.
Again, these are from my observations – Do NOT take this as advice.
Beginner: Simple 1040 Personal income Tax, Schedule C for Business, Schedule E for Real estate holding. Everything is out there in the public, Easy to get financing and proof of income.
Intermediate: GP-LP Structure for asset protection, more privacy and tax advantage, for people with multiple companies and a sizeable amount of real estate holdings.
Trust: The ultimate protection: This will cost a pretty dime to set up, but if set up correctly, it will provide ultimate asset protection and tax advantages.
We can go on and on about tax planning. Rich people have good money habits about tax planning. Poor People just pay the highest amount in the tax bracket with no planning.
The rules are written for those who are willing to play. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Especially for real estate agents. There are many different ways you can structure your real estate business. Once your Gross income passes 100k, get together with a tax professional asap.
This is Huge. This is pretty much the choice you have to make every day about Today Money or tomorrow Money.
Today money is fast money; it is the job you earn from that W2, That commission check when you sell a house, that flip home you did. This is active income. It gets you paid here and now to keep the lights on.
Tomorrow money is slow money. It will take you years to develop a shopping center, rent it out until you can see any dime coming in. It is that rent check from your rentals, from your Airbnb that you spent months to buy and rehab. It is that revenue share check that you get from attracting agents into your brokerage. It is dripping like water from a faucet at first.
But if you focus on it, have the discipline to build your portfolio, build your empire, then it will turn into a waterfall that will take care of you and your family for generations to come.
Tomorrow money is delayed gratification.
Rich people understand delayed gratification. They work on it now and focus on working on it until success.
Poor people want it NOW. That is not a good money habit.
There is nothing wrong with chasing that next commission check, that today money. But do understand that if you are chasing commission checks only, then that’s what you will be doing for the rest of your life.