ARE rich people just good with money or is there something a little deeper underpinning their success?
Most people would agree that certain lifestyle choices and daily habits are as valuable in the quest for wealth as a sound understanding of finances.
On the flipside, there's a bunch of stuff you should never, ever do if financial security is one of your main goals.
Two American wealth gurus have combined these two ideas into an excellent list this week.
What happened was, wealth guru Tom Corley wrote a list of 10 rich habits that will make you rich, followed by 18 poverty habits that are keeping you poor. You can read it here.
Then along came another wealth guru, Dave Ramsey, who helpfully condensed Corley's ideas into a 20-point list of his own. You can read that list here.
For your sake, we've boiled this thing down even further. Here are 10 things which rich people do and poor people don't. And as we've already said, these things have nothing to do with money.
1. EAT RIGHT
Corley undertook his own research on the habits of rich people and poor people - by interviewing real people - and he found that 70 per cent of wealthy people eat less than 300 junk food calories each day. By contrast, 97 per cent of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.
2. KEEP YOUR CARDS CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST
Only fools disclose what’s really on their mind.
Are you the sort of person who blurts out every thought on their mind? Stop it. It's not making you seem bold or cool or visionary or anything, but is in fact labelling you as dangerous, potentially treasonous and definitely not the sort of person who will ear promotions. Corley found that 11.6 per cent of wealthy people say what's on their mind, compared to a whopping 69 per cent of poor people.
3. SET GOALS
Eighty per cent of wealthy people are focused on accomplishing some single goal, compared to just 12 per cent of poor people. And wealthy people are four times as likely to write down their goals as poor people. Corley has some great stuff on his blog about the difference between a wish and a goal.
4. KEEP FIT
Well, you know what they say about healthy body, healthy mind. According to our American friends, 76 per cent of wealthy people exercise aerobically at least four days a week. Only 23 per cent of poor people do this.
5. BE ORGANISED
It's almost too simple to be true, but 81 per cent of wealthy people keep a to-do list. Just 19 per cent of poor people do this. Want a good tip? Try an old-fashioned bit of paper. Crossing stuff off with a pen just feels good.
Interestingly, the authors also found that wealthy people tend to read to their kids way more than people do.
A massive 88 per cent of wealthy people read material which relates to their education or career for at least 30 minutes each day, while just 2 per cent of poor people do likewise. Want to swim in an Olympic Pool of $100 bills? Then stop playing Angry Birds and pick up a book.
7. RING GRANDMA
Corley found that 80 of rich people make Happy Birthday calls compared to just 11 per cent of poor people. And while we're not suggesting that ringing Grandma will MAKE you rich, this stat does speak to the old adage: "if you want something done, give it to a busy person".
8. DON'T WATCH BIG BROTHER
We all know that watching reality TV will turn your brain to eggplant or possibly mashed zucchini. Either way, you are indulging in the number one activity which keeps nobodies from becoming somebodies. Corley found that 67 per cent of wealthy people watch an hour or less of TV each day - and that just 6 per cent watch reality TV. Yes, just 6 per cent, compared to 78 per cent of poor people.
9. DON'T PUNT
Only 23 per cent of wealthy people gamble, compared to 52 per cent of poor people. Bear in mind these stats pertain to Americans, so the number of gamblers is likely significantly higher here in Australia.
10. RUN YOUR OWN RACE
It might not hurt to run to the side of the road a little, both literally and figuratively.
The advice to run your own race isn't contained anywhere in the material published by the American wealth guys this week. But the irony of lists like these is that you'll never get anywhere in life if you follow everything word for word. Take the bits that apply to you, but remember to be a little flexible and do things your way.
… AND ONE LAST THOUGHT
The author of this piece is firmly of the belief that a lot of poor people are simply too busy or disadvantaged one way or another to change their situation. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to pick themselves up.
That said, there's a great comment on Dave Ramsey's blog which offers hope to all. Writes "Poornomore":
"I was born poor, raised in poverty and watched my parents die that way. I worked hard, eliminated my bad habits, started doing what the wealthy did. Mostly I stopped blaming others for my lack of wealth. Now I am wealthy, and help others who want to be helped."