My wife’s read all of Thomas J. Stanley’s works and I’ve been following his daughter’s work at DataPoints. As you’d imagine, their project brings a data-driven approach to wealth creation using various tools and analytics. A recent blog post caught my attention because it described the key traits of “wealth accumulators.”
- Spending less than they earned
- Having a long-term outlook on their financial future
- Maintaining sound financial records
- Keeping up with financial markets
- Saving regardless of income level
We’ve gotten much better at all those behaviors and it really started when we began to track our spending. Once you’ve got a grasp of what’s out-of-whack, it’s a lot easier to cut back. Eating out is usually a good one to identify. Take those expenses and set a budget. We use Mint for all of that and it’s become addictive! Once you have enough data stored, your trends emerge and then setting budgets are simple because the tool helps you see what you’ve spent so you can adjust accordingly.