Millionaires go bankrupt 3.5 times

What 5 things do millionaires have in common? (Apart from the commas in their bank accounts)

Do you wanna be a millionaire, so flipping bad, like Bruno?

You’re not alone. In fact, there were about 13.8 million millionaire households around the world in 2012, according to a Global Wealth Report by The Boston Consulting Group. The US had the largest stake in this claim, and little ol’ Australia came in 14th. But what sets these people apart? And do they really give away Mercedes, like Bruno’s song suggests?

Here are just five things millionaires have in common:

Their budgets are actually budgets

Sure, we all set budgets, but how many of us actually stick to them? Worldwide, one potential answer could be in the vicinity of 13.8 million.

In their book on self-made millionaires, Thomas Stanley and William Danko flag this as a trait they noticed after studying many of America’s own. Notably, it was a habit that continued even when they didn’t have to keep to a budget to pay for the groceries any more.

They love what they do

Warren Buffet topped the Forbes rich list in 2008 with a whopping $62 billion to his name. In his book, ‘The Millionaire Code’, he says “Money is a by-product of something I like to do very much”, and succinctly explains how when you love what you do (and are at least a little bit good at it), the money will follow.

Perhaps it’s that passion that keeps them going, because according to the Stanley & Danko book, your average millionaire will go bankrupt at least 3.5 times.

Millionaires go bankrupt 3.5 times

They always ask themselves the same question

“Is there a way I can get/do this cheaper?”

That question, or a variation of it, runs through the mind of millionaires for just about every purchase they make. Why pay full price if you can work out a way to get the same product or service for less?

You could say this is akin to living below your means, and is backed up by stats that say many millionaires choose to drive Toyotas or Fords instead of flashier models. They say this is to invest in something that offers more bang for your buck – or less bang hopefully, in the case of automobiles.

How they use their credit cards

Millionaires are smart about managing their finances. They do this by sticking to budgets (see above), buying things on the cheap (also above), and only using credit when necessary.

There are plenty of times in life when debt is almost unavoidable, such as for study fees or buying a house, but millionaires are the ones who pay it off as soon as possible to avoid accruing interest.

To quote The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko again): “Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self discipline.”

If you are interested in refining your approach to credit cards, check out the options available at Virgin Money.

They are sponges – the good kind

The millionaires of the world don’t sponge off others in that they borrow money all the time, but that they surround themselves with people more successful than themselves in order to learn everything they can about how to make it to the top. Rather than simmer in jealously, they take these opportunities to ask for advice, learn about their mentors’ stories and generally pick up anything they can that will help.

Grant Cardone, writer of ‘The 10X Rule’, wrote “you can’t learn how to make money from someone who doesn’t have much”.

Moral of the story? Find yourself a group of millionaires to spend those Sunday afternoons with, and maybe some of their thrifty habits will rub off on you.

Bonus trait – they dabble in philanthropy

Increasingly, millionaires are throwing their weight behind charitable causes, and leading the way are some big celebrities. Here are some of the most generous.

How many of these habits or traits do you have?