Just think of those who don't fit the filthy-rich stereotype. People like Warren Buffett.
As explained in the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, personal finance has as much to do with people's traits as it does with money. Many millionaires, in fact, have frugal ways.
Understanding how personal traits can influence your finances is an essential ingredient for building wealth.
Here are 10 key traits:
Patience is one of the most important traits when it comes to saving money.
This means waiting until the first wave of product hype has passed, keeping a car for an extra few years before getting another one and waiting until something you want fits into your budget instead of putting it on credit.
Patience is often the difference between creating savings and being in debt. Having the patience to wait until you find a good deal is a cornerstone of good finances.
When you're satisfied, there is no reason to spend money on nonessentials. The sole purpose of commercials is to make you believe that buying a product or service will make you happier, wealthier, better looking or improve whatever isn't bringing you satisfaction.
People spend because they want to capture the excitement shown in advertisements. When you are satisfied with what you have and your life (not trying to live like those on TV), your finances will be in a lot better shape.
Being organized can make you more productive and ensure that all the many issues pertaining to personal finances are addressed.
It means not paying late fees, not buying two of everything, knowing deadlines that can affect your finances and getting more done in less time. All these can greatly benefit your finances.
You need the discipline to continue to save money for specific, long-term goals every month. Personal finance isn't a way to get rich quick, but is a disciplined execution of your lifetime plans.
It's important to be able to look at your financial decisions and reflect on their results. You're going to make financial mistakes. Everyone does. The key is to learn from those mistakes so you don't make them again, or recognize if you keep repeating them.
The economy and our earnings don't always match our expectations.
Unexpected developments wreak havoc to elaborate financial plans. When this happens, changes are needed to deal with the new circumstances. Creativity is essential to accomplish this.
Creativity allows you to make something last longer rather than purchasing it when you don't have the money. It means juggling money to stay out of debt rather than simply paying with a credit card. It means finding a cheaper alternative when money is tight.
In these ways, creativity plays a large role in keeping finances in order.
Having curiosity helps you learn, study and improve yourself.
The curiosity of wanting to know more, to take the time to study and then take what is learned and put into practice is an important process that is driven by curiosity.
To build wealth, one needs to be willing to take risks. This doesn't mean uncalculated risks. It means weighing all the options and taking calculated risks when appropriate.
The stock market has risks involved, but over the long term, history shows that it provides good returns on money that is invested wisely. Those who fear risk altogether end up saving money in accounts that likely lose money to inflation in the long run.
The importance of setting and working toward goals is obvious. If you don't know where you are going, it's difficult to get there. It helps your personal finances immensely if you have money goals and are motivated to reach the goals that you have set for yourself.
Those who lack goals don't have a road map to take them to the financial destination they want.
1. Hard- and Smart-Working
Creating wealth and staying out of debt rarely comes about without a lot of hard work.
Many people might hope that the lottery will solve all their financial problems. The true path to financial freedom, however, is to work hard to earn money while educating yourself to continue to have more value and increase your salary.
You may not possess all of the above traits. But knowing them can help you make changes so that you nourish the ones that you have and obtain the ones you're missing.
Ultimately they will help you with your personal finances and create a plan to accumulate the wealth you desire.