16 Best-Ever Money Tips from the World’s Most Successful People
People rarely find success by accident. Set yourself up for financial wins by following the advice of some of the world's most successful people.
For most people, finding exactly what they love and monetizing it is one of life’s biggest challenges. Those money tips are exactly what tycoon Warren Buffet says drove him to success in investing and finding great deals. “Being successful in almost anything means having a passion for it,” he told Market Watch. “If you see someone with even reasonable intelligence and a terrific passion for what they do, and [they] get people around them to march even when those people can’t see over the top of the next hill, things are gonna happen.”
Write everything down
Business magnate Richard Branson has on many occasions said he makes lists of all kinds. “I have always lived my life by making lists,” he wrote in a blog post. “These vary from lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen. I also have lists of topics to blog about, lists of tweets to send, and lists of upcoming plans.” He advises to write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small, and then to challenge yourself to follow through. Lists are a great way to set financial priorities.
It’s not all luck (or talent)
It’s easy to credit your success to being in the right place at the right time, but in the end, no real achievement can come without hard work. That’s a lesson hip-hop mogul Sean Combs learned early on, and it’s driven the money tips he follows. Combs told Forbes that at the age of 12, he learned that if he gives customers his best and services them differently, whether it’s with music, clothing or vodka, he’ll get a return on his efforts. Check out these 17 habits of people who are great at saving money.
Don’t get cocky
“Success is a lousy teacher,” says Microsoft founder Bill Gates. “It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Don’t stop hustling. Don’t stop learning. Past success doesn’t ensure future success. Even the smartest, most connected, most talented people can lose.
This applies to all areas of life. Shark Tank‘s Mark Cuban points to a good test: Can you cut up your credit cards? “If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich,” he wrote in a blog post. “The first step to getting rich requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline—can you?” He goes on to explain that if you’re looking to make money, you always need cash available. “You aren’t saving for retirement. You are saving for the moment you need cash. Buy and hold is a sucker’s game.” Ultimately, he says the first step to becoming rich is being a smart shopper. “Yeah, you have to give things up and that doesn’t work for everyone, particularly if you have a family. That is reality. But whatever you can save, save it. As much as you possibly can. Then put it in six-month CDs in the bank.” Here are the 10 times you should never use your credit card.
Develop a game plan that works for you
Many successful people find making lists to be very helpful, but you have to honor what works for you. Uber’s chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John, for example, goes so far as to say that lists would have kept her from getting as far as she has. “It’s very personal to me and doesn’t work for everybody, but what I have found in my experience is that when I make pro and con lists, it’s usually because I am trying to talk myself out of a good idea or talk myself into a really bad one,” she said on an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. “There has been time and time again where I have been right and I couldn’t have explained it to myself or anyone else, so the pro and con list has gone by the wayside.”
Know that it’s not going to be easy
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once recounted a time when one of his friends hired a handstand coach: “In the very first lesson, the coach gave her some wonderful advice. Most people think that if they work hard, they should be able to master a handstand in about two weeks. The reality is that it takes about six months of daily practice. If you think you should be able to do it in two weeks, you’re just going to end up quitting.” This ties into Bezos’ belief that people underestimate how hard following through with goals will be. If you want to make a big purchase, like a house, don’t be discouraged by the long road.
Find online resources
Suze Orman told Oprah her money tips include going through your monthly budget, highlighting all the expenses that are non-essentials, and cutting those costs by 10 percent until you’re left with $100 extra. She also suggested checking for discounts before you make a purchase. “Sites like couponcabin.com (which offer printable coupons and promo codes on everything from groceries to diapers) and apps like Pic2Shop (scan a barcode with your phone, and the app searches for online or local retailers selling it cheaper) can save you big.” Don’t forget to always check sites that give you cash back for your purchases, like ebates.com. Here are 56 more effortless ways to save money.
You don’t need money to make money
Shark Tank’s Daymond John told CNN that he realized “almost every single time I have had some level of success, money was never ever a part of it […] and if anybody out there knows entrepreneurship, they know entrepreneurs don’t just go ‘succeed, succeed, succeed, succeed.’ They go ‘succeed, succeed, fail, succeed.'” Find out what you need to do to bounce back even stronger from failure.
Watch your credit
“It is the little things that can and will wreck your credit,” writes Sophia Amoruso, the founder of online retail empire Nasty Gal and GirlBoss Media, in her book, #GIRLBOSS. “Because I moved so much, I rarely had a steady address, causing bills to miss me as I jumped from state to state. By the time my $28 lingerie charge caught up with me, my credit was wrecked, and I had learned the hard way that you can ruin your credit in one seemingly responsible afternoon, but rebuilding it takes years.”
Be real about the facts
Know your facts and pay attention to them! “A fatal mistake that some people make is either to ignore data or actually deny what the facts are presenting,” says entrepreneur Jeff Bussgang. “You should always strive to be very data-driven and know the truth. Now, you may still decide to do something with a low-probability outcome because the risks are low and the end result is so incredibly nirvana-like. But at least do the math and think it through before you leap into that situation.” On a smaller scale that also applies to your bank accounts and credit cards: Always make sure you know how much you have and how much you are in debt.
Be okay with failure
Spanx founder Sara Blakely has said that embracing failure and remaining confident is what helped her become the youngest self-made female billionaire in America. “What you don’t know can become your greatest asset if you’ll let it and if you have the confidence to say, ‘I’m going to do it anyway even though I haven’t been taught or somebody hasn’t shown me the way,'” she said. These are the best money-saving tips from self-made millionaires.
When you’re young, optimize for learning—not earning
Think long-term! “In your 20s, optimize for learning, not earning,” says author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. “Work directly under or with master dealmakers, and acquire skills. This is particularly true for negotiating and hard skills like coding. It often comes down to prioritizing skill acquisition over immediate postcollege earning. McKinsey or Goldman can be seductive, but it’s easy to get trapped in a 20-plus-year path of paying for a bloated lifestyle that is always a bit more expensive than the year before. Serfs can become self-made kings, but consultants tend to remain consultants. The only true job security is a superior skill set.”
Manage your risk
With big risks, there can be big rewards, but that doesn’t mean you have to put it all on the line to make money—especially if you want to retire early. “From the start, our approach to entrepreneurship departed slightly from the norm,” says Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal. “Rather than taking giant leaps (resulting, possibly, in catastrophic failures), we focused on having a bold vision but moving there with deliberate, small, rapid steps.”
Optimize your chances for success in all aspects of your life. Here’s an example from SoulCycle co-founder Jule Rice: “If somebody asks you for a cup of coffee and you forgot to ask if they like it with milk or sugar, you bring one that’s black, you bring one with milk, you bring one with milk and sugar, and you bring one with just sugar. You just bring four coffees back. That’s just what you do because you never want to show up with the wrong thing.” If you don’t know something, she says, don’t leave your desk until the job is done. You need the tenacity to keep on going.
Have a plan
Don’t leave your money to chance. Learn how to manage your money and have a plan, no matter how little capital you may have and no matter what your goals are. “Not having a financial plan is a plan—just a really bad one!” says LearnVest.com founder and CEO Alexa von Tobel, who started her business for this very reason. Don’t miss these 19 personal finance tips you were never taught—but need to know.
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