10 Millionaire Spending Habits — How Do You Compare?

Comparing yourself to others is harmful and self-destructive. 

But LET’S DO IT ANYWAY haha!! 🤣 Because it can also be very fun and interesting.

Though seriously, when we look at others, we usually see the best version of them and compare it with an average version of ourselves. It’s unfair and inaccurate. So keep this in mind as you read through the below stats. You could be a statistical outlier, and that’s OK! (I am, in many ways.)

I found the following statistics while tooling around on the Rich Habits website. The site founder, Tom Corley, has surveyed hundreds of extremely wealthy and poor people throughout his life to better understand their habits.

What I like about studying habits is that it’s less about the current position that someone is in… Rather, it paints a picture of who they are over time and where they’re likely headed.

Here are 10 habits of millionaires. And for funsies I added commentary on the ones I do/don’t relate to (spoiler alert: I have 7/10 of these habits currently 😅).

Habit #1: 88% of Millionaires Read 30 Mins or More Every Day

As far as comparisons go, I’m off to a bad start! :( If I’m being honest, I’ve probably only gotten a couple hours of reading in during the past few weeks. Wait, can we include blogs and reading finance news on the Internet?… If so, I definitely do that 30+ mins each day!

Here’s more breakdown on the 30 mins reading per day:

  • 63% listen to audiobooks during their commute.
  • 79% read educational, career-related material.
  • 55% read self-help books, articles etc.
  • 58% read biographies of successful people.
  • 94% read current events.
  • 51% read history.
  • Only 11% read for purely entertainment purposes.

Habit #2: Most Millionaires (67%) Watch Less Than 1 Hour of TV Daily

Furthermore, 63% of wealthy people spend less than 1 hour daily “surfing the Internet.”

Well, I guess I FAIL in this category, too. Wife and I usually spend about 1 hour watching TV each night, maybe a little more if we’re hooked on a fun series (like our most recent fav, Ted Lasso). But, this TV habit will be kicked shortly when we invite a little one into our home and all our free time disappears! ;)

Habit #3: Most Rich People (86%) Like What They Do for a Living

Woohoo! I definitely align with this one. I love what I do for work currently – and so does my wife!

Probably the most interesting thing I learned about this survey question is how the financially struggling people answered… While most “rich” people liked what they did, 96% of “poor” people said they did NOT like what they did for a living.

Surprising? Not surprising? Maybe when you have financial stability it changes the way you perceive your work?

Habit #4: 76% of Millionaires Exercise at Least 4 Days a Week

This makes sense. What’s the point of accumulating a bunch of money if you’re not healthy enough (or alive) to enjoy spending it!? Investing your money coincides with investing in your health.

My wife and I work out at least 4 times a week. Lately, it’s been more like 6 times a week! 💪 (Again, this habit will probably go out the window when we have kids haha.)

Habit #5: 67% of Millionaires Said They Were “Frugal With Their Money”

Other frugal stats for millionaires:

  • 30% of wealthy people clip coupons
  • 8% shop at thrift stores!

This dispels the myth that rich people splash around money without thinking. It’s actually the opposite… Most wealthy people are quite intentional with spending, looking for added value and discounts wherever possible. My wife and I are proud to say we align well with this spending habit. We love us some Goodwill bargains. 😍

Habit #6: Most Wealthy People (55%) Spend Less Than $6,000 on Vacations Each Year

Ah, crap. Not only did my wife and I blow $8k+ on vacations last year ($4k on our Hawaii trip alone), but this year we’ve got $10k in our travel budget! Oooops.

But, this is a habit I’m OK not conforming to. Vacationing is something I want to incorporate more into my life, not less. Well, that’s how I feel today… Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune later in life. 🤷‍♂️

I’m curious to hear what your average annual travel budget is.

Habit #7: Wealthy People Do Not Buy Lottery Tickets (94%)

Only 6% of surveyed wealthy people buy lottery tickets. Whereas, 77% percent of survey respondents who struggle financially play the lottery weekly. 😬

My wife and I don’t play the weekly lotto. But we love going to Vegas every now and then and playing craps (at the cheapest table we can find). Gambling can be fun… But not as a lifestyle!

(Ooooh this reminds me, I have to write a post about a book I read called The Luck Factor which has a great section on “lucky” people and how they pick lotto numbers.)

Habit #8: 81% of Wealthy People Use Credit Cards With Reward Options

Yep, yep, yep! Credit card rewards are a no-brainer. Wifey and I have a handful of rewards cards that give us cash back, travel points, and other free goodies – all for doing regular spending. (We pay off our CC balances every month before any interest kicks in, so these rewards are technically “free.”)

Habit #9: Most Millionaires Buy Used Cars

Even though they can afford to buy new cars, 87% of wealthy people said they never purchased a new luxury car in their lives. 44% said they purchase a used car every 5 years.

We found our 2010 Prius about 6 years ago on Craigslist. Still runs great! In fact, it’s about to hit the 100k mile mark soon and join the mileage-high club.

What are you driving these days?

Habit #10: 65% of Millionaires Have Built 3 or More Streams of Income

This is kind of obvious when you think about it. Most people with a net worth over $1mil would have their assets and income diversified somehow. Stocks, bonds, REITs, rental real estate, home equity, side hustles, business ownerships, W2 incomes, Social Security etc.

My wife and I have more than 3 streams of income and plan to always have our nest egg spread out across multiple investments. This is a habit that was drilled into me at a young age – never put all your eggs in 1 basket!

*****

So, there you have it. Millionaires read a lot, are fitness freaks, they don’t watch TV, never go on vacations or do anything fun…. They are like boring, frugal robots. (And if you don’t follow along, you’ll be financially doomed!) Just kidding. Like I said at the beginning – these are great habits to reflect on here, but don’t take them all too literally.

What do you think? Notice any familiar habits with your own life?

Have a great week ahead,

Joel

P.S. Extended reading if you’re interested:

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10 Comments

  1. Chris February 14, 2022 at 11:32 AM

    Great post! I don’t own a TV (but I spend too much time on the internet). I have always bought used car. I have never spent one cent and never plan to on gambling or the lottery. We spend less than $6,000 a year on vacation, which is helped immensely with credit card promotions. We consider ourselves frugal. We both exercise multiple days a week – in fact my husband walks at least 10 miles a day on his job. We have not branched out too much into multiple streams of income, however. I probably read less than 30 minutes a day, and sometimes more.

    Reply
    1. Joel February 14, 2022 at 12:39 PM

      Check, check and check! Nice to see these things are working out for you. So good your hubs has built in exercise with work. i feel that’s toughest for most people with desk jobs.
      Have a great week Chris!

      Reply
  2. Michael O February 14, 2022 at 12:41 PM

    I noticed there was no mention of how much millionaires spend on beer. Of course, they probably buy expensive fancy beer like you, or do they drain cans of PBR like me?

    Reply
    1. Joel February 14, 2022 at 12:51 PM

      I was conducting extensive research on this very topic! But, I accidentally had too many beers and can’t find my notes.

      Reply
  3. Steve February 14, 2022 at 9:12 PM

    I drive a 06 Nissan truck that I’ve had since 09′ (13 years) that I bought for $11,500 cash. It has 250k miles now, and I plan to drive it for at least another 10 years (if I can keep from crashing it) because I just like it and it meets all my needs. I make decisions on repairs and maintaince with that in mind. I also don’t freak out when the kids scratch it or it gets dinging up in parking lots. I’ll probably transition into an electric truck when the time comes.

    No gambling or expensive vacations here. Read a ton but could use more concentrated cardio exercise routine ( I walk about 4-5 miles per day due to nature of my work)

    Reply
    1. Joel February 15, 2022 at 9:22 AM

      Electric conversion is an awesome idea!

      Reply
  4. Ann February 14, 2022 at 11:07 PM

    Fun read! I definitely do not have multiple income streams going (just two, and that’s only if you count investment income!) but otherwise seem to check most boxes.

    I cannot even imagine what a 6 or 10k vacation budget would be like! My vacations are usually centered on camping trips and are consequently dirt cheap. I’ve done a couple international trips but doing a combination of hitchiking and couchsurfing kept costs below $1000 for a 2 month trip. Do you think I’m seriously missing out?! :)

    Reply
    1. Joel February 15, 2022 at 9:27 AM

      Hey Ann! You are definitely not missing out! Love the couch-surfing to save money, and also you can meet a bunch of interesting new friends that way.

      I think my large travel budget stems from being born in Australia. I was 22 when I moved to the US, and tried to fly home each year for Christmas. So I just always had to set aside thousands for flights and travel.

      Reply
  5. Scarlett February 15, 2022 at 7:06 AM

    Sounds like millionaires are either homebodies or need to spend less time playing defense and go on vacation! Seriously. What’s the point on winning with money if you don’t enjoy it? Or maybe 45% are new to travel. 55% have already been everywhere they want to go?

    Reply
    1. Joel February 15, 2022 at 10:19 AM

      I feel like this statistic will change quickly over the next decade. Now that many people can work remotely, travel easier and have access to instant apps for bookings and convenience, I think travel spend will just keep increasing.

      That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being a homebody! I live most of my life in a 10 mile radius of my house and love it. :)

      Reply

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