Want to Be Rich? Here Are the Money Rules You Must Follow

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These rules could make all the difference in helping you build wealth.

Key points

  • Most wealthy people treat spending, debt, and other aspects of managing money differently than others.
  • Adopting the financial philosophies of rich people can help you grow your own wealth.

Becoming wealthy and knowing you can support yourself and your loved ones can provide you with peace of mind and security. But getting rich is about more than just earning a lot of money. If you hope to build wealth, think and act like rich people do when it comes to managing your finances.

The sooner you follow certain money rules, the easier it will be to join the ranks of the financially independent who are free of worries about how they'll cover costs. There are three main rules it's crucial to keep in mind as you make decisions about borrowing, spending, and saving.

1. Maximize the value of your money

Many rich people are notoriously frugal -- especially in contrast to, say, lottery winners, who often end up broke a few years after getting millions of dollars. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, for instance, has kept the same house since 1958, and typically buys reduced-price vehicles.

Wealthy people understand that buying expensive luxury goods can be a huge waste, since they depreciate in value and often cost a lot to maintain. This isn't to say they don't splurge on things that are important to them. They are just careful with financial decisions, ensuring they don't take on too many expensive commitments, live beyond their means, or spend money just to impress others.

By splurging only on things that matter most while living frugally in other ways, you can free up money to buy assets that build your wealth while still enjoying the money you make.

2. Treat debt as a tool

Contrary to what some people believe, borrowing isn't always a bad thing -- and it isn't necessarily something that wealthy people steer clear of. Instead, most rich people use debt as a tool. They may borrow to buy a home at a low rate to leave more money available for investing, for example. Or they may take out loans to start a business, or use credit cards to earn rewards (by paying them off in full each month, they effectively create very short-term debt, with zero interest).

If you hope to become rich, don't be afraid to take on debt when it makes sense -- such as using a personal loan to pay off high-interest credit card debt to reduce the interest rate and become debt free faster. You should, however, avoid borrowing that doesn't improve your financial situation.

3. Think long term

Finally, if you want to become rich, make major financial decisions by taking into account the long-term impact of your choice, rather than focusing on short-term gratification.

Instead of splurging on a fancy car, for example, consider how much you could build your wealth if you bought a cheap used vehicle and invested the difference. While this is a short-term sacrifice -- and one of many you may make -- it can be well worth it if your decisions help you become financially independent and free of money worries.

If you focus on getting the most value for your money, treat debt as a tool, and look at the big picture of your finances, you should be well on the road to becoming rich.

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