Unless the stars happen to align for you every single time you buy a lottery ticket, becoming a millionaire rarely happens overnight. And contrary to what many get-rich-quick schemes will have you believe, there are few money hacks that can replace conservative spending habits, regardless of how much your bank account starts off in the black (and that's a fact that one author who's studied incredibly rich people can attest to).
Rich Habits author Thomas C. Corley explains to Business Insider exactly how long it takes for people to become independently wealthy and what habits they follow to attain financial success. After interviewing over 230 people who made at least $160,000 a year and boasted $3.2 million in net assets, he learned that 99% of the self-made millionaires in the group took at least 18 years to succeed, and only 1% got rich before hitting 40.
"Getting rich is not about pulling in the big fish, landing that big client, or hitting the lottery," Corley continues. "True wealth is the byproduct of doing the little things every day that keep moving you closer and closer to your dreams and goals." Patience and saving money aren't the only secrets to becoming rich. Corley shares the most important habits that wealthy people follow to become financially successful:
Learn something new every day. "Grown comes from acquiring new knowledge and developing new skills," he writes.
Don't be afraid to say no. "Eliminate as many distractions as possible," he says. "Forge the habit of saying 'no' to things which do not align with your dreams and goals. Anything that does not move you forward in realizing your dreams and goals is a distraction."
Cultivate a "rich" social circle. This doesn't mean befriending wealthy people—Corley maintains that you should surround yourself "with individuals who feel, think and behave the way the ideal future you would feel, think, and behave," which in turn influences our own behavior.
Remember that time is money. " solate blocks of time every day to things that will help build a foundation for success and avoid doing things which take time away from those activities," Corley recommends.
Check out the full list of habits that wealthy people adopt over at Business Insider, and then tell us your top money-saving tricks in the comments below.