Millionaires set money goals, stick to a budget, use coupons, make grocery lists, avoid debt

How to Budget Like a Millionaire

When you think about millionaires, visions of fine crystal chandeliers, designer everything, and champagne fountains most likely flow through your mind. You imagine people who either are born into their wealth or rise to the top out of nowhere, right?

As it turns out, millionaires do common and everyday things to get where they are. And though that isn’t alluring or glamorous in the least, it’s great news for you: It means you’ve got a shot at millionaire status. Just follow the same kinds of principles as those who are already living your money dreams, and budget like a millionaire.

1. Millionaires set money goals.

Okay, turn on “Eye of the Tiger” full blast. Are you feeling pumped up? Good—because it’s goal-setting time.

Millionaires didn’t sit back one day, say, “Hey, it would be cool if I was superbly wealthy,” and then wait for it to happen. Though they probably had a similar thought process, they didn’t stop with thinking. They moved on to doing.

But before successful people do, they plan. Be like those successful people. Make solid money goals.

2. Millionaires budget.

Once you’ve got solid money goals, you need a budget that reflects how you’ll achieve them. As you budget, think about the short term and long term. What needs to happen to get your spending under control this week and this month? What needs to happen to get you saving well for the future?

Millionaires make budgets. It’s the stone-cold truth! They know all the money that’s coming in, and they know where all that money is going. This is one of the biggest reasons they’re millionaires: They’re in a committed and caring relationship with their finances!

If you don’t have a budget, you need to know you can’t make all those goals you set come true until you start being intentional with your money. Let EveryDollar help you budget. It’s what we do—literally.

3. Millionaires stick to their budget.

But wait. There’s more! Just like a goal without action is just a pile of words, a budget without interaction is just a pile of numbers. Unfortunately, there isn’t any software or app that slaps something out of your hand at the checkout if it’s not in your budget. So until that happens, you’ve got to have a practical approach. Log in to your EveryDollar account and track your spending. Keep your eyes on the remaining balances of each and every budget item.

In the largest study of millionaires ever conducted for his new book Everyday Millionaires, money expert Chris Hogan shares that 93% of millionaires say they stick to the budgets they make.

Millionaires aren’t wishful thinkers, and they aren’t halfway budgeters. They interact with their budgets on the reg. If they overspend in one category (because that happens, people!), they move money over from another category so it all evens out in the end. You can do this too. We believe in you 110%, which is 10% more than any other budgeting app would.

4. Millionaires use coupons.

Probably the last thing you imagine a millionaire saying is, “Wait, I think I have a coupon for that.” That’s your mom in the body wash aisle, not a wealthy person—wrong.

Millionaires spend wisely, and part of that wise and thrifty living means using coupons! Lady Gaga, Warren Buffett and Carmelo Anthony are all reported to coupon.(1)

So the next time the cashier asks if you have any coupons, answer with a proud, “Why, yes, I sure do,” and hand over that paper stack with the confidence of a future millionaire (because that’s the direction you’re heading).

5. Millionaires make grocery lists.

If you haven’t noticed yet, millionaires are planners. And that planning doesn’t stop at the automatic doors of the grocery store. Millionaires make grocery lists. And that makes sense. Research shows that grocery lists help shoppers get what they came for while keeping them from overspending on impulse buys or other financial wastes.(2)

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Yet have you noticed everything on this list really is just that—simple! We don’t mean it’s easy as pie to implement into your life. Making a meal plan and building out a grocery list based on that plan is work. However, the concept itself isn’t anything new, crazy, deep or impossible.

6. Millionaires avoid debt.

Like a spoon used by someone who has mono. Like a dumpster outside a daycare. Like a coat and scarf on a summer’s day. Like . . . you get the picture. Why? Just like these things, debt is disgusting and will make you sweat.

Millionaires don’t get ahead by getting behind. We don’t have to understand physics or sports to get that. But we do have to realize how far back debt yanks us from progressing toward our money goals—far, real real far. Shark Tank hosts and investors Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary agree that living a debt-free life is the best money move you can make!(3)

Pay down any debt you have and avoid taking on any new debt. And don’t share spoons.

7. Millionaires drive used cars.

The second you drive that new car off the lot, it goes down 10% in value. In a year, it’ll drop 20%.(4) That’s utter nonsense. And you know what millionaires aren’t into—utter nonsense.

Buy used cars and let someone else lose that 10–20% while you save money not only on the car but on the registration, insurance and more!

Being a millionaire doesn’t mean hoarding your gold in a money bin like Scrooge McDuck in “DuckTales.” Being a millionaire isn’t about stinginess. It’s about stability. It’s applying hard work to simple principles so you can experience true life-change for yourself and those you love. It’s about knowing you can stand against any money problem, finance your dreams, and help others.

If you want to learn more about these principles and everything else you need to know about reaching millionaire status in your everyday life, preorder money expert Chris Hogan’s latest book, Everyday Millionaires.