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So many stories from people who have actually gone from rags to riches can be summed up with this simple truth:  They don’t have to use thrift stores because they use thrift stores.

my millionBut it’s easy to think, “If I were rich, I’d do this and buy that and travel there…”  But would you really?

Oh yes, if you suddenly won the lottery and or came into a surprise inheritance you probably would spend it like there’s no tomorrow.  That is what usually happens with “easy come” money.  It’s becomes “easy go.”  The reason for this has to do with one’s behavior with money.  If your behavior with money has kept you broke, then even if a pile of money is thrown at you, you’ll soon return to being broke.  A wise proverb says “A dog returns to its own vomit.”

On the other hand, if you actually scrimped and saved and planned your way from rags to riches, then the money choices you made along the way will likely stick as part of your character and remain even after you get there.  Why would you go through all the trouble to become wealthy, having learned the tricks to do it, only to blow it all away carelessly?  You wouldn’t, because the tricks become engrained.  The actions become you.

What actions?  Well for starters, things like this:it's paid for

Check for bargains at the thrift store, yard sales, want ads and Craigslist even though you can afford to buy new.

Drive an older paid for car even though you can afford to buy any new car.

Take more modest local vacations even though you can afford to fly to Hawaii or anywhere else.  Better yet, throw in some stay home vacations.

Refuse to buy anything on credit, with the exception of your home (and only then if you have at least a twenty percent down payment).

When you go out to eat, go out for lunch instead of dinner.

Rent a home instead of buying until you’re sure you can afford it easily on one income.

Rent stuff that you don’t use frequently (like that pickup truck to haul an occasional load, tools you only need once in a while).

Don’t collect stuff.  Instead, downsize and sell off everything not used on a daily basis.

diversifySave as much money as you can, and invest it in diverse things.

Read books on how to win with money.

Take diligent care of your health.  It will save you a bundle when you’re older.