Over the last few years, I’ve really given a lot of thought to what it takes to get rich and grow wealth. I’ve spoken with countless millionaires, I’ve coached clients through my programs, I’ve helped people on my forums, and I’ve responded to over 5,000 reader comments on this site. In each instance, there are common themes that are either helping the person grow wealth, or preventing the person from getting rich.

Being rich doesn’t always mean having money, but 90% of the time it does. However, there are habits, behaviors, and “rules” essentially, that will allow you to get rich and grow wealth. It’s not an overnight process. There aren’t any get rich quick schemes here.

What you’re going to read below are my ten rules for getting rich and growing wealth – over time.

– You Have To Earn It (Your Money, Your Wealth)

If you want to get rich and grow wealth, you have to earn it. There’s no way you’re going to get to what you want and where you want to be if you’re not trying to get there.

With money, this is pretty darn straightforward. You want money? Get out there and start making it. Get a job. Get a second job. Get a third job. Start side hustling and doing side projects to make more money. Are you in college? Get a side job in college to pay for school.

The bottom line is, if you want to grow wealth, you have to earn income. There are potentially thousands of ways to earn income, and you need to find the most that you can do and get to work. There is nobody stopping you. There’s nothing in your life preventing you. The only roadblock to you earning more is yourself.

So, stop with the excuses and focus on rule #1 to get started – you have to earn your wealth.

– You Need To Save Until It Hurts

The second rule to getting rich is saving. It’s not enough to just earn money – you have to save it as well. Otherwise you’ll just end up like any number of famous celebrities who’ve gone bankrupt. Income alone just doesn’t cut it. You have to save.

But the real “rule” to get rich here is saving until it hurts. How much is that? Well, if you’re not hurting yet, it’s not enough.

For example, last year, I saved roughly 40% of my after-tax income. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But there are plenty of people out there that are saving more – many over 50% of their income if not more.

The truth is, following Rule #1 makes this rule easier. The more income you have, the easier it is to save more. But even on lower incomes, you can still save. Here are 15 ways to save an additional $500 per month. Boom!

– You Need To Optimize Your Spending

The third rule to grow wealth is to optimize your spending. I’m not one to judge your spending – spend more or spend less. My personal belief is you should buy whatever you want – just earn more money so you can afford it.

But no matter what, truly wealthy people optimize their spending. This means they find good deals – even if they are going to buy a Ferrari, you can bet they searched around for a deal and negotiated the price.

The trick here is to simply spend wisely – especially on your biggest expenses. For most people, this could be cars, insurance, healthcare, and more. Too many people here just opt for “whatever” or don’t think about what the choices really are. Wealthy people stop, think, and elect a choice that maximizes their benefits while minimizing their expenses.

So, if you’re ready to grow wealth, start identifying and optimizing your spending.

– You Must Put Your Money To Work For You

The fourth rule is that you have to put your money to work for you. Earning it is your part of the heavy lifting. You need your money and the power of compound interest to work together over time to grow wealth for you.

What does this mean? It means that you need to invest. Why? Because the average inflation-adjusted return for the S&P500 for the last 60 years has been 7%.

You need your money to grow and earn you more money. You need to start building income streams with your money. The goal is that your hard work up front can help you build passive income streams for the future.

Do you want to earn $50,000 per year without working? Here’s a simple breakdown of how to make your money work to do it for you. It’s all about making your money work for you, not against you.

-You Need To Marry Smart
The fifth rule for building wealth is to marry smart. Why? Because a great spouse can be a huge force multiplier when it comes to building wealth, while at the same time the biggest destroyer of wealth is divorce. In fact, a recent study found that divorce destroys 75% of personal net worth.

On the building wealth front, a great duo can earn together, accumulate together, and watch their double-earnings compound over time. That’s a huge force multiplier for building wealth. The interest on $2 is always higher than the interest on $1.

However, divorce has the potential to ruin financial lives if you didn’t marry smart. Beyond dividing things 50/50, there can be lawyer fees and more. Plus, compound interest now only has a small amount to work with – so it just grows slower.

The fact is, though, that according to the American Psychological Association, 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. That doesn’t mean that divorce has to be a financial disaster. If you married smart to begin with, hopefully your ex-spouse will also be financially savvy when it comes to divorce and you can work things out as amicably as possible.expected.