The richest people in the world have a few common habits. This is not coincidental. For those who want financial independence, there are certain lifestyle changes they must adopt that are more conducive to becoming wealthy. The middle-class works very hard, but hard work alone isn’t enough. By following the four tips below, members of the middle class can join the one percent club of rich individuals.

1. Spend Less

With the government in debt, it’s not surprising that many middle-class families are also in debt. The best way for people to obtain wealth is to spend less than they earn. One method is to become more educated on credit and how it can help reduce your debt, including these tips. Another technique is to keep meticulous records of all purchase. This includes the latte from the coffee shop or a magazine from the newsstand. By keeping track of all expenses, a person has a better understanding of where his money goes. Creating a budget and sticking to it is also important for becoming rich. One way to save money is by setting aside 10% of all money earned before paying the bills.

2. Set Financial Goals

The rich make money because they set goals. People who write down their money goals are in a better position to accomplish them. Whether a person wants to buy a house, start investing or set up a college fund, articulating that goal and working towards it is the hallmark of successful people. It’s also essential to focus on just one goal at a time. Once the goal is in place, breaking it down into smaller steps is the only way to achieve that goal without feeling overwhelmed. Sites like Personal Capital can help you track your spending and set up financial goals for yourself.

3.  Manage Time

Time management is an important part of making substantial money. Rich people spend their time on activities that help them to build their wealth, and are always aware of their hourly rate. This trick helps people to realize how much money they are losing as they spend time watching reality television or posting on Facebook. A better use of time is networking with wealthy people and cultivating friendships with them.

4. Learn About Money

Many people understand that knowledge is power. Studies show that people with college degrees earn more than those with high school diplomas. The more the middle class learns about savings accounts, online investing and entrepreneurship, the more money they can make. By reading books or taking courses in investing, money management or starting a part-time business, middle class families position themselves to earn more money. Check out our Personal Finance section to read more articles about online investing, credit and other tips on how to keep you personal finances clean.

The one percent has many habits that help them to become rich and stay rich. By making the effort to utilize these habits on a daily basis until they are second nature, the middle class can improve their earnings, save more money and become rich.