The Habit Chain


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In the 1950’s, one single invention completely transformed the habits of hundreds of millions of people – the credit card.

The Diner’s Club Card was really the first widely-used credit card. It allowed a limited group of restaurants to offer a small amount of credit to its customers. The card quickly caught on and within one year it had 20,000 cardholders.

The American Express card, introduced in 1958, took things to another level and within five years had 1 million cardholders.

Now, thank to credit cards, anyone can immediately get what they want. This easy credit has made instant gratification a world-wide habit for hundreds of millions of people.

But instant gratification is a Poor Habit. It creates unmanageable debt, which can lead to poverty. It also creates financial stress, which can lead to poor health. When combined, the unmanageable debt and financial stress caused by the instant gratification Poor Habit, produces an unhappy and unhealthy life.

Delayed gratification, living below your means and frugality are all Rich Habits. These Rich Habits form a chain of habits that lead to financial security, little to no financial stress and ultimately a happy, healthy life.

The birth of credit cards has transformed the world by transforming the world’s habits. If you want to be like everyone else, you will give in to instant gratification and incur unmanageable debt that can lead to poverty and financial stress, creating a life of misery.

Or, you can do what the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits study have done – eschew instant gratification by making a habit of not using credit cards, buying only the best products/services you can afford, saving 10% or more of your income and investing those savings.

Break the bad habit chain that instant gratification produces and embrace the good habit chain that delayed gratification produces.

The difference between these two habit chains is night and day. These differences do not show up immediately. Delayed gratification takes many years to bear fruit. But the fruit it bears is ultimately a happy, healthy and financially stress-free life.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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