Spend less than you earn
I have seen people who earn $100,000 a year and spend $110,000. They will never build wealth. I have seen people worth over $5 million spend much, much more than they earn and lose everything.
I have seen people earn $60,000 a year, but save $10,000 a year. They are on the path to building wealth (although at an admittedly slow pace.)
Give the IRS as little as possible
Utilize all tax saving techniques available. This is difficult, because most accountants are not familiar with unique tax saving strategies like cash balance plans, K plans, and dash plans, which substantially reduce income taxes while building money for the future.
Many frustrated taxpayers have expressed the opinion accountants are working for the IRS. Most accountants deny this and would argue they represent their clients and are not servants of the IRS.
However, the government has been relentlessly extending varied tax penalty provisions applicable to accountants and advisors to the point where advisors and accountants are caught in a dilemma.
Overly aggressive representation of clients can easily put an accountant or advisor into a position where they can