• Millionaires automated and saved a fixed percentage of their net pay as a habit, author and accountant Tom Corley found
  • Most of them also regularly invested a portion of their savings
  • Another common denominator among millionaires was their frugality, according to his study

Millionaires appear to have common habits that anyone can embrace.

After interviewing 225 millionaires over a five-year period for his "Rich Habits" study, author and accountant Tom Corley ended up classifying each millionaire into one of four categories: "Saver-Investors," "Company Climbers," "Virtuosos" and "Dreamers."

In addition, Corley was able to discover several habits that the millionaires had in common. Below are the three most common habits they shared, which Corley said anyone can adopt.

1. They automated, and saved 20% of net pay

Every "Saver-Investor" type — or millionaires who made saving and investing part of their daily routine — saved 20% or more of their net pay each paycheck, Corley said in his piece published in CNBC.

Many accomplished this by automating the withdrawal of a fixed percentage of their net pay. From this amount, 10% would go into employer-sponsored retirement accounts, while the other 10% was automatically directed into a separate savings account.

They would then transfer their accumulated 10% savings into an investment account, such as a brokerage account, once a month.

However, Corley noted that saving a smaller percentage consistently would still help people meet their financial goals if 20% is too steep.

2. They regularly invested a portion of their savings

Saver-Investors consistently invested their savings, and while the compound interest was not very significant at the start, they began to accumulate significant wealth after 10 years, according to Corley.

The average wealth of the Saver-Investors he interviewed was around $3.3 million toward the final years of their working lives.

In contrast, "Dreamers," or people who are in pursuit of a dream and do what they love for a living, did not have the ability to invest their savings, particularly in the early stages of pursuing their dreams, and what savings they did have were used as working capital to fund those dreams.

They were only able to invest their earnings after they found success and had access to available cash flow.

3. They were extremely frugal

Another common denominator among Saver-Investors, Company-Climbers and Virtuoso self-made millionaires was their frugality, Corley said.

Being frugal required being aware of how one spends one's money, focusing on spending on quality products and services and shopping for the lowest price to spend the least amount possible, he explained.

"On its own, being frugal will not make you rich. It is just one piece to the 'Rich Habits' puzzle, and there are many pieces. But it will allow you to save a larger amount of money. And the more you have in savings, the more money you can invest," Corley wrote.

Representation. Among the common denominators millionaires had was their frugality. stevepb/Pixabay