NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When we think of millionaires, we often think of unlimited shopping, mansions and exotic cars.
And while they may be able to afford those things, most are disciplined with their money.
A wealth management survey found that millionaires attribute their success to saving regularly and controlling their spending, CBS2's Alex Denis reported. They also say it's more about making smart investment choices than it is about earning a lot of cash.
Financial adviser Rob Wilson, of Wilson Insight, helps millionaires and pro-athletes use their money wisely.
"They know how much they want to spend on a house, how much they spend on car, how much they spend going out to eat everyday versus staying home cooking or taking lunch to work," Wilson said. "So you have to watch those pennies if you want it to grow over time."
Cut costs at home. If you clean out your fridge once a week and your pantry once a month, you'll see what you have, waste less and spend less on groceries -- on average, around $1,000 a year.
Another tip? Get a discount on your homeowners insurance when you make improvements, like installing storm shutters or a hail-resistant roof. Insurance companies like Allstate and Nationwide offer up to 15 percent off if you have a home security system.
Refinance your home. Rates are historically low, with the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.5 percent. Experts say if you're going to stay in your home for more than three years, it can be worth it to refinance for even half a percentage point drop.
Negotiate. While haggling for big-ticket items like cars is common, did you know stores like Best Buy and Nordstrom will quietly negotiate too? Talk to their sales people and ask them to help you spend in your budget for what you want.
Use cash instead of plastic. A MIT study found people are willing to pay twice as much for things when paying for a credit car versus paying with cash.
"When you're paying cash, you have to think about that decision right then, and not have to pay the consequences later," Wilson said.
Know your bank balance. Researchers found that people who downloaded a financial app looked at their account up to 12 times a month, and their spending fell 15.7 percent.
"Think about how much time people are on their phone," Wilson said. "So after you check Facebook, you can check your bank account."
Wilson also adds there's never been a better time to have a second income stream other than your main job, or to take advantage of technology to improve your position.
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