Everyone dreams of having a stash of cash saved up that will come in handy when it’s most needed. The problem is, you have to save to make this dream a reality. People who succeed in creating a nest egg follow certain rules in life that make it possible.

1. They start now. Procrastination will never let you save a penny. If you keep postponing plans to start saving, they’ll remain plans only. Also, super savers start small, instead of dreaming of putting aside huge amounts, which in most cases isn’t practical.

2. They don’t feel entitled. Smart savers get trapped into the very popular, modern mantra of “I deserve it”. If you can’t afford a luxury item, don’t buy it, because given your present financial situation, you don’t deserve it just yet.

3. They have tide-over savings. Emergencies can happen at any time in life. Living from paycheck to paycheck is an extremely dangerous sport. Efficient savers always lay aside a steady amount for unforeseen emergencies. Financial expert Kristin Garret recommends having enough money saved up to cover 3-6 months of adversity.

4. They know the difference between desires and needs. Advertising bombardment leaves us confused, convincing us that wants are actually needs. Eating out, new clothes, travel, are often luxuries, not needs. Smart savers make lists of basic needs, desires and dreams, which help them prioritize how to spend money.

5. They stay within a budget. Writing down all your expenses will give you a very good idea about where the money is going, so that you’ll know where to cut corners and save.

6. They learn to adapt. Life changes, and smart savers learn to change their lifestyle accordingly. Divorce, death of a partner, illness, layoffs, retirement, all require a resetting of the GPS in life’s journey. A big part of coming out of a crisis is learning how to clip your expenses.