How to Get Rich, Feel Rich, and Stay Rich

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There is some serious simple wisdom in the attached article.

When people talk about being “rich” what most folks mean in my experience is the ability to live free from the day to day pressure of bills and credit ratings and college tuition lurking in the future, or in one’s past. Being rich for most people means being independent. Being able to do things on one’s own terms.

Beyond independence being rich may also mean for some people the ability to enjoy experiences which add value to one’s life while being independent.

Fundamentally, as this article points out, being rich has everything to do with living below one’s means. So long as one is not spending all that one has coming in each month one can live quite a nice life. Once outlays exceed income however, even if one makes a pile of money, one is not going to feel rich.

Of course not spending every dime which comes through the door is way easier said than done. For many of us this is not an option. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The thought of living below ones means seems like a dream.

But it is a good dream to have and for most of us it is attainable with hard work and discipline. It may take years to get there, but for most Americans it is possible.

Living the “rich” life, being independent, is achievable. Now most of us won’t be flying around in helicopters and skiing in Switzerland but we can live lives of financial dignity and relative freedom.

If we live below our means. But again, that is easier said than done.

(From The Motley Fool)

I’ve seen this firsthand. During college I worked as a valet at a private country club. The clientele had more money than I could dream of, with private jets, yachts, and Lamborghinis. But the more I worked with them, the more I realized they were some of the most unhappy, uptight, stressed, and unsatisfied people I had ever met. Part of this is because they were Type-A personalities who couldn’t slow down. But part of it was because for every dollar of wealth they gained, they moved the goalpost of success two dollars down the field. The only thing that grew faster than their bank accounts was their burning desire for another house, another car, and another boat. Anyone in that situation won’t feel rich, regardless of how much money they have. It’s worse than running in circles. It’s running backward, 60 to 80 hours a week. A person who makes $50,000 a year but only needs $30,000 to be happy is much richer than the person who makes $1 million but needs $1.1 million. This seems obvious, but it’s shocking how many people ignore their expectations when trying to improve their financial lives.

Click here for the article.