Growing up, looking at my wealthy relatives and friends made me wonder what they were doing differently.
I spent a huge part of my teens studying how to turn my financial situation around and it could be summarized into: get a decent paying job, spend less than what you earn, and own equities.
But I never actually thought about this—what is my rich life?
And here’s the thing, many folks don’t.
Even after attaining considerable wealth, they’re still trapped in their earlier years, spending their life on a spreadsheet, hours comparing prices, and not splurging on little items that bring them joy.
Listened to this podcast where Sethi Ramit shared his conversation with a client, “Ramit, I love to get a good deal. Whenever I order groceries online, I hate the idea of overpaying. So I open up two tabs. I have Whole Foods on one side and I have whatever competitor on the other. Ramit, you’re not going to believe it. Sometimes they charge $15 for organic groceries, but over here, I can get it for $7.”
He proceeded to ask his client, “what is your net worth?”
The answer was a shocking $8 million.
And I know several self-made millionaires who are still eating leftover food, taking public transport when a cab would cut traveling time by half, or cutting out coupons to save pennies. Their quality of life could be significantly improved by spending more money on meals they enjoy, saving on travel time by taking a cab, or spending time with their loved ones—rather than penny-pinching.
Here’s the thing—there isn’t a certain number in our bank account that’s going to change the way we feel about money.
Many of us know someone who is in their 60s and has some money, but who is completely clueless about what to do with it. Even though they have worked hard their entire lives up till this point, they are still playing defense, often looking to protect that capital, instead of enjoying the fruit of their labor.
They have forgotten their why.
Instead, think about what is the rich life you want. Think about your why.
It could be to spend time with your family, taking first-class flights for holiday or be able to order whatever you want on the restaurant menu.
And before diving into your spreadsheet to work towards your rich life, there is plenty of advice out there that guilt-trips people into cutting out lattes, avocado toasts, stop hiring a part-time helper, ending Netflix subscriptions and more.
But life isn’t about competing who can be more frugal, and there’s more than optimizing cell F27 of your spreadsheet.
Many spend too much time on the $3 questions when they should be thinking about the $30,000 questions:
How to negotiate for a higher salary?
Is this the right job for me?
How is my asset allocation?
Am I aligned with my partner’s financial values?
Being able to raise your income by $10k to $30k annually will matter more than any amount of lattes you can buy.