This is a rocking guest post by friend and fellow blogger Andrew. Leave him a comment after you read.
I used to work in Housing Court and dealt with people who were unable to pay rent. However, many of them had expensive smartphones, name-brand clothing, flashy jewelry, and high-end handbags.
As part of my job, I even visited their homes and I would see that they had huge flat screen TVs, the latest tech gadgets and sometimes even an expensive car parked in the driveway. One person even said that he would not be able to make it to the Court date regarding his non-payment of rent because he was going on a cruise.
Of course, many people who couldn’t afford to pay their rent may have had legitimate reasons such as loss of job or medical bills, but there were also many who couldn’t afford to pay rent because they spent it on something else.
Many strive to be rich, and there is nothing wrong with such ambition. However, it seems that many choose to purchase the material possessions of what they observe the “rich” have rather than work to become truly rich. Watching reality television shows us that “rich” people drive fancy cars, live in extravagant houses, take exotic vacations and wear high-end designer clothes.
So to feel rich, we buy and finance expensive cars when an older model used car would accomplish the same task of taking us from point A to point B. We buy huge McMansions to live in and pay to maintain it, even though a much smaller house would fit our needs better. We buy overpriced designer clothes that we will probably barely wear, even though there are much cheaper clothing options that perform just as well. We do this in the hopes of appearing and feeling rich.
But do you want to act like you’re rich or do you want to actually be rich?
While we spend so much time reading magazines and watching television to see what the rich have, we often fail to take the steps to actually build wealth. Now of course we aren’t talking about the wealth some celebrities have gained from their athletic prowess or from leaking a sex tape. No, the media likes to glamorize those types of rich people.
More often than not, those who suddenly come into a lot of money will spend that money extravagantly. However, the majority of millionaires in this country are normal, humble and hard-working people. Read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley if you’re interested in learning more about how most millionaires live.
These normal millionaires don’t make frivolous purchases or buy things to try and show off their wealth. Instead, they live below their means and buy only what they need. They don’t buy expensive cars, but instead buy reliable used vehicles with cash. Rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses by buying luxury goods, they prefer to save and invest the money they earn. These millionaires might not have reality television shows about their lives and they don’t have the trappings of the celebrity rich, but many are financially free and have few worries about money.
So would you rather be rich or just act like you’re rich?
Author Bio: Andrew lives with his wife and little baby boy in one of the highest cost of living areas in the world: New York City (Queens). He wants to live frugally while enjoying life in the big city. He wants to have his cake and eat it too! Follow him on his financial journey on his blog Living Rich Cheaply.