Don’t Act Rich. Be Rich.

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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.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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JoshDebt and the GirlErin @ My Alternate LifedojoKate H Recent comment authors

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Josh
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Josh

We live below are means. Live on one income and save the other. I don’t have a Master’s degree in Finance because it takes 20% knowledge and 80% common sense. Invest our money on experiences not things.

Debt and the Girl
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Debt and the Girl

I agree with you Andrew. Some people are pretending and acting rich just to be “in” and we know that it’s so irritating! For me, having expensive cars, big houses, up-to-date gadgets are not the basis for you to be called rich, it is about having a rich heart that can touch other people’s lives. Being rich is living in a simple life. You just have to be humble in all you do.

Erin @ My Alternate Life
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Erin @ My Alternate Life

I don’t care to be or act rich, I just want to be happy and have enough money to pay for what makes me happy — traveling, occasionally eating out and drinking, and spending time with loved ones. I used to try to act rich, but it’s really not worth it.

dojo
Guest
dojo

I don’t want to be rich, I just want to have a decent life and to afford providing for our family. We don’t ‘act’ rich, we try to purchase what we need, when we need it and also save for the future. We don’t care if people think of us that we’re poor or rich, what matters is what we think and how we live 😉

Kate H
Guest
Kate H

I’m 54 yrs old and on disability now for 2 yrs. I was working at a job I liked when I had a heart attack at work found out later at the hospital that my heart was so bad that I would have to quit my job and even have to be put on the heart transplant list if my EF numbers didn’t improve. I was one of the ” working Poor” making just $1100 a month BUT I manged to save money every pay check including funding my 401K and was debt free, life was good. Fast forward now… Read more »

Jon@2-copper-coins.com
Guest

Love this post! If you were to look at where my wife and I live, the cars we drive, the TV we have, you would never think we are on track to retire as millionaires. We couldn’t care less what type of stuff we have because we are focused completely on getting to financial independence, where we no longer have to trade our time for money. One of the best things my mom did as a parent was make me read “the millionaire next door” when I was 16. It set me up to make good money decisions as an… Read more »

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply
Guest

Thanks Jon! That’s great that your mom made you read it and I’m sure she was a good role model as well since she probably had the same mindset as the millionaire next door.

The First Million is the Hardest
Guest
The First Million is the Hardest

Totally agree. When most people say “I want to be a millionaire” they mean they want to SPEND a million dollars, not HAVE a million dollars. More people should be focused on actually accumulating wealth as opposed to just trying to appear like they have money.

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply
Guest

Haha, great point! That’s very true!