A few weeks ago I saw a friend’s post on IG that caught my eye.
In the first image they had apple AirPods in and the caption said “look, I’m rich!”
In the next image was her friend and the caption said “Just kidding. The AirPods are hers. I’m not rich enough for those.”
The post made me think about what we consider to be a “rich” purchase or a “rich” action.
DEFINING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE RICH
When you think about the word “rich” I’m sure for most people they immediately think of celebrities on private jets, yachts, and living in a mansion.
We’ve become so programmed to associate these types of materialistic goods when we think of being rich that it’s tough to get it out of our heads.
But there are other sides of being “rich.”
Ramit Sethi is a popular personal finance figure and regularly talks about helping people live their “rich life.” He doesn’t impose upon them some arbitrary standard of what it is to be rich – he tries to help them understand what their definition of “rich” is, and work toward living that life.
This is exactly what I love doing with my clients.
When you first have this conversation with someone, you can see their mind struggling with the idea of defining their own “rich life”. But once they get it, a new mentality begins to form.
I’ve often said that financial planning isn’t about helping someone become rich, it’s about helping to increase the quality of their life.
One great way to accomplish this is by figuring out what someone values and helping them align their spending with those values.
MY RICH LIFE
To give you some inspiration on what it might mean to live your rich life, I want to articulate what my rich life is. Hopefully, this can help you to think differently about money and finance.
So, here are the areas that I focus on:
Health & Well-Being
I don’t think there is anything more important than your health. Truly. Not your finances, your family or friends, or anything else.
If you don’t have good health, you aren’t able to enjoy the rest of it. That is why I am fine allocating a good chunk of time and money toward my health, each month.
I go to the gym 5-7 days per week, and spend around 2 hours there, each time. I also spend hundreds of dollars each month on gym memberships, races, athletic competitions, vitamins & supplements, and a host of other things. And if there is something I see that I think might help, I am relatively quick to say “yes” to the purchase.
Personal Development & Education
You’ve probably heard plenty of people talk about how you should invest in yourself. I’ve written about it plenty.
It’s so important to realize the power in this concept.
If you invest in a stock and it goes up 10%, most would consider that a success. But if you invest in yourself and increase your value to society, the financial windfall could be multiples higher than any investment return from a stock.
For this reason, I read a book each week, and I rarely hesitate to purchase a book I think might have any positive impact on my personal development.
It’s been shown over and over in studies that one of the leading causes of happiness and a long life is having strong relationships. And, inversely, one of the causes of depression and dying early is a lack of strong relationships.
I work very hard when it comes to my businesses, finances, and other personal ventures. But I also make time for the relationships that are important to me.
The most precious resource we have.
It’s simple – I try to make sure I’m spending my time doing the things I enjoy. Many of those are listed in this post.
The more of your time you spend on things you truly care about and love, the happier you’ll be.
It’s one of the simple, yet profound facts of life – and it’s one that I try to spend a lot of time (get it?) working on with clients.
I will regularly assess how I’m utilizing my time, and who I’m spending it with.
Travel & Culture
Since an early age I’ve been fascinated with world-travel and experiencing new cultures.
So, I’ve made it a point to travel the world and learn as much as I can about new cultures.
I’ve been to Europe several times, Central and South America, The Caribbean, and throughout the U.S. and North America. I’m also in the process of planning some trips to Asia and Africa – TBD.
I’ve also been learning Spanish for a number of years and am relatively conversational. It’s fun to be able to converse with people in different countries in their native tongue. And it’s usually a surprise for most people when they hear me break into some Spanish, when they aren’t expecting it. 😉
IT DOESN’T TAKE A LOT OF MONEY
The important thing to remember is that you need to define your own Rich Life. And what a lot of people find is that most of these things do not require a ton of money to enjoy.
Too many of us will put off doing what we want because we think we need to first focus on amassing some great fortune. That just isn’t true.
Sure, things like travel are going to require some level of money to engage in. But they require a lot less than most people realize.
Building wealth can take some time. Don’t miss out on enjoying the things you love because you’re waiting until the day you hit some arbitrary number in the bank.