Happy long weekend all.
Back when I was a young fulla, my first impressions of money were that my mum had a lot, and my dad didn’t have much.
When I would go to the supermarket with mum we would get a lot of ‘extras’ that weren’t on the shopping list. Yet, dad would always stick exactly to the list and would often get the no name brands. Mum would get us takeaways, whereas dad wouldn’t. Mum would give us money for school lunches, but dad was a much tougher proposition.
I always thought that it was because dad didn’t have as much money as mum. Notice how we make these same judgments as we get older too? If someone has a nice house, nice car and all the best gadgets they must be rich right?
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dad was actually the majority breadwinner in our household. At the time I thought he was poor, but he was actually richer than I thought.
The moral of this short story is don’t let perceptions cloud your judgements. Even better, don’t make judgements at all. We should just live our own lives and not worry about trying to ‘keep up’ with other people. Who cares if they have nicer things? It doesn’t mean they are happier. Heck, it doesn’t even mean they are richer.
Yes, you heard that correct. Rich people are rich because they don’t spend all their money. Those that spend all their money could be ‘fake rich’. Nice things but all on loans. Otherwise known as the ‘Joneses’. You don’t need to keep up with them. They are often poor on paper anyway.
Most millionaires you would not be able to pick out in a crowd. There is a common misconception of rich people in their mansions and Ferraris. Yet, most rich people are just normal, everyday people in average houses, driving Toyota Corollas.
A rich person is not someone who has to work in high income jobs for 40 years to keep with the payments on their ridiculously expensive lifestyle. A rich person is someone that has managed to create a large gap between their income and their expenses. This is known as a savings rate. The higher your savings rate, the more financial freedom you can attain.
Freedom from work. Freedom from debt. Freedom to do what you want.
If you can save just 20% of your income, then for every 4 years of work, you are free to take 1 year off work and have your expenses covered. The following table shows a few scenarios:
Bump that savings rate up to 40% and for every 1.5 years of work, you can afford to take 1 year of work off.
You can see the more you increase your savings rate, the quicker you can attain freedom.
Sure, you can have nice things, but know that the more you spend, the more of your future time you are giving away. You are effectively selling your future time for your present pleasure. Is the pleasure long lasting? Is the pleasure from a nicer house more important than 10 years of your future life? Would you rather a nicer house and car or have the ability to retire at age 50 should you wish?
These are challenging questions for sure, but we do need to ask ourselves and question if today’s decisions are worth the future penalty.
With the wide range of income and spending options we now have available there has never been both an easier and harder time to get rich.
The information contained on this site is the opinion of the individual author(s) based on their personal opinions, observation, research, and years of experience. The information offered by this website is general education only and is not meant to be taken as individualised financial advice, legal advice, tax advice, or any other kind of advice. You can read more of my disclaimer here
What incorrect assumptions have you made about someone? What Is your current savings rate? Do you know any ‘secret’ millionaires? Share your thoughts below