The Secret To Being Wealthy

I had a bit of a strange conversation the other day with a friend of mine,  I had just informed her that the business has finally begun to pay the bills, and I guess she got a little excited thinking great wealth might follow.  Though we are finally turning a profit, it has cost a large amount of money to get it to the point it is now, so for this venture to actually become a positive one, the company still needs to put all the startup money back in the bank, with interest, and that could take several years.

It was not so much the context of the question, but the wording, she asked me “Do you think you are going to be rich?”

I was a bit stunned by the question and looked around at my rented house with the multiple air conditioners, large HD television, stereo system, full fridge, computers, laptops and comfortable furniture. We had just returned from a one week vacation on a tropical beach, and I am about to fly off to another country only two weeks later, we eat out two meals a day and see a movie in the cinema every week. The only reply I could think of was “I thought I was rich already.”

Financial Freedom SignAssuming the company can continue to turn a profit, I will be able to continue this lifestyle indefinitely, and even if the website stopped working for some reason, I still have enough money to continue to live this lifestyle for probably another decade or so.

In reality my comfortable couch only cost me $100, my delicious healthy meals out are almost always less than five dollars, and my one week vacation only cost about $180, even though I make more, I normally live on less than a thousand US dollars a month. I wonder, does being rich really need to have a monetary value?

It is my opinion that rich is a feeling. I have everything that is truly important to me, comfort, security, love, and freedom. I don’t own a car, but living where I do, I currently don’t need one. If I did need one, I would have to have one to feel rich I guess, but since I don’t need car, having one doesn’t matter, what type of car would be irrelevant, because vanity is not really one of my needs.

I have found from experience that most people with millions of dollars in things, often do not feel rich, they are constantly driven to get more and will never be satisfied with what they have. They could lose it all in a few months without work, they know this, and can not relax. I agree with their feeling, in my books, they are poor, but it’s because of their mindset, not their paycheck. If you really want to be rich, you need to live on about halve of what you make each month, then the other halve goes in the bank, and you just bought yourself a month of freedom. After you have a few hundred of those months in the bank, you will also feel wealthy.

I replied to her question, “Look I don’t know what rich is in your head, but I am comfortable, have many vacations and my belly is always full, I do not have any worries about where my next meal is going to come from, or my next thousand meals. In my opinion, The only way to be rich is to be satisfied with what you have.”

I don’t know if I expressed my point properly to her, when she sees a big shiny new car, she probably still wishes she could ride around inside it, and I would like it also, but not at the expense of losing my freedom, and feeling poor once again.

  1. Janene
    Nov 3rd, 2011 at 07:42
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Like I’ve always said, “Some people make enough, some people don’t and it has nothing to do with their paycheck.” I like your interpretation of ‘rich.’ It’s not just wise, but satisfying, too.

    Great post.

    • PBScott
      Nov 4th, 2011 at 22:34
      Reply | Quote | #2

      Thanks Janene, it is true, some people just don’t have the word “enough” in their vocabulary.

  2. Nick
    Nov 4th, 2011 at 23:37
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Yep, it definitely doesn’t take much to live very well.

  3. Nick
    Nov 4th, 2011 at 23:43
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Also, having a lot of dollars in the bank might make some people think they’re very rich, but I would rather have whatever wealth I have stored in something that holds value on its own and isn’t tied to a failing currency. Gold is one such thing that holds its value. Some kinds of antiques and art. Real estate. Their market-value might fluctuate depending upon the state of the currency, but ultimately these things all have their own value. Even if the dollar went to hell in a handbasket, gold will always be something that has perceived value on its own. A Monet will always have value. 10 acres of land will always have value. One dollar bill, however, might buy a soda today…but in ten years, you might need ten dollar bills to buy a soda.

    So, it definitely pays to live well within your means and put whatever leftover money you have into something that will hold value in the long term.

  4. PBScott
    Nov 4th, 2011 at 23:50
    Reply | Quote | #5

    @Nick

    Hi Nick, yes it is really difficult to know where to invest the money once you have it, I read a book that suggested rental property in a place that there is no more room to expand, or directly in stocks that pay dividends. For me really I would prefer a farm, that way no matter what happens I always have food and shelter.

    I recently wrote a post about Mutual Funds you might find interesting. It is more of a rant really.
    http://www.supershirtguy.com/Blog/whos-eating-my-pies/opinions-and-perspectives

    Thanks for the comments.

  5. Pooja Singh
    Nov 5th, 2011 at 00:33
    Reply | Quote | #6

    Totally agree with u.

  6. PBScott
    Nov 5th, 2011 at 03:26
    Reply | Quote | #7

    @Pooja Singh
    Thanks Pooja, always nice to have your visits.

  7. nothingprofound
    Nov 5th, 2011 at 09:24
    Reply | Quote | #8

    Always love your writing, PBS, maybe that’s because we think so much alike. Also, I feel you truly have the experience to back up everything you say. You’re not just spouting words. True wealth, to me, is having a sense of wonder and a sense of humor. With those two companions at my side this journey of life is a constant joy.

  8. PBScott
    Nov 5th, 2011 at 09:41
    Reply | Quote | #9

    @nothingprofound
    Thanks for your visit and comments NP, I agree we do seem to have very similar opinions on things, and I enjoy your writing also.

    Wonder and humor and defiantly treasures beyond any monetary measure.

  9. DKIdea
    Nov 5th, 2011 at 20:21

    I love this. I think you’re absolutely right…and I hope your girlfriend can see the wisdom of your philosophy.

  10. PBScott
    Nov 6th, 2011 at 02:43

    @DKIdea
    Thanks DK, I hope she does as well, it is hard to be satisfied if the one you love is not. 🙂

  11. SprigBlossoms
    Nov 8th, 2011 at 09:26

    I completely agree. As I once wrote, “The best house on the market is contentment.” Rich, that is the idea of rich, is in the head and heart, and not the bank. Cheers PBScott! always enjoy reading you here 🙂

  12. PBScott
    Nov 8th, 2011 at 22:42

    @SprigBlossoms
    Thanks for your visit and comments SB, contentment is definitely a richness beyond any monetary measure.

  13. psachno
    Nov 13th, 2011 at 07:35

    Rich is so relative a term. Those who are filthy rich may not think they have enough. If you are happy and have your basic needs met–then you are very rich!

    When I lived in Greece and enjoyed my lifestyle, even though our income was not considered rich, I did feel rich, indeed. My husband did not–but then, I doubt if he ever will. Some people are very hard to satisfy.

  14. PBScott
    Nov 14th, 2011 at 09:39

    @psachno
    Thank you for your visit and comment,

    I feel sadness for one that is hard to satisfy, as an unsatisfied person can never be happy. If you can just be happy with whatever you have now, than each step forward is an improvement.

    Will you be returning to Greece soon?

  15. umashankar
    Apr 8th, 2013 at 10:33

    Rich is strictly a personal perception. And then it is relative. You couldn’t have put it more succinctly. What is more, you seem to have hit upon the keys to happiness!

  16. PBScott
    Apr 9th, 2013 at 03:55

    @umashankar
    Thank you very much for you kind comments umashankar. Getting a compliment from such a wonderful writer as you is a prize indeed.