Oh to be rich! To be able to buy whatever you want and never have to worry about mundane middle class things like bills, or student loans, or mortgages. With so much money in the bank we tend to think that the world’s wealthiest splash out on whatever they want when they want it. It creates this image of freedom that we all dream of. But the trick to staying wealthy is not to spend on whatever you want, when you want. The trick is careful planning, financial savvy, and a few non negotiables. We all know what the rich do like to buy, but what about a few things that the wealthy don’t buy into?
TV’s and Video Games
One of the most common themes we have seen in the wealthy is that they don’t spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games. Middle class and lower income families statistically consume far more media than the wealthy. Why? Well, because rich people didn’t make their riches by staring at screens all day. The wealthy seem to have a good understanding that being present in the real world is what makes for success and wasting money on media simply drains your finances in terms of time and actual money.
This may come as a surprise but wealthy people don’t actually splash out on fancy designer gear as much as one would think. Steve Jobs is a great example; his dress code was anything but fancy. Famous celebrities also bargain hunt and only wear flashy designer gear to events. Ingvar Kamprad (the founder of IKEA) said he never wears anything that isn’t from a flea market. And even Bill Gates said he still wears a $10 watch. The super wealthy know that spending a fortune on luxury brands is a waste of their hard earned money.
Expensive Real Estate
Now you might be laughing at this one but hear us out – wealthy people shop in a different real estate bracket. They may seem to buy lavish houses on a whim but the super wealthy still shop around for good deals. Yes they spend millions but you’ll often find they purchase good deals such as real estate which will increase considerably in value over the years. Look at Richard Branson and Necker Island; he bought the uninhabited island for a mere $180 000 in 1979 and now it is a luxury island retreat worth $90 million. Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world also understands the property game and still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 for $31 500. The super wealthy also choose to buy property over renting, but we guess they can afford it so why not.
Experiences Over Stuff
Whilst the wealthy can afford any fancy new gadget or pretty trinket, they understand that ‘stuff’ only generates so much happiness. It is the experiences in life that bring the most joy and sense of fulfilment. You’ll be surprised to see even the wealthiest with old cellphones but sailing on a yacht across the Caribbean or going skydiving in some exotic location. Warren Buffet shared some wise words once: “If you buy the things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell the things you need.”
Being and remaining wealthy is a skill which can be honed like any other. The problem with belonging to middle or lower income levels is that we get trapped into the vision of looking wealthy and then get trapped into spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need just to build an image. True wealth is about financial savvy and understanding that the millions or billions are a way for you to get the best out of life, not the best stuff out of life.
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