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Is rich a number or a lifestyle to YOU?

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posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:38 AM
Today my friend and I were talking and trying to define what "rich" means.

In my opinion, most of society views rich people as:

1.) Having a job that makes what is considering a high income, say over $100,000.

2.) Living in a large house. "Large" being respective of the area you live in.

3.) Driving a fancy car.

4.) Having a good appearance, ie designer clothes, gold jewelry etc.

What I see is:

1.) You may earn $100,000 a year, but if you spend $120,000, you are not advancing yourself, in fact you are moving backwards, and therefore regardless of your salary you cannot be considered as rich.

2.) You may live in a house that is giant relative to other houses in your area, but if you owe more money on that house than it is worth, again, you are not rich. You are poor. If you struggle to make your payment each month, you are poor.

You cannot sell that house and take any money out. In some cases, you may be trapped an unable to downgrade to a smaller and less expensive house because you can't afford to pay the difference between the selling price and the loan. This makes you poor.

3.) You may drive a fancy car, but it may be a leased vehicle. You do not own the car, so it is not an asset. You cannot sell it for it's cash value, or trade it in on another model. Or, you do own the car, but the car's value is less than the loan amount.

4.) You may be wearing designer clothes and fancy jewelry, but of course no one knows how you got it or how you paid for it. For one thing, designer clothes can be found at consignment and thrift stores. I know, because I shop at those places. That fancy suit may retail for $800, but could be found at a used clothing shop for $50.

Or, you could have charged that fancy suit on a credit card charging you 20% in annual interest.

So basically if I see or meet someone who has a great job, home, car, and who looks like a magazine model, I make no assumptions. I have no idea if they are swimming in money, or drowning in debt.

The way I see it, you are actually rich if:

1.) Whatever job you have, you are able to support yourself on that income, without using credit to meet your normal, monthly expenses.

Simply, you spend less than you earn.

2.) You live in house of any size, but you are able to easily meet your mortgage payment each month. If you are married, your mortgage payment is low enough that if one spouse lost their job or was unable to work, the other spouse would be able to make the payment on their salary alone, even if it made things tight. In fact, you might even be paying an additional amount towards principle each month. Even a $10 a month additional principle payment can take a year off the life of your loan.

You have equity in your house. Your house is worth more than the value of the loan against it. Living in an $80,000 house with a $60,000 loan against it makes you more "rich" than a person living in a $1,000,000 house with a loan against it of $1,100,000.

3.) Whatever car you drive, you either easily make your payment (and hopefully a small amount over your payment) or else you own the car outright.

Actually owning a 2002 Silverado makes you more "rich" than a person with a $500 monthly BMW payment.

4.) No matter what you are wearing, you paid for your clothes with cash.

In your sweatpants with your hasty ponytail, you are "richer" than the lady to the left in her designer suit that she bought last year and is still paying off on her VISA card.

The above points were what my friend and I discussed. She said she had never thought about it like that, but the more she thought about it, the more she thought I was right not to form my opinions of someone's wealth based on their appearance. Because you never know what's behind that appearance, debt or cash.

When trying to come up with the reason for my (to us at least) drastically different viewpoint on rich versus poor from normal society, all I could say was the following.

From the age of 19 to 21, I was a bank teller.

Nearly every person who drove a fancy car and wore designer clothes and lived in a nicer area was broke. Their accounts had low or negative balances, and they were always at the bank. I'm not saying every single person who put on airs was flat broke, I'm simply saying the overwhelming majority of them were.

So who had the money?

The guys who had the money usually needed a haircut, and possibly a shave. They all drove older cars, nothing fancy. Sometimes they were dirty, but it was working-dirty. As in, paint on the clothes or whatever.

The women who had the money looked like stereotypical housewives or schoolteachers. They wore minimal makeup, had decent hair, and drove reliable cars. No fancy dye-jobs on their hair or sports cars.

In my opinion, this is the TRUE definition of what is "rich" and I think, if more people viewed it this way, we'd see a whole lot less of the 1%-ers being defined as rich, and a whole lot more of the 99%-ers being viewed as rich.

My husband and I are technically in the 99%, we aren't even close to being in the top 1%, or even (I'd think) the top 10%. Yet we have 2 paid for vehicles, we own equity in our house, and we have no credit debt.

I honestly believe that that puts my family in a much better situation than most of the so-called 1%-ers. And I'd much rather be me, making what is considered a small income, than be making $1,000,000 per year but also be drowning in debt: housing, cars, clothes, food, etc. The stress of the debt is not worth it.

What say you?

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:42 AM
I make about $13,000 a year right now and I'm one of the richest people I know. I have a loving family, a simple job and a beautiful girlfriend.

You only get one shot at life - why waste decades doing something you hate to prove yourself to people you don't care about?

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:45 AM
more money = more expensive habits

the more rich you are the harder you fall

simplicity is key.

thats how i always see it

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:47 AM
Fiscally rich is your net worth and would be at least a million in net assets, imo.

Can be morally poor and fiscally rich, which seems to be the trend.

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:53 AM
Hi Amielia,I read most of your post and have to conclude from my own perspective that $ don't really matter if security is not at risk...I would give it all away again just to feel the importance of self preservation.Material build up ego

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 04:05 AM
My family is rich, no not monitarily but, we are rich because we have each other. I know it sounds "sappy" but money doesn't make us...we make our selves.

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 04:27 AM
reply to post by Ameilia

My family def. views me as wealthy, they always joke about it, because I grew up poor as dirt, they are all pretty 'well' off and rarely accept help financially due to their 'pride'

although I lack the fancy car, I do have a brand new cheap car, live in an apartment and have no worries, My husband has the luxury of working from home, and I can indulge in all of my hobbies, crafts, studies, dreams and relax as he makes plenty.

I travel on business trips with him, and get to visit new places and keep him company, life is good in a few years I hope to of acquire some 'certifiable' skill, buy a house and start having children.

but by no means do we make a ton of money, we just don't go out and buy crap/junk all the time, we don't fret about finances but we try to keep an eye on things (his house out west), rent, cell bills, Try our hardest not to aqurie any new debts, but we also enjoy cheap hobbies together like fishing and hiking.

so I would say its a lifestyle, be frugal or wise about purchases and you will have money, have a skill so you can make enough money to survive, invest in yourself (downtime, hobbies, ect) and you will live a very very rich life.

posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 09:26 AM
This came to mind,

“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy.”


posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 09:58 AM
I would rather be poor and have people I love and who love me in my life. Rich people may appear to have it all, but many are unhappy.

Having enough to pay bills and eat, have a roof and able to have a few wants now and then is all I need. Rich imho is a state of mind. I grew up poor, but my family did not think of ourselves that way, so we never were.

The best things in life really are free. To have all my senses functioning is a great joy, because I am able to fully live and appreciate all the wonder that is this world.

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