Everyone in the world can be rich. You don’t even have to win the lottery or have millions of dollars saved up. But before I tell you how to become rich, let’s first explore what being rich actually means.
Imagine your own definition of rich. Does it mean being able to buy whatever you want, whenever you want it? Does it require having a mansion with a bunch of expensive cars in each of the garage bays? What about boats, rich people also have big boats, right? Oh, and a swarm of servants to clean your house, car, boat, etc. And why stop with one house when you can have two (or three, or four…)? Is being rich being able to sleep until noon? Perhaps being rich means having a vault filled with gold coins you dive into and swim around in, just like Scrooge McDuck.
This is all bullshit. All of it.
So why do so many people identify these scenarios as being rich? The answer to this question, like the answer to most questions, is simple. In the scenarios above, it is assumed that all of the wants of the rich person are met. They no longer want what they can’t have, simply because they can have it all.
This is the core of being rich: having all of your wants met.
Which is easier: having an enormous amount of wealth that can buy its owner everything he wants, or wanting what one already has? This is easier said than done, however. With the 4.5 hours average of daily TV watching, about 1.5 hours are commercials. And these commercials are very effective at creating new wants in viewers. Even I’m not immune to marketing. So what can an aspiring rich person do?
Stop consuming marketing. Seriously. Cut out ALL advertisements from your discretionary media consumption. If you watch TV that has commercials, DO NOT WATCH THE COMMERCIALS! Buy a DVR and skip the commercials, or stop watching this type of TV completely. Get Netflix. The same goes for the radio. Broadcast radio is terribly commercial heavy. As an experiment, I turned it on for my evening commute. I caught the end of one song at the start of my commute, and the beginning of another at the end of my commute. For about a solid 10 minutes, nothing but commercials played. I haven’t turned the radio back on since then. Use adblockers when online (this site doesn’t have ads, and never will, so you won’t get nag screens ever asking you to turn it off when you come here).
Once you remove as many commercials from your life as possible, you’ll start to notice a reduction in new wants. Manliness will stop being tied to glorified gas-guzzling V8 minivans (also called SUVs) or ridiculous 5 liter HEMIs with a bed that can’t even hold a 6’ step ladder. With a reduction in wants, suddenly you’ll have more money floating around your checking account. Use this to either pay down debts, or invest it in low cost index funds.
When you drastically reduce or eliminate new wants, you become rich. You appreciate and want what you have, and you begin to value your time and your relationships family and friends more. Not only do you feel rich, your life becomes richer as you focus on things that actually matter, instead of Kardashians and pickup trucks.
If you ignore this advice, and continue to view being rich as fulfilling all of your wants, you will never feel rich with any amount of money. There is no upper limit for wants; there will always be more things to buy. You can either figure this out now, or on your deathbed. Learn to control what you want, don’t let someone else do this for you.
In summary, don’t fall for the bullshit definition of being rich, instead learn to want what you have and spend your resources enjoying your time and relationships. If you do, you’ll be living a rich life for many years before your net worth catches up with how you feel.