Learning to Live a Wealthy Life
Money is the #1 cause of stress in the United States. According to Thrive Global, 90% of Americans say money impacts their stress levels. And since only about 6% of U.S. households are considered “wealthy” (Millionaire Statistics), it’s no wonder wealth seems unfathomable for the vast majority of Americans. The good news is wealth is attainable. Financial success is possible through financial wellness programs.
Why Wealth Seems Unreachable
Wealth is usually seen as something other people have. Other people have rich relatives who have passed on their wealth. Other people have no debt, have higher income, have the inside scoop on investments. Meanwhile, you feel like you’re drowning and can’t even imagine a lifestyle that isn’t paycheck-to-paycheck. The truth is most wealthy people didn’t inherit their money. In The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley explains 80% of millionaires are self-made and didn’t receive an inheritance. And in order to build wealth, many of these individuals started with education. They learned how to use debt to their advantage, how to make the most of their income, and how to make wise investments. Furthermore, in order to maintain their wealth, they had to learn to battle lifestyle inflation.
Lifestyle inflation is almost inevitable: when your income increases, your expenses increase. During low-income times, the wishes and if-only’s start piling up. As soon as you get a raise or a higher-paying job, suddenly you can afford to get those name brand shoes or the bigger car. But the reason true millionaires look like average people is that they don’t use their income increases on appearances. Instead, they continue living moderate lifestyles and use their income increases to get out of debt and make investments.
Becoming Wealthy Doesn’t Happen Overnight
During times of financial stress, it’s common to hope for an easy way out. You might dream of winning the lottery, discovering oil on your property, or inheriting money from a long-lost relative. But these easy outs are far from ideal. In fact, 70% of lottery winners end up losing all their money because they don’t know how to manage it (Love Money). The real way to become wealthy is to learn how to take control of your finances.
By becoming educated about finances, you set yourself up to live a wealthy life. It takes time to build wealth, but once you have the right financial habits in place, you’ll see major changes taking place in your financial life. Some of the changes may even be so drastic they’ll feel like they happened overnight and leave you wondering how you ever managed before.
Don’t wait around, hoping for the lottery or the golden ticket. Instead, take charge. Start now and build a strong financial foundation. Use the 101 Financial Quick Calculator to get a snapshot of your own personal finances.
What a Wealthy Lifestyle Looks Like
When most people picture millionaires, they picture fancy cars, expensive jewelry, lavish parties, and flashy lifestyles. But true wealthy people don’t spend their money on appearing wealthy. They spend their money on assets that help them to maintain wealth. This means the typical millionaire actually looks quite average, as Thomas J. Stanley describes in The Millionaire Next Door. Typical millionaires own a business, live below their means, stick to a budget, and invest 20% of their income. Once you realize wealthy people are not just “others”, but ordinary people, the wealthy lifestyle starts to look much more relatable. Teach your kids about true millionaires in lesson 9 of the ABC’s of Money series, ABC’s of Money – How to Have a Millionaire Mindset.
A wealthy lifestyle comes from understanding how money works and using it wisely. Unwise usage includes paying high interest costs, spending without earning, and paying the fees that ironically come with not having enough money. In his free ebook, The Super Duper Simple Book on Money, Alan Akina says, “Life in the middle class costs more than being rich! Americans have this understanding that if we work hard enough, we will eventually break out of the debt cycle. So I worked and I worked and I worked. Yet, no matter how hard I pushed, I was still stuck with higher interest rates on credit cards; I constantly got hit with infuriating bank overdraft fees; and I had to deal with weeks of check holding at banks. And on and on and on. Sadly, these types of expenses are the institutional shackles that come along with being part of middle class America – shackles that the financially educated are able to avoid.”
How to Achieve Financial Freedom
The most important thing you can do to achieve financial freedom is get educated. Start with the basics of financial management including budgeting, building credit, and getting out of debt. Enroll in a financial wellness course such as 101 Financial.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of financial management, continue your education and learn more advanced techniques. Learn how to use debt as leverage, how to analyze investment deals, and how to build wealth so you can achieve financial peace of mind.
Wealth doesn’t have to be associated with wishful thinking. By learning how to take control of your finances, you can start building wealth now. Take advantage of the educational resources available to you and start your journey to financial success. Find out how 101 Financial’s Workplace Wellness program can help you start your wealth building journey today.