So you want to be rich. 💸
That’s pretty cool. But what does being rich really mean? Having a lot of money? Making a lot of money? Passive income? Many times we dream of becoming rich, when really that isn’t the best thing to be – especially if you don’t know how to manage money! As we can see from lottery winners, money goes down the drain pretty quickly, and next thing you know you’re worse off than you were at the beginning. Being rich is different to being wealthy. Rich means high income, it means accumulation. Wealth means sustainability. Yeah, rich sounds good, but really you want to be wealthy.
In this post we’ll be digging a bit deeper into the rich vs wealthy, and what you need to get started 😛
What is ‘rich’?
The rich are those who receive a large paycheck at the end of the month. People who make large amounts of money from their income such as doctors, diplomats, programmers, investment bankers, etc. Many times these careers take experience and quite a lot of upfront investment (degree!). A doctor needs many years of training, and programmers need to be pretty brainy to know what they’re doing. Rich is measured by a number – your paycheck.
This is what many people believe to be success – earning a lot at your job. But the truth is, having a high income does not always mean actually having a lot of money. A huge portion goes to taxes, and then if you’ve fallen trap to lifestyle inflation most of it is spent on things. You’re also more likely to surround yourself with people who spend a lot. Soon you’ll also want that snazzy car, the big house and the cool watch ⌚. And because you think you’re earning a lot, you think ‘I’ve got the money, might as well spend it!’. Well, my friend, I got some news for you.
Unless you’re saving and investing part of that paycheck, then you’re part of the rat race, just like everyone else. You need that income to sustain your lifestyle, and if you’re out of a job, you’re out of a life. You may be rich, but it all disappears pretty quickly once the income goes. Doesn’t sound very sustainable, does it?
It’s when those rich people discover financial independence that their world goes crazy – what if I didn’t buy the snazzy car? Or spent 500€ month on restaurants? I could use this money for a grander purpose: to buy time. And then they get on their journey to financial independence, start investing and retire early (or do something else). But that only happens if you have the right mentality. And of course, the higher your income, the faster you exit the rat race. 🐀
But what if I don’t want to go through that whole process just to have something which is sustainable? Let me present you with: wealth.
Just to quickly summarise, a rich person is basically someone who has a high job income and likely goes to work every day. This is what people typically see as being rich. Although it may seem like the most sensible path, getting a high income job isn’t always easy, and it’s likely you’ll fall for lifestyle inflation ☠. So that’s great if you wanted to be a doctor/diplomat/programmer anyway, but what if I don’t? What do wealthy people do?
What is ‘wealthy’?
Wealth is not measured on the number in your bank account, it’s measured by your free time. If you have free time and a sustainable lifestyle, then you are wealthy. Congrats! 🎉
But where does one even start with wealth – how can I have more free time if I’m tied to a job? What would allow you to have more free time? Separating yourself from exchanging time for money.
When the amount you earn is not correlated with the time you spend on it, that’s when the magic happens. Call it passive income, financial independence, or simply having multiple income streams. When you can earn the same amount of money in less time, that is when you start to become wealthy.
Wealth might not be something you can achieve in your twenties, but it is certainly something you start building now. How? By building skills and sources that will generate money in a sustainable way in the future. And by knowing a thing or two about personal finance.
To give you a bit of an idea, here are some examples you can start with in your early twenties – taking into account the fact that you don’t have any experience in other fields.
Skills to build:
- Digital Marketing
Income streams to build:
- Side hustle
- Investment capital gains
- Investment dividends
- Real estate
- Online products
Check out these two posts for more info on getting started 🔥
- How to Build Income Streams in your Twenties
- Master 2 of these 6 Skills and You’ll Always be Able to Make Money
The good news about becoming wealthy is that you do not need a ton of time or experience to reach that point, but you do need to be smart about it. You don’t need to be a millionaire to be wealthy. A girl who makes £500 per month, spends a couple hours a week selling products and has £300 in expenses (unlikely) is wealthy. A guy who makes 1,500€ from his real estate property and has 1,000€ in expenses is wealthy. Increase your free time and keep the same income – that’s wealth. Oh, and if it’s sustainable, then you can buy your snazzy car – you’ll actually have the time to enjoy it now 😎.
Rich vs wealthy: which do I aim for?
At the end of the day, which is better?
It depends on what you value and what your interests are. Obviously everyone wants to be wealthy in order to have the freedom and free time to pursue interests. But don’t let that stop you from going down a high-income career path. If you know you won’t fall trap to lifestyle inflation, that you’ll use the power of compounding interest to your advantage and that this career path is something you enjoy, then you’re on your path to building wealth – and maybe even financial freedom.
If you’re unsure what you want to do (like most people in their twenties), then simply start building those income streams and skills so that you have something to work with when you do know what you want to do. And if in the end you end up in a job, well you’ll have all those income streams to back you up 😉.
Personal example: I am nor rich nor wealthy. However, as a 20 year old I am currently building several streams of income which I know will take care of me in the future. I’m still in my exploration and skill building phase – I don’t know what I want to dedicate my life to, I don’t know what my life will look like in 5 years. So at the moment I build skills while I continue trying things out. 💁♀️