A Mindset of Wealth

In the last few weeks I have become extremely interested in money. I’m not winning the lottery, hitting it big on wall-street or creating some cool idea that will make millions. I am not even talking about what lots money could buy. It ain’t a big house or fancy restaurants. What has really caught my attention is our perception of wealth and how most Americans are considerably wealthy.

Two weeks ago, I read here on Medium an amazing post about how building wealth “is like watching paint dry.” It is slow and boring. Find this to profound and true I tried to implement some basic principles of saving and investing.

However, what really struck me was when a few days later I began doing some research on poverty, education and principles of wealth. Here is what I came across

60% of the world lives in poverty.

The top 20% make at least $6,000 per year

50% of Americans are one bill away from living in poverty

The poverty line in America for a three person household is $18,000 per year

What do these figures have to do with wealth? They all reflect our very own perception of wealth.

What is wealth? I have heard many powerful definitions. My favorite perhaps is that wealth is our perceive what we already have. You have probably heard the expression “keeping up with the Jones’s” which is described as an individual paying for a new car and fancier decor, simply to seem an equal status as those around us. This tendency or even the feeling to, comes from a “lack of” or poor mentality.

Wealth is measured by how much we have, but really by how much we can do with what we already have. I heard a story of a man in Vegas who makes a half a million every year, and only uses 2,500 of that on his expenses every month. That is over 90% of his money not being spent. Compare that with those most Americans who fill up the monthly expenses to meet their income. Such things acquire as we accumulate debt and indulge ourselves.

This just goes to show, that most of us our poor at managing money. Or even more accurately at managing ourselves. Most of the things we spend money on and that most would argue they “really need,” are just luxuries and conveniences.

Let’s take a car for example. I would agree that a car is a powerful tool to take you from one place to the next. It makes it convenient to get to work and in some cases is necessary to do a job. Have we every thought about the alternatives? Do we really need to incur debt? What about a bike? Or even walking. I’m not saying never to buy a car, but rather why don’t we think through what owning a car entails and other possibilities before jumping to the car lot or any other financial commitment. I do agree with the alternative in some ways of spending money to save time because you earn more money but you can’t earn more time. Just be sure to understand the trade off that you are making.

I bring up these points, because often times we just feel like we don’t have enough. Being a college student and newly married, I often hear from others about how poor they are. With the enlightenment from what I shared above, I know that in reality I am rich. I am rich for two reasons.

Reason 1: Most of the world, lives in condition worst than I am and probably worse than I will ever be. I have food, clean water, heating in the winter. I am in the top 20% of the world’s wealth. Ironically I am also considered to be in poverty myself. Yet, I have things that people in poverty outside the U.S. pray for daily.

Reason 2: Like I said, technically my wife and I are below the poverty line in the U.S. but in no way do we see ourselves this way. In no way to we wine and complain that we don’t have enough money. Yes, there are things we would like to do and have, but we have come to realize that none of those are important. In fact, we view our circumstance as one filled with abundance.

If we want to be wealthy or at least stop struggling financially, we need to stop feeling victimized by money. We need to stop seeing all the things we don’t have and look more at what we do. We need to not only be grateful for what we have, but use it more effectively. Wealth is created first from inside yourself. It is made as we begin to see ourselves not as victims of circumstances but as authors of our own fate.

I am not sure how well my thoughts went together, but I felt very inspired to write today and so I hope who ever was meant to read this finds it inspiring as I had found these thoughts to be. If you liked this post please like and share so that your friends can also develop a mindset of wealth.