7 financial principles of the richest people!
CHAPTER 6: “LIVE BELOW YOUR EARN”
SUMMARY: Find and create money to invest.
For thousands of years,
every year thousands of people have fallen into real poverty
because they are extremely worried about being considered poor. – WILLIAM CORBETT
Please don’t skip this chapter.
I even considered giving this section another title,
like “Enjoy the feeling of having more money in the bank”
or “You have nothing to prove to anyone,”
or whatever any other title,
to hope you read this part of the book.
However, honesty prevails
and we’re left with the simple fact that
the people with the biggest bankrolls are often people you’d never think of as rich.
Some people might call them misers;
But I call them wise.
Now, if you think this is going to be the hardest chapter for you to read, well,
I want to let you know,
it was also the chapter that was the hardest for me to write.
You see, I am one of the people William Corbett mentioned,
even though I was born several hundred years after he uttered those words.
I’ve learned a lot about this topic
and I’d love for you to learn too.
So I will use a moderate amount of personal stories.
I’m willing to share many of my mistakes to help you avoid the mistakes I made,
and the traps I fell into.
I often ask:
“How can I have more money to pay off debt and invest?”
The answer is not always easy to hear:
don’t buy things you don’t really need,
learn to live below your means.
Let’s be honest: that kind of thinking is absent in our culture.
We are “instant gratification” people.
We know what we want,
how we want it,
and we want it now.
This attitude has been a hallmark of every generation since the baby boom.
Please understand that I am not preaching here.
For most of my life,
I have been a card-carrying member of the
“I want it and I want it now” club.
The credit card industry has grown to explosive proportions
because so many of us have this attitude.
However, the number of people
who have become rich through frugality cannot be counted.
Many people are surprised to learn how frugal some wealthy people are.
THE COMMON PROBLEM IS AT THE START
When you were young and only made $15,000 a year,
you were probably confident that,
when you got a better,
you would be able to save some money.
Finally, you got that job.
But can you save more?
No, you bought a solid running car
and rationalized that purchase by saying,
you can’t afford to lose this very good job
because of a problem-prone car.
That’s easy to understand.
Now you’re making $25,000 a year
and because of the expenses on the car and going out with friends
– which you can do because you’re already making more money
– you have nothing left to save money.
you’ll get promoted at some point,
in the near future.
With it comes a raise and that,
you tell yourself,
will allow you to start saving for the future.
No problem, you’re still young.
You have been promoted,
because of your work ethic and dedication to your job.
Oh, now you make $40,000 a year.
This sizable salary increase will definitely allow you
to start saving money for your future.
But when your income started to increase,
you met the person of your dreams.
She was perfect
and you two decided to get married next summer.
Flirting with her might be a bit expensive,
but boy, is it worth it.
You want to treat her to fancier restaurants,
go to concerts,
and give her some of the finer things in life.
You two work hard so you deserve to enjoy some fun times.
“All work, no fun…”
Now, you are married.
Now you are buying your first home.
Of course the house needs furniture.
you need another car to be able to pick up and drop off your children.
Do you see how far we can go with this story?
We can easily go through every path,
through life’s changes until retirement.
I get it. Because I was like that.
I climbed the income ladder
until I reached unbelievable levels,
but there was always some good reason for not saving.
I can assure you that,
with every increase in income comes a nicer house,
better car, more lavish vacations,
membership to an outdoor sports club, new clothes,
Finer restaurants, private schools,
travel, and a thousand other desires all covet your wallet.
You feel like you can afford it, so why not?
WHY DON’T WE SAVE?
The problem of not saving has two main parts.
The first part is simply that,
as we age and go through the stages of normal life,
there are more and more things to spend on.
All of that is true,
but there is another force,
attractive force that invites us to spend more money
to reach higher levels of enjoyment.
This force has a name:
If you don’t know,
this is where a lot of commercial advertising is hung,
designed to do
People who are not satisfied with what they have will also not be satisfied
with what they do not have us spend more.
The people here are extremely smart.
They understood human behavior very well,
and may have taught Sigmund Freud
and Carl Jung a few new things.
In short, they know what makes us buy
Things we don’t need,
and are too expensive compared to their value.
These people are masters of emotional reactions.
Let’s also say that they play to win,
and they always win.
Marketers have an amazing talent for “helping” us realize that
we could be so much happier if we had such and such…
Life would be so much better if we possess this and that…
People will like us much more if…
We will be much more successful only if we do…
Have you figured it out yet?
If you think you can always avoid these subtle messages,
and they often aren’t very subtle,
you may be fooling yourself.
Every year, billions and billions of dollars are spent on advertising.
If it didn’t work,
the manufacturers of the products wouldn’t be spending this money.
There are people buying all this nonsense.
Many studies have shown that
a consumer now receives nearly 3,000 marketing messages per day.
Low estimates range from 850 to 1,000 messages per day.
Regardless of the actual number,
we are bombarded with messages about products.
Some come through television,
others through radio,
the Internet, e-mail,
direct mail, and many other means.
Without a doubt, it seems like a natural reflex.
The second part of the problem of spending more than
you save is our attitude toward money.
Many people believe that they can buy happiness.
It may sound silly when we say it,
or we all deny it,
but our actions say otherwise.
He who is not satisfied with what
he has will also not be satisfied with what he does not have.- SOCRATES
Why are we constantly being fooled by this deception?
Because life is hard
and we want to be like those people are smiling,
beautiful that we see in advertisements.
They seem like people with perfect lives.
Who doesn’t want to be like them?
Why do we never see a fat,
depressed guy with bags under his eyes from working long hours
and poor sleep from constantly worrying about finances in these commercials?
Additionally, are we right or wrong to believe that
we deserve all these good things?
We work hard and deserve something.
I couldn’t agree anymore,
even if I tried.
When I was a “rich” guy,
I used to buy every single most expensive thing I wanted,
be it a TV, car, house, food, clothes, jewelry, furniture, etc.
Can you imagine? I was imprisoned by the foolish
and false assumption that the more expensive something is,
the more valuable it is.
I imagine that it cannot be irresponsible for a manufacturer
to charge more money for selling items of marginally higher quality.
I’m so stupid.
Let me tell you a few of my personal examples.
Those are jeans.
Yes, just a pair of jeans.
I spent $85 on designer jeans from Nordstrom.
(For a while,
I bought almost everything from Nordstrom to stuff into my closet.
Ultimately, it was only
because they had a guy sitting in the middle of the store playing the piano.)
I bought it all.
One after another of those expensive jeans they never fit me properly,
so I bought another one,
hoping it would fit better.
As I write this,
I’m still wearing my favorite pair of jeans.
This is the most comfortable,
best fitting one I have ever owned.
And by the way,
those jeans only cost me $8 at Wal-Mart.
There were no piano players,
no aisles filled with fragrant perfume,
no sales staff with perfectly manicured
and sickeningly sweet toenails accompanying them, and no ghosts-
The bowtie looks better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
Just great jeans for $8.
Do you want me to tell you more?
I used to drive one Mercedes,
a Lexus and other very expensive cars.
It’s fun to drive them.
The problem is,
I’m always worried that some taciturn driver,
perhaps in a cheap old car,
will damage my shiny, flashy,
and extremely expensive car.
I never feel relaxed when enjoying my car.
Also, whenever I take my car in for service,
I have to spend hundreds of dollars.
Now, with the wisdom of an old man,
I drive cars that are in tatters
because of the road conditions around where I live.
In the mountains,
we often get snowstorms,
with snow covering rocks,
and all kinds of things lying around waiting for someone to drive by.
Windshields were broken
due to materials people placed on the road to keep cars from slipping.
Additionally, we also travel over rugged terrain,
which can lead you to some of the most unusual places you’ve ever seen.
It’s fun not to care who’s looking at your car,
not to care about scratches, dents,
and even nothing at all.
Now, when I get my car serviced,
I sit with the mechanics,
drinking coffee and talking about the upcoming ski season.
It was pure joy.
SIMPLE WAY TO SAVE MONEY
Let’s talk about eating again.
I used to go to restaurants often most luxurious.
When I walk into one of these restaurants,
the restaurant owner often greets me, calling me by name.
The lovely flight attendant,
looks like the model will lead me and my guests
to a place looks extremely outstanding.
After seating us, she opened the door napkins came out,
and spread lightly on our laps.
When the food was brought,
it was by a team of waiters enough to be able to open,
all the dishes at once,
they said in unison wished us “Delicious”
and then left.
I find it mostly ticky just caressing my pride.
I have been rich and I have been poor.
Being poor really doesn’t matter. – RUTHE FLEET
It all seems a bit excessive,
but I have to admit that being served like that is truly heart-wrenching.
Lethargic or not, it proves to be a waste of money.
Here’s what I realized:
Now I’m full after eating a crispy meat pie for only $5,
whereas before I ate it at a fancy restaurant and spent $100.
A big discovery, right?
Understand, I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy life,
or that you shouldn’t spend money to get things of value.
I’m just saying,
we need to adjust our thinking about how we spend money
and the impact it has on our future.
Just remember, more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Let me give you a few examples taken from the grocery industry.
First of all, always use a savings shopping card.
I don’t see any card that actually costs money to get,
but you can save a significant amount of money by using it.
The Grocery stores often have “red label” items
for savings money for shoppers.
That store is trying to help you save.
If you don’t use this card every time you shop for groceries,
you’re throwing money in the trash.
Simple as that.
In addition to savings shopping cards,
always pay attention to discount programs
that are often announced in your local newspapers.
The store manager,
who graciously helped me gather this information,
said that by combining the store’s coupons
and savings shopping cards,
customers could save up to 80% off the listed price – 80%.
This store manager also recommended that
a normal customer should focus on the store’s branded goods
and not focus too much on famous brand products.
Store-branded products are always cheaper,
often of similar quality,
and many times are even made by big-name companies
and placed in store-branded packaging.
The rules are simple, and stores will help you learn about them if you ask.
It may be hard to believe, but the amount of money you can save is huge.
Finally, I took the time to talk to a friend who is a licensed pharmacist.
He was kind enough to tell me about both types of pharmaceuticals:
the drugs had expired registration
with the department intellectual property
and prescription drugs.
He told me that prescription drugs
and drugs with expired intellectual property registration are managed
by the FDA and set standards.
The drug’s intellectual property registration has expired just
as good as the original drugs.
It was on the shelf with the sign “non-prescription medicine”
that I had really enjoyed.
I have noticed and found that most of the products are store-branded types.
What I realized is,
for Store-branded products,
actual ingredients are also satisfactory 99.9%,
equivalent to company branded products,
when on the store brand packaging it says “compared to” the product this particular brand
or that particular brand product,
the requirements that the store’s brand must meet almost as well as.
The store even has to submit an application to the FDA to use it.
Use the “versus” message on your product labels.
Let’s look at some ways to save that I find very simple
Simply walk around the shelves for a bit.
Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory Advil 200 mg,
50 tablets, for sale for $8.49 at this store.
Right next to that shelf is medicine store brand Advil,
50 tablets, 200 mg costs 4.79 dollar.
Save about 44%. Also, I see it on the label
Safeway has the letters USP,
and I had to question what they meant.
I figured it must be important,
because it stands out on the front of the brand.
I learned that USP means what the product does Standards published on the
United States Pharmacopoeia
(United States Pharmacopeia standard).
The following lines are taken directly from the USP website:
The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) is a government agency that
officially establishes standards for all prescription
and over-the-counter drugs
and other health care products manufactured
or sold in the United States.
USP also sets widely recognized standards for dietary supplements
and dietary supplements.
USP sets standards for the quality, purity, concentration,
and consistency of these products
– vital to the health of the public.
USP standards are recognized and applied in 130 countries around the world.
These standards have helped ensure public health around the world for nearly 200 years.
This seemed to mean that store-brand products met the same standards
as other brand-name products.
You can even find the letters USP on the packaging of vitamin and herbal products.
Now that I know the important meaning of these three letters,
I always favor a store product if those three letters appear on the label,
and at the same time
I will save a considerable amount of money.
Here’s another example:
Many people use glucosamine products to treat arthritis.
I noticed the Schiff product calls for
“Move comfortably with the triple power of glucosamine and chondroitin.”
Price for a bottle of 80 tablets, 1,500 mg, is $32.39.
On the shelf below is Safeway’s product:
glucosamine and chondroitin, 1,500 mg,
bottle of 80 pills, $11.98,
and you can get a second bottle for free.
Guys, that’s 63% savings.
Now, I’m not trying to knock down branded products.
I’m not rooting for Safeway either;
this store is where I went shopping by chance.
That being said,
my simple research into grocery store pricing has definitely changed my personal habits.
Finally, as I looked around the store,
I saw that most products,
even toilet paper,
had much cheaper alternatives.
I don’t know what your butt is like,
but mine doesn’t make any difference.
As you can see,
I would never suggest that you give up buying things that
you need to buy,
or even things that you simply want.
What I want you to understand is that
you can save a significant amount of money by shopping smart.
With that money,
you can reduce your debt,
or you can invest.
BE PROUD BEFORE YOU FALL
I’ve heard people say that,
when they use coupons or shop at discount stores like Wal-Mart,
they feel people view them as poor,
or even worse,
You need to get over that now.
Most wealthy people will consider you smart
because they and you shop the same way.
The product salesman will laugh at those
who think they will be degraded if they practice thrift shopping,
and they will still laugh all the way to the bank.
They know they can offer great discounts
because many people won’t take advantage of the savings,
all for the sake of dignity.
Don’t just pay attention to my words.
If you need more motivation to act in a similar way to a truly wealthy person,
read the book The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.
Here are a few thoughts that came out of that book:
“The opposite of frugality is waste.
We think of waste as a lifestyle marked by lavish spending
and excessive consumption.
Savings are the foundation for building wealth.”
The authors continue with this thought:
“Wealth is often the result of a lifestyle of hard work,
perseverance, planning, and above all, self-discipline.
They become millionaires by planning budget and control expenditures,
and they maintain their wealth in the same way.”
Finally, I know what distinguishes humans from other animals:
financial concerns. – JULES RENARD
Do you understand this argument?
If you are willing to examine your shopping habits,
and shed your pride,
then you are following the methods of the truly wealthy.
However, many people are imitating the role models of those who try to appear rich,
while hiding their financial difficulties.
Which group do you think Solomon will choose to interact with?
Think about his words, written in Proverbs 13:7:
“A person pretends to be rich but has nothing;
Others pretend to be poor but have huge assets.”
I think that the person who pretends
to be rich actually has something to prove his troubles – full of debt!
WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY, SAVING BRINGS GREATER HAPPINESS
I’ve had enough time to understand that spending money does not lead to happiness,
but having a significant amount of “unspent” money in the bank often leads to complete happiness.
I have found that people who are willing to free themselves from price manipulation
and from the Madison Avenue system tend to be more satisfied.
I can tell you,
my husband and I are much happier since we got out of the rut.
Life is easier,
and certainly less stressful.
Friends must be genuine,
not just a group of people who like to spend our money.
And of course, we have to ask:
what are we teaching our children
when we ourselves are spending wastefully?
Here are some quotes on this topic that I really like.
I hope they inspire you.
Millionaires rarely smile. – ANDREW CARNEGIE,
I’m happier doing the work of a craftsman machine. – HENRY FORD,
I made millions of dollars,
but they made me nothing happiness.- JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER SR.,
So let’s put these ideas into practice.
Learn from the wisdom of the richest man in the world.
Stop spending foolishly, and start saving and investing.
1. Do I spend more money than I should on things I don’t really need?
2. Am I spending above my means instead of below?
3. Do I owe more unnecessary debt this year than last year?
4. Small changes make a difference, so where can I spend less money?
5. I do allow advertising and marketing to pick my pocket
Things to do wisely
1. Survey your spending habits.
You don’t have to live like a monk,
but there’s no need to throw away money through the window.
2. Commit to spending less on frivolous things
and use that money to move your life forward.
3. Don’t be addicted to spending money.
There are many things in life that bring happiness,
and many of them are free.
ADVICE OF THE ANCIENT PEOPLE
PROverbs 13:7 – A person pretends to be rich but has nothing;
and others pretend to be poor but are rich a lot of assets.
PROverbs 11:28 – Whoever believes in money will fall (from the tree),
but honest people will grow as fast as a green leaf.