Do you have a picture in your mind of what it means to be wealthy? In your daydreams, maybe you’re sipping champagne on a private jet. Or luxuriating on the white sands of your own island. Or dripping with jewels as you dine at world-class restaurants.
You want the good life! Riches beyond your wildest dreams. The celebrity lifestyle. Then you’ll know you’ve made it.
But is that really what it means to be wealthy?
What People Think Wealth Looks Like
Think of a person you know who appears to be wealthy. What do you see?
In all likelihood, you picture someone who lives a life of wild abundance and appears at least to be filthy rich. Maybe he’s got an expensive, flashy car and an imposing house. Maybe she’s always dressed in the latest fashions and enjoying extravagant vacations.
But how are you really judging Financial Success? Most of the time, it’s by the amount and quality of stuff someone has not only accumulated, but also put on display for the world to see.
Wanting for nothing? Having it all? It’s a mesmerizing dream. And having all that stuff can be incredibly alluring. After all, “living the good life” is an incredible fantasy. (Even the way we talk about that lifestyle sends a message!)
But the danger lies in thinking that appearing wealthy—no matter the cost—is the goal.
Here’s a secret: The amount of money you spend has almost nothing to do with how financially successful or wealthy you are. In fact, the vast quantities of money you need to create the appearance of wealth is all too often just the thing that tees you up for a financial disaster.
How Not To Gain Financial Freedom
Remember when being able to afford something meant you had the money to pay for it? If your budget couldn’t handle a fancy vacation, you reworked your plan to fit what you could afford. Or you delayed your vacation until you had the funds for the one you really wanted. Unfortunately, that approach hasn’t been the norm for decades, and we’ve all suffered for it.
You might have grown up, and lived a life, where something is affordable as long as you can just make the minimum credit card payment for it. Where does that leave you? Unknowingly volunteering for years or even decades of debt and exorbitant interest payments. All while believing you can afford to sustain an unrealistic lifestyle!
In fact, it’s not uncommon for folks starting Financially Fit Bootcamp to be spending more than half of their take-home pay simply on debt repayment. That’s a losing game and a surefire way to keep your goal of Financial Freedom out of reach for good.
So What Is Wealth & Success?
Attaining real wealth and Financial Success means achieving your freedom:
- Financial Freedom in having your personal expenses completely covered by your Freedom Generator.
- Freedom of time when you’re able to stop exchanging your time for money to support your lifestyle.
- Freedom of choice when you decide how to spend your time, whether to work, where to travel and what to do every day!
You achieve success when you cut the umbilical cord connecting your salary to your lifestyle. Instead, your basic monthly expenses are entirely supported by income-generating investments. Your time belongs to you instead of an employer, so you send your money out to work for you while you use your time as you wish.
You want that life of abundance? You can have it!
Once you grasp Financial Freedom, you can dive in fully to the Freedom lifestyle. Or you can upgrade your life by continuing to build your investment portfolio, increase your returns and spend more lavishly on the experiences you crave.
What does wealth look like for you? What do you see when you think of Financial Freedom? Let us know in the Financial Foundations community!
image credit: Bigstock/viewapart
Dr. Tony is the co-founder of MindShift.money and the best-selling author of three books on personal and business finances. Having achieved Financial Freedom at 27, Dr. Tony believes that through Financially Fit Bootcamp and Cash Flow Cure everyone can get there. He has made it his life’s mission to help others live a life where their money works for them—not the other way around.