Welcome back! And hello to all who are just joining us!
Our discussions will help you establish some of your highly *personal* core values. This week you will come to understand what your definition of rich looks like—something that surprisingly few people ever do in their lives. Then, once we’ve established the fundamentals, we’ll be jumping into what I expect you’re most excited for: instructionals on credit scores, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, debt, and investing.
Even if you feel like you know everything about personal finance already, I guarantee you will learn something new from our discussions. Personal finance is such a funny topic. Have you ever tried asking someone what credit card they have? It always goes like this: “oh, I have the _______ credit card. It’s THE best card out there. I get _______ rewards on it.” Then that person will proceed with relentlessly attempting to convince you that he knows what he’s talking about. Heck, I even do it occasionally!… but I have done a little more research and probably have a bit more experience with credit cards than the next guy 😉 How many humans have ever believed that their personal finances AREN’T on point? How many people would ever admit that there’s a lot they don’t understand about money?… hardly any, because almost everyone thinks they’re doing it right.
This is the beauty of Wall Street Minimalist. I’ve consistently come across many misconceptions about personal finance that I would like to debunk. Nobody wants to admit, “I suck at half of my life. I’m really good at the spending-all-my-money half, but haven’t quite figured out the earning and saving part.” One of the biggest misunderstandings in finance is what rich looks like. Let me give you a secret: rich looks different to everyone. I want you to read the following questions and take one minute to silently contemplate what your response would be. Seriously, take at least a full minute to think about this.
- What is your motivation to being rich?
- What does rich look like to you (i.e. what makes you feel rich)?
- What do you hope to do with your wealth?
60, 59, 58, 57………. 3, 2, 1, 0. Ok, you get the point. Hopefully, you really did take a minute.
As you can imagine, the answers to these three questions can vary greatly from one person to the next. For example, many of my friends value different things. Cory loves GoPros and documenting his adventures with friends and family. Dan loves music and going to multiple concerts each week. Kade loves shoes. Cassidy loves caviar and champagne. Derek loves traveling. And Alden loves the freedom that comes with financial security to pursue his interests.
Without understanding what rich looks like to you, it’s likely you’ll mindlessly spend money on other people’s definition of rich. You may somehow find yourself buying Cory’s GoPro, Kade’s new shoes, and Dan’s ticket to a Selena Gomez concert—all for yourself. If you’ve ever purchased something and thought to yourself that you shouldn’t have, you’ve come one step closer to understanding what rich means to you.
Learning what you value spending money on helps reduce these sad moments and replaces them with more money in your pocket for the things you actually do love. Hannah and I consider ourselves rich now that we can do the following things:
- Enjoy our evenings and weekends without worrying about how much we’re spending
- Stay debt-free and create a safety net of savings to fall back on
- Travel wherever we want each year and visit friends and family with our time off
There is no “wrong” definition of rich. I’d love to hear what makes you feel rich.