What Does Being Rich Mean to You?
After completely screwing up our wedding budget and being incredibly lax with our money during our honeymoon, it’s time to get back into this financial battle against our debt, win the war for financial independence, and start being rich.
It’s easy to say “DIE DEBT, DIE” and just start there, but we want to be strategic about our next few moves. Like a real battle, we don’t just want to run out into the battlefield and start hacking away at obstacles mindlessly. Yeah, we might get some good progress going on our debt, but we can also run into burnout if we’re not intentional and if we don’t realistically pace ourselves.
That’s why it’s so important for us to come up with a plan for battle. But even before that, we have to start at our idea of being rich.
Start With the Big Picture
We can’t get to where we’re going if we don’t even know what our destination is or even what it looks like. The journey is important, but the destination is the whole point of it all.
So, for our financial journey, we’re starting at defining our destination – what does being rich mean to us?
Being rich means being free from debt
Debt-free may be a no brainer for some, but for others it isn’t.
But let’s think about it – imagine yourself with all the money in the world. Maybe you’re earning a lot at your job or maybe your passive investments are enough to pay for all of your expenses. To many, you seem rich – money is coming in faster than you know what to do with it.
But every 1st or 15th of the month, you are still obligated to pay your car loan. Or your student loans. Your mortgage. That personal loan. And on and on and on. Your income may be great and all, but as long as you have those debts to your name, your money isn’t all yours.
To The Husband and I, being rich means being free from the shackles of debt. No more due dates, no more “minimum monthly payments”. Simply put – our money is ours and no one else’s. (Okay, there’s taxes, but let’s not go there for the sake of this post ;))
Being rich means not worrying about money
Not only do we want to be debt free, but we also don’t want to have any worries when it comes to money.
Right now, we’re scrutinizing every single dollar spent. That $40 dinner? Let’s check our accounts real quick if we can afford that. That $20 Warriors T-shirt? Let’s see if we have the cash for that…
Every single expense means we need to look at our accounts. That’s because we’re still on our way to financial freedom.
We’ll know when we’re rich when we can spend money on a lunch or T-shirt and not even have to check the bank account to make sure we can cover it. We want to be able to spend on things that we enjoy (within reason, of course) without it completely emptying our bank accounts or hindering our goals.
Being rich means being incredibly generous
I’ve written before about how I will not give up giving even when I’m in debt. And I still firmly follow that rule. But when I’ve really made it, I want to give more than I’m asked – I want us to be incredibly generous.
I was listening to one of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts when I heard him mention that he flew his entire family to a cabin for a vacation as a gift. As soon as he said it, I knew that I wanted to be able to do that one day for my family and friends. Not to show off, but to be able to give the gift of time with one another.
Generosity to family and friends may be easy to want, but The Husband and I want to be generous to our parish and to other charities that mean a lot to us. To me, this is the ultimate goal – to have enough for ourselves so that we are able to give to those who don’t have enough.
Whether you’re starting over with your finances or you’re simply starting, period, beginning with what it all means to you is the best place to start. “I want to be rich” or “I want to be successful” are common goals, but are terribly vague.
Dig deep and really think about what it all means to you. Being rich is great, but my definition of being rich can be the exact opposite of your definition of being rich. Make sure you’re chasing after your destination and not anyone else *cough The Joneses cough* then we can get started on the goals.
What does being rich mean to you? What signals or events will trigger in your mind that you’ve “made it”?