When The Rich Act Like They are Poor (Part 2)

I hate to see those with resources squander them, simply because they fell prey to the rampant fear.

Watch out for it in your own heart, in that of your children and spouse — and avoid these behaviors of the poor:

*They use credit habitually for “lifestyle” purchases: Delayed gratification isn’t something that they’ve heard of, and if they want something they just put in on credit. After all — it’s at a 0% interest rate for the first 3 months! One purchase leads to another, and before they know it they’ve got thousands in credit card debt.

Debt loads in the wealthy can look different, but the principles remain the same. Avoid leverage these days; keep your powder dry. Your lifestyle isn’t worth expensive cashflow.

* Always pay more than they have to: Often people who are broke have gotten there because they don’t know how to shop for a deal, negotiate or ask for a discount. You can get a discount on just about anything — from electronics to health care. Never pay more than you have to.

Why is it that the wealthy take perverse pride in paying full retail? It goes before the fall, as they say … so don’t become pennywise/pound foolish — but neither should you eschew effective negotiation in multiple categories.

* Fall prey to lifestyle inflation and “keeping up with the Joneses”: This is a biggie for the wealthy. Even people with higher incomes have problems with staying ahead in their budget because they fall prey to lifestyle inflation. Instead of banking and saving raises, they raise their standard of living — buying a bigger better house, a new car and a new wardrobe. They feel like they have to keep up appearances with everyone in their neighborhood.

Take a good hard look at what motivates your purchasing, and clean out the dustbunnies of comparison, lest they fill your brain with poverty-thinking.

* They rely on others to fix their problems: We’ve probably all known someone who is always going to their parents, family or friends to bail them out. They create a pile of debt, and then rely on the kindness of others to get them out of their bind.

* They forfeit future gains for fun today: These people often have a hard time visualizing how saving and hard work will pay off down the road, and instead live for the fun and pleasures of today. They don’t realize how saving for tomorrow can improve their quality of life today.

Don’t sacrifice your retirement (or your eventual estate) on the altar of present-ease.

Obviously, I’d like to help you move past these behaviors, if any apply. You may not carry every one of these traits, but just one or two can get you into hot water.

If you feel that you’re slipping into any of these traps, please do let us know … we’re here to help as your Family’s Personal Financial Guide.

Posted on October 1, 2011
Call Us: (775) 674-2222