This may help all those people who have been judging people incorrectly. This may also help those people who have been judging themselves incorrectly. While keeping up with the Joneses you may find yourself comparing their lifestyle to yours. Usually this is done by counting Mr. & Mrs. Jones’s material possessions, outings and their friends. After you finish your mathematical equation the sum is always you lose, so you go buy more. In your mind they see you and they are not impressed. So you go buy things and do things to hopefully make them aware that you have money.
What are the things that make you think someone has money? A brand new BMW 750, a Marquis Jet Card, a condo in the city, a house in the suburbs, jewelry, a subscription to Robb report, a pair of custom shoes or a private school education. No matter what your income bracket is you need to know when to stop spending. Big spenders are usually trying to either keep up with the Joneses or somehow make you think they are the Joneses that everyone is should be keeping up with.
The world will not end if you don’t spend all your money. It will be ok just sitting there in the bank. If you earn a million dollars and you spend a million dollars you are still broke. Wealthy is not how much money you earn it is how much you keep after all the spending is done.
Here are three things to look for if you need to decide if you or someone else has money or not:
One, don’t be fooled by an American Express card. Anyone with a 650 credit score can get one of those these days. Membership is not as exclusive as it used to be. Unless of course you see the Black Card, than this is true money. Clearly the green, gold and platinum cards still have some prestige. These card holders are definitely managing their expenses. If it’s not one of those 4 cards you are looking at a thousandaire not a millionaire. There is still hope at least you are in the right group.
Two, don’t mistake an Expense Account for a bank account. Many consultants, sales people and executives buy things with their employer’s money. From the outside looking in all you see are spa trips, golf outings, dinners and drinks. Ask a few questions and you will get the facts. Be real with yourself if you know that is not your money. Often times the expense account is bigger than the salary. And while you are fact finding, remember that people always give out their salary before taxes so subtract 25-30%.
Three, if a person owns their own business and they are working longer and harder than anyone in the company chances are they cannot afford to pay people what they are worth. You are still an employee if you cannot take a day off. This person may make a good living and love what they do but if they cannot afford to take a day off then they do not have money. When your business is turning a major profit you can hire people you can trust and get from behind the desk or counter. Once you have money your real job becomes looking for bigger opportunities. You can do that when you have money.
Over all what you have to do is check spending habits, decision making skills and abilities. If the person can pay for something with cash let’s say a new flat screen or car but they choose to finance to take advantage of 0% financing that’s good decision making and that person has money. This is a sign of someone who is wealthy or who soon will be.
Bad decision making is expensive, lack of planning cost and pretending requires a budget. If you see a person with a luxury car, fancy clothes, taking trips, having boat parties and spending weekends at their lake house this is a person who has a lot of bills, not necessarily a lot of money. Don’t judge, don’t envy and try not to become them. Take your time with your money. The longer you keep it the more money you can earn with it. Money will come if you find what you love, continue to give back, have good spending habits, save often and have multiple streams of income. Be strong and wait it out until you have enough money to buy the things you desire.
Knowing your tax bracket…Now That’s Presidential!