I live a pretty luxurious lifestyle. It’s mine though. And, it’s a life of luxury that I feel is right for me.
I don’t drive a half-million dollar car or live in a mansion. Although I work for myself, I still have to work. But, I have decided for me what happiness looks like and I pursue it daily. While I’m constantly looking to level up, my greatest luxury is living my life instead of someone else’s.
So in order to feel rich without being rich, I had to look at some of my behavior and the behavior of those around me. I had to really figure out what made me feel fulfilled and enriched.
Young Rich & Rooted
I spoke with a friend of mine from Young Rich & Rooted, Bee Lewis, about how she manages her lifestyle to achieve the same results. When Bee looked around she was found that most people’s financial habits were tied to a not yet established or satisfied personal identity. With the persistent presence of social media, not so reality tv, music video, movies, she says it’s very easy to get caught up in the “Jones Effect.”
She says, “ It used to be that years ago we could only get caught up with what the Jones’ were doing if they were in eye shot us. They had to be our neighbors or we saw them out and about somewhere to see their new this or that to become envious and want it for ourselves. Now we need to do no more than log on to Facebook and we have an endless stream of friends buying houses, new cars, having babies, getting married, getting a new hair style, getting a new job, wearing a new outfit, going out to party with friends, and going on amazing vacations.”
While we both agree there is nothing wrong with people living their lives, the issue is that we clutter our own desires with what we see others have. What we don’t see is that some of those people are incredibly unhappy because they too are looking at and chasing after what someone else has.
How do we fix that?
“The only way to combat this is to disconnect at least temporarily and get in tune with your star player; YOU! Ask yourself…before any of the noise, before my friends, family, & perfect strangers imposed their will on me, WHAT DID I WANT? What actually makes me happy? Then once you know those things you can ask yourself the biggest question, does my bank statement show that my financial habits are in line with that I value?”
Make sure you catch that last line she wrote – “does my bank statement show that my financial habits are in line with that I value?”
She continues, “For example, I used to spend $100+ dollars a month 9 years ago for cable. That’s pretty normal for most people and so most people don’t question it and they mindlessly subscribe to cable too. The thing was I love to travel & worked a lot. So it didn’t make sense for me to pay a $100mo for cable and I don’t even watch TV. I was losing $1,200 per year on a service I don’t even use. But, I didn’t want to disconnect initially because I was afraid people would think I didn’t have cable because I couldn’t afford it [ <-this ]. Initially when I made the decision to disconnect it was because I couldn’t afford it but those years of not having it whether I wanted it or not made me realize nobody noticed and very few who noticed cared.”
By the way, this is something that I did a long time ago too! I have neither cable nor internet most of the year. I bought a $35 digital antenna for when I absolutely have to watch tv. I am connected via my cell phone so I don’t have to have internet for my computer all the time. And, internet is free at your local library (or Starbucks)!
Savings – $220 per month.
Some other things you can do right now.
Bee and I shared some ideas that I want to share with you. These are things you can start doing today!
Adopt Minimalist living – As a society, we have been groomed to be consumers but no one has taught us how to let things go. You will feel so free and liberated with less. There are a few people talking about this concept and it’s not as bad as it may sound. I shared in our podcast conversation that I took my books and DVDs and donated them to the library. I don’t need them cluttering my space and they are still readily available to me.
Create a life you don’t need a vacation from – If you hate the place you spend 90% of your time you need to change some things up. You should come home feeling relaxed. Whatever it is that you like about being on vacation, create that experience in your home so that you feel amazing for all 52 weeks of the year and not just the 2 weeks you get of vacation from work.
If you work 9-5 then work 9-5 – If you are working somewhere you constantly need a vacation from, you might want to reconsider that too. Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families; so you should at least like it. If nothing else, leave work at work until you can create that change. Be bold enough and have the courage to change your situation. Caution: it may require some sacrifice.
Get thrifty – I’m a barefoot and shorts kinda guy. And for all the compliments and questions I get about the shorts I wear, my answer is, “I made these.” A couple years ago I decided to learn to sew. Now I can buy nice fabric for $15 and make my own custom clothing, and have fun doing it. We also make a lot of foods from scratch in my house. It adds something special to the experience.
Do more charity work – The biggest thing about that luxurious lifestyle we chase is how it makes us feel about ourselves. The greatest feelings I had didn’t come from playing golf in Puerto Rico with Chi Chi Rodriguez (did that and it was awesome) or walking the streets of Venice, Italy (not nearly as awesome). My greatest feelings of self came from feeding the homeless on Christmas morning, and coaching my daughter’s softball team, and doing free photoshoots from single mothers in transition. Get out and do something with your time and talents and the good vibes will follow.
Own your own home – This isn’t for what you think! Bee said, “If you owned your home outright and HATED your job and wanted to teach basket weaving you might be able to do that. You’d be happy. Instead, you work at a job you hate, miss time with you family because society has taught us to stay in debt. I visited my aunt the other day and I was looking around the land and three other family members had homes on that land. I knew right then that some old ideas are still just right. Because this family bought and paid off their land a century ago, generations of family members don’t have to start their life with the biggest debt of all.”
Wealthy is not rich
Rich is about abundance; we talked about that in the previous episode. Wealth is more the ability to stay abundant. Bee says, “Wealth is not about how much you make, it’s about what you keep.”
The lifestyle you choose is up to you. Further, if you feel like it’s not, quit doing everything that isn’t important to you and start over.
Luxury is a choice, not a chase. Once you have decided what makes you fulfilled, do that. Cut out all the stuff that you’re doing because you thought it would make you happy.
If American means freedom, the American Dream is the freedom to dream.
Live your dream.
Let’s be better, together.
P.s. You can check out Bee Lewis on YoungRichRooted.com and get involved in her Master Your Coins Challenge.
If you haven’t gotten clear on your goals yet and made them actionable, you need to check out the On Goals series today. You can find everything you need to set yourself up for success in 2017!