Whatever your income, we show you how to live the rich life.
Photograph: photophilde/Creative Commons
Living the rich life begins in the mind. It will be wise to make an effort to enjoy life for the sake of life itself instead of worrying about the future. Easier said than done, it can be argued that living to the fullest is only possible when one has sufficient resources. But the good news is that it is not necessarily true.
#1: Indulge a little bit and then some more
Have no guilt in pampering yourself. Happiness doesn't have to cost much. Going in for extra cheese with the burger or a pedicure along with your routine salon session will add to small joys. Instead of cutting down on these small things, allow yourself to go for it every once in a while. The trade off between some extra costs for more happiness is definitely worth it.
#2: Smart exchanges
How about getting ten friends along for the music fest for a free ticket or exchanging that wooden table with a friend who needs it for two chairs which they want to get rid of?
It's all about thinking creatively and getting what you want. Instead of choosing to not go in for it, choose to think smartly. Barter and exchanges have been used in trade since a long time. Why not continue using this technique to find innovative solutions which benefit everybody!
#3: Stay away from the debt hole
Living it up doesn't mean living beyond one's means. Planning and investing wisely is the key here. Consider taking loans only when required and planned in advance. This means avoiding debts for things which can wait and for which one can save to avail.
The rich don't spend time thinking about the next interest payment. Instead decide to walk to office or run errands rather than driving. That way you choose health and money over debt payments.
#4: Start magic savings
That means you don't have to wait to accumulate that four digit amount to begin saving. Open a separate account wherein you put in money whenever you save, however little. It may not seem too much at any point in time but when you look back you will be surprised with the amount accumulated over a period of time.
It will seem like magic since the saving process was so effortless. Feeling rich is easy that way!
#5: Understand spending patterns
Now this hardly means complex colour coding or Venn diagrams. Simply try and understand how to treat you money!
Example, we have a tendency to spend more after money flows into the account and then feel down and keep cutting cost until the next account credit happens. Instead, spread out your expenses throughout the month.
This includes billing cycles, paying for school fees or other regular expenses. That way you will be more in control of the situation and not feel low because of cash towards the end of the month.
#6: Follow the seasons
Whether buying fruit, vegetables or picking designer bags, shop during the right season for the right things. Indulge in mango delicacies during summers when mangoes are available in plenty and strawberries in winter when they are fresh and priced economically.
Avail of heavy discounts during the holiday season on branded bags, shoes or dresses. It's all about being aware of pricing trends and then going in for that purchase at the right time.
#7: Be your own influencer
Define a good life your own way. Don't let advertisements or other people influence your idea of happiness. As philosophical as it may sound, it's important to think beyond money. While it does help buy things, it doesn't necessarily get you happiness. Instead of comparing lifestyles with others, figuring out what works best for you serves well. Living the rich life is all about living the way you want to.
#8: Beyond numbers
Riches are about giving. Spend time with family and friends. Every opportunity to celebrate must be seized. Whether is a small gift or taking your loved ones out for dinner, it's important to make them feel special. Not much can be gained by trying to save up while cutting down on these expenses.
Only when you see money make loved ones smile, are you going to feel rich and blessed.
A wise man once said, wealthy is he who has gathered smiles. While it is important to earn, save and invest smartly one must not lose sight of the ultimate goal of wealth. The value of wealth is directly related to your happiness. It is indeed possible to live a rich life without having loads of spare cash. Cheers to a grand life anyway!
The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.