Happy Wednesday! Before I dive into today’s topic, I don’t know if anyone noticed but I got a new theme installed on my blog! It’s from Pixel Me Designs and I could not be happier with it. Laura, the designer, is wonderful to work with. I purchased a pre-made theme but emailed her a question and she responded immediately. I am all about good customer service and Laura surpassed my expectations! For those of you new to my blog, I have a self-hosted WordPress site and am using Genesis Framework. Laura provided me with the Child Theme that goes along with Genesis Framework. You can read more on how to start a blog here.
The original theme I was using didn’t properly load “page 2” and on, making it difficult to navigate my site. I deleted that theme a few weeks ago and was just running off of Genesis Framework. I took my time purchasing my current theme because I wanted to find one that I LOVED and that was functional. Having an appealing, easy-to-navigate, fully functioning site is vital if you wish to make money from your blog.
Anyways, on to today’s topic…
How to feel rich regardless of income
Lately, I’ve been feeling “rich” despite having low income months. And if we’re all being honest, don’t we all strive to have a decent amount of money to where we no longer stress about it? We all have different definitions of rich and different income levels, but I think we can all agree that having enough money to not have to worry about it would be nice. So, here’s how lately I’ve felt “rich” even though our income varies from month to month (and it has yet to be what I would consider “high”).
We save money
Every.single.month. Since John and I both work for ourselves, the money we save is beyond what we save for taxes. Some months we save $1000 and some months we save $50, but we always transfer some money from checking into our Synchrony savings account. We also automatically invest money in mutual funds every month. To me, saving money just makes me feel rich, even if that number is low. It’s refreshing to know that we’re not living paycheck to paycheck and that even if we didn’t make ANY money for a few months, we would be fine.
We live below our means
If you’re actually rich (let’s say making over $150K a year), yet live at or above your means, you probably don’t feel like you have money. Because let’s face it, you don’t. If an emergency were to happen, you would have to rely on a credit card to pay for it. If you want to purchase a new piece of furniture or go on a vacation, you have to save up for it for a few months or again, put it on a credit card. While John and I do rent a rather large house, we live below our means in every other area. We don’t spend excessively on food or entertainment, we don’t have cable, we fix things ourselves, etc. Living below our means allows us to save money every month, which in turn makes me feel rich.
We buy what’s important to us
If I’m always depriving myself of things that I want or things that are important to me, I certainly don’t feel rich. Even if I had millions in the bank, I wouldn’t feel rich if I never allowed myself to buy anything. I can sometimes be an extremist in that area where I’ll want to save every extra penny that we make and live ridiculously below our means. While that can work for some people, for me, it doesn’t always give me the best quality of life. Lately, John and I have been splurging a bit more and purchasing things that are important to us. We both enjoy traveling, we like to make our house look homey and decorated, we enjoy dining out a few times a month (at cheap places) and cooking good meals and we love driving around looking at neighborhoods while sipping a Starbucks iced coffee. None of these (outside of traveling) are all that expensive, but they do add value to our lives. An easy way to feel rich is to allow yourself to spend money on things that bring you happiness.
I should also note that these “things” need to be within reason, you have to be living below your means and you have to be saving money every month in order for this to work. If you’re not saving money and in debt, I don’t recommend allowing yourself little luxuries often until you’re at a place where you can comfortably afford them.
We’re always striving to earn more money
John worked for himself when we first started dating and all the way up until our first daughter was 8 months old. While we never missed a bill, I was constantly a ball of stress. I hated the fact that we didn’t know what our income was going to be and it terrified me that we didn’t have a steady pay check. To say I was relieved when he got a full-time job for a company would be an understatement. Even though he made less money overall, I liked knowing the money was guaranteed, even if it was for a smaller amount.
Fast-forward 2 years and John is currently working for himself again. I am no longer stressed out about not knowing when we’ll get paid. In fact, this is the least stressed I’ve ever been in my life regarding money and both John and I are self-employed. The reason for this is I’m realizing just how easy it is to make money. There are literally thousands of ways to make more money. If John or myself actually got to the point where we didn’t have work for months in our field, we would simply find another way to bring in an income. Between finding gigs online, selling items on Craigslist, getting a part-time job, refinishing and selling furniture, taking on another side hustle and more, I just don’t think we’re ever NOT going to be bringing in money. We set goals every month and discuss ways to increase our income often. While our methods don’t always work, we’re at least talking about it and striving for success.
We give money away
There really is no better way to feel like you have money than to give it away. While this is a work in progress for us, we’re getting better at donating to people and causes that we support. I also enjoy spending money on my family and friends. Treating a friend for lunch or a coffee, flying home to visit family, sending birthday gifts and more go a long way in helping you feel rich not only monetarily, but also in life.
I once read that being poor is a state of mind (This is from Rich Dad, Poor Dad *affiliate link*). Being broke is just temporary. You can be rich and have months that you’re broke. You can also be “poor” (as in your state of mind) and have months that are great. When I read this, something clicked. I’m NOT poor. My money habits, work ethic and way of life all say otherwise. This simple change in thought has – quite simply – made me feel rich regardless of my income for that month.
What are your thoughts? Do you have a poor-man’s mentality or a rich one? What in life makes you feel rich (other than family, good relationships, faith, etc…that’s a post for a whole other day!)?
photo credit: Flickr via 401 (k) 2012