Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lifestyle creep-why the rich don't feel rich

There is an article on Yahoo (link) about a top 1% income earner that doesn't feel rich. I've seen another quote from the 19th century about a man that has an income of 20 pounds per year and expenses of 19 that feels well to do. Readers know that I am an advocate of living under your means. Luxuries are fine as long as they are conscious choices.

I remember when the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous started. I think that show and similar shows did a lot for lifestyle creep. It used to be that a $100,000 or $200,000 car was all that, and a $5,000 watch, an expensive one. Now the luxury companies have gotten word and have upped the ante. There are now super cars that cost seven figures and another $50k or $100k a year to insure and maintain them. There are watches that costs the same. No wonder the one-percenter doesn't feel rich, they can't buy into the lifestyle of the one-percent of the one-percent.

Even at the very top, billionaire Mark Cuban considered buying the baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the price tag was too high. In the art world, not so famous pieces are sometimes fetching astronomical prices at auction.

For average folks, the word balance is a good one, a balance between saving and spending. Misers tend to be unhappy people. At the other end, those that stretch their lifestyles to spend 100% or more of their income often feel worried and stressed. These extremes are not good things. The miser doesn't enjoy their money. The spender that lives on the edge feels a lot of stress when an unexpected bill comes up or there are rumors of layoffs. A healthy balance, making conscious choices about where the money goes, about the kind of life you really want, are what I suggest. A healthy dose of charitable giving and/or giving of time is another component for a grateful and healthy life.

Finally, for Memorial Day, here is Trace Adkins' Arlington on Youtube (link2). Remember and honor those that gave their lives.

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