Living Large on what you Earn

Despite the downturn in the economy, most wealthy people are still living pretty large.  This happens throughout history.  The working classes lose the most in a recession, while the wealthy seem to ride it out in style.  Sure, a couple of rich people will lose their fortunes, but it’s nothing compared to the millions of hard working people who are losing their homes.

What most people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be wealthy or even high income in order to live large.  Since we all deserve to live large, here are a couple of tips that I use to live large on a modest income.

Step One – Keep it Real

The first lesson of living large is to stop desiring what you can’t afford.  Why dream of luxury cars and mansions, when you’re bringing home a blue-collar paycheck?  Why covet clothing, jewelry, cars and flat-screen TVs when you are up to your eyeballs in debt?  This doesn’t bring about happiness.  It brings about feelings of inadequacy, jealousy and discontent.  If you wish to dream of a better life, start by dreaming up a plan to increase your income.  Nothing is more deflating to a soul than idle dreams and empty promises.

Materialism is a curse that was created to enrich others at our expense.  All of the advertising we see is designed for one purpose, to separate us from our money.  Advertised items are presented with a highly inflated value.  And, the advertised benefits are dubious at best.  Seriously, how many times have you hooked up because of your deodorant?  You rarely need something you see in an advertisement, which is why these companies are paying to reach you.  The sooner you recognize this scam, the happier your life will become.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods. – 10th Commandment

Step Two – Enjoy what you Have

The second lesson of living large is to enjoy what you have.  Appreciate your health, your talent, your family and your friends.  These are the most valuable things you posses, because they cannot be purchased for any amount of money.  Treat each day as a gift and you will have a wonderful life.  Treat your finances as sacred and your income will become a blessing.

Relish the opportunities that are available to you.  You are living in the most prosperous time that has ever existed throughout history.  And, you may be living in the richest country on the face of the planet.  You are fortunate to be alive right now.  You weren’t born a slave or a servant, so don’t act like one.  Seize your opportunities and become the person you dream of being.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. – Benjamin Franklin

Step Three – Reward Yourself

Wednesday, I watched an Angel’s game with my brother, daughter and niece.  As I was sitting in the stands watching the Angels beat up on the Rockies, a pleasant thought occured to me.  I am so thankful that I can finally afford many of the fun things I like to do.  Ten years ago, there’s no way I could have afforded my share of the season tickets.  That money would have gone to pay the bills, with nothing left over for me.  Now, I can afford a little entertainment and I treat myself and my family.  This has made our lives so much more enjoyable.  Rewards don’t have to be expensive in order to be valuable.

All of those years when I struggled to make ends meet, it never occurred to me that I just needed to earn more money.  It never dawned on me that I deserved a bigger reward for all of my hard work.  I used to be proud of the fact that I had worked for almost a decade without taking a two-week vacation.  Now, I realize that a decade of my life passed me by, while I was slaving away to make someone else rich.  Of all the foolish things I have done to myself, this has to be one of the worst.  Don’t let a year go by without doing something special for yourself.  If you work hard, then you deserve it.

Pay yourself first and then reward yourself second.

Step Four – Plan for the Future

The final lesson of living large is that it doesn’t matter where you are today; it matters where you are going.  Back when I was pushing a lawnmower for my brother’s landscaping company, I knew some day I would become a professional.  Others warned me not to quit my job, but I had bigger goals in mind.  There were years of college, a couple of layoffs and some lousy jobs along the way.  But, I have accomplished my career goals and have a bright future.  Wonderful things are possible, if you are willing to do what it takes to get there.

I had a similar experience with my finances.  I started out with a very low income and I could barely save for my future and feed my family at the same time.  But, after many years of hard work and savings, my income and investments rose steadily.   Even after the stock market collapse and tech bubble-burst, I have a bright financial future.

Don’t neglect your finances or you will limit your future.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that living large is easy, even on a modest income.  All it takes is a dedicated effort, a solid plan and perseverance.  Most important, it takes a wealthy mindset.  Once you believe that you deserve to live large, the path to get there will become very clear.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

William Feather – American Author

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