The key…is being satisfied with what we already have

Posted by on 02.28.08 | 1 Comment
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I read Get Rich Slowly almost every day, but today’s post stood out, so I’m posting an excerpt. Great site of practical information about how to increase our sense of well-being, which of course, includes personal finance. –Beth, VTH Host

Ray laughed. “Some of my own friends wonder what I could possibly know about money. I live in a small house. I drive a beat-up old car. They drive new cars and live in McMansions. They don’t think I know what I’m talking about. They don’t understand that the key to wealth is being satisfied with what you already have.”

I murmured agreement as Ray continued: “‘I’ve lived in the same house for 28 years,’ I say to my friends. ‘My house is paid for. Is yours? My car is paid for. Is yours? I could retire today. Could you?’ I don’t have a boat, I don’t have an RV, and I don’t have fancy clothes,” Ray said, indicating his modest attire. “I save my money. I invest it. That’s the way to wealth.”

Normally when I visit customers, we only talk about boxes. It was exciting for me to find somebody so passionate about saving, somebody who grasped the fundamentals of personal finance. But one point stuck out especially: “The key to wealth is being satisfied with what you already have,” said Ray. He’s right.

I used to believe that “wealth” meant being able to buy whatever I wanted. I felt rich if I could buy something new, even if I were purchasing it on credit. Over the past couple years, however, I’ve learned to take pleasure in the things I already own. Why do I need more comic books when I already have a large library of them? Why do I need to own another bike? What will a new chair do for me that my existing chair does not? If anything, I want less stuff.

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