Wealth is the opposite of abs.
I’ve been feeling less than stellar about my appearance lately. I’ve always been an active person, but somehow working a desk job changed that. You’d think that after sitting all day I’d come home with pent up energy and want to run or burn it off. You would be very, very wrong. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch like some sloth that had given up on life.
Somehow, sitting all day zapped my energy to the point where even walking my dog seemed like a struggle. Luckily, I quit that job. I’ve slowly started working out again these past few weeks and *wow* is it humbling.
What the heck does this fitness rambling have to do with money?
As I work out and eat better I expect to get in better shape. Some of this will be in strength gains, increased energy, and improved stamina. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there is also a vain motivation behind it: I want to look better! I miss how my clothes and body used to look. Part of the payoff I’m expecting from working out is positive visual change. I want my abs back!
It struck me that this is exactly the opposite of improving your personal finance. The easiest way to improve your finances is to stop buying unnecessary sh*t. Therefore, outwardly you’ll appear less wealthy because you won’t have as many fancy things to show off.
In The Psychology of Money Morgan Housel discusses how wealth is what you DON’T see. Housel wrote:
“Wealth, in fact, is what you don’t see. It’s the cars not purchased. The diamonds not bought. The renovations postponed, the clothes forgone and the first-class upgrade declined. It’s assets in the bank that haven’t yet been converted into the stuff you see.”-Morgan Housel
Improving your finances often has a negative visual effect. You no longer have the fancy vacations to show photos of on Instagram. Your vehicle will be something older and paid off versus some shiny new sports car. Your clothes won’t have designer labels.
It’s easy to show off consumption & heavy spending. In fact it’s promoted! Hop on instagram and share a photo of the thing/experience you just spent wads of money on and you’ll get a lot of likes. The world tends to envy the people with the fanciest things. That causes society to set out to buy fancier items and emulate those people. Who doesn’t want immediate respect?
The part no one talks about?
The fact they are drowing in debt. That money worries keep them up at night. No one admits that their house of cards is built so delicately that one missed paycheck could cause the whole thing to crumble.
It’s unfortunate that good money habits outwardly make you appear LESS wealthy. Can you imagine if we all walked around with a digital net worth counter on our foreheads? Would your spending change?
The hard truth is that your outward appearance and possessions are the first thing society uses to determine whether they feel you’re successful. There’s no denying that the image you display will determine how strangers first view you. It’s in our instincts to judge first based on appearance, not substance. Picture walking into an interview: Do you dress nicely? Of course. You want your appearance to garner respect.
Fancy things= you must be successful! Less fancy things= you haven’t yet “made it” in life.
However, It’s a complete facade.
Often the most wealthy people do not flash their possessions or money.
Billionaire Warren Buffet lives in the same modest home he purchased decades ago. He could afford a gigantic mansion with 100’s of sports cars parked out front, yet he doesn’t feel the need to show his wealth.
Personally in the last year I’ve had a tremendous improvement to my net worth, yet you’d never know it looking at me. I live in the same house, drive the same paid off vehicle, and wear the same clothes (well, at least the ones that still fit *face palm*).
Wealth is the opposite of abs. It’s invisible. The less you try to look wealthy, the wealthier you’ll be. The world won’t know the huge progress you’re making, but you will. I promise you: it feels amazing.
The person you walk past on the street may not know how many zero’s you have in your accounts, but it still affects you. You’ll sleep better and slowly start to feel like you have options.
I’d choose that over a sports car coupled with a clausterophobic sense of debt any day!
Wealth is the opposite of abs. The more you see it, the less you have.
Gary Vaynerchuk stated:
“Most people would rather lose doing something that looks successful, than win doing something that looks dorky.”-Gary Vaynerchuk
Don’t go broke trying to look rich.
If you want to flaunt something, get some abs 😉