Living in mega mansions…driving shiny, new sports cars….vacationing in hot spots around the globe…wearing designer duds…these are all trappings of a rich life. We’re taught from birth that acquiring wealth and being rich will give you the best life possible.
The problem is 99 percent of us can’t afford to live rich. Even maxing out our credit cards, taking out loans and spending every dollar we make won’t be enough to afford us a $20,000 a month house in a cool zip code. It also won’t be enough for a brand new Rolls Royce or a hotel suite in the hottest hotel in Paris, France or a Tom Ford suit. Those luxury items just aren’t in the cards for us.
The good news is that those are just the trappings of wealth. They are things that make rich people feel like they are living the best life possible. That’s what living rich is all about really…feeling good.
So how do you acquire that feeling without going broke? I’ll tell you how…
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First things first, you need to define what living rich means to you. Everyone has different images that come to mind upon hearing words like luxury, riches, and wealth. What I think of living rich may not be the same for you.
To do this I want you to sit back and close your eyes. Imagine yourself living in the lap of luxury. You’re rich beyond your wildest fantasy. What does the picture look like? Does it involve a nice home with a pool…a fancy car…a nice watch and designer shoes? Most likely your vision includes all of those things. Nearly everyone imagines homes, cars, vacations, dining out and an upgraded wardrobe when they think about living like the rich. The type and location differs from person to person, but it almost always involves all those symbols.
Let’s examine each of those categories and I’ll tell you how you can live just like the richest men in America on a poor person’s budget.
For the home
While you may not be able to afford a 10,000 square foot mansion on the water you can incorporate some of the lavish touches those types of homes have into your own home. No need to remodel the kitchen or add a room on to your house, instead make these few upgrades that don’t cost much at all.
Many high end homes include wine cellars. That can be a pricey addition to your more modest home that you probably wouldn’t see a return on your money for. Instead install a wine cooler as a more space and price conscious way to store your favorite wines. This feature gives off an air of sophistication and affluence to a homeowner-two feelings associated with living richly.
Tabletop wine coolers will run you only about $100-150. While under-counter built-in looking ones will run you closer to $600-2,000.
You can also get that luxurious, rich feeling in the bathroom by installing a rain water shower head. This small change can transform your bathroom into a spa with multiple settings and soothing water drops. Best of all this change will only cost you $100-175 for a relaxing shower experience.
When you pictured your house in your vision did it include a movie theater? Many mansions have elaborate screening rooms with powerful built-in sound systems. There’s no need to take out a home equity line of credit and gut a room in your house to get that same in home movie theater feeling.
Many home theater installation companies as well as big box electronic stores sell home theater in a box kits. They generally include multiple speakers that you can place around the room, an amplifier and a subwoofer to get you that wow experience. Pair that with a high definition television and comfy couch and you’ll get that same movie theater experience right in your own home! These kits usually run about $200-1,000. Look on re-seller sites like Ebay and Craigslist to get kits like these for big discounts.
Rich looking rides
Porsche…Cadillac…Mercedes…Rolls Royce, are all luxury automobile brands that are out of reach for most of us. While you may be driving a Kia or a Chevrolet right now it is possible to get an upscale vehicle the next time you purchase a car.
High end cars become affordable when they are a few years old and have some miles on them. People that purchase expensive brands of cars generally only drive them for a few years, then want to trade in for whatever the latest, greatest model of the moment is.
The great thing for you is that luxury vehicles don’t hold their value in the first few years of ownership; they generally decrease in value by 20 percent. So while rich people generally lose money on these vehicles the people that buy them next don’t! The best part is these high end vehicles usually have had stellar maintenance records and are extremely well built so you end up with an affordable luxury vehicle that is very reliable. Plus no one knows that you only paid half as much as someone buying a brand new sedan!
Five star vacations for a one star price
An essential part of living rich is to go on amazing vacations. The rich relax in places like Paris, Vail, and St. Bart’s. While you probably can’t afford those high end places you can still get the same kind of cultural and luxurious experience at places that are less known. Instead of Paris, try Krakow, Poland. Krakow is just as beautiful and bustling with entertainment, but not as pricey. High end hotels there will only run you about $200 a night.
Always look for places that aren’t as popular, but will give you just as rich of an experience. Instead of skiing in Vail, opt for Okemo in Vermont, and instead of St. Bart’s check out Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela. You can also have a fabulous vacation at a high end resort if you go during the off season. All of the hotels on Caribbean islands are cheaper during the summer months because of the threat of hurricanes.
Culinary cuisine on the cheap
The internet is your friend when it comes to dining out at high end restaurants at affordable prices. Create accounts with coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social, they frequently run offers for discounted meals at five start restaurants.
You can also uncover your city’s best restaurants by trolling foodie loving websites like chowhound.com and yelp.com. Websites like these are constantly updated with notes from people who love to dine out and find the best deals on local eateries. Read reviews about food, service, atmosphere and price before deciding where to eat out.
These sites are also great for finding out where culinary stars that have left high end eateries for greener pastures will resurface. This way you can get taste five star meals made by noted chef’s at bargain prices.
Designer duds at discount prices
Rich people buy designer clothes like they do luxury vehicles, they pay full price and then quickly get bored with them when something new appears on the horizon. This allows those of us with more modest budgets to afford these high end threads, you just have to be willing to buy it used.
A great place to get designer clothing that will make you look rich, but for a fraction of the cost is to shop in consignment shops in wealthy areas. I have found the Goodwill store on Palm Beach island is usually packed with name brand clothing that wealthy people have given away after only wearing it once. Take a road trip to a consignment or discount store in an area where rich people live and you’ll likely find brand name and designer clothing at affordable prices.
Wealthy people also use tailors quite a bit to make their garments appear custom made. You should do the same. Take your favorite pieces to the tailor and have them tighten the arms and hem the bottom to just the right length to achieve the best look possible.
Just because you don’t have the same financial backing as the rich do, doesn’t mean you still can’t live life like a millionaire. America’s elite want the same things you do-to be happy and for their purchases to make them feel good. You can have the same luxurious experiences and buy the same quality items when you know where and how to shop. And now you do!
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