Here’s a loaded question for you: Are you rich?
One of the numbers that is repeatedly thrown about to represent “being rich” is an annual salary of $250,000 a year. Others, though, don’t consider you “rich” unless you make $1 million. I know some families who would consider themselves “rich” if they could hit the $100,000 mark for an annual salary.
Obviously, the definition of “rich” is something that is completely subjective. One person’s “rich” is another person’s “poor”. Indeed, most of us probably just prefer to think of ourselves as “middle class”, even though many of us think it would be nice to be “rich” some day.
So let’s try to define it despite all the baggage. We could run into problems though, since “richness” can’t really be defined by something as simple as a dollar amount. Here’s a few more pointers to consider:
Location, Location, Location
One of the biggest issues affecting how “rich” you are is where you live. I live in an area where my earnings as a freelance writer have garnered us a comfortable (yet modest) home, and the ability to meet all of our expenses with ease. We are saving for retirement, and saving for short term goals. And we still have money left over to enjoy eating out sometimes, watch movies on occasion and even travel to see family. My husband can buy video games when he wants, and I can get the new book I’ve been waiting for when it comes out. However, if we lived somewhere else, our income wouldn’t go nearly as far.
As long as we are living where we do, we might be considered “rich” — even though we don’t make anywhere near $250,000 a year. But if we moved to someplace along the coast, we’d quickly find ourselves feeling “poor”. Indeed, even those “rich” folks making more than $250,000 a year might feel themselves “poor” when living in a high priced area where a big chunk of their income is taken up by expensive housing, and where discretionary income dwindles, even with a large salary.
As Vered once said, your address can make a big difference.
Do You Need More Money to Feel “Rich”?
Another consideration is that “rich” does not always equate to money. If you are content with your current income, making extra money is not as important. Many people feel “rich” even when they make less than $100,000 a year because of other factors:
- Good health
- Surrounded by family
- Enjoy time with friends
- Content with frugal entertainment choices
- No need to clutter the house with stuff
- Feel accomplishment when saving up for goals (such as travel)
For many, being debt free and able to save for the future, while enjoying the simple pleasures of life, constitutes “wealth.” And, truth to tell, a lot of my contentment comes from being able to take my son to the little zoo we have in town ($1 for each of us), or heading up to the lake, an hour away, for a little camping trip. No need to spend big bucks, and I feel richly blessed just floating in a $3 tube on the lake after waking up to a chorus of birds.
In the end, whether or not you are “rich” depends little on an arbitrary dollar amount. It really depends on your own situation, your money motivations and how you feel about your personal finances.
So, with that in mind, are you rich? What makes you rich (or poor)?