The 30K Millionaire: Warren Buffett Does It Better
You can go to just about any city these days and find a plethora of 30K Millionaires. You may or may not be familiar with this term, but certainly have seen these types of people in action. 30K’ers are effectively dooming their future for the instant gratification they can receive in the now. If we take a close look at what they do you can find a good example of what not to do. Persons of this variety tend to have a lot of nice things, though they don’t actually own them. As the name implies they want to give the outward perception of a millionaire but on a $30,000 salary. They generally aren’t frugal, so penny-pinching isn’t their thing, and thusly they are notorious for paying sticker price so they can let someone else know how much they paid for it later. You can often find them in leased luxury cars such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi, et al. When seen in public it is likely they wear only name-brand items, see also brand-whore. They tend to have five or more credit cards to help finance these expensive tastes. They’ll often have the newest smart phone, all the cool gadgets, and likely a high dollar haircut and dye job. All of this bought today with the intention of paying it back in the future, if they can afford it. Debt is their best friend and all in the name of status.
So, what is the end-game for these insipid social climbers? Could it be the thin veneer of success is the end in and of itself? There is a high probability that attracting sexual attention of others is a large part of it. For the most part twenty to thirty something’s fall victim to this type of lifestyle and I would say overall the majority are males, however females have been known to lead this type of life as well. Motivations and demographics aside this is a huge problem if true success is ever to be had. Young men these days are on the whole lacking role models. The media has crammed down their throats the visions of pop stars, movie stars, and worst of all professional athletes. Your average Joe then feels he’s not successful unless he dons fancy clothes, drives a fancy car, and beds as many beautiful people as he can. You could say that’s a very superficial explanation but it may be the best one we have for how superficial people are trying to be. If you’ve ever entered the online or app dating sphere it’s obvious a lot of people are less than genuine and sadly that seems to be the standard in the modern social scene. It’s sort of a downward spiral. We have people trying to deceive for the sake of status, they thereby cannot be honest with the people with which they are interacting as they must keep up a charade, and therefore since they are unable to be genuine nothing meaningful will come of it and in the process, they are possibly damaging someone else making it harder for them to develop meaningful relationships in the future. Sadly, 30K millionaires aren’t only damaging their future they are potentially doing the same thing to those they interact with.
Awareness and self-honesty is key. When I moved to a larger city and first started to notice all the flash that people who were ten years younger than me had I originally thought, “Wow! These people must be really successful! I wonder what they do… must have a great job!” I even felt a little down on myself at times. How could these younger people have so much more than me? I started to question my life choices, even my present ones, which I knew to be sound. When I got to know a few of these people I really was taken aback. The veil was lifted and I started to be able to see what was really going on. It wasn’t that I craved all these fancy things they had. It was they were giving the impression they were doing so much better than I was, but their bank statements told a different story. In the game of life there are many right ways, but the way 30K’ers play it certainly is not one of them. There’s no future in mind - no savings, no real career path, no investments, no plan.
If you see a lot of the 30K millionaire’s traits in your actions it may be time to do a little soul searching and retool your approach. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some of the finer things in life, but I don’t want them unless I earn them. Upon my first meeting with a mentor of mine, he did something to really drive that point home. We were sitting in his conference room adjacent to one another at a long table made of exotic wood, so shiny and reflective you could have used it to have a morning shave. To call this man successful may be an understatement. He could retire today and still have enough money for generations of his family to live lavishly. We were talking about doing great things and the rewards that can come with them. Suddenly he stopped and pulled out a set of keys he had in his pocket and put them on the table. He said in all seriousness, “These are the keys to my vehicle. If you want it, take it, it’s yours.” I looked at the keys and back at him. This vehicle, at the time, would have been the equivalent of six years of my salary! I politely declined his offer. He smiled grandly and said, “I knew you wouldn’t take it. Know why? Because you didn’t earn it. If you were the type of person who would have I never would have agreed to meet with you.” He was right on all accounts. People who are truly successful don’t get that way by not being able to read people.
We could all do a bit better if we took a page from Warren Buffett’s book. The man knows how to be frugal. Being frugal may not be sexy or popular but it can sure get you to where you want to go. Warren Buffett is currently the 2nd richest man on the planet according to Forbes Magazine. Some interesting things about the man:
He still lives in the same house he bought in 1958 for $31,500, which would be the equivalent to about $260,000 today.
He’s had the same wallet for 20 years.
He doesn’t buy brand new or luxury cars.
He doesn’t have expensive hobbies, he loves to play the card game Bridge.
He doesn’t spend more than $3.17 on breakfast.
The 2nd richest man in the world lives well beneath that of a $30K millionaire though he has the dough to best them. If you’re into living a hollow, false status lifestyle then by all means go for it. You’re definitely going to keep the credit card companies happy. Though if you want to live genuinely and become successful take the correct steps to do so. There’s nothing wrong with saving money or being frugal. The best way to make money is to save money, because you can’t put your money to work for you if you don’t have any. There’s a million little tips to help you along that path and a simple Google search is right at your fingertips for them. If you’re living like a 30K’er you best rethink your ways. If you’re already on your way to success then bully for you! If you’re like most people I think you’re somewhere in between waiting to make a move. Now’s the time! Choose a path and get after it!