Liezel Gordon, Client Engagement and Team Lead at Metropolitan GetUp
How to Get Rich – an eight-part series currently trending on Netflix – follows Ramit Sethi, bestselling author of a book by the same title, as he helps people navigate their money issues.
What makes the series so riveting is the double entendre in ‘How to Get Rich’ because, in fact, the premise of the show is less about making millions and more about identifying what a rich, fulfilling and rewarding life is to you.
What is a rich life?
Thanks to the show, the idea of a ‘rich life’ has been buzzing all over the internet. Liezel Gordon, Client Engagement and Team Lead at Metropolitan GetUp, believes that “a ‘rich life’ is multifaceted and measured beyond solely money or possessions.
“The idea of a ‘rich life’ – where money is seen as a tool to enrich one’s life rather than simply to make one rich – is very attractive to millennials and Gen Zs. These individuals see money as the gateway to fulfilling their dreams, which are bigger than just ‘being rich’.
“A rich life is different things to different people. For some, it could entail the means and freedom to travel at the drop of a hat, while for others it might mean owning a big family home for their children to grow up in and enjoy.
“It includes having fulfilling relationships, being healthy and in a good place mentally and spiritually, as well as having enough money to cover your needs and facilitate your dreams. It means being free from constant financial anxiety or stress.”
Gordon shares some tips on what you need to do to move towards your rich life.
Dig deep to identify what a rich life is to you.
The first step is to identify what a rich life is to you, and this is where you need to get visual, says Gordon. “Write it down, draw it, create a mood board: there is power in visualising the life we want.
“Then, interrogate your vision – ask yourself ‘why?’ five times, which will help you get to the root of your desire and understand what is truly important to you.”
- Why do you want the fancy car? Because I like it.
- Why do you like it? Because it’s expensive.
- Why is it important to you that it be expensive? Because I see it as a symbol of status.
- Why do you want this status symbol? Because others will think more of me.
- Why is it important that others think more of you? Because I want to feel that I belong…but perhaps there’s a better way of achieving this.
“As you become more aware of the dimensions at play in your desires, you might start to question if the thing that you think you want will really make you authentically happy.”
Identify the path to get you there.
Once you understand what a rich life looks like to you, you need to take the first step, which is different for everyone. “There is no blanket advice; you need to work out a personalised plan that will get you closer to the life you envision.
“If your idea of a rich life is to be a digital nomad who can live and work from wherever you choose, you’ll need to find a job or start a business that allows you to do this, which could take some time. You might need to change direction and potentially study again. You might need to build up a cash buffer. This could involve sacrifice, such as renting a smaller apartment so that you can put some money away, or offering a service, such as house-sitting, which earns you extra income.”
Remove money as a source of unhappiness
Gordon says that money should be viewed as an enabler of a rich life. “Yes, it should move you forward, but it must also help you avoid disaster. Because money (or lack thereof) can be a huge source of unhappiness – and an unhappy life is not a rich one.
“Identify what is blocking you from creating a rich life, or what could someday threaten the life you’re working towards.” Some things that you should consider are:
- Manage money flowing in and out by understanding your budget – you always want your overall income to exceed your expenses. If this isn’t happening, see how you can reduce expenses, consolidate debt repayments or increase income. One way to supplement your earnings is to use your assets to generate extra income. For example, can you work from home and avoid paying for office space or can you rent out a room?
- Take out insurance to protect what you have built, so that should an unexpected disaster strike, you will not be left without anything.
- Eliminate bad debt but also use credit wisely, if it can move you forward. For instance, few people can buy a property with cash, but if you buy a property that offers growth or income generating potential, it might put you in a better financial position over time and then it makes sense to use credit to help move you forward.
Gordon says that if you can identify with confidence what a rich life is to you, then you can start to make it a reality. “There are so many opportunities to create a rich life if you just open yourself to it. But there are also many real and seemingly insurmountable obstacles that we face every day. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by how big or how far away our “rich life” is, and it paralyses us. If you focus on the little things you can do each day – and then consistently do those things – the rich life you envision slowly becomes more of a reality and less of a dream.
“You may not be fully in control of all the things that happen to you in life. But you are in control of your choices and how you respond. The decisions you make determine the life you live. Choose wisely,” she adds.