It’s a common myth that all you need to do to get rich is make a bunch of money.
This has been proven time and again to be patently false.
The latest example is plucked right from today’s headlines…
Many know the talented actress Brett Butler from her popular sitcom in the 90’s ‘Grace Under Fire’. Despite having made $250,000 an episode from the hit series, Butler is in the news lately because she’s 6 months behind on her rent. You can read the article here.
You’ve undoubtedly read similar stories in the past. A highly paid athlete or lottery winner, once riding high on their sky-high incomes, only to be saddled with debt and money problems later in life.
The phenomena of people earning a high salary but not being able to parlay that into wealth is so commonplace there’s even an acronym for it – HENRY (high earner, not rich yet). The phrase was coined by a writer at Fortune magazine nearly 20 years ago.
HENRY’s make good money – on average $150,000-$250,000 a year but their incomes don’t make them rich.
Because oftentimes they’re too busy being aspirational rich.
Here’s what I mean…
When HENRYs have been interviewed, they tend to rattle off a series of expensive habits that describe their lifestyle – staying at luxury hotels, taking international vacations, owning two homes and the like.
But rather than enjoy these things responsibly, by partaking in them at a level below their means, they engage in these activities at, or above, their means. They’re literally working, earning a paycheck, and then giving the bulk of that paycheck to others. These people have been called the “working rich”. If they stop working, they won’t be rich.
Look, I’m all for enjoying the good life. You work hard and you should enjoy life. But living paycheck to paycheck, regardless of how much you make is a sucker’s game. It’s lunacy for someone to avail themselves of the same lifestyle as wealthier people, while also sacrificing their ability to build wealth.
Which leads to me the point of today’s essay – wealth is not built on what you make. It’s built on what you keep.
Of course you need to earn more to build wealth. You should always be looking to improve yourself and for opportunities to increase your earnings. But at the same time, it’s vitally important that you wall off a portion of your earnings for investment.
You see, true high net worth individuals take a portion of their income and buy income-producing assets such as stocks, real estate and businesses. If you want to be financially free, it’s important that you do the same so that you make money mainly from these activities, instead of from a job like HENRYs.
If you can relate to this article, I want you to know that there’s still time to turn things around.
Changes you make today can make the difference between having money later or living paycheck to paycheck, retiring early or never retiring at all, having peace of mind or struggling to make ends meet. What you do now matters, even if you’re late to the game.
The most important thing when building wealth is to think long-term. Wealth building is not about what will get you through this week, month, or year. Think about where you’ll be in five, 10, or 20 years if nothing changes. Take that to heart and start living below your means.
The most important part of the HENRY acronym is the ‘not rich yet’ part. It speaks to the future potential of someone that’s a high earner. If you take some basic steps to save a portion of your income, invest it wisely and spend prudently, you’ll become rich and achieve financial freedom. If not, there’ll be a different spelling of the acronym for you – HENRE – High Earner Not Rich Ever. Don’t let that happen to you.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.
P.S.S. Looking to make an overnight fortune? Don’t sign-up to receive my newsletter below. There’s no magic secret. Becoming financially free takes time and dedication. But learning professional-grade money skills can have a life changing effect. If you’re ready to put in the work and learn, I can show you how to achieve financial freedom faster than normal.
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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: