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How Living Cheap, Looking Rich Can Help Your Personal Finance and Career in Recession

Live Cheap, Look RichLiving below your means doesn’t seem a desirable decision to survive today’s recession.

There are better ways, and although living below your means are the next logical step when you are in financial strain, your sense of achievement must be maintained.

Why is that?

In order to keep yourself on track in navigating through the economic storm, you need to stay focus. Staying focus can be achieved through the fulfillment of your need for achievement – and living below your mean is not the way to fulfill yours.

Live cheap, look rich

Living cheap is not living below your means. Living cheap means living within a closely controlled budget to achieve the living standard that anybody else has on a higher budget.

The main idea of living cheap, looking rich is to aim to get the best deal in every way, including clothing, entertainment, etc. in such a way that nobody would know that you spend less for the look you have right now.

‘Look’ here is not only clothing, accessories, or any other apparel and fashion related products – ‘look’ is your lifestyle, in a standard that can’t be achieved by living below your means.

‘Look’ is going to Starbucks occasionally, and socialise with your friends and colleagues. ‘Look’ is how people perceive of you, no matter you achieve ‘it’ by bootstrapping. You shouldn’t overdo them, though.

The key in living cheap is total control of your budget.

Why living cheap, looking rich is smart

We live in a society that value physical appearance, lifestyle and charisma. Enhancing yours will actually help you land better job, secure more business, or socialise with more people (which can present you with more opportunities) – all in all will affect your bottom line: your personal finance, in a positive way.

You deal with people, and most of them don’t really care how much you make – what they care is what they see, and how they preceive of you. For example, in a meeting with business prospect, you need a professional look that commands confidence, charisma, and trustworthy. You don’t want to meet your future client in your t-shirt, don’t you.

How to live cheap, look rich

There are ways you can consider to live cheap but look rich:

  • If you are into fashion and business as well, purchase your clothing needs with a wholesaler. While hard to find, wholesale clothes can save you a lot of money. The problem is, they usually only allow you to buy in bulk (usually in half-dozen or dozen).
  • Alternatively, you can shop in consignment and/or discount stores.
  • Shop for everything on the web – groceries, clothing, accessories, electronics, travel deals, etc. You can always receive a lower price for the same item you want.
  • Attend charity events and/or be volunteer. Charity events – the large one – are where socialites and celebrities. Attending the events, as an attendee or a volunteer will help you raise your profile.
  • Purchase used car – no body is really care how much you pay for the car, as long as its condition is top-notch.

Remember, don’t live below your means – Live cheap, look rich. That is good for your economics and, in effect, your personal finance endeavour.

Image by net_efekt.

The Price of Immediate Gratification

We live in a now world. We’re not taught to delay satisfaction of our wants and desires, but why is it so important to own something new at the first moment possible?


If you look at marketing, there are curves of acceptance. Early Adopters is the term for people who pick up something early on. They help to pave the way for the masses that will follow. When you combine that curve with the concept of economies of scale, you realize that as more people buy the product, the price invariably becomes cheaper. Prices will also drop once initial demand is supplied.

A great example of this is with DVDs. When a new DVD goes on sale, the cost is usually much higher than it will be a month later. Yet, people still go to buy DVDs when they are first released. Why?

Delaying gratification isn’t as hard of a concept as it seems. Yes, you deny yourself something you want for a time, but that’s getting easier as time goes on anyway. It used to be that you would need to stay up late to watch TV shows, or miss out on something else. Then VCRs came along. Now we have PVRs and DVD recorders which are even more efficient. Instead of losing sleep, these appliances help you take something you want and move it to a time where it benefits you more. When you look at the bigger picture, isn’t that similar to waiting a month to get half off the price of your DVD?

While being an early adopter can be fun, it’s an expensive place to be in. You will pay more for goods and services that generally aren’t as good, as the bugs get worked out by the first users.

Delayed gratification means you experience all of the same things, but by doing so later, you save yourself time. So, while immediate gratification can be a good feeling, is it worth the cost to you?