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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.

Don’t Shop Till All Your Money Drops


Shopoholism is a condition where the mind pulls the trigger to shoot itself, the bank balance and the social life. Typically, a shopoholic shops till he drops and then he gets up again and keeps on going, and the cycle continues — yeah, shopoholism is a dangerous addiction that can end up ruining finances and isolating you from family and friends.

So, are you a shopoholic? Here’s a small test that can help you find out:

  1. Do you shop when you feel angry, nervous or sad?
  2. Do your shopping habits cause conflicts in your family?
  3. Do you get a sense of insecurity when you find you aren’t carrying a credit card?
  4. Do you buy anything on credit even if you have the cash to pay for it?
  5. Does spending money excite you?
  6. Do you feel ashamed and embarrassed after you’re done with your shopping?
  7. Have you ever lied to your family members about the amount of money you have spent on shopping?
  8. Do you keep thinking about money and shopping most of the time?
  9. Do you postpone important payments so that you can shop now?

If you exhibit any 3-4 of these behaviors, then, buddy, you are a shopoholic.
Causes of Shopoholism
No one knows what causes shopoholism — the easy availability of money (personal loans, credit cards, etc.) combined with the need to feel good and/or impress friends is the most likely cause. Scientists say that 10-15% of shopoholics are prone to addictive behavior due to their genetic makeup. When a shopoholic purchases something, he feels good because the opiate receptor sites in his brain get turned on, and that kind of spurs him on to shop again and again – and he goes for broke. No matter what the causes are — the effects of shopoholism are deadly and if you are a mild shopoholic, then it’s time to enroll with Debtors Anonymous and also see a credit counselor. If your shopoholism has got out of hand then it’s time to see a therapist who will put you on a cognitive-behavioral treatment program before you shop till you drop all your money, friends and happiness, and maybe even yourself.