Friday, July 2, 2010

How do you define RICH?

A new friend of mine and I were out walking (go us!  Exercise is good!) and as women, we tend to drift from one conversation to another.  At this point, we were discussing the state of our housing, and how our home value is so pathetic that we have decided to boycott Zillow just because it is too depressing.

She made a comment that you are either rich or you are poor.  I asked her what was in between....and she said "nothing.  It is one or the other."  So this begged the question:  How do you define RICH?

I mean, I gotta know the rules.  My definition and hers might have differed.  I was just curious what she thought.  And as a new friend, I am still feeling out her thoughts on the big subjects.

Her definition:

  • No consumer debt
  • Putting away adequate money toward retirement
  • Putting away adequate money toward college savings for the kids (if you have them)
  • Able to live without a strict budget
  • Able to "enjoy life"....aka, going out to eat, vacations, etc
Well, based on this....I am poor.  Way poor.  But I am striving to be RICH!

How about you?  Are you rich or poor?


  1. I completely disagree with your new friend and while not knowing her, I am making the assumption that she has probably never actually been poor. Her definition of rich is good, but there is a middle and I think most of us fall in the middle.

    When you can't feed yourself and your kids. When you live in substandard housing, have no place to live, or you move from relative to relative always living with them "temporarily". Then your poor.

    If you have a roof over your head, food on the table, and clean water to drink your doing pretty good.

  2. According to that definition, I'm poor; however, I don't necessarily agree with that definition. I think I'm rich because I'm in good health, have wonderful friends, and a loving family. I also own my own home and can make the mortgage payments on it without too much trouble. I get to spend time in my garden and find joy in growing my own fruits, herbs and veggies. I guess it's all perspective.

  3. I'm poor according to your friend. We are saving adequately for our retirement and our kids' college. We also have fun eating out and going on vacation. However, if I didn't adhere to a strict budget, we would never be able to afford the college savings, vacations and eating out.

    I certainly don't feel poor!

  4. @Jenn - for the record, I agree with you. While I might not be living high on the hog, we aren't living in our car on or on a friend's sofa. I can feed my kids, and we can meet everyone's basic needs.

    @Gina - I love your definition!

    @Anonymous - Glad that you are able to do so much...but you accentuate the point still have to budget!!!

  5. According to your friend, I'm rich. I don't see myself as rich, though, because I'm a long, long way from being able to retire. Also, although I don't *have* to live on a strict budget, for the most part I do. Part of it is simply force of habit, but I also want to be able to retire in comfort one day.

  6. On a very loose intrepretation of your friend's definition... I'm RICH!!!

    But examined a bit more closely, I'm lacking in the following areas:
    Able to live without a strict budget
    I run on a semi-strict budget (I don't actually do a budget, but I'm still tight with respect to money).

    Able to "enjoy life"....aka, going out to eat, vactions, etc
    I'm able to do this, but a lot of it is because of friends. I go boating and wave running with childhood friends that own such toys, and even take vacations with family, so the cost are drastically reduced.

    The definition of Rich from my perspective is where if you were layed off, your interest from investments (or passive income) could cover you expenses. So for me being RICH is being financial independent. The money nominal value isn't important.

  7. If I were debt free with a $10,000 emergency fund I would feel rich. I am working on it. Have been for about 6 years now. Making progress. :)

  8. I'm poor. Super, super poor.

  9. I find the question based on the wrong premises; it assumes that money and wealth are the end. What I care about is if I can achieve my goals in life and be happy while doing them. Money is a means toward this goal, but it is not the end in and of itself.

  10. I purposely left it a little open ended....RICH is subjective. And money is one definition, but not the only one!