When I started this blog 9 years ago, all I wanted to be was rich and famous so I could buy whatever I wanted and drive my fancy cars to all my fancy houses.
I was 27, not married (yet), no kids, and quite honestly had no idea of what true wealth meant :)
These days I still very much want to buy and do whatever my heart pleases, but thankfully I’ve wised up and realized that the only person I want to be impressing now is MYSELF. And the best way to do that is to achieve FREEDOM. Much sexier than money, and a lot more attainable without the fame!
To get to this freedom though, you have to be really good at staying out of the “one up” game. And to do that you have to be really good at hiding your “ups” so no one wants to play with you ;)
We call this “stealth wealth.” And the stealthier you are, the wealthier you become!
You probably do a lot of things already without even realizing it, but today I thought we’d go around the room highlighting them so we can all laugh and revel in our sneakery. And if you are broke, well, tell us what you’ll continue doing once you HIT your wealth! It’s all a state of mind anyways, and once you’ve had your epiphany it’s just a matter of time…
Alright, I’ll go first and then it’s your turn!
Here’s how I trick my neighbors into thinking I’m broke:
#1. I rock a mohawk. This is by far the one giveaway that I don’t have a single penny to my name, haha… Not only does it sometimes *repulse* people, but in a room of 100 and me, I’d be listed as #100 in a ranking of “who’s good with their money.” I mean, who spikes up their hair to look like a modern day dinosaur?? Could I BE wearing any more hairspray?? (Quick, what’s that reference?)
#2. My clothes are riddled with holes. On days where my hair doesn’t cooperate and looks more like a mullet than a “style,” my ratty clothes continue carrying on the front, doubly making sure to throw people off my trail… I do have to watch out more now that I’ve stumbled across the advent of online shopping (did you know you could order clothes on the internet and they will ship it right to your door??? Without having to get out of bed???!!!), but unless I change up my entire preferences for comfort, I’m pretty sure I’ll always look like the opposite of an adult. I’m just glad t-shirts and jeans are relatively cheap!
#3. I’ve become a pretty good minimalist. And what’s the one thing minimalists own? You got it – nothing. At least nothing substantial enough for a robber to want to pay a visit to my house. And while some minimalists prefer having only the BEST items around since they’ve gotten rid of everything else, I am decidedly not one of those types as again evidence of my deteriorating wardrobe.
Outside of laptops and my coin collection, the only thing I have worth more than $25.00 is my Santa Portrait which I SWEAR is the best art ever created regardless of what people say! I mean, it’s a painting of SANTA! Smoking a pipe!! At the very least you can appreciate it for one month out of the year, right? :)
#4. I live in a 1,100 sq ft place which is literally the smallest house on the block, if not the entire neighborhood. And while it does cost us $2,200 to live here (!!!) and it’s in a sought after community, comparatively we stand out like a sore Santa painting (I will get you to smile about that if it’s the last thing I do!!). It’s even more fun when you tell people there that you rent :) That alone gets you the scarlet letter, haha… (Oooh what if I went around with a large “R” on my clothes?!!! How hilarious would that be?!)
#5. I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches 4 days a week. I suppose I’m only fooling my stomach there as it’s not like I’m eating it out in the open, but if anyone does stop by to pay me a visit, I’ll be sure to whip them out for you, and if I’m feeling generous share :) They never get old, I swear!
Okay, I’m stopping there as I have a feeling it’s only going to go down from here, haha…
Point is – there are many ways to hide your wealth, big and small, and typically the more you do the larger it grows.
I still slip here and there and forget about the ol’ stealth rule at times (*cough* Lexus *cough*), but as long as you’ve gotten a good hold of it and are *consciously* making these decisions with your money, you’re still a firm member of the Millionaire Next Door club, which is really the status you’re looking to achieve.
They are masters of stealth wealth, and there’s even a book about ’em! :)
So continue hiding away, friends! You can share all your sexy stats and milestones here on this blog because it’s a total Safe Zone, but the outside world is anything but, and it’s all designed to take your money away from you rather than add to it. So stay vigilant, hide your cash, and above all – remember these three words:
Freedom > Money > Stuff
Print it out and put it in your wallet/purse if you need to, but whether you have $100 or $1,000,000 to your name, it’s all money to be proud of, and it’s always better than looking wealthy but being broke! Good surprise vs bad surprise!
Now tell us all your stealthy secrets!! How do you hide your wealth? What would people be surprised to know about you by looking at how you live? How many millionaires next door do we have here?
Here’s a couple of other articles where we expand on this more:
I’m off to go count my hidden money in my tiny house now, while staring at my LARGE BEAUTIFUL SANTA PAINTING, OMG!!! It’s so amazing – admit it already!!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!