In her book Smart Woman, author Sylvia Walker writes about creating your “designer life.” She explains that instead of being driven by consumerism, trying to look rich, we can make smart choices and start growing our wealth.
For many people shopping is a form of reward for working hard. That’s fine if you’ve saved some cash or put some money aside to spoil yourself, but if you’re buying stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have, then all you are doing is buying designer stuff, not living a designer life.
As Walker explains, there really is more to life than being rich, or being seen to be rich.
Trying to look rich can have devastating results
Taking on excess debt and not looking after our money has a profound negative impact not only on our finances, but also on other aspects of our lives. It can affect our physical and mental health as well as our relationships.
Here are some steps to achieve your designer life:
Know what you want
Have a clear picture in your mind of where you want to be and what you want to achieve. To what extent is your current spending and money behaviour helping or hindering your goals?
Value who you are and what you do
People often believe that if they had a new job that earned more money, things would get better. Rather start by valuing and appreciating what you have. Look after the money you do have, so that when you do earn more, you don’t just end up spending more.
Understand the true cost of debt
Putting that designer-label outfit on your credit card may seem harmless enough and gives you that wonderful emotional boost we get when we buy something new. But how many outfits do you have in your cupboard that you only wore once, or never wore? How does that make you feel about your credit card debt?
Pay yourself first
As they say on the airplane, always put the oxygen mask on yourself before anyone else. Your most basic need is financial security, for you and your family. Before you spend a cent of your income on anything else, make sure you have funds put aside for an emergency. Your next step is to grow long-term wealth through investing which will provide you and your family with financial security.
Remember: spending to look rich is the opposite of being rich.