I learned almost everything I know about personal finance from Ramit Sethi.
When I was building my first business, I would read his blog every day and read every email he sent me. I loved his writing style and how he ran his company. He was a big inspiration for me.
In 2015, I bought his book and it has been one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. It’s called I Will Teach You To Be Rich and I highly recommend you read it. I’m not affiliated with the book in anyway. It really helped me and I think it will help you too.
Recently, Ramit Landed A Deal With Netflix.
The show is called How To Get Rich, and in the show, he works with different couples and individuals to help them navigate their finances.
You can see the preview here.
I watched the show with my wife, and it opened up a lot of conversations between us. It’s been great because there have been many times when I would speak to Jules about the concepts I learned from Ramit, but since she hadn’t read the book, the lessons never really landed for her.
Thankfully, the show opened the door for us to learn these concepts together so we could speak the same language. It’s created an open dialogue for us and our money.
For Instance, One Of Ramit’s Concepts Is Called “Living Your Rich Life.”
Ramit argues that money should be used to live the life you want. Your rich life is unique to you and with planning, strategy, and math, all of us can create our rich lives for ourselves.
Over the last few days, Jules and I have been having these conversations with each other.
How do we want to spend our money? How do we use our money to make the most out of this one life we have? It’s been a great exercise and has helped us align our money goals and our life goals with one another.
In this post, I am going to articulate what my rich life looks like. This is a personal exercise and I am writing this for me just as much as I am writing it for you.
So here goes, this is my rich life.
Money Management 101
I grew up in a blue collar family. I was taught to work hard and save. I’m grateful to have been taught these lessons as a child, because I feel like it shaped my character.
However, as I got deeper into entrepreneurship, I’ve learned that hard work and penny pinching play a very small roll in creating wealth.
There’s only so much you can save, but there is no limit to how much you can make.
Use My Money To Make Money
The vast majority of my money has been and will always be reinvested.
I invest $500 a week into the S&P500, and as I continue to age, I will invest less and less into buying businesses and more into safer assets such as the S&P and buying more rental properties.
But for now, I am still fully committed to building my portfolio of businesses.
My portfolio does about $3,500,000 a year. I suspect that by the end of 2023, that number will be closer to $4,500,000 now that Copyblogger is seeing great cash flow.
In sum, part of my rich life is continuing to play the game of business.
I love it. It is my work and also my hobby. I think about it every day and as long as I am continuing to build a nest egg and making logical decisions, I hope that most of my money will continue to be used in playing the game.
All of my companies flow money into my personal holdings company. At which point, I pay myself (and Jules) a salary every other week. Our combined salary is about $110,000 a year.
That salary then automatically invests into our personal savings account and we use that money for safety. We call it the “oh shit” account.
With that salary, we live our lives. We feed ourselves, feed our kids, pay our rent, pay our gym and Muay Thai memberships, and basically do whatever we want.
We spend that money guilt free.
It’s a reasonable salary. It’s certainly more than most people but it’s by no means a reckless spending amount.
I feel really good about the way we live our lives responsibly while also buying the things we need and want.
Let’s dig into this further.
What Are The Things We Currently Buy That Are Part Of Our Rich Life?
We have non negotiables that we always spend money on, no matter what. When Jules and I come across an expense that we are unsure about, we quite literally ask ourselves “is this part of our rich life?”
If it is, we buy it. If it’s not, we don’t.
Rich life expenses include …
- Expensive, whole, nutritious food – Food is our biggest expense. We eat the best food you could possibly eat. I am also very fortunate that Jules loves cooking, so we hardly ever eat out. We get all of our nutrients through our food. This also includes the special stuff we buy. For instance …
- I buy organic organ meats from a local butcher every week. (Beef liver, chicken liver, chicken hearts, ox tail, etc)
- High quality whey protein.
- Veggies from the farmers market at the lake.
- Fitness – We have memberships to a local gym that we go to together every morning. I also spend about $500 a month on Muay Thai training. Jules spends $350ish a month on her nutrition coach, who helps her with her macros.
- Clothes – We spend very little on clothes. We both wear the same outfit almost every day. Jules wears Lulu lemon athletic pants and a tight lulu lemon shirt and sweatshirt and Vevo barefoot shoes. I wear Old Navy drawstring pants, Me Undies, a Next Level tee shirt and I rotate between 5 or 6 different hoodies. I wear black or white Chuck Taylors every day.
- Books – Jules and I both read a lot. Our rule is “if we think about buying a book, then we buy it.” The kindle has improved our lives greatly. I was unsure about the kindle at first but trust me, once you buy one, you never go back.
- My wife gets to buy whatever she wants – Seriously. I don’t stress about my wife spending money because she is very aware of her spending. But let’s be real, being a mom (not to mention actually delivering babies) is 10X harder than what I do. So if she wants to get her hair done, or her nails done, or buy a new piece of fitness equipment, or buy some new houseplants, then she has full autonomy to do that. No questions asked. It makes her feel good and it makes me feel good too.
What Would I Like To Add To Our Rich Lives?
The last two years have been tough, simply because we had our kids. My son is now 2 1/2 years old and my daughter is 9 months old.
Believe it or not, it feels like we are getting over the hump. The kids sleep through the night, my son is 97% potty trained, and they’re on a consistent nap schedule.
The point is, it feels like we are living normal lives again. So now is the perfect time for me to start thinking about the future and truly designing what my / our rich life looks like.
- As much as I love that Jules cooks dinner every night, I want to have all my meals planned ahead of time with perfect macros. I love eating good food but I absolutely hate planning my food. I know how important it is for my overall well being and I feel great when I schedule my diet. I would absolutely love to have a meal planner who knows my tastes, my fitness goals and my personality. This way I could have my breakfast, lunch, snacks and desert all measured and planned for me, while still being able to enjoy Jules’ home cooking and eating together with her every night.
- I would like to get my supplements on point. I’m 37, I can feel that I am getting older. I might be at the point where I should think of supplementing my testosterone levels. I don’t know my testosterone levels but I can feel my explosiveness has gone down. In any event, I’d like to get my levels tested so I can see if I deficient in …
- vitamin b12
- vitamin d (although I get plenty of sun)
Home and Standard Of Living Upgrades
- I want to keep renting for at least the next two years. Our house isn’t perfect, but we have a beautiful morning view of the mountains over the lake. Other than Philly, this is the best neighborhood I’ve ever lived in.
- I need to get an office. My home office is great, but I legitimately need a studio for work / video recording / podcasts / etc. The brand is big now and I need to take this seriously.
- I want to travel somewhere with the fam at least once every six months. I don’t actually enjoy “vacations” much. To me, it’s never made a lot of sense that I build up this vacation as a means to do nothing and then dread going back to work. I would rather incorporate travel into my life. Every six months, I’d like to take the fam to a new Airbnb for 3 weeks to a month.
What Else Do I Want?
Buying clothes and watches doesn’t interest me, it never has. What are some other items I can buy that would improve my life? I have my dream car and we recently bought a Jeep Wrangler Sahara for Jules.
But, the point is to think big.
- Cold plunge tank – Denver showers are colder than Nashville showers, but my tolerance is built up so high I legit need a real ice bath out back.
- Sauna – I love the sauna. Would love to build one out back.
- A videographer – I am slacking on my video production but I hate doing it. It would be so much cooler if I could record vlogs with someone else doing the camera work.
- Jules to train martial arts with me – This means we would need more dependable day care. It’s expensive but will be worth it.
- Spiritual retreats – I’ve put my spirituality on the back burner. I’d love to have at least one retreat with Jules where we could do meditation sessions, or Yoga sessions, or Wim Hof retreat or some type of experience to further strengthen the connection between body, mind, and spirit.
Where Do I Want To Travel?
The problem is that the kiddos do complicate the travel. But, this isn’t the place to worry about that. This is my rich life design. I can figure out the how later.
So, where do I want to go?
- Edinburgh – I’ve been many times before, but I want to show Jules where I come from.
- Istanbul – This city is fascinating.
- Tokyo – Is there any culture in the world more extreme and awesome than the Japanese? Tokyo would be a dream.
- Machu Picchu – Only because Jules really wants to go.
- Paris – Of course Paris. The city obsessed with beauty. LFG.
- Kiev – Political discourse aside, Kiev is the birthplace of the Russian culture and the center point of the Slav people. I’ve always wanted to go.
- Racife – I have business partners and friends in Brazil. I want to go.
- Mexico City – A new and emerging tech hub. The Mexican economy is growing. I would love to get to know the people of Mexico.
- Seoul – I’ve been a huge fan of Starcraft for decades. Seoul looks like the most interesting place in the world. Take me there.
- Manila – I have employees who live in the Philippines. These people are practically my family. I still haven’t met them in person. I need to figure out how to get there.
Lastly, How Do I Want My Businesses To Interact With My Rich Life?
As I said above, part of my rich life is having my businesses work for me. Believe it or not, I would like to get to a point where I am not on sales calls all day.
How do I want my businesses to work for me?
- Outbound sales team – I have relied so heavily on SEO and closing deals myself, which has been great. But realistically, if I want to continue to scale, I will need to build a system that doesn’t depend so much on me. The last step in my world domination plan is to build an outbound sales team that can generate leads for me.
- One rental property a year – I don’t see real estate as a good “investment”, but rather as a good money hedge. People will always need a place to live and I would like to buy another rental property this year and then try to buy one a year for as long as it makes sense.
- Transition my digital business to facilities – Its’ time I seriously consider starting treatment centers and mental health facilities. I have so much to give and it would be great to be more involved with people and get out from behind the screen a bit.
- Work from anywhere, always – I will never be held down to a location. Wherever I go, I can work and make money.
- I want to attend more conferences (with my family) and integrate the community into my life – After attending CEX last month, I found that conferences are a lot of fun and I want to attend a conference once every six months.
In Conclusion, My Rich Life Is Waiting For Me
Growing up, I was so afraid of money.
I thought that having a lot of money made me a scumbag, and I thought not having any money made me a loser.
After reading Ramit’s book (and other books) I’ve learned that money isn’t a real thing. Money is simply a representation of value. The more valuable I make myself, the more opportunities I have to live the rich life I dream of.
Now that I know how to make money, I can so clearly see the path in front of me. I will keep investing in myself and keep investing in my future. Before long, I will be checking these travel destinations off my list.
I think I will do this exercise every year. There is only so far into the future I can visualize and I know my goals and dreams will change.
But for today, I feel so rich.