• Morag McIntosh

What does rich look like? Part one

What does rich look like?

When I was a little kid my mom always said rich was having enough money to write out a cheque the minute you got a bill and still have enough money left over to buy the stamp to mail it back.

Up to my mid twenties that seemed like my best case scenario. If I could pay my bills then I was rich. If I couldn’t I was poor.

Then I got my first adult job. Suddenly I was making more money than I could have conceived of making as a kid. I was rich! I already had a credit card from when I worked retail, but now I had the means to buy ALL the stuff!

Case in point.

My first set of pots and pans was a thin, cheap enamelled aluminum set. I was so cheap that the Fry pan warped the first time I used it and used to rock back and forth on the burner. But hey, it worked and I could afford it so I made due.

Once I got my first adult job, I was walking through a store for no other reason than that it was on my way home from work and a set of pans caught my eye. Thick stainless steel, multiple pots, steamer inserts, a huge fry pan and a stock pot. I bought it without a second thought. Suddenly I had a nicer set of pots than anyone in my circle of immediate friends or family. I delighted in showing them off to people. To be fair I used that pot set for over 16+ years before we decided to downsize, so they were a great long-term buy… but I didn’t stop at fancy pots and pans… I bought clothes, shoes, sheets, towels, books, presents and ate out. A lot. Oh so much eating out...

I was suddenly able to buy anything that I wanted (not that I always had cash, but hey I had the credit!). I remember walking in to a ladies clothing store in a mall on the weekend and having a sales person follow me around very attentively. I can remember distinctly thinking “Hey lady, I’m not going to shop lift. If I wanted to, I could buy ANYTHING in this store.” That was rich to me. The ability to buy anything I wanted any time I wanted it.

At the same time I was not paying my bills. Not because I couldn’t put the money towards them, but because I had become scared of opening them. I just kept spending money on stuff, ignoring my bills and telling myself I was rich…

I’m sure you can see where this is headed…

It got to the point where I had my hydro shut off, I hadn’t opened my credit card statement in a LONG while and had no idea of what I owed. Suddenly I wasn’t rich anymore. Suddenly I was poor just with really nice stuff. I began to panic. I kept thinking how could I be poor when I was making so much money?!?

Clearly I needed to make more. This would solve the issue.

Again, I’m sure you can see where this is headed…

My boss must have been able to sense the anxiety wafting off me and promptly turned down my idea of a generous raise. Desperation was now becoming my base state of being.

Continued in part two…

#PersonalFinance #wealth #GetofDebt

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