How to live a rich lifestyle in a middle-class salary?
Well, I owe it to inner satisfaction, generally known as contentment. It means being satisfied with what you have. You can want more, and be confident and driven to get it, but you are happy with what you have as well. You appreciate it fully. In the context of your question, that’s wealth.
But I’m sure you’re looking for something a bit more literal, right? You want to do things and buy things typically associated with upper class people. Me too. 😉 There are two ways of living a rich lifestyle with a middle-class salary.
The first way requires compromises, suppressing your desires, a bit of imagination, but not much, and way, way too much hard work. By having limited desires, compromising many personal comforts, and living in a false imagination that you are rich, you can live a “rich” lifestyle, then fake it until you make it. I am serious when I say: don’t do this. You should be content with what you have while welcoming more and working for more, gracefully. But most people who want to be rich are impatient, and they have something I call negative contentment.
By negative contentment, I mean that they are content to suffer and neglect things like health, social life, free time, hobbies, and more, in exchange for money. This way, people overwork a middle-paying job to rack up money, and then burn it all on something luxurious, like a mansion or sports car.
The second way is being rich enough to stay happy, but stay focused, and turn your middle-class salary into a permanent source of income by increasing it with time and introducing multiple income streams. That’s possible if you decide to live the life of a real rich person and make efforts to increase your earning such that you gain financial independence. By which I mean you need not bother to work much, if at all. You work when you want to, and if you don’t, enough money is still coming your way every week. I have been successful in doing that, lifting myself up from lower-middle-class to rich and free. Not mega-rich, mind you, but rich and free, which I value more. Earlier I kept myself contended by having limited desires, and thinking I needed to work more and enjoy lifelessly, but now I think I have enough skills and resources that I can increase the scope of my desires. There will always be ways to make more money from the businesses I run, so why limit what I want to buy, or what I want to do? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of contentment. What’s the point of getting rich if you just want to get even richer two weeks later, when the novelty wears off?
After closely observing the lifestyle of many rich people, I feel that being a billionaire means nothing. It’s like thin. If you die of hunger, what was it all for? The nuance of how you got there, and for what purpose, cannot be overstated.
In my point of view, rich enough to be happy, whatever that amount really means to you, is always better than richer and unhappy. Might sound obvious, but secretly, there are many who disagree, deep down. They want to be a millionaire or billionaire because those words excite them, and the media images associated with them have persuaded them that they’ll never get any of those things without being that rich. And it’s all nonsense. It’s crazy how many things you can afford with a middle-class salary if you know where to look, and a little consistent effort can get you much, much more than that. Anyways, that’s a discussion of its own. I have an interesting post to suggest that would complement this answer. My post, The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle, discusses the context of your question, considering that from another perspective.
Don’t forget to leave me feedback once you complete reading that post.