I was catching up on some personal finance blog reading recently and stumbled on 20 Things Rich People Do To Become Rich and Stay Rich by Chris Peach over at Money Peach.
I like lists like these because I am not rich and I would like to be rich.
And it’s a solid list.
#7 got me thinking a little bit though. This tip is bargain shopping. Chris writes:
Believe it or not, the extremely wealthy are also some of the greatest bargain shoppers. According to the Millionaire Next Door, they like to shop at factory outlets, they buy cheap vodka, and their favorite make and model is the Ford F-150. Although we may see television shows depicting the wealthy only buying Gucci purses, sipping grey goose, and driving Mercedes Benz, the majority of wealthy are actually focused on getting a deal.
This got my wheels turning a little.
Ok. Let’s be real. It was the vodka that got my wheels turning a little.
And the offense that I took because I like Grey Goose and cheap vodka is foul.
I think that life is a little more nuanced than just being a bargain shopper, especially once you make it to being “rich.”
As a matter of fact, it seems to me (from my wildly limited interactions with the “rich”), that the real trick to money is prioritizing and knowing what’s worth it.
The funny thing about that post is that if Chris has used pretty much any other drink, I don’t think it would’ve stuck in my head like an earworm.
The bubbly stuff is fine – and fun to use for celebrating weddings or graduations or Tuesdays.
However, I don’t especially love champagne and if you give me a bottle of $6.99 pink prosecco or $500 bottle of Dom Perignon, I wouldn’t even know the difference.
I’d be wasting $493.
That being said, if I am comfortably affluent and love champagne and can taste all the colors of the rainbow and every tree within 5,000 feet of the grapes that were grown in soil filled with the dung of unicorn beetles or some crap like that because wine is my thang y’all – that might be $500 well spent on the life experience moment that I get out of that glass of champagne.
On a smaller scale, if I really love champagne and can actually taste a difference, dropping $50 for a bottle on the semi-regular versus $10 is totally worth it and kind of even why we put all this effort into making money in the first place.
Personally, I like vodka a lot. I worked on a cruise ship for half of my 20s and spent a fair bit of that time pretty inebriated on vodka. I used to edit PowerPoints for several of the travel guides that worked onboard and they would pay me in bottles of vodka – high end stuff from the onboard shops and local finds from all over the world.
Guys, I have opinions on vodka. And why anyone would drink the bottom shelf stuff is beyond me (the hangovers alone, man, ugh). For me, spending $8 on a jug of Popov vodka is repulsive.
Spending $40 on Grey Goose – totally fine. My personal favorite is a middle of the road Stoli. And if we’re going budget, Smirnoff is fine.
Do not buy anything less than Smirnoff.
**Stepping off my vodka soap box.**
The point of all this is that I think a key personal finance skill is to master the Vodka Champagne Conundrum.
You’re still going to get ahead and make good choices if you have something you like to splurge on as long as you don’t splurge on everything, especially if it doesn’t really matter to you (as in that magic 80-90% rule that I think is probably the most perfect rule in personal finance… or, at least 80% perfect ;o).
Although going back to Chris’s list, fact #15 is my favorite. Fingers crossed that Siberian ancestry and resting bitch-face genetics give me an extra boost to that millionaire finish line.