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Sometimes our culture paints a negative picture of wealth. People who do well with money can be portrayed as greedy and selfish.
But the truth is wealthy people come in all forms, just like anyone else. Some of them are jerks, sure. But some of them are the nicest, most generous people you’ll ever meet.
So why the difference?
I believe generous wealthy people have one thing in common: contentment. And they’re not content simply because they have money. It goes much deeper than that.
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What are some of these underlying traits? How can you be content and financially stable at the same time?
Here are three shared traits I see in wealthy people who are kind and generous:
1. Content people have a more fulfilling life.
While this doesn’t always reflect financial “riches,” your life is much richer when you care about and give to others. That’s where true joy comes from.
We all have to fight the tendency to focus too much on ourselves. When you’re intentional about giving, you begin to enjoy it more and it becomes a part of who you are.
2. Content people are able to make lifestyle sacrifices in order to get out of debt.
The best way to become wealthy is to stop using debt as a tool. When payments eat up your income, it’s hard to use that money to give and save.
Content people don’t mind giving up a vacation or two, because they know their debt-free vacation five years from now will be so much better. They realize the freedom that comes with paying for things they can actually afford!
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3. Content people save for the future.
They put money toward retirement and their kids’ college funds. They don’t have to spend all their money on “stuff.” Instead, they have the patience to invest and save money they know they won’t see for 10 years or more.
Sure, that takes discipline. But anyone who retired wealthy will tell you patience and discipline are completely worth it.
Don’t misunderstand: This isn’t about some kind of weird “prosperity gospel.” This is about how contentment can have an amazing effect in all areas of your life—from your emotional to your financial well-being.
If you’re doing things the right way and are just beginning to build wealth, don’t fall for the lie that somehow you should feel guilty. The best part about being wealthy is the opportunity to be generous and give a bunch of it away!
Want to learn more about contentment and the other money habits that will help you live the life you want? Check out Rachel Cruze’s new book Love Your Life, Not Theirs.
Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and #1 New York Times best-selling author, helping Americans learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze.com or at facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.