“You are very rich,” he exclaimed with a look of surprise on his face.
I mean, why would someone “very rich” be shopping at a big box store at a busy time of day? I just smiled and told him he was correct.
After a long day at school I had stopped in this store to pick up some things for my students. This young man was demonstrating a wonderful blender and healthy drinks, so I stopped by to taste some.
Somehow we got on the topic of energy work. His wife teaches yoga. He does palm reading so he wanted to read my palm. I obliged and a few minutes later he stepped back and looked me in the eye and told me I am very lucky because I am very rich. He said this happened in my 50s. He was actually correct. But this observation was funny, too.
I am a school teacher. How rich can I be? I drive a car that is 14 years old. My bank account isn’t huge, and if I have to retire off of the money in my retirement account, I may have to work until I am 85. Still, this young man was absolutely correct.
We talked for a few more minutes, and I briefly explained that wealth is different things to different people and of course he still insisted that I am very rich. I am very rich in many ways, but I will tell you why I am very rich financially. I basically got out of debt.
I’ve never been one to accumulate much debt. When a charming young man proposed to me 35 years ago, I said yes, but I didn’t want him to take out a loan to buy a beautiful diamond. I actually love diamonds, but I don’t love debt. He agreed. We stayed out of debt for all of two months until we applied for student loans. Two years later we graduated from college with student loans and a car loan to boot. Then we added children and mortgages and big bills. Debt was just a way of living. But it never felt good.
A few years back, my husband and I decided we should probably get out of debt. We read Dave Ramsey’s "Total Money Makeover" and decided to give it a try.
As mentioned, we aren’t huge spenders, but it is possible I keep a shoe store or two in business. Dave Ramsey suggested that I should put a lid on the shoe buying, and a few other things.
Dave has seven baby steps to achieving wealth. Most of us have heard them. Most of us have used some of them. Most of us don’t get to baby step No. 7.
Here is baby step No. 7: “The final step is the most fun. It’s time to build wealth, leave an inheritance for future generations, and bless others with your excess. Your goal here is not to become a money hoarder, it’s to live and give like never before. You’ve earned it!” http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/beginners-guide-baby-steps.
Granted, we are not there yet. We still have a ways to go. But somehow, not having debt is so freeing to my soul that even a young palm reader believes that I am “very rich.” So I must be.