Driving with John Chow – Episode 23 It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You keep

Welcome to the 23rd episode of Driving with John Chow. You will noticed that I made some big changes with this new episode. The biggest being a new lens for my Olympus digital camera. I’m now using the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0 Lens. This is a wide-angle lens that allows me to get a lot more image into the frame. Instead of just seeing my face like the previous videos, you’ll now be able to see my entire body and more of the car.

At $750, the new lens is not cheap. So, it’s kinda appropriate for me to use this episode to talk about money management. During the drive, I share with you the best piece of financial advice I ever got.

It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep

It really doesn’t matter how much money you make. What matter is how much you get to keep at the end of the day. There are tons of people who make a lot of money and spend every cent they make and more. They drive all the fancy cars, go to the fancy clubs and live a “millionaire’s lifestyle”, only they’re not millionaires. In Miami, they’re known as $30,000 millionaires. They make $30K a year but live like they make a million.

Thanks to low-cost leasing and zero down financing, anyone with even a modest income can project the image of a millionaire. The only problem is, the debt will eventually catch up to them and that’s when it’ll all come crashing down. This was what caused the US financial meltdown. Too many people were spending more than they make and leveraging their debts to the hilt.

The funny thing is, that millionaire’s lifestyle they’re trying to project is false. Most millionaires don’t drive fancy cars or live in upper class gated communities. They’re more likely to live in a middle class neighborhood and drive a domestic sedan. Since the average millionaire’s lifestyle is modest, they get to keep a lot more of what they make and that’s the key to real wealth.

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