Do you know someone who takes the bus to work, makes their own lunches, and never takes luxurious vacations? Or perhaps you have a neighbor who lives in a modest house, drives an average car, and cuts their own grass? We all know people like this, and we might even be people like this who’ve achieved stealth wealth!
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Most of us probably make assumptions about people based on their spending habits and what they seemingly have or do not have. That’s a mistake because it doesn’t account for those around us who have built wealth quietly.
What is stealth wealth? Is it something you should aspire to?
That’s just what we’re going to talk about here! Read on for the benefits, signs, and secrets of stealth wealth that you can adopt in your own financial life.
Stealth wealth meaning
What is stealth wealth really? It means having a lot of money but not flaunting it. It means keeping the (large) amount of money you have a secret from everyone, including your friends and family.
People that do this don’t necessarily hide their wealth to be deceitful, they just don’t feel the need to show it off. That’s why it’s difficult to tell the “stealthy wealthy” apart from everyone else.
The benefits of stealth wealth
Why would you want to practice this? There are some real benefits to hiding your true net worth from the rest of the world, including:
Make real connections
There are many reasons why stealth wealth can benefit your relationships.
First, as much as you might try, it can be difficult to maintain a friendship when one person has quite a bit more wealth than the other. By concealing how much money they have, those with money essentially close the (perceived) wealth gap.
Friends won’t feel pressured to keep up with expensive nights out or dinners they can’t afford, and you can stick to doing things together that fit within both of your budgets.
Second, money can get in the way of genuine relationships. You might wonder if someone is friends with you because of your money and what they can get from you.
By taking money off the table, you’ll be more certain that whoever you surround yourself with is there for you, not because you’re rich.
In addition, you won’t have to think so much about setting boundaries in friendships with people who may care too much about your money.
Live a happier life
Many wealthy people get caught up in spending lavishly to show off how much they make. But spending money on material things doesn’t necessarily make a person happier.
Not only that, but spending too much money can cause a lot of stress. By cutting back on luxuries you don’t even want, you can learn how to save money fast and lower your stress.
Instead of trying to keep up with everyone else, those who practice stealth wealth spend their money on things they truly enjoy. Whether that’s experiences or material possessions they want, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that spending money on what you want, rather than what you think will make you look good in front of others, leads to a more relaxed and happy life.
Those who are financially secure no longer have to worry about money. Imagine the peace of mind you’d have, knowing that you have enough in your savings and retirement accounts to fund your lifestyle forever.
One of the hallmarks of stealth wealth is living below your means, which can ultimately lead to financial security.
Stealth wealth signs
Those with this type of life usually live a traditional middle-class lifestyle despite all their money. There are, however, some stealth wealth signs that you can look out for if you are curious to know if someone is rich or not.
Even with these signs, it might still be impossible to tell the difference between stealth wealth and average wealth! Some possible stealth wealth signs include:
They talk about money in a healthy way
Those with money talk about it as a way to learn or develop new ideas. They don’t brag about how much they have, and even more telling, they don’t talk about what they don’t have, either.
You’ll never hear someone with stealth wealth boasting about their income or their appreciating assets. Likewise, you’ll never hear them complaining about being in debt or unable to afford something they want.
Why not? Because they are debt free and they can afford whatever they want.
Those with wealth don’t show off on social media
The stealthy wealthy value privacy and don’t flaunt their money on social media, ever. Mostly, they don’t acquire things to show off.
But, even if they do decide to spend on a fancy dinner or lavish vacation, they don’t feel the need to tell the rest of the world about it. They leave that kind of posting to those seeking attention and trying to show off the wealth they might not even have.
They seem “average”
Another stealth wealth sign? Don’t look for a flashy sports car or giant mansion. Instead, those who understand the true stealth wealth meaning appear average.
They drive average cars, have regular jobs, and seem just like the rest of us. They understand that buying an expensive car or house doesn’t make you rich; it just makes you look it.
Secrets of the stealthy wealthy that you can use in your own life
You can’t just decide to have stealth wealth one day. Like most things, it requires dedication and financial planning to achieve. But, you can take the secrets of the stealthy wealthy and incorporate them into your own life to get your financial house in order.
Here are various ways to do that – and, who knows, you might decide that you’d like to be “stealthy wealthy” one day, too!
1. Avoid lifestyle inflation
More money can appear in your bank account in so many ways. Perhaps you got a raise (congratulations!). Or, maybe you switched jobs and got a nice salary bump along with it.
No matter how you come into it, the more money you have shouldn’t mean the more you spend.
Lifestyle inflation – increasing your spending as your income increases – is something that those with stealth wealth actively avoid. While you could be tempted to spend more as you make more, it’s not the way to become truly wealthy.
Those who know the secrets of wealth know that avoiding lifestyle inflation is one of the key ways to grow their assets and become financially secure.
2. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses
Just because a friend or neighbor got a shiny new toy (car, house, or gadget) doesn’t mean you need to get one, too. Keeping up with others’ spending only causes financial troubles. If you want to become wealthy, focus on yourself, not others.
Whenever you are tempted by emotional spending or buying something because someone else has it, take a moment to reflect on whether you truly want it. If you do, it’s ok to purchase it.
Those with stealth wealth don’t restrict themselves fully, but they only purchase things they need and truly want. They aren’t influenced or pressured by others or by trying to keep up appearances.
3. Be intentional about your spending
Society tends to regard wealthy people in two ways; they either spend frivolously or live like a miser. To join the rank of millionaires, the popular advice is to save every dollar and only spend on basic necessities. Not exactly enticing!
I learned that wealthy people are neither irresponsible nor stingy with money when I worked as a nanny for many households in an old-money neighborhood.
Instead, they practice living on less by being smart with their money. They spend on things that make them happy and cut anything that doesn’t.
For instance, one of my bosses has a total of zero designer handbags but is a proud owner of a rare diamond. Another client asked me to bank my hours and pay me bi-weekly to avoid bank fees.
You don’t have to give up everything you enjoy to build wealth. But you need to be clear on what you want and be intentional about your spending.
4. Diversify your assets to achieve stealth wealth
Another secret of the wealthy? They don’t keep all of their money in one place. And they definitely don’t keep it all in a checking account!
Instead, they diversify their assets and strive to build multiple income streams.
The wealthy invest in the stock market (in various asset classes), bonds, and real estate. On top of that, they might even have a business or two.
If you want to steal this secret, one of the best ways is to create a plan for your future self through investing.
5. Build generational wealth
Those focused on quiet wealth building are also focused on building wealth for their families for many years to come.
They know the importance of building generational wealth – wealth passed down from generation to generation. This means they typically don’t spend money on material possessions or experiences that don’t last.
Instead, they focus on growing their wealth over time. They invest in the stock market, build businesses to pass down and create estate plans.
Everything they do with their money is with an eye toward security for themselves, their kids, their future, and future generations.
6. Be generous in private
Just because they don’t flaunt it doesn’t mean that those with stealth wealth hoard all of their money. Many wealthy people are extremely generous, but they do so in private.
Whether it’s paying for a family member’s education or donating to a cause they care deeply about, they do it all without making a public display of it.
If you want to practice stealth wealth, start by giving quietly when you can. You’ll still reap the same benefits and can avoid some drawbacks of giving, like loaning money to family or friends when you aren’t comfortable with doing so.
7. Build a classic wardrobe
For subtle wealth, think timeless wardrobe, otherwise known as “stealth wealth fashion“, “quiet luxury’, or “old money aesthetic.”
Ditch trends and achieve quiet luxury with pieces that never go out of style. Look for understated and logo-free garments.
In addition, choose high-quality materials that will last, like leather, cotton, or linen.
Build your classic wardrobe with everyday staples like t-shirts and jeans. You’ll also be able to mix and match outfits if you go for neutral pants and jackets.
Fill your closets with timeless fashion pieces that you can use for years.
8. Be careful of the car you drive
When you finance your car, you’re paying interest for an asset that’s losing value over time. (Also, read about the pros and cons of refinancing a car.)
With rising inflation and high-interest rates, there’s no better time than now to opt for safe, reliable, budget-friendly cars.
Besides, owning a car has added car expenses. So, make sure you factor in the cost of gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs when buying a car.
9. Know what’s going on with your money
What gets measured gets managed, right? You cannot build wealth without actively trying to find simple ways to increase your income and manage your spending.
It may come as a surprise to you, but even billionaires pay attention to their money. They may not be the ones creating a biweekly budget or expense report, but they have someone they trust doing it.
Many who grew up in households where money is a source of stress mistakenly think that being a rich person means never looking at your finances and spending however you want. But it’s not. The first secret to quiet wealth building is knowing what’s going on with your finances.
10. Practice humility
Humility is understanding that you are not better than others, no matter what you accomplish or how much money you have.
Living a simpler life, even when you have lots of money, comes from the realization that you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone and that other people are not your competition.
That’s another secret we can learn from those with stealth wealth. As a practice, ask yourself: “Do I want this even if nobody ever knows I own it?” whenever you want to buy something extravagant.
11. Stealth wealth meaning: truly believing that fancy things don’t make life worth living
Lastly, those who are truly wealthy understand that material things and fancy vacations aren’t what makes life worth living.
They may have started their wealth journey by not buying things they wanted to save or by passing up opportunities to spend on things they really wanted. But since they have fully embraced being quietly wealthy, they don’t feel the need to buy these things anymore.
They have found other ways for fulfillment. That’s one of the biggest blessings having money can give a person. Not only do you have financial security, but you’ve also learned to want less, appreciate the little things and what you have, and be happy with who you are.
Expert tip: Follow your own path to achieve stealth wealthYou can get clues from the stealth wealth signs others exhibit to build this type of life for yourself. First, get clear on who you are, what you value most, and how you want to live your life. Very importantly, to build a strong financial foundation, you need to know what’s going on with your money.
Learn from people who accomplished what you’re trying to achieve. Success and wealth don’t just happen. You need a plan, the determination to put your plans into action, and the clarity to follow the path.
The world will keep telling you what you should be doing and how. But as long as you stay true to yourself and your values, you’ll reach your goals and achieve financial security.
What is meant by stealth wealth?
Stealth wealth meaning is defined as living simply and quietly maintaining your wealth without making obvious displays of your affluence.
I personally prefer to think of it as being free from the money worries plaguing society because one does not need to keep up appearances to look rich.
Instead, they build wealth quietly and smartly without flashy money displays like fancy cars, mansions, or designer items and clothes.
What are subtle signs of wealth?
People with wealth very often live a minimalist, quiet luxury lifestyle. Most of the time, their wealth is hidden in fat bank accounts, and they invest smartly in robust investment portfolios, or in multiple properties.
To know who these people are, you can look out for stealth wealth signs. For instance, they might wear for high-quality clothing and accessories with little to no visible logos. Many people at this level of wealth also live in comfortable, well-maintained homes.
Some drive nice cars, travel, and own luxurious items but without announcing to the world what they have or don’t have. You’ll also notice that the wealthy pursue knowledge and ideas for self improvement.
They spend time, money, and effort to learn more about the world or themselves. Lastly, people who achieve financial freedom are happy and content. Because of this, they can be incredibly generous.
What are the benefits of stealth wealth?
If you build wealth quietly, you’ll have peace, safety, and security. These are the key benefits of stealth wealth.
When only a few people know your true financial situation, you don’t have to keep up appearances to maintain an extravagant lifestyle. You’re also safe from the unwanted attention of people with bad motives.
Additionally, you can live quietly without the pressure to outdo others in pursuing and doing more. In turn, you have less stress, and you set yourself free to enjoy your life.
You’ll have more energy and time to focus on what makes you happy, whether that’s family, business, hobbies, or making a difference in the world.
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Leverage the secrets of stealth wealth to improve your financial future!
Becoming quietly wealthy isn’t about hiding money or being stingy. It’s being strategic and living life on your terms. Start your journey to financial freedom by incorporating some of the practices above.
Now that you’ve discovered the answer to “What is stealth wealth”, are you ready to take some of these secrets and use them to boost your own finances? Find out more about wealth accumulation and more money secrets!