Years ago I heard about an economic/psychological experiment involving two groups of adults. The experiment went something like this: All of the adults arrived at the summer camp and were provided with standard camp clothing and equal amounts of money with which to buy items from the camp store as desired. At the camp there were plenty of fun, summer activities such as swimming, golf, tennis, fishing, boating, skeet shooting, etc. For anyone who wanted to participate in the activities, there was a nominal charge. The camp also provided an on-site store where the campers could buy both necessities and luxury items. In addition to the fun activities, the camp also provided a wide selection of work and investment opportunities with which the participants could earn more than adequate money. How much work to do, and how much fun to have during the summer, was left up to each individual participant. All participants would keep any money they earned during the summer. None of the participants knew ahead of time what the experiment was really about.
During the summer, some participants planned their time and divided it between both the work and the fun activities at camp. Some of this group worked and invested more than others, but all members in this first group spent most of their time working and investing.
The remaining participants spent nearly all of their time participating in the camp’s fun activities. They only worked when they needed money to pay for the fun activities or to buy things they wanted from the camp store.
By the end of the summer, those who had spent some of their time playing, but much of it working and investing, had saved up significant sums of money. Many of these participants first earned the money at the camp work opportunities, then increased it by investing the money in the camp investment opportunities. They left camp at the end of the summer feeling like they had enjoyed a fun summer participating in all of the fun activities the camp had to offer, and were also taking some extra cash home with them.
The remaining participants spent nearly all of their time participating in all of the fun activities at camp. These people worked just long enough to earn the money needed to pay for all of their fun activities and whatever they wanted from the camp store. As soon as they had the money they needed, they stopped working and spent their money on the fun activities until the money was all spent. Then, they went back to work to earn a little more money and the pattern continued all summer long. They left camp at the end of the summer feeling like they had enjoyed a great summer participating in the fun activities the camp had to offer. Since all of the money they had earned was spent on those activities, this group went home with no extra cash whatsoever.
What the participants in this experiment didn’t realize is that half of the group was made up of people who were already well on their way to becoming wealthy, and half of the group was made up of people who were broke and always struggling with financial difficulty in their lives. Guess which group was which!
Which group do you think you belong to?
Getting #RealRich starts with choosing your group. Make that choice NOW!