I was attending a paid seminar this weekend and was seated among a crowd of around 200. During the seminar, the organizer started up-selling us a new program that included a trip overseas at a price tag of $5,000. The lady to my right struck up a conversation and after some niceties, started pondering out loud whether the new program was worth the price.
Lady: Not sure if the program is going to be worth it. Are they going to provide more one-on-one service? Cause right now the seminar is so full of people, I can't really even ask questions.
Me: They said they were going to limit the number of people to 15, plus they have a team of 6 going, so it sounds like it will be a lot more focused.
Lady: hmm...yeah... still not sure if the places they are going to bring us is worth it. Maybe my friend wants to go too.
Me: Oh, you are attending this with your friend?
Lady: Yeah, the lady that was sitting beside me was my friend.
Me: Oh, then why not pool your resources, just one of you go, then come back and teach the other one what you learnt on the trip?
Lady: *Looking taken aback* Huh! I can afford to pay the full fees, don't need her to sponsor me. *Turns away*
I was pondering about the lady's reaction, so related the story to my wife. She said that the lady had taken the comment personally and taken offence, which makes perfect sense. It seems the lady was sensitive about being perceived as being unable to afford the trip, so much so that a suggestion to save money was construed as an insult.
The thing is, people are only sensitive about things that bother them. A thin person would never be insulted if someone shared a way to lose weight with him. A person that is happy in his marriage would never feel slighted if someone shared a way to make his marriage happier. Those people are confident about that particular aspect of their lives. Similarly, a wealthy person would never feel insulted if someone shared a money saving tip. So counter-intuitively, this lady's negative reaction to my comment makes me think that she might actually struggle to afford the trip.
I remember a few years ago, I was going to attend another paid seminar for SG$5,000. However, I understood that the organizer also held similar seminars in Malaysia. So I went to the organizer and presented my name card, which had a Malaysian office address on it, and asked if I could attend the same course in Kuala Lumpur instead. He allowed me to and instead of paying SG$5,000, i paid MYR5,000 instead. Including air fare and hotel fees, I ended up saving about 50% off the Singapore price. If I was less confident about my financial status, I might be worried that others might think that I was being cheap. "What if others find out, so sia suay (embarrassing)". Luckily I was stable financially by then and did not care what others might think.
The sad thing is, she might go on to pay for the full trip herself just to prove to herself and anyone she thinks is watching that she is "ok". So her pride in the matter would actually make her poorer, further delaying the point where her last statement would become true.
If you want to be rich, you have to start thinking like one. A rich person understands the value of wealth and would welcome any method to save/earn money. A rich person doesn't care about the opinions of others, especially if those opinions leads him/her to some frivolous expenditure or poor investment. A rich person is proud as well, but about the right things. In this way, a person who thinks like a rich person stays/gets rich and person who thinks like a poor person stays/becomes poor.