Manage Your New Money Like Old Money

So, you’ve finally made it big in your career, or your startup has finally taken off.

What should you do with your money now?

Well, whatever you do, it’s crucial to be mindful of the advice you take. 

You see, all you need to do is log in to any social media website, and you’re likely to find accounts that claim to have wealth “secrets” available only to the rich and famous.

But you know the truth is that when it comes to prudently managing your newfound wealth, there are no shortcuts out there.

In fact, Old Money families typically follow a tried-and-true principled approach to managing their money rather than spending their time looking for cheat codes.

To be sure, what distinguishes Old Money wealth from the New Money rich is not just how long a family has held on to their money but also what they do to keep that wealth growing from one generation to the next. 

That’s because it’s one thing to make a lot of money and double it in short order and quite another to keep it steadily growing, decade after decade.

Look, Las Vegas wouldn’t exist if tourists didn’t have the chance to win big, but in the end, the house always wins.

So then, if you’ve made a lot of money and want to look for potential shortcuts that claim to pay off big, then more power to you. 

But if you’ve accumulated substantial sum of money and want to utilize a proven approach that allow your money to grow from one generation to the next, then here are three Old Money principles that you’ll likely want to consider.

Principle #1: Old Money Starts with the Long View

Alright, before we dive in, let’s get clear about what we mean by Old Money.

And, what do we mean here?

Well, you know how some families have been rich for generations like the Hiltons or the Du Ponts?

That’s ‘old money,’ or wealth that’s been in the family for ages.

And you know, that wealth didn’t just happen overnight. It started with a founding family member making it big and then choosing to manage their money deliberately over time. 

So then, when it comes to managing your newfound wealth like Old Money, one of the first principles you’ll want to wrap your head around is that Old Money families typically have a long view when it comes to managing their wealth.

In fact, while you may be accustomed to creating a five- or ten-year plan, when it comes to building generational wealth, many Old Money families think in terms of 100-year plans. 

Now, while you may not be interested in leaving a legacy that lasts 100 years, the takeaway here is that the Old Money approach has less to do with answering questions like, “where is the market headed next week” or “which investment is likely to go parabolic”, and more to do with “how can I mitigate investment risk, and reduce taxes to make this money last a long time?”

To be sure, many Old Money families have a clear vision or mission statement that helps guide their financial decision making. And this vision and mission statement can be geared towards providing a solid base for generations to come, philanthropic giving, managing business ventures, or using their wealth to support causes near and dear to the family.

So then, from this perspective, take some time to sit down and think through what you want your wealth to do for you and your family. Maybe you’re not ready yet to create a 100-year plan, and that’s okay. Either way, take the long view. 

Start with the End in Mind

And if you’re not sure where to begin in the long-term planning process, then start with some imaginative roleplay. Here, what you can do is just take a few minutes to picture yourself lying in bed in your final moments.

As you do, ask yourself, who is there with you? What are you talking about? How do you feel in that moment? What sort of regrets might you have, and wish you hadn’t?

Your answers to these questions will likely help spark a starting point for the vision and mission statement you’re working on.

Indeed, Donald Miller, author of the book, “Hero on a Mission,” encourages readers to write their own eulogy and read it daily. And why’s that? Well, this take on the long view can help crystallize your priorities and focus your mind on what you should be doing every day.

So then, at the very least, start with the end in mind.

That’s because giving your money purpose beyond just growing for the sake of growth will help you identify ideal investment and tax management strategies to build meaningful and enduring wealth your family can enjoy for years to come.

Principle #2: Old Money Spends Money Where it Counts

Alright, now that we’ve discussed how Old Money families and individuals start with a long view of their wealth, the next principle to consider is that Old Money spend money where it counts.

Now, when you think of how Old Money individuals make financial decisions, you might be inclined to believe they are miserly or excessively frugal with their spending. Indeed, this perception paints a picture of those from long-established wealthy families as being tight-fisted with their money. 

With that said, however, this perspective only captures a sliver of the truth and can’t be universally applied to all Old Money families.

That’s because, when it comes to making spending decisions, Old Money families emphasize preserving wealth for future generations. Indeed, in many situations, they might adopt more conservative spending habits so they can ensure there’s more money around for future generations, and sometimes, this can be mistaken for someone being miserly.

Now, another point to consider is that, just as we just mentioned a moment ago, these families place a high value on the longevity of their wealth. To be sure, rather than making flashy or impulsive one-off purchases, they might invest in quality items that stand the test of time and can be passed on from one generation to the next. 

So then, this focus on longevity likely will lead them to make fewer purchases, and so, from an outsider’s perspective, it might look like they’re being overly frugal.

What’s more, it’s worth noting that many Old Money individuals don’t necessarily flaunt their wealth. Indeed, besides some of the rich and famous you might read or hear about on social media, genuine Old Money individuals typically don’t engage in ostentatious displays of spending, which can lead you to think they aren’t spending much. 

Now, what’s going on below the surface, and often what you can’t see, however, is the deep-rooted values that are being handed down through generations. And these values often emphasize responsibility, stewardship, and giving back that promote more purposeful spending rather than showing up the neighbors.

So then, how can you ensure that you’re spending where it counts? 

Well, to start, keep in mind the importance of quality over flashiness.

Remember, just because you can afford something doesn’t mean it’s a wise purchase. That’s why when you consider how to spend your wealth, think of things and experiences that offer long-lasting value and memories you can cherish for a lifetime.

For example, when you’re planning to purchase a new house or car, invest in those things that not only resonate with your taste but also those that will stand the test of time in terms of durability and enduring appeal.

Next, consider the ongoing costs of your purchases. You know, acquiring a luxury or high-priced property, more often than not comes with higher maintenance costs, taxes, and other professional needs. 

That’s why, before making such big-ticket commitments, think about the long-term implications for your cash flows and take some time to consider whether these recurring expenses will hinder your ability to invest or save.

Now, to spend your new money like old money, you’ll also want to take the time to discern between your wants and needs.

Yep, you’ve likely heard this one before and so, it’s essential to note here that we’re not telling you to pinch every penny!

Instead, while indulging occasionally is okay, keep an eye on habitual extravagant spending which can quickly erode your wealth if you don’t pay attention to it. 

Indeed, that’s why it’s essential to create a personal or family budget, even if it seems counterintuitive with your newfound wealth. To be sure, Old Money families still create budgets even though they might have millions of dollars available to spend because this practice instills discipline and provides clarity about their financial health.

Finally, when it comes to spending wisely, it’s essential to come back to our first principle and remember the legacy you want to leave behind. Listen, if you want to YOLO-it-up and die with zero, then more power to you. But, if you want to pass on wealth to the next generation or make a lasting dent in the universe, then your current expenses should align with that broader vision.

Either way, what’s essential to take away here is that managing your expenses like Old Money isn’t about restricting yourself but rather it’s about making intentional choices with your spending. And so, by adopting a more thoughtful and forward-looking approach to spending, you’ll ensure that your wealth serves you well and lasts beyond just your lifetime.

Principle #3: Old Money Knows when to Make it a Collaborative Effort

Alright, so now that we’ve discussed taking a long view and creating an intentional spending plan, the final principle we’ll cover here today is knowing when to bring in others.

Now, this principle is likely going to be difficult for many of you out there, especially if you’ve bootstrapped your career or business and built your wealth from nothing into something.

But you know, there’s a proverb that says, “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” And this proverb is a gentle reminder that while your individual pursuits might have led you to the wealth you have today, collective efforts from the people around you have the power to sustain that wealth so it can have more profound, long-lasting impacts.

Indeed, as you navigate life’s journey, this wisdom nudges you to value relationships and community, understanding that in the company of others, you can overcome greater challenges and achieve more meaningful successes than you otherwise would alone. 

Now, when you consider the trajectory of Old Money families, it’s critical to note that they’ve rarely sprinted to their fortunes in isolation. Instead, they’ve often built, maintained, and grown their wealth over generations, leaning on a collective approach.

And this collaborative mindset is rooted in the understanding that, while individual brilliance can yield quick gains, lasting wealth is most often the product of collaborative efforts.

How so?

Well, imagine if you were to handle all your investments, legal matters, taxation, and philanthropic endeavors alone. You might achieve some successes rapidly, but the chances of missteps or oversight would also increase because you’re stretched too thin. 

That’s why Old Money families recognize these pitfalls and harness the collective wisdom of not just family members but also advisors, experts, and trusted confidants. Indeed, they understand how beneficial it is to have multiple perspectives and diverse expertise at the table when it comes to sustaining wealth over the long haul.

What’s more, the idea of “going together” also extends to succession planning. You see, what makes Old Money families Old Money is that they often involve younger generations early on in the financial planning process. 

And so, by taking this approach, they’re imparting financial wisdom, values, and responsibilities from one generation to the next.

Indeed, this approach ensures that when the time comes for wealth transition or for other family members to step up and take on more responsibility for managing the family’s wealth, there’s a cohesive understanding and shared vision for the family’s assets.

So then, when navigating the complexities of managing your family’s wealth, remember that while you might be able to make swift decisions alone, the journey to preserving and growing your wealth over generations is more assured when undertaken together. 

Manage Your New Money Like Old Money

Now, it’s essential to note that the three principles we discussed here today are just a starting point for managing your new money like old money. To be sure, as you stand at the crossroads of figuring out what to do with your newfound wealth, you have choices to make. 

Remember, society often cheers for us to celebrate our big wins by living life in the flashy fast lane.

But, Old Money’s wisdom whispers a time-tested truth, and that’s that enduring wealth isn’t about racing to the finish line, but about the thoughtful, steady, and shared journey toward building a lasting legacy.

Make no mistake, while instant gratification has its momentary allure, the long view, intentional spending, and collaborative decision-making are the pillars that truly hold the house of generational wealth together.

So, as you chart your path forward, take a leaf out of the Old Money playbook, not just for the sake of following a stuffy tradition but for the promise of a future where the choices you’re making today are helping future generations take their own steps towards mastering their own financial independence journey.