Can high income alone help you become rich?

You could earn lakhs every year but if you don’t strategically manage your money – save, invest, and spend wisely – then you may still be poor to someone who earns thousands but handles their money well. The differentiator between rich and poor is not income but watching your expenses, keeping an eye on your debt, managing your investments and thinking long-term.

The notoriously temperamental boxer Mike Tyson is believed to have made around $400 million in earnings but still had to file for bankruptcy in 2003 due to huge debts. In a similar vein, pop icon Michael Jackson’s debts of around $500 million were settled by the managers of his estate after his death in 2009.   In stark contrast, Subasini Mistry, who was born into a poor family of farmers in West Bengal and sold vegetables for 20 years in Kolkata’s Park Circus, was successful in getting her two-storeyed ‘Humanity Hospital’ for the poor built in 1996.   These contrasting examples establish the point that neither inherited wealth nor a high-paying career can guarantee financial success. On the contrary, one can be born in a family of modest means but still...