For most of us, we never really grew up with more money than we can spend. With all the shows and things you read on the internet, it’s hard not to get caught up in the thick of it all. We all want to go on nice vacations, have nice cars and houses and to live freely and not work. Am I right?
Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover
Have you ever find yourself thinking, “if I only made $X more per year, my financial situation would be in much better shape”? Personally, that crosses my mind more often than I care to mention.
While it’s normal to allow your mind to wander into the abyss of ‘what-if’ and consider the possibilities of having mucho dinero, the unfortunate truth is; that dream rarely pans out.
It reminds me of a conversation that I had a few months ago with a close friend who easily out earns me by around 300% working as a fancy-pants, executive of a genetics company.
You can clearly tell that I’m not the least bit jealous, right?
Despite the fact that I could find about a bazillion (yes, it’s a word) things I would do with that money, I actually don’t envy him at all. Do you want to know why?
Yes, you read that correctly. My friend, who earns well over six-figures per year and has done so for the last two to three years, lives month-month.
Image Isn’t Everything
Outwardly, he doesn’t fit the appearance of what you would expect from someone living paycheck-to-paycheck. For instance, he drives a fancy luxury vehicle, takes extravagant vacations and lives in an expensive suite in Downtown Seattle.
He has all of the “things” of success but doesn’t truly enjoy any of it because, in reality; he is literally one paycheck away from financial ruin.
How does this happen? Shouldn’t high income earners be immune to the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle that is most often associated with low and middle income earners?
According to a study by NBC News, that answer is a resounding NO! The results from that survey show that one-third of high earners are living paycheck to paycheck, and that number doesn’t seem to be decreasing.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! With the right steps, you can be both a high income earner and still be sensible about how to spend it.
Have a Plan:
Independent of income, the number one reason most people end up living paycheck to paycheck is that they lack a plan. Without a proper plan, you don’t really know where your money is going. I recently met with a friend that was spending $2,000/month just on eating out. Keep in mind, most people budget a couple hundred dollars a month for food expenses.
Luxuries vs. Necessities:
Things, like eating out on a regular basis, purchasing expensive vehicles, and even paying for cable, can feel like necessary expenses after indulging for so long. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying nice things, remember – these are wants, not needs.
Spend Less Than You Make:
Living below your means and having an emergency fund in place will help you avoid financial distress. Although saving at least ten percent of your paycheck is ideal, you can start small and make incremental increases along the way. Setting up automatic transfers as soon as your paycheck hits your bank account is often the easiest way to get started.
It goes without saying that earning a high income is never a guarantee that you will avoid living paycheck to paycheck. There are plenty of former professional athletes that will agree.
Any time you spend as much (or more) than you make on a regular basis, you are setting yourself up for financial failure.
The fact that you’re on this site and you’ve read this far down means that you’re serious about making changes. By changing your mindset and adjusting your habits, you’re well on the way toward eliminating the possibility of financial failure for good!
As we get older we value our time more and more over making a few bucks.
TIME = MONEY
Time is our most precious asset, and it’s the one thing that money can’t buy back.
One thing to remember is that life isn’t all about making money, being rich and having nice things. It’s about appreciating what you do have in life and being thankful for your and what you already have. It’s too easy to forget that we can easily be in a position worse off.
Having money is just a tool; it’s there to help guide and assist you towards making money work for you, instead of you working for money.
Having nice things can be great, but do you really want to work til the day you die because you never took the time to set yourself for your future?
Good Luck, Newbies!