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When Your Paycheck is Never Enough
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who makes twice what I make. In the course of our conversation he says to me that he's stressed out financially. I ask him why and he tells me that he feels broke all the time. He just can't seem to get ahead.
Working in banking, I hear the same excuses a lot. The most common, and the one my friend tried the other night, was that I "just don't understand his situation." Yeah, ok. I make $30,000 less than he does, but I just don't understand what it's like to never feel like I can get ahead.
All snarkiness aside, the reality is that my friend needs to stop thinking of his paycheck as never being enough and adjust his expectations. So, here's what I told him.
1. Stop Living Beyond Your Means.
We hear this a lot in personal finance, but it's true. You can't make $60,000 a year and live like you make $100,000. My friend has two cars and a 5-bedroom house...and he's single. There's no need for all of that. Pick one car and sell the other, then sell the house and buy a smaller one. Sheesh, no wonder he doesn't feel like he can get ahead.
2. Stop Keeping Up With the Joneses.
We've all done this to some degree, some more than others. But, we compare ourselves to other people. Stop it! Even if you get to the top of that mountain, there will be others that are taller. When your expectations are not in line with where YOU are, then you'll be disappointed and overextend yourself trying to make up for it.
For more ideas on how to stop thinking your paycheck is just never enough, visit MoneyNing.com. I shared it with my friend and he’s got some major soul searching to do.
Anybody else find themselves in this situation? Tell us what you're doing! - Kristy Young