Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...[ Edited ]
03-10-2012 08:07 AM - edited 03-10-2012 08:09 AM
I guess my biggest problem is the people we associate with all seem to have so much more money than we do. It just gets to where you don't appreciate that you have more than lots of others you don't know and things could be so much worse.
....It also doesn't help that many people tend to exaggerate their own income.
Never ever never compare yourself to others. It's just as bad as comparing your spouse to some other woman. You can't do that and it'll only get you in trouble. You might think the people you are comparing yourself to are well-to-do. They might have that nice home or that nice car. Or you read on FB they they are taking their second vacation this year. But what they aren't sharing is that they have a five- or six-figure debt and are 30 days away from a BK if they lost their job.
It's called status. Status is buying things you can't afford to impress people you don't even like. Every community has them. These are the ones who drive a new car each year and are eager to impress you with their car waxing skills. These are the ones who talk with a high brow when asking about your financial endeavours. And don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with having a 7 or 8-figure home and a parking garage for your car collection, so as long as there isn't any debt behind them. But in comparing yourself with some of your neighbors, your are probably richer than most of them. I bet many of them have a net worth in the negative column.
There's nothing wrong with expanding wealth. If looking to do so, start with your budget first. Create a written budget and commit to it. There's nothing wrong with eating out everyday (except for health issues maybe) but if looking to shave off a thousand or so every year, that's a great place to start. Then go over every single CC and bank statement from last year. Go over it in detail and ask yourself, "Did I need that?". If the answer was no, then resolve never to buy that item or make that purchase ever again.
After creating a budget and resolving to trim future fat from that budget, then analyze if your income meets all obligations from now into the future or if you need to increase your income. I think you should. Everyone puts all of their eggs in one basket and when that basket breaks, their eggs break. But it's all tied up with 1 job for 90% of Americans. I recommend diversifying your income like you would investments. Add a second job. Add a business. Add investments. Get as diversified as possible. Dig your well before you are thirsty. And never be content with your current income level. A ripe tomato will eventually rot. Be in the process of growing and expanding.