*WARNING: FINANCIAL BRUTALITY (AND LOTS OF SWEARING) AHEAD*
Yep. I said it. As vulgar as vulgar can be. Fuck a million dollars. Fuck a half million dollars.
$440,000 annually puts you in the 1%.
People put a lot of emphasis on money. They see money as the end game. Is money really your only barometer for success? If it is, you lose. You lost at life. See you next time. Bye. Auf weidersehen.
I’m not saying that money isn’t useful (the links in this post are affiliate links because money is useful), I’m really saying that most of us waste a bunch of it. Buying a new car every 3 years because you like the new features, don’t know how to work on your vehicle or because your neighbor got one and you’re itching for an upgrade too. Income tax return. Woo! That’s a stupid reason to buy a car, boat, gun, house, fishing pole, motorcycle, etc. What is next? A $5 cup of coffee? 5 times a week? What are you, nuts? Get a coffeemaker for $20 or a French press, like the one I have for $15, a badass insulated cup ($20), some bulk coffee from Costco (3lbs for $11, you’re just going to pack it with sugar and creamer anyways), and wake up 10 minutes earlier ($0). Seriously though, one of those insulated cups keeps coffee hot for almost too many hours, like it’s 3 hours later and you still might burn your face off. In under a month of not going and hanging out with a barista peddling overpriced go juice and having to listen to nonsense like Jack Johnson first thing in the morning, you’ll have recouped your investment on coffee stuffs and are now saving like $50 a month or something and you got to stay in your PJs a little longer. Put that money in a 401k or IRA, maybe towards your highest interest credit card, student loans, or an investment account like Vanguard or Betterment. Hooray for less money wasted! Now that it is invested, your money will work for you and start to make money by itself.
$375,000 is roughly all it takes for someone to retire and, if they do it correctly (i.e. don’t spend money on stupid shit, ride a bike to work, or not get into ridiculous debt or by living 5 people to a 2 bedroom apartment like a smart immigrant family), they can save up that kind of money in roughly 10 years. 10 years and you’re done working. Not that you’re done done working but done maybe working for the man. Punching the clock, if you will. Chances are you’ll still work but you’ll work on things that are important to you and spend your time on stuff you want to do.
Right now, most of us trade our time for money and mostly that sucks because we don’t get any time back. Time is a non-renewable resource. That’s why I’ve talked before about watching who you spend it with. 40 hours a week from the time you’re 18 until 65, what a prison sentence if you’re less than satisfied with what you do as a career. You were given a certain amount of time starting at birth (90+ years if you’re lucky) and, regardless of how much money you make or pouting you do, that is all you get to spend with us on this planet. “We know it sucks trading our time for money but there isn’t much we can do about it.” True, at least, until we start doing something about it. Start by paying attention to where your money goes, really look at it. Print out some bank statements for the last 3 months, make a cup of coffee with your French press and go over the hard truths about where the money went. A subscription to a magazine, game or website that you’ve forgot about and have been paying for months. Compulsive spending at the grocery store because you went while you were hungry so everything looks delicious (a bad habit that I have). Buying the new fucking iphone? Fuck the new iphone, Galaxy and/or Google phone. $900? How many hours are you going to have to work at the job you hate to pay that off? I bought a round-trip plane ticket to Switzerland to hang out with some badass friends of mine for $700. You can see the world, your priorities are just fucked up. New car? Hope you really love it because you’re now having to drive it to work to make the payment so you can continue to have the privilege to drive it to work. Can’t go to your job looking homeless? How much money does it cost you to “look the part” at your job? You’re paying money that you traded time for so that you can look respectable enough to go back and continue to trade some more time for money.
I know, I know. “Paul, you’re an asshole. Don’t point this shit out to me.” “I want to live in wage slave ignorance.” “You’re a hypocrite. You went out to lunch the other day or spent money on X.” Perfectly good observations and I am not perfect or retired yet, but I look at what I’m trading and I try to keep my end goal in mind most of the time. What is the purpose to you earning money? Why do you need it? Some people would say that the purpose is to have enough money, but how much is enough money? Is it a million dollars a year? Half a million? How much do you really need? Have you calculated it or are you just chasing the green dragon? If you’re equating increases in money to increases in happiness, you’re losing. It’s not going to make you happy. Take a pay cut for an extra day off a week to write, paint, take hikes or build something. Make dinner with a friend instead of going out. Use your public library more often. This is the better path. Thank you for your time.
*Affiliate links above will provide me with a little money. I pay annually to host the blog on WordPress so you’ll see these pop up from time to time as I try to get the blog to pay for itself.*