5 Surefire Ways to Stop Thinking Your Paycheck is Never Enough

by David@MoneyNing.com · 63 comments

Speaking with high earners about the paycheck not being enough always turns into an satisfying chat. Even though the reasons are usually common (you just don’t know my situation being the most popular), we always end up with a good resolution.


Because no excuse passes the “the average income per household in 2007 was $50,233” test (source: US Census Bureau).

Why can so many families live below $50,000 a year while others earning 4 times in the same country still feel poor?

If you are wondering the answer to this question yourself, or if you feel like the paycheck is never enough, here are 5 suggestions for you:
frugal living1. Comparing Yourself to Others

A lady who got a windfall of $10 million (after taxes) in an interview with CNBC admitted that she felt poor. The reason was simple – she was comparing herself to the super rich. While she had $10 million dollars, she was wondering why she couldn’t buy that $45 million dollar loft overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. She wanted everything, so it made sense that she was disappointed.

As soon as you reach the top of a mountain, you will see that there are other mountains that are higher. In fact, some mountains will seem higher even if they are not. Stop comparing yourself to others.

2. Jumping Your Lifestyle Ahead of Schedule

Affordability is different for people earning $10k, $50k, $100k, $250k, $1 million, $50 million and so on a year. If your salary is $50k annually but you try to live the $100k lifestyle, your paycheck will never be enough. If you want to get ahead, the opposite (living the $50k lifestyle even if you are earning $100k) is more appropriate.

3. Measure What You Have and not What is Missing

I have a espresso machine that pours a set amount of water into the cup. One day, I used a huge mug and it seemed like there was no coffee in there. The coffee obviously didn’t change, but the container (our expectation) did. It seems obvious that the only way to measure how much we have is by looking at the actual volume of coffee but like many, I looked at how empty the mug was. Counter-intuitive and counterproductive.

Learn to appreciate what you have accomplished and what you possess, not what you want to get because it’s never enough.

Appreciate what you have accomplished4. Periodically Cut Off Your Expenses

I’m not talking about cutting off your unnecessary expenses like you’ve read before but actually anything that is not strictly for survival purposes. Periodically cut off your cell phone or your TV bill for a few weeks and see if you miss it. Coffee habits? Movie Thursdays? Stop them and see what happens. Not only will this force you to relearn what’s really “necessary”, it will help you inject variety into your life.

Obviously, common sense is required here when determining what’s necessary for survival. Taping up the air conditioning panel is so you can’t turn it on might be worth it but cutting the utility bill is not. Carpooling to work with your spouse is good to try but selling your car when you have no means to get to work is not. Use your judgment but stretch the bare minimum and you might be surprise.

5. Search for Alternatives

You know what? There is always a less expensive option for everything that we do. With the ease of information gathering brought on by the Internet, there is really no excuses not to spend some time researching to see if you can find a better alternative. Like pasta? Try the store brand spaghetti. Watch movies? Try Redbox. Can’t live without TV? Try HDTV antennas or watching them on the Internet.

Why can’t people live below their means even if they are earning 6 figure salaries? Because they just choose not to.

Start thinking that you can, and begin putting it in action.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Scott W Johnson says:

    I really like the idea of periodically cutting off your expenses. When you all of a sudden try and live without spending money you will quickly see how much $100 really is.

  • Corey Clark says:

    I love winning 5 thousand a week.

  • Alphonsus-Mary Gusiora says:

    What could you advice an investor who have made several minor investments here in this country over the years but have not received a single cent from any of those investments. Today he he is penniless has to depend on being a burden to others?

  • Dionne Clevenger says:

    Thank you for giving your point of view. I don’t have much but I am thankful for what I do have. Yes I do want more but not for myself but to help others. Some might say I am crazy. My friend tell me I have to take care of myself before I can think of taking care of others. But I don’t need much.

  • Rick Crist says:

    I’m really enjoying MoneyNing and I’ve done a number of unusual things the last few years to conserve. I have a nice 2200 sf home in Scottsdale. I love the home but it is much more home than I need. So, I have converted it to a rental property that produces a positive cash flow. Another money saving idea I tried is for the past 2 1/2 years – I’ve rented a home next to a large university, and I rent out several bedrooms to grad students for enough to cover the rental expense of the home. Additionally, I haven’t had cable since summer of 2009. As an experiment I stopped my cable. At first it was a challenge, but now I can’t imagine going back to ever-increasing cable bills. Also, because I don’t have cable I don’t need to spend money on a flat-screen tv. I drive a 2009 Accord that is paid for also, so my only debt is the home in Scottsdale which will pay for itself and then provide additional income in retirement. All of these changes were put in place over time. If you start with small changes and continue, you will be surprised at what you can achieve. My friends know that I am fiscally conservative so when they ask me to do something that I don’t feel is within my budget I reply “Suze says denied”. A reference to Suze Orman. Her book “The Money Class” has been a great help to me. I am very grateful for the great resources we have to support us in our goals of financial responsibility. MoneyNing always provides much needed support during times when I come close to straying from my financial goals. Thanks.

    • Paul says:

      Renting out a rental property? Isn’t that illegal? It is where I hail from. The owner can rent to multiple people, but a person renting a property cannot.

  • MEME says:

    What advice do you have someone who is young and should be in the prime of work years, but unfortunately became disabled? I worked as long as I possibly could, so my disability check is much larger than some people, and I became disabled serving in the military so I have some other benefits from that, too. However, it just never seems to be enough and I DO know that it is my mindset and skills set that need changing. It is just difficult to make as much as a regular working person and then have that cut and be a single parent and I have a lot of medical expenses not picked up by the VA…yada, yada. I know: a classic example of “you don’t know my situation.” I may be able to return to work eventually if I have more surgery but for now, I am stuck at home. What is your best advice? i already live mostly like a poor person, but it is paycheck to paycheck and I feel like I never have enough. Saving for retirement? I am already retired with no savings.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Have you tried any online type jobs? Look for freelance gigs at online job boards and see if you can get any jobs there. They may not sound like they pay a ton but the tasks are usually not that time consuming and you can make decent income from it.

  • Leanna says:

    I remember in 2002 my husband and my world came crashing down financially. I remember making a list of EVERYTHING that was a “luxury” in our lives and we were by o means well off EVER…..
    (a) Satellite dish immediate savings of $800.00
    (b) ALL TREATS i.e. potato chips, cookies, Tim Hortons EVERYTHING that was not a basic needed food was eliminated….I discovered that we paid at least $7.00 per day plus at Tim Hortons making “coffee” runs..or “coffee/donut” runs…… started cooking EVERY day…..no frills cooking meat veg potato meals NO desserts
    (c) We purchased BASIC NEED groceries ONLY…….
    I have absolutely NO QUALMS buying gently used clothing I get a LOT of brand names in excellent conditions and my mother-in-law is an amazing seamstress who makes amazing basic simple dresses with material that costs me “$0.00”

    (c) We had two vehicles…..We immediately got rid of our truck which I discovered I only miss about 2 or 3 times a year when it would be “covenient”….This was a great savings i.e. insurance…….repairs……gas (it was an old Hydro pick up with F150 engine………

    We made absolutely NO visiting out of town trips which saved gas (we live in a small town) and have 3 to 4 hour drives to visit family……

    Bought absolutely NO new clothing uless it was a absolute essential……NO make up……

    The ONLY thing I learned is you NEED to TREAT yourself once a month for example my hair NOT elaborate styles, dyes etc but to have it washed and cut…..my younger sister dyes my hair and does a absolutely marvelous job and it costs me Canadian $20.00 to have my hair cut and thinned.

    10 years later in 2012 we are doing much much better NOT rich but we have the basics.

    STILL no TV or satellite and we LOVE it! Still no second vehicle and DONT want one…….when we eat out we SHARE our meal since the portion is so large neither one of us NEEDS to eat it all……so a $30.00 tab = 15.00 each IS ONLY 15.00 = 7.50 each to share and we DONT eat out a lot……it is too easy a habit to get into.

    Now for my moment of truth……I have come a very long way …… I am an EMOTIONAL spender…..if I am upset…..chips, pop, chocolate……I love to read so I have read much over the past 10 years……..I started to walk and was up to 7.6 km/day until I became physically ill.

  • alain says:

    It is not so much what you earn, but the important part is what is left after you paid for everything. The fun begins by finding ways to give less of your earned money to monthly bills. A good example is to use the internet phone (VOIP), so no more phone land-line bill ($360 a year). You can also get all the free long distance ($1200 a year), free movies ($1000 a year), and no more satellite TV bill ($1200 a year). It adds up fast. My point is to reduce the monthly bills, as they are a killer on any budget. The internet bill: $400 per year covers everything.

  • WorkerBee says:

    Pattie — oh yes, I would love to move. We actually live 45 miles south of the city in a little town called Matawan, NJ – the commute to my job is about 1 1/2 hours each way so we don’t exactly live in the city — although we work in the city. That is usually the case for people who work in NYC…rarely do people actually live there. However even living that far out of the city, we have a 950 sq ft home — for the 4 of us — the mortgage with taxes and insurance is about $2700/month – then there are utilities, gas for cars, food, etc. I would LOVE to move to a cheap place — however we both work in finance type jobs — of which really don’t exist outside of a major city……I would honestly move though…and just work some low-end job …I never really enjoyed my career anyways……but my husband flat out refuses. My husband is from India so for him, the thought of living anywhere rural is unappealing as he thinks folks in those parts of the country will thing “Al Qaida is coming to town” the minute they see him. He’s beyond ridiculous…..and it sparks so much fighting……sigh ……should have married a doctor so I could just sit home and be with my kids……better luck in the next life ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Deborah says:

      Your story is some what like mine, I’ll give you your props though for being strong cause remember only the strong survive”so they say”. God Bless

  • Pattie says:

    WorkerBee, that sounds crazee to me. Have you ever considered living somewhere that is NOT insanely expensive, even with a salary cut? My children are grown and gone, but my husband and I gross about $80,000 a year together and live in a small city in central Virginia. The mortgage on our 2900 sf home is $1100 a month, and the rest of our expenses are likely to be about 25-30% of yours.

    The city is a nice place to visit, but who would want to live there??

  • WorkerBee says:

    AWESOME article!
    My husband and I pull in over $300,000 a year and it feels like we can barely live on that….we have zero debt (except mortgage), drive 10 yr old cars, rarely ever eat in restaurants, and dress pretty shabby — our clothes are as old as the cars! We do live in the NYC area though so perhaps the expenses of mortgage, daily life, and taxes are just high. I would LOVE to be a stay at home Mom….but my husband doesn’t feel we could live on a $100k salary …….I say it’s possible…..although property tax around here is about $1,000/month…….this article makes you think though!

  • Papa Ray says:

    A discussion that is missing here is the dangers and ease of Credit Cards. Long story short is never get one, never use one. If you have to have credit, like for purchase of a car or furniture on time, pick and choose wisely and know what your getting into. One or two percentage points make the difference of paying a little more than the product your financing and paying way too much for the same item.

    Yes you do need to build a good credit rating, but like they say in every real estate ad, “Never buy a car before you buy or lease a house”. Which brings up something else to consider. NEVER buy a new car or house. You can get the same car or house for much, much less if you buy used. When you drive that new car off the lot and it hits the street you have just lost 20 percent or more of the value of that car. Don’t believe me, do a little research.

    Another example, If you need a refrigerator, don’t buy a new one, look for a used one and when you find it, do a google on the make and year built and determine if it is a good buy and a good reliable unit. Also check out the business your buying from. Check out their Better Business rating and/or ask for contact info of previous customers. Always ask what the warranty is on used equipment, or if it has a warranty at all. Another pointer. Do you really need to have those 35 dollar Jeans? Shop thrift stores and Goodwill and you can find the same jeans in pretty good shape for 5 dollars. One more thing (I could go all day on this subject) when your shopping for food, buy the store brands if the difference in price is more than 5 percent. Also check out the store for day old breads and other baked items. Often you can buy something for less than 20 percent and it tastes as good as the “newly” baked items. OK, I lied, here is the last thing you need to know and practice in your shopping.

    If you use something a lot and are always buying it, consider a membership to stores that sell in bulk, like Sams Club. Just be sure that by the expiration date all of it will be used. For an example, I raised five grand kids and keeping them in clean clothes cost a fortune until I figured out that buying a years worth of detergent and associated items to keep them clean saved me a lot of money. Just as I found out that buying school supplies in bulk did the same. I also found out that going to meat wholesalers and buying freezer packs of meat and putting in a $200.00 chest freezer saved me hundreds of dollars a year.

    Shop smart and understand that having that expensive ice cream or cookies can be made much cheaper at home “from scratch” and is much more enjoyable. TV? We tried cable and satellite and decided we got enough TV programs off of Antenna, which is FREE.

    Use your head and do some research and you too can live on much less money. Save the rest for a rainy day or disaster.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas

  • Kim says:

    First of all, this article contains far too many exclamation points and too many exclamation points indicate frivolity and triteness. (Where’s the editor?)

    As for content, I do not agree with the writer at all. What about people who can’t afford rent and food or medical care? Would the author tell them to be satisfied with what they have? Ridiculous. There are far more people in these desperate types of situations these days than people who should simply cut back on their cable and lattes. This article doesn’t seem at all aware of the ugly realities.

    My personal philosophy is that although frugality can of course be a good thing, you only live once and it has been said that when Death finally comes, we all regret more what we didn’t do rather than what we did.

  • John says:

    This article uses too many “.”. They lose their importance if used too often…..

  • whattodo says:

    When we first started out together, my spouse and I were making only $26k together and we were able to live frugally and even pay off some debts. Then we moved to a larger city with a faster-pace lifestyle. Now, my spouse alone makes double that amount but is never happy with it because our (same square footage) housing costs more, eating less food costs more, driving farther in traffic to work costs more… basically all of our daily expenses increased. Live within your means sometimes means living in a humble city where your dollar goes further.

  • Ituri says:

    There are a lot of common, daily things you can alter slightly to “save” a LOT on your “can’t live without them” expenses.

    That phone? Do you REALLY need to upgrade it? Do you REALLY use the internet on your phone all that often? How often are you REALLY nowhere near an accessable computer? You can get 2 phones with text/photo for a plan less than $100, and a friend of mine has a “smart phone” he pays over $200 for monthly. Then he complains he’s broke.

    The tv? Do you REALLY need full options and a 3D tv? Do you REALLY need a 1000 channels? We get all the tv we can handle, including “new” shows, with a $12 a month subscription to Netflix, plus free Hulu. Our computer is also a tv, and our old flatscreen makes for a gigantic moniter. A wireless keyboard/mouse replaces all your remotes, and all you pay for otherwise is a cable modem, less than $45 from most companies. So once you have the equipment thats less than $60 for all our tv/internet needs monthly, while that same friend of ours is paying $160 for a “minimal” package with sports channels. (We can stream sports games for free, and so few commercials.)

    Now the pets. Does your dog REALLY need a wardrobe or fancy toys? A kong lasts forever, and tennis balls are 10 for $10 at Walmart (instead of 1 colorful one from a petstore for $5). Your dog doesn’t know the difference, and doesn’t care what you wasted from your paycheck on that fancy toy.

    Check out free entertainment in your local area too. Too many people think you have to spend, spend, spend to have a good time, but there are always a few fun things going on. Farmers markets, street performances, gardens/gardening. Grow your own veggies, we started and its actually a lot of fun to grow your own food. One less thing to buy at grocery, and “organic” if you avoid pesticides. If you live outside city limits, you can even get your own chickens (though that is harder to care for than a garden).

    • Steve says:

      Really?. You way overuse the exclamation point. It distracts the reader into thinking that everything you say is wildy exciting. It isn’t. Declarative sentences should end with a period. I hope this makes sense. Punctuation matters.

      • David Dodenhoff says:

        Well said, Steve. The substance of the article was good, but wow…15 exclamation points. That’s a couple years’ worth.

        • KiwiKid says:

          @Steve @ David Dodenhoff You both should go back to school. There is not ONE single exclamation point there. A whole bunch of question marks, but not. a. single. exclamation. point.

          And, every single question mark is where it should be. As are the full stops (or periods in the US… has a ToTaLlY different meaning in other parts of the world).

          So, I’ll repeat myself. Time. To. Go. Back. To. School.

  • Amy Saves says:

    #4- Agreed. If you stop drinking Starbucks and brew coffee at home, you can save up to $500 a year. Imagine what you can do with that extra money.

  • Eloisa says:

    Signing up in activities kept us busy (and not shopping at the mall).
    My younger son is currently in T-ball and my husband is volunteering as an Assistant Coach. Our Saturdays are very busy – enjoying and spending quality time with the family.

  • Nikki says:

    This is such a great post and is very true. I’ve watched people that made over 100k still feel as if they’re not making enough money because they live extravagant lifestyles. Then, when ish hit the fan, they were unable to support themselves because they had nothing saved away. Some even had to sell their expensive trinkets to continue living.

    I’d like to think that now that I’m in a better financial situation, I’ll be just as prudent as I was when I was genuinely broke- but I can already feel myself slipping into the “I’ll be able to buy more.” mindset. Thanks for reminding me that I need to stay just as focused and frugal to get ahead.

  • Nick Sweeney says:

    Great post. As a guy who went from a nice, cushy cubicle job to slinging coffee (totally on my own volition: I wanted a simpler life), my pay was cut drastically. It was scary at first, but I soon learned how to live my life with half the money.

    And even though my days of casting caffeine are long gone, I’m still trying my best to live off what I made at the coffee shop and save the rest.

    It’s amazing how we can feel inadequate and poor while we wash our car with drinking water. Thanks for reminding me how lucky I really am, even if I’m not making six figures.

    • Caroline Bowman says:

      Very powerful ”while we wash our car with drinking water”.

      I live in a place where food and clean water and other such things are not guaranteed to huge segments of the population. Not that that is in any way fair or right, obviously, but some perspective is a good thing. Most people in the world can only dream of what many commenters here have always had as part of a normal life.

  • Andrew @ Financial Services says:

    Good read. Oftentimes people even go as far as to make cash loans just so they can buy their toys in order to not feel “left behind”.

  • Stock Investing Guru says:

    A good rule of thumb is to just be blind to at least 10% of your monthly income and stash/invest it. Forget about it, you cannot go back to it. Leave it alone and let it grow.

    • Brian says:

      Good advice. Something else you can try is taking 75% of every pay raise and stashing it away (or invest it). Do it before you ever see it on the first check and you will never miss it. Kept me frugal for years, and I just happened to wake up one morning able to retire comfortably.

  • Jules @ The Francophile Files says:

    Great article. The espresso – big cup versus little cup – example was brillant.

  • Jane says:

    When I worked for a concrete company, the “blue collar” truck drivers made much more than us “white collar” office personnel. And that’s just the hourly wage and does not include all the overtime the drivers received.

  • Bec says:

    Blue Collars smoke and drink. Yes, yes they do. but at least they WORK for their money to do so, otherwise they would not be labeled *bluecollars*. The white collars look down upon such people while in the same breath calling upon this same set of folks anytime their air conditioners, autos/suv’s, plumbing, satellite dishes, phones, etc. go out. Funny thing is, I personally know both sets and hands down the blues most often outflank the whites in terms of common sense and courtesy. I’m a pink color with a blue undertone, meaning that I don’t look down @ the blues while sitting in an office. The other thing I have witnessed is the FACT that a lot of blues make more money than the white collars looking down their noses at them as they repair the lighting or hvac or other needed service so the white collars can do their work.
    Smoking and drinking are not appealing to me either, but you are correct in one thing: it is a choice. One that is quickly becoming extinct along with a whole host of other personal freedoms.

  • Money Beagle says:

    I think everybody is somewhat guilty of this at one time or another. I know that I am. I started off after college making $26,000 per year, and at various points have thought ‘how great things would be if I could just make xx’. Well, I’ve hit those goals many different times, but instead of being satisified, you move on to the next goal. I think, in a lot of ways, keeping a healthy dose of this attitude is good, because it keeps you motivated. But, you can’t let it consume you. Good post.

  • MoneyNing says:

    aj: It’s great that you don’t smoke or drink. Never mind the money but the health benefits too. I totally agree that in the end it’s just a matter of choice how everyone spends their money. There’s no reason why someone can live off $1,000 a month while another needs $4,000.

    Patrick: I’m so glad you aren’t one of them, otherwise I would not have known you since you won’t blog about money.

  • Patrick says:

    Very true. I knew a lot of people (especially while I was in the military) who constantly lived beyond their means and often complained about it. Many were young single males who wanted to have everything at once – the car, the stereo, gaming system, big screen tv, etc. I saw a lot of young people get into financial trouble.

  • aj says:

    Drinking and Smoking. Who can afford those habits (or even more illicit ones?)
    You see it the most in the more Blue Collar workers – the ones who are already barely making anything. To me those are a waste of money…I know there are negative health benefits too obviously, but more importantly to me is the fact that I do not want to be addicted – to be a slave to — habits like this that just suck the money out of my pockets faster than I can earn it. There have been too many people that I have worked with that constantly complain about not having money for something–even their kids Christmas– but still continue to buy their cigarettes by the carton every week. I see it as they are choosing to spend their money that way…cigarettes over whatever else…so stop complaining. I could never justify to myself spending $$ on an addiction therefore I do not have any. I am way to cheap.. Frugal, that is.

    • Kiwikid says:

      and remember, being in debt is slavery too! And if you lose your job what happens? Good thing they don’t have debtors prison like a couple or three centuries ago.

  • MoneyNing says:

    PennySeeds: Drinking is another one that I really don’t get. Every weekend, there’s some gathering and everyone gets drunk and spends $20, $30 outside just to get a hang over the next day.

  • PennySeeds.com says:

    It’s because no matter how much wealth people acquire they still don’t know how to manage money. So, it doesn’t really matter if they make $20k, $50k, or $100k a year.

    I work with people who complain about not having enough cash for new shoes, but drink their money every weekend. : p

  • MoneyNing says:

    Craig: Having money saved up is definitely about freedom. I really hope that everyone will just start having one already..

    SimplyForties: That’s gotta be why Home Depot has those huge carts when anything big from there doesn’t fit anyway..

    Bobbi: I increasingly find that spending time with people I love is much more than making as much money as I can.

    Jane: Let me know how you do with periodically cutting your expenses. Maybe you will find that you don’t miss half of those habits.

  • Jane says:

    Really liked the post. It’s so true.

    It’s easy to live a bare bones budget for up to a year if you have an exciting goal saving for a great vacation or for a return to school. But difficult for the longer term goals. But cutting back for a few weeks at a time should prove very doable and interesting. Thanks for the idea..

  • Bobbi says:

    Great Post. I do live below my means by choice. I love finding new ways to be frugal and just spending time with the people I love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • SimplyForties says:

    Great post. I like your coffee cup analogy. Marketers use that against us when they give us those giant grocery carts in the store. Looks like we have nothing in our cart and so we put more in. Same principle.

    • Kiwikid says:

      That is why one should use a grocery list and NOT get distracted by the “specials” that aren’t, the in shop tastings, etc.

      Funny my mindset says, ooooh look, only x number of things to pay for. Goodie goodie… but then I did have a Scottish grandmother. Unfortunately she married an Irishman which means too often I’m too stupid to follow her way… lqtm

  • Craig says:

    I agree with you that you have to put a positive spin on it and look at what you have, not what you don’t have. You are never going to be satisfied if you look at what you don’t have, cause the “wants” are endless. It’s better to live with or below your means so you can be prepared for emergencies, or just have more for when you do feel like splurging.

    • Kiwikid says:

      I disagree. It is ALWAYS better to live below your means. The lower the better because otherwise you are just a paycheck away from disaster. Think, emergency fund, emergency fund.

  • Heidi says:

    Great article. I love hearing the “you don’t know my situation” excuse.

  • MoneyNing says:

    marci: Great 6th point. Attitude should be #1 actually. During the last few years, I started to understand what a difference attitude can make. It can really “make or break” you.

    Natasha: Those are great suggestions. Whichever you do (either the frugal way or the wasteful way) will become your routine and you won’t think about it much.

    Rick: Sorry to hear. Hopefully you already have an emergency fund setup and is well on your way to finding a great job.

    vilkri: Sometimes the most powerful lessons are learned with mistakes and I’m glad you learned from yours.

  • vilkri - lower debt says:

    I made a mistake a long time ago when I jumped ahead of my income. The debt I took on stressed me out so that I made a pledge to myself to never to such a thing again.

  • Ron@TheWisdomJournal says:

    Wow. The coffee cup example was powerful.

    • Lauren says:

      That’s what jumped out at me, too. It’s a terrific metaphor.

      I always hesitate to use the phrase “first-world problems” because I worry that it encourages a generation that already believes that money will make you impervious to pain. Having said that, someone with a net worth of $10 million–even in NYC–complaining that she feels “poor” when there are so many people out of work is just grotesque. She really needs to start working with some charities and get a sense of how fortunate she is.

  • Rick says:

    well after a divorce and getting laid off, my income is not enough.

    • Pat says:

      You are in good company along with millions of others. Seems to be the “norm” these days. Good luck to you.

      • Kiwikid says:

        I’d call that bad company. But, and I know this is kinda late, Rick, be creative. In a big house? Get a smaller one. Easier to keep clean, easier to heat in winter (unless your in Florida or similar where that don’t count), replace a bigger car with a smaller one, less gas used for a start, if you can, grow a garden full of veges, cut back, or even better, kill off the meat and dairy, ain’t no good for you anyhow. All sorts of ways you can “survive.” And, your income, whatever it is, only has to provide for one, unless you have to pay child support in which case I feel for you.

  • Natasha says:

    It is also worth going ‘cold turkey’ – living on the bare minimum disposable income for 1 week (I suggest ยฃ25 or approx $50). Use this to cover transportation, food and recreation.
    While you are making your own lunch, catching the bus (much cheaper than the train) and spending saturday night in to watch TV (cheap), remember there are people on low incomes who live in this way.

    After that 1 week then you will feel positivley wealthy..

  • David says:

    Great post, David. It’s amazing to me that anyone making good money feels poor – after all, it’s the lifestyle they are trying to live that makes them poor, not their paycheck. Good stuff…

    • Kiwikid says:

      Remember, compare Apples with Apples. Not Apples with Oranges.

      Someone in the backwoods of Kentucky (ferinstance) is going to have way less costs to live than someone living in Washington DC.

      Therein lies a conundrum for a lot of people. Comparisons must be valid for “your” situtation.

  • marci says:

    6. I’d add, Adjust your attitude. Frugalness is a state of mind. It’s enjoyable to live a very simple lifestyle for those of us who have been doing it for years. It would be a drastic change for others. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • fiona888 says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      • KiwiKid says:

        Yup. My wife would NEVER be frugal. Even though I am on what would in the US be called disability and my wife works, she spends like we are pulling in 2 normal wages. WTF? I get $NZ70 a week. I used to get $NZ 600ish a week. Little bit of a difference isn’t it?

  • Pete says:

    It’s funny how “enough” never seems to be enough.

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