Why You’re Money Hungry But Still Poor as Dirt

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money hungryWhen you’re money hungry it is easy to see ways to save and make money everywhere. It’s like seeing the world through those obnoxious dollar symbol glasses.

Unfortunately, the money hungry aren’t seeing the dollar signs falling from their glasses into their pockets. As cliché as it may sound when it comes to money it’s imperative we work smarter not harder.

Why You’re Money Hungry, But Still Poor as Dirt

This post has been written by Brandon from 30and0.com.

We can all agree that The Beatles are considered one of the greatest bands of all time, right? Once they hit the scene they set the music world on fire and outsold every artist that dared to hum a tune in the 60’s.

Actually that’s not true.

They were outsold in 1967 by the Monkees. In fact the Monkees outsold The Beatles AND The Rolling Stones COMBINED in 1966 & 1967. Unless you are a huge Monkees fan this information is probably pretty shocking. The things we are most aware of and pay the most attention to are not reality.

The same is EXTREMELY true when it comes to our personal finances.

You’re money hungry but dirt poor not because you don’t want it bad enough but because you aren’t focused on reality.

  • You spend 20 minutes trying to find a coupon code for a $20 item,
  • Drive miles to save $.10 a gallon on gas,
  • Invest with a low fee trader but trade often or buy high-expense ratio mutual funds.

The things we focus on do not pay us back in an amount worthy of our energy. This is made worse when you’re money hungry and trying to swallow the entire financial pie in one bite.

Related: 9 Things the Rich Do That The Poor Do Not

Focus on the Biggest Reward, Not the Obvious

When it comes to investing, the money hungry will focus on brokers’ cost for trades. For a standard broker, these range from $5-$10. This means if you make one trade a month they will cost you from $60-$120 a year. Let’s say you’re a bit rambunctious and you trade 10 times month! Wouldn’t recommend it but I’m no Warren Buffet. This would be $600-$1,200 a year in trading costs!

…Not a small amount but not the largest pile of money in the world.

If we multiply this across a 40 year investing career you end up spending $24,000-$48,000! Yikes! Even worse if this money was invested in a taxable account with 7% return it would turn into $142,681!

That sounds bad, but what if I told you in your money hungry rush to focus on the trading fees you’re missing something that could be costing you $590,000!?!?

That’s over 4 times as much stolen from your pockets! Is Bernie Madoff hiding in your investment account? Not quite, the lesser known culprit are fees.

These can show up in all kinds of forms:

  1. Management Fees
  2. Bookkeeping Fees
  3. Expense Ratios

This is barely scratching the surface of all the ways your investments are pilfered behind your back. The $590,000 estimate was at a 1% fee. Too bad the average fees across mutual funds are 4%!!

This is one of the worst issues I see with the average “financially savvy” person. We focus on the costs right in front of our eyes that don’t hurt us much while missing the true causes of dirt poor poverty. We are prone to seeing the shiny object and totally missing the hand stealing our wallet.

Related: Can Your Mutual Funds Beat the Stock Market?

Money Hungry Needs Money Smarts

The example above is only one instance where we miss what could make us wealthy by focusing on the obvious. If something is obvious it’s usually meant to be or a law says it has to be. Yet, just because something has our attention does not mean it is where we should be looking.

Placing our attention where it can pay us back is the important part. Being money hungry is great but hunger without smarts will get us nowhere.

Focus on the decisions that pay back significantly.

  1. Instead of trying to save cents for every gallon buy a higher MPG car.
  2. Instead of worrying about your trading cost pay attention to the fees. This goes for your 401ks too!!
  3. Instead of buying the cheapest item available, buy what fulfills your needs and lasts.

To please even the most money hungry among us we need to make sure we are feasting on high calorie money meals. Focus your attention on what will provide the greatest return first. Then move down the list accordingly.

This means we need to rank the choices we make according to the return they provide.

  • If two choices are conflicting with each other we choose the better return of the two.
  • If the difference is negligible then do whichever is easier.

You Can’t Do It All

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Belechick. What do these three have in common? …other than dominance in their respective fields of course.

They all understand the danger of decision fatigue.

Put simply, decision fatigue is the more choices we make the worse we become at making the right ones.

The money hungry are the worst at this. They focus on so many of the low return choices that the bigger ones fly right past their exhausted minds. This is why it is important we focus on choices in the order that they provide us returns.

Don’t be penny smart and dollar foolish. It will leave you dirt poor and exhausted while no closer to financial independence.

Being money hungry will only bring you to the table. Make sure you actually have something on your plate to eat.

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