Why is it that so many people feel that they are entitled to a new car, a big fancy house, and a lavish lifestyle? What is it that has caused all of us to be so selfish and act as if we should all be living the lifestyle of a millionaire? For one, the media certainly isn’t helping things – showing us the lifestyles of the rich and famous with their designer handbags, diamond studded shoes, and their big smiles that make us believe that their life is amazing and full of happiness. Second, the marketers are doing everything in their power to make us believe that their product will make our life easier, more rewarding, and will make us happier than ever. Based on my experiences, happiness cannot be bought and it is time for you to act your wage.
What is Your Wage? Are You Acting Appropriately?
So what does it really mean to act your wage? Many people brush off this statement as if they know what they are doing financially, but in reality they are just as bad (if not worse) as the average American and should be checking themselves financially.
The most recent example I have heard of someone failing to act their wage was a fry cook that earned $10 an hour. He was sick of driving a car that was 14 years old that was starting to rust. He figured that by this point in his life he should be driving something nicer. After all, he had been driving this rust bucket for almost 6 years of this life. So, he went to the local auto dealer to see what he could afford. To his surprise, they approved him for a $25,000 car, but he would need to agree to the payments of $350 per month for the next 7 years. In his excitement, he quickly signs for the loan papers and drives away in his brand new car. This fry cook earns only $20,000 per year, but thinks he can afford a $25,000. He is clearly not acting his wage.
The last example is pretty obvious, but what if we look into our own lives? Have you agreed to debts in the past that you are still making payments for? There are many people that I work with that have credit card debt, boat payments, car payments, and of course, large house payments. They are living the lifestyle of the average American, but they are not acting their wage.
Finding out if you are acting your wage is actually fairly simple. If you have debts other than your student loans and a house payment, then you are not acting your wage. After hearing this, you might take a step back in disgust thinking, “But I need a dependable car so a car loan is a necessity. And, I needed furniture, so that was a necessary loan too!” Nope. I’m not buying it.
I have spent many years buying $3,000 cars and plenty of them did an amazing job for me. There is no need to spend more than $10,000 on a vehicle. Start acting your wage.
And, as for furniture, if you don’t have the money for it, then it’s pretty simple, don’t buy it. At one point in my life, I owed many debts and needed to pay them off quickly. Instead of taking on more debt and buying furniture, I did without living room furniture and bedroom furniture for 6 months. I had a mattress in my bedroom to sleep on and a dining room table with chairs if I wanted to sit down. It wasn’t fun, but it was responsible. I was acting my wage.
Because I was able to act my wage for that time period, I was later able to buy a very nice bedroom suite (that I found on Craigslist) and a sofa and baby grand piano for my living room. I needed no debt to purchase these items and the rooms looks amazing! It was definitely worth the wait.
Do you know of anyone that isn’t acting their wage? Maybe it’s you and you didn’t realize it until now!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.