Are you afraid to earn more?

This is a guest post from Rya Hristova. Rya had her reader story featured at Get Rich Slowly last year. She writes a Bulgarian personal-finance blog called kadebg.com.

Did you grow up in a modest family? Walking to school or taking the bus instead of having your own car? Wearing clothes your siblings have grown out of, instead of getting designer clothes? Always trying to make do or do without?

And now in your adult life, have you found reasons to pass on high-paying jobs? Saying, “Oh that job would have been boring” or “that job is not quite me”? Are you afraid to ask for a raise? Do you feel uncomfortable getting paid for fixing a computer when the owner is someone you know? Do you think that charging money for something you do somehow makes you selfish?

If so, you may have the “I'm afraid to earn more money” syndrome.

Saving Versus Earning

There are usually two main camps in personal finance: spend less and savers are often afraid to earn more money.

Okay, they are not afraid to take more money if offered it by their boss. But they are afraid to make more money by starting a side income or a side business. (I should know, I've been there.)

One theory has it that saving and earning more require different skill sets. Another theory says it's not the skill set but the mindset. Savers love security and stability while earners have a taste for risk, trying new things and rocking the boat. To earners, rocking the boat is fun! (While, as you can imagine, savers are mortified.)

So we have two very good theories here to explain why savers are actually afraid of earning more money. Oh, but wait…

…It Goes Deeper Than That

While there are many reasons for why savers are afraid of earning, that's not the whole story. Because savers are not only afraid of earning. They could also be afraid of just having a lot of money.

I'll bet you $50 that if you take a saver to the mall and tell them they can have anything they want for free, they won't choose the most expensive item. I'll raise the bet: they won't choose anything expensive. They'll just pick a regular item within their usual, affordable price range.

That's because most savers just don't know how to be extravagant. Lifestyles of the rich feel foreign to them. This scares them.

Take an Eskimo and offer them to live anywhere in the world. You'd think they'd choose to go some place much warmer, like near the equator. Or at least South Italy. But no, they are so used to the cold and ice that they probably find it beautiful. It's what they know.

Savers Are No Different Than Eskimos

The point is that, as psychologist Barbara de Angelis says, “how we see the world — and money in particular — is a product of our psychological programming.” That is, if you grow up in a home which struggled with money and in which the most frequent guest was scarcity, you are programmed to love it.

You don't believe that, do you?

Of course you don't. Instead, you're saying “Are you crazy, Raya? No one wants to be poor” or “Of course I want to be rich — who doesn't?!”

But what you say you want and what you really want deep down are not the same thing. If you've lived in a poor or middle-class home, you are bound to love it just like the Eskimo is bound to love their North Pole. It's just how nature works. You are meant to love the things that are familiar to you, and not necessarily the things that are better for you or that you think you want.

Mom and Dad in the Spotlight

You know how we say kids learn by example and not by words? You can nag your kid all day about the importance of fitness, but if you just lay in front of the TV eating fast food, your example and deeds will sink in, not your words.

So if you grew up in a poor or middle-class home, you are very likely to try and duplicate that atmosphere as an adult.

And what about your mom and dad? Maybe their attitude towards money was that money is the root of all evil, or that rich people are bad, bad people.

Or maybe your parents, while living tight, talked to you about how important money is and how it probably feels great to be rich? Well, again, those are only words. You hear one thing but you see another. You see a humble home. You see a rusty car. You see paint peeling off the walls. But you associate all that with mom and dad, family, security, good times, and happiness. And then the peeling paint and rusty car seem sweet and romantic. The picture now has its own charm.

A Solution?

So does this mean that you're future is set in stone? That your fate is to say you want to be rich, but act like you're running away from riches? That you will spend your life being scared of the big bucks?

Well the first step in healing your mentality is to realize all of that. Take a look back at your childhood and early years in your family. Look for “triggers” that may have set off your programming, like any occasions on which money was discussed. Do you remember any warm, bonding moments that you subtly associate with not having money, for example you and mom patching worn-out clothes while she tells you a family story or you and dad fixing the rusty car and having a laugh?

Note: I do not mean to say that you can't grow up in a modest family and be happy. I grew up like that and I was very happy. But there's no point in letting old strings keep you away from a financially secure life and abundance. You need to accept that you can have money and live rich and still keep your sweet childhood memories. In fact, they'll probably feel even sweeter — when you get rich, you can look back and smile, thinking about the long journey you've walked.

Your Life is a Choice, Not a Destiny

Finally, get up and do something about earning more money. It's really not that hard. You may not get it right the first time, but the beautiful thing is there's no limit as to how many times you can try.

After all, what's the worst that can happen? Even if you fail you will be right back at where you are now, but more experienced. And if you succeed, you will end up bringing more money in. Then more. And more.

It's ridiculous to be afraid of earning more money just because you were programmed that way when you were young. You're not a computer. You have free will.

Don't waste it.

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TB
TB
8 years ago

I have my full-time job and have a couple sources of “side-job”-like income, but none of the above pay enough to comfortably make ends meet. When I think about it though — I AM a little afraid of making more money because what would I do with it? If not paying off debt or bills, which my wife and I have a great system worked out for, then what do we do? Make a whole new system for investing? That’s a little scary. And it’s scary that I think that way. Thanks for the food for thought!

Romeo
Romeo
8 years ago
Reply to  TB

Perhaps, you can use more money to pay down your debts quicker? But, there is always a balance. Usually more money means finding more time to generate it, whether it is income earned passively or not. I don’t think everyone needs to earn more money if it comes at an expense of taking away time that you and your wife value. If you are content with your system of paying down debts and saving, doing what you two are currently doing is probably fine.

Greg Miliates
Greg Miliates
8 years ago
Reply to  TB

I _USED TO_ think that frugality was the only road to financial independence, and would look down my nose at people who earned more or aspired to earn more. But over the past several years, my worldview has completely changed. I realized that having more money allows more freedom. Having more money means having more choices, and not having to worry as much about the little expenses, and being able to afford more expensive things. Money is simply a tool. Whether we like it or not, we’re in control of our choices, and we can choose to earn more. That’s… Read more »

Katarzyna
Katarzyna
8 years ago

Never thought about it that way but it definitely rings some truth. We create the largest barriers for ourselves with our minds and that certainly also applies to making extra money. I think this relates not only to money but many goals that may seem impossible but if we change our mindset are within reach.
Thanks, i enjoyed reading this post.

Laura
Laura
8 years ago
Reply to  Katarzyna

+1. I’ve been on Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 2 for awhile now (and am finally making some progress), and this morning I realized for the first time ever that I could envision what a real (at least 3-4 months) emergency fund would be. Mentally I just wasn’t ready to even think about it until getting this far into my personal economic recovery; it was very much a mindset thing.

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Laura, thanks! I can relate to that, too. A while back I was reading the Secret and there was an exercise where you had to imagine your hands, in details, with your fingernails, watch, jewelry etc. – on the wheel of a brand new Porche. I was doing well with visualising my hands 🙂 but when I read the part about the Porche something just cracked – I couldn’t do it. I mean I could imagine it, but I couldn’t make myself believe it. I could well imagine my hands on the wheel of an average car, but that was… Read more »

Jim
Jim
8 years ago

White I can appreciate the point of this article, I must admit I’m not a fan of the tone – especially at the beginning. Being a “saver” myself, I don’t create new businesses because I value my personal time more than money, and smelling the roses is worth more than a big bank account. When I do spend money, I spend the time researching the best possible option, and I’m willing to spend the money to get it – I want the most bang for the buck. The tone here is something I’ve seen on other sites, and it always… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I was actually stunned by the comments about Eskimos — especially “loving their North Pole”.
I’m disappointed GRS would allow something like that.

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Agreed. The racism in this post really stood out for me.

jim
jim
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Excuse me. How politically correct and insane can you possibly be? That Eskimos would prefer their homes to an unknown area is racist? PLEASE.

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Hey there Elizabeth,

Sorry you found that reference offensive. It isn’t meant to be offensive, just to illustrate how we a programmed to love our way of living even though it may not be the easiest for us.

Meera
Meera
8 years ago
Reply to  Rya Hristova

It’s racist because it assumes that all “Eskimos” (not a term preferred by the people about whom you’re speaking) all want the same thing, to stay where they are. We wouldn’t talk about Americans all wanting to stay exactly where they are out of fear and comfort – we’d acknowledge that within the group different people want different things.

I was at first very excited to read the article and once I hit this part became disappointed. Even if you didn’t mean to be racist, you were.

Jay
Jay
8 years ago
Reply to  Rya Hristova

Folks, if you’re offended by this article, then all that I can say is ‘wow’. And ‘get over yourself’.

Our society here is so, so, so politically correct that it makes it oppressive.

Lighten up, get over yourself would be my comment to anyone thinking this is a racist post. I’m stunned anyone would arrive at the conclusion this was racist.

Cgirl
Cgirl
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

While I agree that part was an awkward turn of phrase, I don’t think that GRS should be looked down upon for “allowing” it. It’s a guest post. People have the right to express themselves, even if they do so inelegantly.

OTOH, having grown up in northern Minnesota (which is pretty darned cold) her example did help me understand her point.

…but I agree, it was an awkward phrase.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Cgirl

I agree that people have a right to express themselves, and I know from working as an editor that it’s challenging to balance a writer’s voice with good writing practices — like avoiding misinformation and inelegant writing.

I understand the OP’s point, but I think there was a better way to make it. (And I really hope people know that no one actually lives at the North Pole!)

James
James
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Most Eskimos DO love their cold environment lol. There’s nothing racist about it.
It would be racist to suggest that they all want to leave.

Betsy
Betsy
8 years ago
Reply to  James

Yeah but they don’t live at the North Pole, any more than the British live at Stonehenge or the Australians live on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Eskimos” are people, not mascots or symbols.

Helen
Helen
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I was also shocked by that aspect of this post. Leaving aside the condescending comments about “loving their North Pole”, “Eskimo” is a derogatory term. The indigenous peoples of the far North are called Inuit. The writer may not have been aware of this, but surely someone at GRS should have picked up on it. I can’t imagine they would have allowed any other ethnic group to be described with an offensive epithet.

Informationless
Informationless
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Eskimo? Really?

They’re called Inuit. Canada has most of the Inuit population, and I’m rather appalled that this word is still used. It’s really not much different that a derogatory term for any other visible group of people.

And that’s not even getting into the culturally insensitive at best, racist at worst tone of the article.

Michael
Michael
8 years ago

Eskimo was a more common term in Alaska, and Inuit more common in Canada.

Eskimo isn’t offensive, and certainly isn’t meant to be offensive. I’ve been to Alaska and am related to a bunch of Alaskan.

From wikipedia:
“The Inuit Circumpolar Council, as it is known today, uses both “Inuit” and “Eskimo” in its official documents”

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago

Pretty easy to miss her general point here, isn’t it, when you’re fussing about her ‘Eskimo’ comments…People, she’s coming from her background. I honestly don’t think she meant any insult by it. (And my daughter’s long-time boyfriend is part Inuit. A great guy, by the way.) It does seem as if she’s equating spending bigger bucks with being an ‘earner.’ I grew up being a “Hollander” (our family’s phrase for frugality, inspired by my Dutch dad). What you made was important, all right — but once you got a raise or a better job, you didn’t just go hog-wild with… Read more »

kll
kll
8 years ago

Just wanted to reinforce the point that no, Eskimo is NOT a derogatory term. There are people who preferred to be called Eskimo.
For those advocating calling native peoples in Canada/Alaska Inuits instead, that is also incorrect. Inuit is one of the tribes. There’re also Tshimshian, Inupiak, Tlingit, etc. That’s like saying you should call all Indians in the Southwest US “Navajo.”

Lolo
Lolo
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I agree. My mouth dropped open when I read it. Although I understand her ultimate point, there are culturally intelligent ways of making it.

Alaskan Tim
Alaskan Tim
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Glad it’s not just me. I was put off by the Eskimo comments, too. The tone was a bit annoying, overall, but as someone born and raised in Alaska, and having had cultural sensitivity towards native Alaskans inculcated into my being since birth, it got my hackles up a bit.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo#Origin_of_the_name_.22Eskimo.22 “No universal term other than Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, exists for the Inuit and Yupik peoples” — The example of “Eskimos” in this article was intended for illustration of a concept and not to oppress, exterminate, assimilate or exploit a minority. The Inuit-Yupik or Inupiat-Yupik (aka “Eskimos”) live in what most of us would consider an extreme environment, and yet are well adapted to it. This illustrates the fact that us humans can adapt to all sorts of circumstances and grow accustomed to them. The article isn’t asking you to “hate Eskimos” and send them… Read more »

Tarun Sikri
Tarun Sikri
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

It seems ‘EL Nerdo’ is a fake name used by J.D to fuel/douse comments as required.

J.D. Roth
J.D. Roth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tarun Sikri

???

Why would you even say something like that, Tarun? It’s the sort of lame supposition typically made by commenters at other websites, but not GRS. El Nerdo is his own man. He has nothing to do with me.

Well Heeled Blog
Well Heeled Blog
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

One of the things I’ve learned from my mom is that everything has a price, and sometimes you pay with hours and sometimes you pay with dollars. For the VAST majority of people, earning more money means working more – you take a job as a big law lawyer a consultant and work 80 hour weeks and several figures more than you might in-house, or you become the controller of a large corporation for $200K instead of the accounting manager of a smaller shop for $100K. Or you spend your life building a business and then sell it for several… Read more »

Megan
Megan
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

A lot of this post rings true to me, because I am afraid – to a certain extent – to make more money.

But you’re right, time is worth more than money to me. I’d rather wear clothes from thrift shops and have to “make do” or “do without” than to work more and earn more – but see my family a lot less.

Jacq
Jacq
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I’m a “saver” (probably too much) AND an “earner” – I don’t waste time doing work where I’m not paid as much / “bank for the bang” (that sounds bad) as I can get – so that I can have the time to smell the roses too. And not have to waste my time thinking about every little spending decision.

You don’t have to add on more businesses / work more to make more money – that’s actually terribly inefficient.

Another Kate
Another Kate
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

The tone bothered me, as well, though I am happy for GRS to run different pieces, even those that I’m not crazy about. I’ve chosen not to earn as much as I could, because my job allows me to work fewer hours per week (“only” 40) and spend more time with my family. In addition, while I am not a poster child for frugalality, I don’t believe I need to be that person who spends a lot at the mall, because that’s not what I value. I believe that, while money can be enjoyed, my money is not my own… Read more »

Dogs or Dollars
Dogs or Dollars
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Eskimo, Inuit-ness aside, to get back to Jim’s point, it’s not always about being ‘afraid’ to make more money. I do make ‘more’ money, and I’d often like to make less. Why? Because I know that would mean fewer demands on my time. I know that to make less money I’d have to have less overhead, which would mean a tighter ship financially speaking.

Everyone’s financial journey should not be about just making more money.

Jennifer
Jennifer
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree with Jim. I could work more hours or climb the corporate ladder to earn more money, but I value my time more. I only have one life to live and I’d rather spend my time with my family and friends, and doing things that I enjoy. In my opinion, that is more important than having a fat bank account. When I’m on my deathbed, I don’t see myself reflecting on my life and wishing I had more money to spend on stuff, but rather more time to spend with the people I love and doing the things that… Read more »

Katie
Katie
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Well, Jim, there’s the fact that Eskimos don’t actually live on the North Pole, for starters. And the fact that you were attempting to speak for an entire group of people and assume you knew their preferences.

Mrs. Money Mustache
Mrs. Money Mustache
8 years ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree that the tone has a bit of a “more is better” feel to it, Jim. It’s an interesting idea though and it’s good to hear other points of view. I like reading about opinions that are vastly different than mine because it makes me think. In my little world, most of the “savers” I know are also “investors” and they will plunk down huge amounts of money, say on a foreclosure property, in order to gain more money in the long run. Many of them know the value of money very well and know what they are worth… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago

People having different views is the most natural thing in the world 🙂 I, like you, read articles and theories that may be different than my current beliefs; in fact, that is how the biggest changes in my life came to happen.

Of course, it doesn’t happen everytime, but for me it’s fun to explore different or even contrary beliefs (contraty to mine). Best chance to learn something new. If you only read the stuff you like and agree with, how are you going to learn new stuff?

Russ
Russ
8 years ago

I have to say I think a bit of a false dichotomy is being set up here. I’m an ‘earner’ by most reasonable definitions (well into 6 figures) but also save as much as I can, love budgeting (I’ve got retirement spreadsheets at a level of detail you would not believe) and am not particularly a risk taker (broad index funds, dividend-yielding blue chip stocks, and government bonds for me). I grew up in a tiny terraced house, one (old) car, never went to restaurants etc – but now I live in a large detached house with three decent cars… Read more »

Ivy
Ivy
8 years ago
Reply to  Russ

Earning more is a path that some of us intentionally don’t take. And why being comfortable with your choice is worse than being unhappy and always looking for something more, something different? It would be clearer if we were talking about people who are in debt and need to earn more, but the article seems to be about people who are OK financially and just not looking for more earnings. I actually grew up in Bulgaria, like the author, and came to the US just over 10 years ago. And despite being a high earner, our family still enjoys a… Read more »

Justin @ The Family Finances
Justin @ The Family Finances
8 years ago

Wow, this really resonates with me. I grew up in a very poor family (free lunches at school, hand-me-downs, no money for extracurricular activities, etc). My dad was a factory worker, and my mom stayed at home raising us kids. Now I went to college and have a good job, but I can really identify with the “being afraid to earn more” aspect. It’s definately a mindset thing. I was raised to be an “employee” (to do what you’re told) rather than to be a “manager” (take initiative and think for yourself). As an adult in the working world trying… Read more »

TB
TB
8 years ago

In my job I figured out how to get a better raise than was initially offered; but my sister is in more white-collar work and wants to ask for more of a raise than they might offer at her one year review… any advice, Justin, on how to do that?

Justin @ The Family Finances
Justin @ The Family Finances
8 years ago
Reply to  TB

I work in corporate accounting (definately white-collar work). My approach was three-fold: 1. I searched for salaries of similar job titles at different companies within 50 miles or so of my location. If you believe your pay is significantly less than what other companies are paying, it helps to have it documented. 2. I made a list of the job responsibilities I had when I started in the position and the job responsibilities that I have now. I wrote out and explained how my duties have shifted to more involved work with more independent thought and analysis rather than the… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I agree with this insight about the birth family dynamic making it difficult to move into other work areas. I have worked full-time as a secretary while getting through my undergraduate degree and now my masters. Even though I achieved the highest grades in my departments in both programs and won awards, scholarships, etc., now that I am graduating and will be looking for a new job, I still find it difficult to even know where to look or what I am qualified for. Even though I have learned that I am intellectually and emotionally qualified for leadership positions, I… Read more »

Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living
Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living
8 years ago

I believe it’s important not to associate living frugally and being resourceful with being poor. In many cases, my family when I was growing up as an example, a family can live very resourcefully with hand-me-down clothes, cars that, at times, had a little rust and a non-glamorous lifestyle when their not poor. In fact, this kind of lifestyle is what keeps a family from being poor, no matter how much they earn. Earning and spending, in my opinion, are two completely different things. You don’t have to earn more to spend more or earn very little to spend very… Read more »

Beebs
Beebs
8 years ago

This is a thought-provoking article, and the author raises some interesting points. But what about the person who makes enough money to save and live comfortably, and doesn’t feel the need to earn more? I know this seems a bit crazy in our culture, but I’m getting a little weary of the “more more more” mantra. Isn’t there such a thing as “enough”?

MelodyO
MelodyO
8 years ago
Reply to  Beebs

:looks at title of blog:: Sure there’s such a thing as enough…but the people who read this blog probably don’t think they’re there yet and want some advice on how to GET there.

Steve
Steve
8 years ago
Reply to  MelodyO

Earning more and getting rich are not synonymous! It is quite possible to earn sufficient income to both live a reasonably enjoyable life AND save a large enough portion to get rich slowly.

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago
Reply to  MelodyO

There are many definitions of the word “rich” that do not refer to money.

Holly
Holly
8 years ago

It may not be the snow and ice that keep Native Alaskans in their villages, but the family and social ties. Some things are worth more than money, or warm temperatures.

JT
JT
8 years ago

Difference between rich and poor is, in my view, more directly related to feelings about debt than saving more vs. earning more.

There is no easier way to earn more than to leverage. Earning more often requires more hours invested. Earning more with investments especially requires more capital, but not necessarily more time.

So, if you can borrow money, you can earn more in the same amount of time as an investor. Real estate investors seems to know this better than anyone.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago

Saving requires knowing what other things are worth. Earning requires knowing what you are worth. That is where I struggle. Maybe some of it is fear, but some of it is not growing up with an example to show me how.

Jenna
Jenna
8 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Well said Vanessa and I agree completely about the examples of what we are worth following us into adulthood. Not all of us grow up learning that we are worth anything or can do/be what we want. I think there is more of a correlation between growing up poor with lack of positive examples and consumer debt, not saving. Once I realized that I could be more than my upbringing indicated and that I was not a “sell out” to my roots, I began to dig out of debt and work toward bigger goals.

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Jenna

Jenna, I love your comment. Great point.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 years ago
Reply to  Jenna

Once I realized that I could be more than my upbringing indicated and that I was not a “sell out” to my roots, I began to dig out of debt and work toward bigger goals. The internet has been the best thing that’s happened to me in this regard. I’d never been exposed to people who had an “anything is possible” mindset before. It really helps to balance out the proclamations of gloom and doom I get from my own family when I want to stretch outside of my comfort zone. I have to ignore most of the advice they… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
8 years ago

Personally, I see myself as a hybrid which makes sense as my dad is a “saver” and mom is an “earner.” They both grew up poor but did quite well for themselves because of their hard work.

I’ll probably continue to travel between the two camps. Saving is smart but it’s nice to “treat yo’ self” every once in awhile too.

Bethany
Bethany
8 years ago

Wow. I feel like this article was written about my life. I was raised in a lower middle class family and was sent school in rummage sale clothes. Money was tight and I knew it. I do not regret this and I am not embarrassed of it. I am infact proud of what hard workers myself and my family members are but after reading this article can see some programed thoughts around money that are holding me back and that are a result of this: “Money is bad.” “Wealthy people have empty and emotionally unsatisfying lives.” I know these things… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

Thank you, Bethany! I felt lost about money for quite some time and it wasn’t until recently I realized how many subtle messages I soaked up in my childhood that made me feel I didn’t deserve or couldn’t or shouldn’t have more money.

(My parent’s didn’t do it on purpose, of course, and I don’t have any issues with that.)

ldk
ldk
8 years ago
Reply to  Bethany

The messages we receive from our families growing up are really powerful…I was raised to “get a good education and learn to take care of yourself” (ie. become self-employed) while my husband was raised to “get a good union/government job with a pension”….neither bad advice but certainly somewhat at odds from one another.

{For the record, we are self-employed business owners….and his family treats him like one of the “1%”}

Marianne
Marianne
8 years ago

I can kind of relate to this article. I don’t know what income level to put my parents at because it was considered absolutely uncouth to talk about that. They did however run their own company, send their 6 kids to private schools and had money to do a lot of travelling (they did mission work) and such. My husband says they are unequivocally rich but I never thought of ourselves that way. My parents are not flashy or showy. They are kind of frugal (no cable) and kind of not (house in Florida). Mostly though what I learned from… Read more »

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
8 years ago

I love this article–lots to think about. However, there is something missing–life itself. Do we earn to live or live to earn? I think the article looks at most the extremes–those in poverty and those who are really rich. What my parents taught me that is that happiness is most important and that time is the one asset that we have no control over. We all only have 24 hours in a day and tomorrow is not guaranteed. If we have enough to make us happy and we are truly happy with where we are, then there is not the… Read more »

Sharla
Sharla
8 years ago

In my work with a wide variety of families as a teacher, I agree that the psychology of earning and spending is complex. I personally fall into the saver category, but I’m not really afraid to earn more–I just don’t see the need. We pretty much do the least work we need in order to live, and enjoy our time instead of our money. I don’t think my life would be better if I had more money, simply because then I’d have less time. There are a lot of implied value statements in this post that do not align with… Read more »

Jacq
Jacq
8 years ago

I grew up in a family of super-savers (who were also high earners who didn’t spend any of it). Where it manifested itself when I became an adult was that – first, I indulged myself in my late teens and very early 20’s. Then when money became scarce during university, the transition to spending less wasn’t difficult, I pretty much knew what to do and how to do it and it didn’t feel like too much deprivation. It felt kind of normal actually. My 23 yo son OTOH, who experienced the same kind of low income during his university years… Read more »

Karen
Karen
8 years ago

I’m a saver who also happens to make 6 figures. My parents have always been cost-conscious, even when they each started making way more than I make now, but I exceed them in frugality to the point where even they wonder where I got it from. The premise of the article is true for me in the sense that I don’t like having a lot of money around, but that doesn’t mean I’m denying myself the benefits of a great income. I give myself a guilt-free play budget and just shovel all that money into savings and extra principal on… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Karen, I actually do the very same with my money. Before, I didn’t actually realize I was afraid to earn money. That’s a subtle issue that many of us may not be aware of. After I realized I had that issue that was holding me back, I was able to overcome it. Now I earn well but shovel a lot into savings and investments.

Jose Dias
Jose Dias
8 years ago

I hate to save money. I hate frugality.

I urge to earn more and spend it all having fun.

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago
Reply to  Jose Dias

Yeah, well let us know how that works out after you get sick, hurt or lose your job…and something like that WILL happen sometime in your working life. Good luck covering your bills after that.

psiber
psiber
8 years ago

This kind advice might make sense in a post-communist society, but in a democratic capitalist society like the United States, it’s hard to miss the irony of his get rich be happy mentality. A quick overview of Bulgaria’s recent economic history (re the 1997 economic collapse) and existing income inequality, might suggest a different approach. I would hope that most educated readers of this blog would be suspect of any philosophy that equates security and abundance.

smirktastic
smirktastic
8 years ago

“That is, if you grow up in a home which struggled with money and in which the most frequent guest was scarcity, you are programmed to love it.”

Not necessarily. My husband grew up poor – one of 4 kids, absent father, welfare, no money for extras of any kind. Now as an adult, he can’t spend fast enough. He fears nothing more than being poor again.

Jenna
Jenna
8 years ago
Reply to  smirktastic

You said “Now as an adult he can’t spend fast enough.” I think that illustrates the authors point because he is recreating scarcity. I grew up with similar circumstances and overspent in my 20’s to try and “fit” in with friends from well-off families and shake off my poor background. When the s*it hits the fan and there is no savings, scarcity has returned.

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

Seems to me this sets up a false dichotomy between “savers” who earn less and spend less, and “earners” who earn more and spend more. In my experience, there are a lot of people who earn less and spend more, or earn more and spend less. Personally, I’d like to earn more and spend less – and I’m working on both of those things. But I’m not willing to sacrifice tons of time – especially time with my family – for more money. I’d rather have less money and more time with my family – something this author doesn’t seem… Read more »

Meaghan
Meaghan
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I agree. It feels like the author is asserting that being wealthy (or living in the south of Italy) is the only rational choice, without considering that some people may value non-tangible things like free time, relationships, or a clutter-free life more than the amount of zeros in their bank account. What I like about GRS is that there are so many voices and so many different definitions of the word “rich”, whether it be financially, emotionally, etc. It’s fine that this author feels that the traditional definition of rich is what speaks to her, but I don’t like the… Read more »

Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise
8 years ago

This is nothing more than someone ordaining themselves to be a PhD in behavioral finance. While the article is difficult to follow, I can’t help disagree with the themes. Take my spouse’s family. My spouse is the only one who saves while the others are out spending faster than it is coming in. Same house, same rules. I grew up with parents who didn’t save, but I am an saver. Why does earning more suck? Because it means more work. and I’m not talking about asking for a raise you deserve, that is called getting paid what you should, not… Read more »

sarah
sarah
8 years ago

I can’t say I read the whole article, it was tedious and repetitive, but I strongly disagree with the fundamental idea that it’s a bad thing to be happy with what you have and that people should push themselves to want more. The examples that struck me: an “Eskimo” not knowing enough to want to live near the equator (so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to start) or a middle class person not knowing any better than to be happy with a middle class lifestyle. Why not take that a step further and laugh at kids… Read more »

K.C.
K.C.
8 years ago

As some others have pointed out, there is a difference between living rich and being rich. A person can live rich on credit, at least for a time. Others have a high net worth and live modestly. Most people have to make a choice between living rich and being rich. They simply don’t make enough money to do both. I’m skeptical of the notion that earning more necessarily makes for a happier life. I know of people who are on the more income treadmill. They are never happy because they never seem to be able to earn enough, even though… Read more »

Autumn
Autumn
8 years ago

I have struggled deeply with this issue. I grew up with my father working in a factory and my mother stayed home. My parents gardened, canned, hung clothes on the line and mon sewed not only our clothes but our toys. It was a wonderfull childhood. I went to an affluent private college full of obnoxious, ungrateful rich kids. I had financial aid, a mountain of student loans and had more jobs than opportunities to party. Attending there solidified this unspoken belief that money was bad. Fast forward. I have bee married 16 years to an amazing man who started… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Autumn

Hey Automn, I know EXACTLY how you feel and what you mean. I absolutely do. When I started earning more money, it was hard to drop my old habits. I still can’t shake some of them. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal, but there’s nothing wrong with NOT being frugal when you want to, and when you can afford to.

I know sometimes I feel guilty when I splurge. Why not splurge? I’ve certainly worked for it. It’s certainly not going to break my budget. Yet somehow it still feels wrong.

Bella
Bella
8 years ago

While I get that a lot of you are struggling with the author’s clumsy use of the Eskimo example (for some reason I think if she had used Russian’s as an example there would be less backlash – and I can’t figure out why that is for the life of me). You all need to realize that she is not born and raised in America – the land of cultural sensitivity above all else. I agree that there are better examples, and that not every person who saves, who earns a meager income is afraid to earn more. She’s just… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
8 years ago
Reply to  Bella

Thank you Bella. I think the range of responses to this article is a textbook illustration of narcissistic bias! Some people are reading into the article their own inherent worldview and responding as if every word were aimed at them personally.

I think the psychology Rya is describing is perfectly valid. Some people are offended by her phrasing or “tone.” All should just remember the GRS mantra, do what works for you.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Bella

Please add my vote to this. Why do people choose to focus on being offended at the expense of everything else? The article had some nice ideas. Some of them are similar to those put forward by Jerrold Mundis in “Earn What You Deserve”. He posted here recently, and his book actually says it’s “not about working harder or living on chicken wings”. It’s about being “a compulsive underearner”. I like that book and I like this article. The thing about being accustomed to a certain lifestyle/ environment/ surroundings also rang true with me, I have experienced this first-hand. I’m… Read more »

Kei
Kei
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

No one is “choosing” to be offended. Your response is derailing.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Kei

People don’t choose to be offended, but they choose to wallow in the offense. Being offended about something is a sign of virtue these days– and how people love to display their “virtue”! Like a chest full of war medals. The one-upmanship of I am more offended than you is a horribly annoying fashion.

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

People ARE discussing whether or not people are held back by ingrained behaviors. The “eskimo” example just brilliantly demonstrates why the premise is flawed. There have to be a thousand good reasons that Inuit people choose to continue to live where they do (and surely some bad ones).

To chalk it up to fear is an oversimplification just like the entire premise of the article is an oversimplification.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

There are a million reasons why people love the land where they grow up, and yes the Eskimo example is a bad one, and unfortunately took over the discussion. The article would have gained focus if the author had spoken from her own experience or from someone in an interview rather than come up with the stereotyped scenario about imaginary Eskimos that live in a horrible place just because they’re used to it– it of course doesn’t work that way. But it can be true that if you grow up poor and get rich you might feel like a traitor… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

(and to continue): I work in the arts, and the mythology of the “starving artist” has been a horribly damaging one for me. It’s taken a long time for me to learn that being an artist doesn’t require you to a) be constantly broke, b) wait for someone to give you money, c) have a day job because you can’t make money from art. I grew up in a middle class family with rising prosperity, we made it to the upper middle classes, and the expectation was that I would grow up to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

#95 “El Nerdo” I think the concept of the “starving artist” is a great illustraion. I also work in arts (dancing and writing) and I’ve often felt that if you strive to make good money on arts you somehow betray the concept of art. I grew up with the beliefs that art is a spiritual thing and you MUST NOT be materialistic about it – that if you want to make good money with art you take everything noble out of it. I also know many people who work in arts and almost all of them feel the same way.… Read more »

phoenix1920
phoenix1920
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

I agree that people generally get offended too easily on GRS (and in the world as a whole) and too often if they feel “attacked”, they will attack back, which puts out a bad tone. I don’t like the term “narcissistic bias” as used here, though, because the entire article is written with the word “you” and asks the reader to think about their own individual life. It feels a little disingenuine and false to use a term that people are making it about themselves when the author invited it by penning the entire article in “you.” Using this type… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  Bella

I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head, Bella! I agree with you about questioning your circumstances and make sure what you’re doing is what you want. I think Rya made a good point there. And chacha, I don’t think it’s narcissistic to be sensitive towards other people’s cultures and way of life. We’ve learned (and are still learning) the hard way in Canada — think residential schools, land disputes, poverty on reservations and issues of autonomy and identity. I don’t think Rya’s comments were racist, just that she isn’t aware of these complex issues. (That’s okay. I… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

This really is an editing failure more than anything else.

sarah
sarah
8 years ago
Reply to  Bella

You miss the point. The problem isn’t the use of the word “eskimo” it’s the idea that they live where they do, the way they do, because they are too ignorant or “afraid” to go elsewhere.

You might as well say people live in Chicago because they’re too stupid to go to Florida where the winters are mild.

It’s a bad example, it doesn’t make sense, it makes a whole (already oppressed) people out to be stupid, and it’s not the only thing in the article that generally makes no sense, so it’s not easy to overlook.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

I didn’t miss the point, I saw what the author was trying to say, I just think she did a poor job of it and it comes across wrong and people are piling it on.

Also, while I agree with her encouragement for people to earn more and not be afraid of success, I don’t agree with her stereotype of “savers” and “earners.” You can save and earn at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive behaviors–and someone who makes $10 million but spends $11 million is not an “earner”, but a fool.

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  sarah

I couldn’t agree more, Sarah. It was an awkward example that portrays native people in a negative light. I understand the point she was trying to illustrate but this was not the way to do it. It’s incredibly othering and reduces “Eskimos” down to an overly simplistic trait- if you offered an Eskimo a warm place, they wouldn’t take it! CRAZY, huh? Which is also kind of a strange thing to say, anyway- why does choosing a cold climate over a “naturally” better warm climate say anything about being stuck in one’s ways? One of my friends is stationed in… Read more »

Tina
Tina
8 years ago

I felt alot of what she is saying is true. It was very hard for our family to “downsize” our finances when my husband’s high earning job was gone and had to take a much lower income job(cut his income in half). It has felt like eating lobster but now eating mac and cheese. Not appealing at all. We stress everyday because bills only go up or stay the same, never less and have cut out everything we can. We have a side business. I am a saver and I am scared of having a business but not for the… Read more »

margot
margot
8 years ago

WHY DO YOU WRITE UNTRUE, GENERALIZED GARBAGE LIKE THIS?? You wrote: People who are good earners like to indulge themselves. They just plain hate words like “cutting back”, “save”, or “budget”. WTF? Do you not know very many “good earners”? “Good earners” come in all shapes and sizes. There are good earners who spend every penny they earn and who are in debt, there are good earners who are wise with money and also indulge, and there are good earners who are so frugal you’d think they were poor. No matter how much my grandma had earned, she would never… Read more »

Amanda
Amanda
8 years ago

Speaking as someone who was actually able to jump income brackets. I would have to say the writer is correct. Even though I am able to make a lot more money than most of my friends and family, I feel really guilty about it. Because lets be honest, people working minimum wage are working a lot harder than me in my office, but thankfully not a lot of people can do what I do. My family has some lifestyle creep with the extra income, but mostly we are able to save a whole lot. We can save 40% of our… Read more »

Sleeping Mom
Sleeping Mom
8 years ago

I’m a little bit put off by this article. I think the general tone sounds condescending, sort of like, “Hello, McFly?!” type of tone.

I think the article has too many generalizations too, like stating “People who are good earners like to indulge themselves.” Can the author at least cite some links or resources to this statement?

Perhaps a better way to phrase the article is to simply state that maybe a person’s upbringing, particularly if it was one of saving, can determine whether you prefer saving over earning money.

Isela
Isela
8 years ago

“they are not afraid to take more money if offered it by their boss. But they are afraid to make more money by starting a side income or a side business. (I should know, I’ve been there.)”

But of course I am afraid!

In both cases I will have to take more responsibilities and have less time available.

Why shouldn’t be afraid of that?

You can call it fear, I call it ego. My ego may say I can get more money, but my heart tells me that I am just fine and healthy without more.

Brian H McClelland
Brian H McClelland
8 years ago

Rya, from the comments, it is sad that there are so many that are hostile towards you.

I am sure that those responding know nothing about Bulgarian’s, the various ethnic groups and your customs. They would have made the same comments regardless of what ethnic comment you may have made.

I am a Red Man, Indian, American Indian or Native American; whatever people chose to refer to me as. How much do they understand our customs and living on a reservation.

Thank you for writing you article.

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago

Hi Brian, Thank you for your kindness 🙂 I was honestly dumbfounded by the reactions regarding the Eskimo reference. I just could not understand why it was qualified as “racism”. Then I read in further comments that apparently the proper word was “Inuit”. Alright, note taken 🙂 I guess people from other countries are very sensitive to cultural/ethnic references. Another note taken 🙂 But I still don’t understand completely the fuss about the Eskimo reference and why it was deemed “racist”. Maybe that’s because we never really had big issues with racism in Bulgaria. There never was a time here… Read more »

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  Rya Hristova

I’m sorry, but to say that no one is a victim of racism in Bulgaria is not true. No country or culture is immune to racism. There are many stories of African immigrants being treated terribly in Bulgaria (85% of them report abuse and or violence against themselves due to their face. This organization keeps tabs on the oppression of various people in different countries and there is an overview of Bulgaria- http://www.workingagainstracism.org/bulgaria_overview_01.html There is also an issue of skinheads, and this man shares his story- http://birn.eu.com/en/93/10/3617/ There was the widely publicized issue of Bulgarian fans chanting racist insults at… Read more »

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  Rya Hristova

“Even when it doesn’t get to the point of violence, a display of racism and suspicion from all sides is almost a daily occurrence,” journalist Denitsa Kamenova noted in a 2005 academic article on the African community in Bulgaria. Kamenova noted characteristic “looks of disgust in public transportation (obviously the vicious association ‘black = unclean’), refusal of service in stores or of a ride in a taxi, and the apparently innocent, yet insulting assertion, that all ‘blacks’ look alike and cannot be told apart”. Nasredin Rabi Abdu laughs off some of his more comic experiences, like the time he was… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Cortney

Hi Cortney,

I appreciate your effort on exploring the subject of whether or not there is racism in Bulgaria. I read the links you posted, but I have to say they hardly make a case. There will always be people, in any given country, who would be mean and would love to pick on ANYTHING to attack a certain person verbally or physically.

Cortney
Cortney
8 years ago
Reply to  Rya Hristova

Rya, your reply has me dumbfounded. You misinterpreted my intent in providing those links. Any heterogeneous society is going to have issues with racism, full stop- I was not providing links to prove my point but rather to ask you why you ignore such issues in your own country by saying Bulgaria doesn’t have problems with racism. My frustration is with your blithe hand waving aside of the fact that Bulgaria (like any other country) has issues with racism. Your saying you don’t doesn’t make it go away and is incredibly ignorant and oppressive to marginalized people. You have an… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  Cortney

Hey Courtney, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say to this. I have a certain view regarding the matter and you have a different view. Even if we suppose that you are right and I’m wrong, then what of it? I understand what you’re saying and I guess I partly understand where you’re coming from; but I still disagree. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree 🙂 As for the rest of the commenters, they are of course free to explore the subject and make their own minds. I have voiced my personal opinion, and to me that’s… Read more »

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

I really liked this article. What I find most ironic is that you can see this bias in the comments – most everyone commenting associates making more money with having less time, which means spending less time with friends and family. Therefore, people who make more money don’t care about their friends and family. People would rather have free time. Somehow this turns into “I’m a better person for just being content with what I have instead of being a greedy person who makes more money.” I find this interesting because of my personal situation. I have roughly the same… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago
Reply to  Sara

The article explicitly associates
a) Having more money with starting a side business (which does take more time)
b) Not having more money with being AFRAID of having more money.
I think that is what people are taking issue with.

Another Kate
Another Kate
8 years ago
Reply to  Sara

Thing is, I think that OFTEN (though not always) higher wages do come from working more hours. There are people who do make high salaries working less than full time, and those who make low salaries and work significantly more than 40 hours a week (in those cases, they are probably just trying to support their families or get ahead). But most high-salary positions come with expectations that you’ll put in more than 40 hours a week, whether or not that is fair or you are actually any more productive putting in more than 40 hours a week. It seems… Read more »

Gary
Gary
8 years ago

I’m from Alaska and happily married to a full blooded Eskimo (Inupiat) and I can assure you comparing financial saving to an Eskimo wanting to live in a warm climate, is the most ridiculous comparison I’ve ever heard. And yes it is racist, and reminds me of the stories she tells me of the 1950s, when they were compared to dogs, and not allowed to go into shops in downtown Anchorage. She also tells me about going on a date with a Serviceman to a movie and not being able to go inside because she was Eskimo. So you tell… Read more »

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
8 years ago
Reply to  Gary

Wow, brother, I feel your pain, and what your wife went through is terrible, but honestly, I fail to see how a silly generalization like “Eskimos love their North Pole” is the same as comparing someone to a dog or denying them the same rights as other human being. It’s stereotyped, yes, and it’s ignorant and annoying, but it’s not the same thing at all, though I can’t deny that it might feel the same. Maybe it’s the historical trauma that can make us overreact and evoke the centuries of pain at the smallest thing, and this is why more… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

The issue with the “Eskimo” example isn’t that the author said “Eskimo” instead of “Yupik/Inupiat/Inuit” or that we’re all overreacting, it’s that it’s either an ineffective or a disrespectful comparison, so either way it doesn’t support the point of the article. It’s comparing something we all agree on (all things being equal, it is worth pursuing financial security) with something that many of us disagree with (that people living in the Arctic only do that because they have no other option/are too scared to move somewhere “better”). Yes, there are lots of people in Arctic North America getting hung up… Read more »

imelda
imelda
8 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Your words: “a silly generalization”, “stereotyped,” “ignorant,” and “annoying.”

But you continue to argue that people shouldn’t be offended?

Just because something doesn’t push your personal buttons doesn’t give you the right to dismiss its importance. Many readers were offended – legitimately, based on your own words – and some were offended on a very personal level.

Get out of here with your “it’s just a joke!” rationalizations. That stopped being a valid excuse long ago.

lady brett
lady brett
8 years ago

who doesn’t want to be rich? i don’t. i want to have enough. and i do have enough, so why bother earning more? now, earning more money for the time i put in? that’s different, because i would love to have more time, but don’t want to trade that for less money. i think some of the ideas here are applicable and good, but i think the “everybody always wants to be rich” framework is a turn-off. especially for savers like myself – often we are savers *because* we don’t value money for more than necessities (which can mean a… Read more »

Bareheadedwoman
Bareheadedwoman
8 years ago

I disagree. As many have stated, sometimes exposure has the opposite affect: it is very Scarlett O’Hara to exclaim “I’ll never be hungry again!” but there are as many from deep & long, affluent backgrounds that do not like what constant monetary awareness in oneself and others does to people, or how it affects how one views people on the poorer end of the scale and therefore, do not subscribe to the mindset…we are the children our parents never talk about. Call it rebellion if you like; I prefer common sense compassion. And then there is my personal, political reason… Read more »

pwcashier
pwcashier
8 years ago

poorly used generalities + confused ramble about paradigms = looking forward to tomorrow’s article

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

I”m not afraid to earn more, I am afraid of more responsibility. So, I stay in a job that is dead -end, boring, and low pay that I loathe.

Lucille
Lucille
8 years ago

Fear of making more money is a symptom of low self-esteem. Most of the money manuals I read say you have to fall in love with money (in a good way) to have more of it in your life. Money is not evil; money is not greedy but mankind has made it so. I love money but I do not try and take it if its not given with a good heart. I respect money but I respect myself more.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

I am firmly in the saver camp, while my husband is more of an earner according to this article. However, our backgrounds are almost flipped from what was described. I grew up in a modest middle class home and grew up thinking that luxuries were silly indulgences. My parents made plenty of money, but were the “Millionaire Next Door” type, and I grew up saving all my money for college. My husband grew up in a family that was always getting by, but was lower middle class. They put more emphasis on making more money to live a luxurious lifestyle.… Read more »

fantasma
fantasma
8 years ago

My struggles are in believing in myself enough to believe I can earn more.

Its hard pushing past this hurdle.

Believing that I deserve as much as everyone else instead of less is another struggle.

The lack of self confidence in believing everyone else is smarter than me when test scores and grades prove otherwise.

Pushing past being scared to go after my dreams even though they should be goals.

Anthony @ Each Peso Counts
Anthony @ Each Peso Counts
8 years ago
Reply to  fantasma

I felt the same way before. I felt that i was not worthy to receive more. But again blessings are abundant, overflowing and limitless. There is always enough amd even more for everyone. 🙂

Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager
8 years ago

I don’t think this is something I struggle with. Plus, Eskimos have some of the best skiing and they get to see killer whales and polar bears.

Jaime
Jaime
8 years ago

I don’t think I agree with this article.

I grew up in a home where my parents made pretty good money, we also had very nice vacations, and other toys growing up. My parents were also savers, never went into debt, not even once.

They taught me that you can have nice things without overspending. I think you can be both a saver, and spend on luxuries, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The way to do both is to actually get a good paying career.

Which is why I’m in college.

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

My experience is the ones that make the most get fired the quickest during a downturn.

violet
violet
8 years ago

This article really touched some sensitive spots for me. I appreciate Rya’s observations very much. I’ve lived all my life wishing I had more money and never having/earning much, and wondering why things just never seem to ‘work’ for me. The idea that there is an emotional component to it strikes home. I do have a lot of feelings and judgments about money being a dangerous or perhaps corrupting thing, and memories of positive experiences amongst people who had little money but managed to create a sense of abundance despite it. So I do tend to cringe away from ‘having’… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Hi Violet,

Thank you for your kind words!

The whole point was to help people realize that sometimes there are inherent associations about money that we don’t even fully realize and that sometimes those associations might be holding us back from a financially better life.

I am NOT suggesting that once we are aware of that we go all crazy about earning more. I just wish that when we make a choice, we are well informed and we realize all the why-s behind it.

Financial Advice for Young Professionals
Financial Advice for Young Professionals
8 years ago

I have always looked for jobs that paid me the most for the least amount of time. It’s not about making the most in the most amount of time. It’s about making the most in the least amount of time!

bg
bg
8 years ago

An article for me. Whoa. I’m that middle-class kid with the good talent and an IT job now, but the big money still eludes me, often by my own making. Working on the psychology already but it takes time.

One way I could improve my mindset was to start lending money to friends in need, and giving more to charity. I need to see the positive sides of having a lot of money to be able to allow it into my life.

Shari
Shari
8 years ago

I’m not afraid to make more money, but I am worried about lifestyle escalation. I would be worried that if I made more money, I would buy a bigger house and better cars, thus having more payments. Then if I lost my job, how could I get by? It seems to be that if you make less money you have less to lose. I recently changed positions at work, which resulted in a very large raise. Right now I’m using all of the extra money to pay down debt, build up an emergency fund, and purchase some long-needed high dollar… Read more »

CERB
CERB
8 years ago

I found the point of this blog interesting because this is what Suze Orman emphasized a lot early in her career. She taught that people acquire messages about money early in their childhoods, and that those messages can help or hinder us as adults. I am more of a saver than an earner. When I was growing up my parents (who earned an above-average income) were always saying that we couldn’t afford things. Second, if I asked for something, they would point out kids who lived in poverty and tell me that I was being ungrateful and selfish for wanting… Read more »

Rya Hristova
Rya Hristova
8 years ago
Reply to  CERB

Hi CERB,

I really liked your comment. It’s absolutely spot-on.

Katie
Katie
8 years ago

I don’t think most Americans are “afraid” of making more money. They’re unable to because of a shrinking middle class, stagnant wages, and perhaps lack of access to education or other matters, or time constraints. I do think people are afraid of (perhaps “resistant to” is a better term) scaling back their lifestyle. I’m a teacher. I made a comfortable middle class living, and I’m often asked why I don’t take on a summer job during my “free time” (during the summers when I’m not completing work for my master’s or certification, I guess). I never will. I live within… Read more »

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