Being “Good” With Money is Easier If You Have More

A gentle reminder.

Photo: Mindsay Mohan/Flickr

Personal finance journalism clickbait traffics in making the reader feel badly about their financial solutions while offering a simple solution to fix it in the same breath. Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself “bad” or “good” with money, there’s always a better way to do what you’re doing — a way to save money faster and to retire earlier so that you can unshackle yourself from the drudgery of work and get out there and start living.

It’s easy to read these things and feel bad about it. But, let’s take a closer look at this example, which is from 2015 and was brought to my attention via Twitter. Yes, it’s two years old, but is still indicative of a larger trend. The desire to make more money, save more money and then stop working is evergreen.

Here’s The Budget Of A 25-Year-Old Who’s Better With Money Than Many People Twice His Age

This person is 25 and, as per the headline is “better with money than people twice his age.” Setting aside any assumptions about what being better with money than people twice his age means, it’s easy to see why this person is able to do so well.

In 2014, his take home pay was $4,837 a month, which works out to $58,044 a year — around $73,000 before taxes. That’s a lot of money, especially for someone starting out in their career. With that understanding, the reason that 25-year old is better with money than people twice his age is because he’s making good money!

According to this report from CNBC the average salary in the U.S. in 2014 was just $44,569.20. When you’re making way more than the average, it’s easier to be “better with money” because you literally have more of it.

Nothing about this person’s budgeting tips are particularly revolutionary. He simply looked at the money he was making, considered his expenses, and then allocated the funds thusly. . “I try to run my finances like a successful business would be run, making sure I’m not spending more than I’m making,” he told BI. That’s not necessarily a secret! It makes sense! And if you have more money, you can therefore spend more of it before feeling the pinch.

Being “good” is relative for everyone, of course. Budgeting for yourself like you’re running a business is one way to do it, but it’s not for everyone. The point is, it’s easier to be good if there’s more of it to work with. Having less might mean being extra-good; when there’s not much to begin with, every penny counts.

Letting the clickbait do its thing and engaging with it at your leisure is fine. Sometimes it’s nice to think that there might be one simple solution to the problem of living as we do — working, making money, eating pizza, going to bed. Just remember, it’s different for everybody. If you’re working with more, it’s easier to be better.

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