Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Big salary = Big success ??

It's not what you make, it's what you owe! I realized this when I was in my early twenties. I was making about $8.50 an hour working for an insurance company as a Licensing Specialist. Among my crowd, this was considered a very good job and a pretty good salary. However, I couldn't make ends meet. So I went out and got a second job.

When a friend asked me about my salary at the insurance company, her comment was, "Why do you need to work the second job when you make such good money at the insurance company?" My response was, "Well, it's not what you make, it's what you owe?" My friend didn't ask about the amount of debt I was in, and how much money it took to pay my bills each month.

It's amazing how, in our society, we only focus on salaries when we think about financial success. If someone makes $100,000 a year, they must be very successful, right? However, what if that same person has two mortgages, makes payments on two cars, pays credit card bills, auto insurance, electricity, water, gas, cable, internet, telephone, commuting, food, supplies... How much extra do you think they have in their pocket on a Friday night? Don't be surprised if it's not much.

Conversely, someone making $10 an hour that has no debt, lives with their parents, and takes the T to work could have much more extra money to play with.

So what's the point? A big salary doesn't equal financial success. And someone who makes plenty of money is not necessarily going to have more to spend.