Our light in the dining room burned out today. We’ve had that light bulb serve us faithfully for close to three years, two moves and two re-installations. It’s done well by us. However, today was the end of its life span.
It took two people to remove the light: one to hold the ceiling fan, one to remove the globe. Then I unscrewed the bulb… and received only the glass. The base was removed with pliers.
During the process, Mr. XB was getting pretty frustrated. He said “It’s only a light bulb! Why is it so hard?”
Then I realized something. This simple, ordinary task that became complicated is so reminiscent of our lives in all aspects. Sometimes daily tasks or life goals are accomplished easily: unscrew light bulb, replace light bulb, turn on light. Sometimes it takes some work, like this morning’s task.
I admit: this week I experienced much frustration. I was reading some impressive blog articles, and it made me question my own goals and objectives. (Inner conversation: Everything has been said; they said it so much more eloquently than I can; etc.) I was expressing this to my sister, and she stopped me, saying “What if, how you say it is the way people connect with your idea or understand the concept?”. She’s right. I am being unfair to myself – if I want to write, then write. If a reader takes something away, that’s the goal. I also need to stop the inner dialogue of self-deprecation. It’s not sexy on anyone else, so why do I do it?
Time to embrace another perspective
Then I was speaking with fellow financial writers, and asked them a question that has been plaguing me: Why are the majority of those seeking Financial Independence and Early Retirement usually the high earners? Where are the lower-earners? The simple answer: high earners will get there faster and easier than those who do not make high incomes. Those who are lower-earners are at a disadvantage, they do not have as much disposable income to invest, or to lock away. Then someone said, It’s a misconception that makes lower-earners feel like they cannot, or that it is a condescending idea to embrace for a lower-earner.
Why is that? Comparatively speaking, individuals who are higher earners have an image to uphold.
Imagine a doctor arriving on-site, and you see the parking sign: Reserved for Dr. Doctor. Then Dr. Doctor pulls up in a ten year old Chevy Aveo (a car I used to own and love, BTW) . His patients will wonder if he’s good at what he does, or is struggling (like his car choice). He is expected to drive a Lexus or an Audi, and it should be five years or newer. That costs money. The said doctor best be living in an impressive home, as his colleagues or friends may take turns hosting dinner parties (catered, of course), and imagine seating them at four different tables across the kitchen and dining room? No, that would not do. Dr. Doctor must have a house that has a large enough dining room, and space for entertaining thereafter.
Cost of Living
This cost of living example could continue forever. My point is, lower-income earners have options that higher-income earners do not. We can be proud when we buy a reasonably priced home, drive our (paid off) ten year old car, and enjoy a staycation or two. We need to hustle more, earn more, spend much less, and stop caring about what the Jones’ have, but it’s doable. At the end of our working career, we are less likely to feel the need to continue to live in the six-figure-plus environment they lived in, and we can enjoy our retirement as we see fit.
Facts: Not always as presented
As I had said before, I am new to this crowd, and I am learning more and more every day. This is why I write – because I know there are others out there who are in the same spot I am in. Have you seen the newest reports on Millennials and saving? One in six are amazing savers with more than $100,000.00 saved. This means five of the six, or 83% of the generation are like the rest of us – broke, paying off debt, trying to find our place in the world, and wondering how we got here.
Before you beat yourself up over not being one of the “popular Millennials” who save money, read the stats again, and realize you are not alone. And if you are one of those 17% savers, then I congratulate you, and ask you to write us a post on how you achieved it so we can all learn from a master.
This week, I am turning off the negative inner dialogue, and turning over a new leaf. I also set up auto-transfers on my account, as my employer will match contributions to RRSPs up to $1,500.00 per year. Even though my goal is to wipe out as much debt as I can in 2018, I will not pass up an opportunity to double my savings that I hope to use one day.
AND in light of a new month, here’s my update on this year’s goals:
- I am starting to invest in my future.
- I moved my blog to a WordPress format
I am super stoked to see how the rest of the year goes!
Please leave me a question or comment below. And as always, if this was helpful to you at all, please share with a friend or two. Lastly, you can follow me on Instagram or on Twitter and you can receive notification of all new posts by going here.