Author Topic: Insecurity about Low Salary  (Read 5051 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2019, 09:49:54 PM »
O boy can I relate to this.  Ignore the haters.

Something I'm starting to come to terms with is that once you start making so much money, who cares about salary... is another $10k/year going to change your life?  Probably not.  Another 20k?  Another $50k?  You probably don't have enough vacation time to spend the extra money anyway.  You might buy a newer car (oh yay (sarcasm)) or you might buy a bigger house (oh yay (sarcasm)).  Chances are you'll stash it in your investments and forget about it for a few years.

At this kind of salary - you need to find a job and continue there because you love the job - not because you love the money.  Also remember that MMM has a very heavy selection bias of high earners - including yourself.

The truth is, you make a salary most in this country could only dream of.  Also, you make much much much more than the world average.  Many people around the world worry literally about if they can afford one egg - forget a dozen.  That one egg will feed their entire family.  I encourage you to get involved with a philanthropic organization that will give you perspective.  Both here in the states and overseas.  I don't usually make specific recommendations, but Habitat for Humanity is one such organization that has work both state side and overseas.  There are many others.  Humbling... holy shit humbling.

The median household income in 2017 in the US was $60,336  Source US Census Bureau
The BLS publishes statistical information for all sorts of occupations - much more reliable than or anything.  The link shows data for jobs in the financial sector.  Click the links there to get all sorts of other information and maps.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2019, 12:35:00 AM »
Your education is a sunk cost. What about focusing on living a happy life? What would that look like to you?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2019, 03:40:50 AM »
"comparison is thief of joy"

Someone will always make more money, have a nicer house, drive the flashier car, or have a bigger d!ck......

You're doing great in life, until you compare yourself to those doing better than you ;)

My advice is to stop reading WSP and start figuring out what makes YOU happy.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2019, 05:46:52 AM »
Your education is a sunk cost. What about focusing on living a happy life? What would that look like to you?

Nailed it.

Almost everyone in my life graduated with 200-600K of student debt, and it's easy to feel like you have to work in a way to justify that debt, when really, you don't.

Here's a very serious question:
Who's job do you think it is to make sure you have a good life??

The world will not hand you a good and happy life, in fact, it will pretty much constantly lead you in a bad direction. You have to constantly identify and construct the life that is best for you. Going with the flow of what you think you should do, what society expects of you, what you are groomed to do, will likely make you miserable, exhausted, and unhealthy, like the overwhelming majority of people.

So who's job is it to figure out how to make your life good??

better late

  • Bristles
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2019, 07:32:51 AM »
Thanks for following up. It sounds like you have some good changes coming. When you have a moment, pick up the book “Mindset.”  While you might not be at the top of your earning potential now, I would recommend changing your thinking. You’re not at the top of your earning potential...yet. Time and experience are your friends. I have no doubt that you have the intelligence and desire to get where you want to go. It’s just gonna take more time and work. In the meantime, enjoy yourself a bit. Corporate America is a marathon. You’ll get there, but there are dues to pay.

I was also going to suggest Mindset by Dweck. I think it might really be helpful to you.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2019, 06:58:40 PM »
Hey dude, you're doing great making a better world.  But that coming from a warehouse loser who never made more than 40K.  Guys like you make the world go round in which me just a cog.   Keep up the good work!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Insecurity about Low Salary
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2019, 10:01:48 AM »
OP, this is fascinating. You sound very self-aware, but you have no idea how to move forward. That’s an unusual combination. You’ve identified your problem: “much of [your] identity and self-worth is tied to how [you’re] doing relative to others… [you’re a] one-dimensional person.” The issue isn’t really your salary. If you were making $500k per year, do you really think you would feel happy and fulfilled? Or would you just be looking for the next way to get another A on the report card of life? Even your questions about dating seem to come from a place of fulfilling others’ expectations of you, rather than chasing something you actively want.

It seems like you’re using money as a score card in two ways: your salary and your savings. If you can’t earn a huge salary, then you’ll “win” by having a large savings account. Most of us on this forum see money as a tool to be used to maximize happiness. We’re trying to save enough to buy time to spend on things that we enjoy more than working. But you don’t have anything in your life besides work right now. So what is all the money for? I’m not saying you should spend your entire paycheck, but maybe loosen the strings a little and figure out what you enjoy doing. What if you dedicated $100 per month to trying something new? I, an internet stranger (whose opinion is worth what you paid for it), hereby give you permission to spend money on fun. And also on therapy, if you’re open to that.

This also ties into dating. I’d recommend first learning to be happy single. Develop some interests and hobbies. Learn what you like and what you dislike. Think about what traits you’re looking for in a woman, and then think about what type of man that woman would want to date. I’m guessing “big paycheck” wouldn’t be high on her list.

For what it’s worth, I was very high achieving in school and I get the satisfaction of “winning” according to some set of external metrics (on this forum, that metric is usually savings rate). It may help you to create new metrics for yourself so you can “win” in a way that allows you to optimize for happiness. For example, meeting some exercise goal, or learning to cook a new style of food, or play a musical instrument, or volunteer a certain amount of time, or… Diversifying your interests will also make you a more attractive partner.