Author Topic: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life  (Read 2430 times)

wealthviahealth

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How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« on: July 12, 2019, 09:36:49 AM »
I am curious to hear how various salary increases have impacted peoples quality of life.
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?
Increased feeling of financial security?
Upgraded life style in anyway?
Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?


ditheca

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 10:08:35 AM »
I spent around $14,000 over four years on karate.

In addition to looking cool and helping me be more disciplined about exercise, the greatest benefit was an easy way to be involved in my children's lives.  My parents were never interested in anything I cared about.  For my us, a few dollars was an easy fix.

... I never could have entertained this hobby on my initial salary of $25k, but for the past few years I've been maxing out all my retirement accounts and still have spending money left over.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 11:04:46 AM »
My overall sense of well being and feeling of security increased dramatically with my initial raises.  Once I hit 50k salary, it was trivial to me.  I had "enough".  That led me to re-evaluate what makes me happy and focus more intently on early retirement.  Raises and promotions above 50k made me less happy.  I had more responsibility without any boost to well being.  Other people have told me they experienced the same around 75k. 

I think it makes sense to watch out for that point in your life and use it as your baseline for what spending target you want in FIRE.  If you are not completely self absorbed, you have a "number" and it is probably lower than you think.  My new number 6.5 years into retirement is a target spending rate of 25k/year.  I feel like a King.

insufFIcientfunds

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 11:10:17 AM »
Other than the obvious fact a greater salary allows someone to afford more things, I agree with ditheca that when my salary goes up, I have been able to invest some of that in family. I've invested thousands (dollars and hours) in soccer, and never would have been able to do either of those with the low annual salary and the weird hours I worked when he was born.

I recently had a brother in law (who lives in LA) who works a lot and wants to be a CEO-type one day ask me how I balance a career and family. My answer was kind of simple...at least in my mind. I went to college, had a family, and got a job that supports the middle class lifestyle we have, and frankly, that I have always wanted. My kids go without nothing, but I also won't be buying them a Tesla as their first car. I hear their friends who have parents who work a lot/make a lot of money talk about how they never see mom or dad. It's not worth it to me, so I feel like I got to a point where make enough to support the life I want and not have some of the burdens that come with working a ton/making a ton. Opinions are like back-sides though :)

watchitgrow

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 12:39:42 PM »
My experiences have varied greatly given the context of where I was in my career, overall income, and FI journey. Here are some of my experiences with raises.

+18K raise (salary 55k)
First time facing my fear of asking for a raise it paid off big time
- Boosted my self confidence tremendously
- I don't have to ask family for $ ever again
- Reduced financial stress - starting paying off credit cards and vowed never to carry a balance on them again
- Later took a 5k pay cut at a new job working harder and being less appreciated

+30K raise (salary 75k)
New job - gave myself a raise based on newly acquired skill sets
-  Increased feeling of independence and disbelief
-  Family sees that I have "made it"
-  Started major lifestyle creep here, whole foods, gym memberships, never look at price tags when shopping, still not investing (face punches)
-  Didn't factor in the cost of commute to this job which was expensive

+5k raise (salary 80k)
New job - much shorter commute
- More fulfilling work and nice coworkers
- Start 401k to get match
- Still a spendypants

+1-2k raises over 5 years (salary 88k)
Same job - typically 2-3% raises
- Very small happiness boost during these
- I start paying more attention to what that raise does for me "This will only pay for my eating out to lunch everyday!" (face punch)
- I start having some money leftover to start saving (for what I don't know)
- "Hey let's buy a new car!"
- Work is stressful "Oh, crap... how do I make all this money and not have anything?"
- Discover MMM

+7k raise (salary 95k+)
All that stress felt worth it for a while, better attitude, working toward a clear goal
- No debt
- No more lifestyle increases
- Now I calculate how each raise impacts my FIRE date
- I will still get stressed from time to time and question it's worth that next promotion/raise


jps

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 12:50:39 PM »
Good timing. My wife just got a 11% raise today. We had already decided to throw any raises this year into our pre-tax retirement accounts, since we aren't yet maxing them. It feels cool that I'll be able to invest a whole bunch more, but that's about it.

BFive55

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 04:08:20 PM »
As my salary increased I don't think I increased spending. I was able to save enough for a down payment at 20% on my old place plus invest a large sum of money into retirement and investment accounts. I had about 1.5 times my salary invested by age 30/31, can't remember specifically.

As my salary increased I never worried about spending. I wasn't a spendypants and didn't just blow money on new things. My TV is over four years old and I drive an older car I've paid off for 2+ years.

What making more money enabled me to do was take a new, more rewarding job. Which meant a pay cut. But I now have 3x my salary (new salary is lower so I guess I can look at it as have 3x salary instead of like 2.2x salary in retirement funds, lol) in retirement/investment accounts and will have close to 4x by this time next year. I am in a slightly more affordable area so once my lease is up I should be able to buy a house for around $250-300,000 or a townhome for $230-260,000.

So my salary increases made my financial life easier and enabled me to get out of the place that was slowly sucking my soul away to a place that all the employees really seem to like. The new place I work... I haven't heard one person speak ill of it, and co-workers from my previous place who know people at my new gig, said they all love it, too.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 04:27:40 PM »
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?
Most of the time, I did not have any change in my perception of self-worth.  There were three notable exceptions over the course of a ~20 year career.  For the first year after I started my first real professional job I was worried that someone would realize that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  My degree was in physics and I was working as an engineer.  I didn't really think I was going to get fired, but I was constantly stressed out.  At my first performance review I was rated in the top 10% for my grade level and got a 15% raise.  That allayed a lot of my concerns. 
The second time was about a decade later, when a company aggressively recruited me away from my original employer and gave me a 20% hike in pay.  The third time was very late in my career.  My pay had stagnated for about 5 years (2-3% raises despite regular top 10% ratings).  I felt undervalued, so I found another team in the same company who was willing to offer me a 20% pay increase.  Other than those three times, nothing changed.  In each case the pay raise quantified in an unequivocal way that I was valued. 

Increased feeling of financial security?
Never.  For me feelings of financial security increased with net worth, not salary.  If anything when I was very highly paid for the last half of my career I understood that if they needed to make cuts I would be considered expensive. 

Upgraded life style in anyway?
No.  I was able to live the lifestyle I wanted at my original salary, so anything extra just went into savings.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?
I think I covered this above.  When I thought I was being paid less than I was worth, either because I was in too low a labor category or because I was underpaid within my labor category, I was very unmotivated.  After getting paid what I thought I was worth I was definitely more motivated.  However, this only lasted a year or two because each significant pay raise was followed by stagnant wages.  I was taking on more and developing more skills, but that development didn't result in additional pay.  I generally needed to either leave the company or change teams within the company to get what I thought I was worth.  That people were eager to pay it made me think that I wasn't too far off in what I thought I was worth.  If I had difficulty finding work at the pay I thought I deserved then I would have had to re-evaluate what my work was really worth.  Fortunately I FIREd before I hit that point.  :)

Steeze

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 06:57:45 AM »
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?
Self -worth is a tough word here. Certainly my parents are excited/relieved when I get a raise. Passing a certain salary mark was a big milestone feeling of “I made it!” Otherwise I know I’ve always been “worth” more than I was getting paid due to work ethic and competence. Just took a while to earn my stripes and pay my dues.

Increased feeling of financial security?
Yes! Though I would agree that this comes with net worth not salary. Salary accelerates net worth though so they have a strong correlation, at least for me.

Upgraded life style in anyway?
In college I lived on 10k/yr. Now live on about 20k/yr.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?
Work is getting easier over time. I worked harder, more hours , and made less money before. Work is definitely more worth it. I worked a lot of unpaid overtime 8am-10pm and was secretly pissed off all the time. Now I am 8-6 and am cool with that.

Still want to double my salary again. Hah. Not sure it is possible on my current trajectory. Will need to quit my job and take entrepreneurial risk to make that happen. Hard to justify when you have a 60%+ savings rate. For now the plan is to get FI then try to work for myself afterward just to see how big I can grow a business.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 07:13:59 AM by Steeze »

js82

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2019, 09:16:12 AM »

Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?
Increased feeling of financial security?
Upgraded life style in anyway?
Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?

Not really.  I'd argue that changes in job rule where I gained more influence/responsibility had this effect, but not the money itself.

Increased feeling of financial security?

...sort of?  I don't feel like I was ever truly in a "tough" spot financially, but I went from not maxing out the 401k when I started working to maxing out all my tax-advantaged options, plus having decent cash flow beyond that that I could put into a taxable investment account.   I think reaching the point where I was maxing out the tax-advantaged accounts, covering all my normal expenses, then still had enough income after that that I could either choose to invest or use on discretionary purchases was empowering.  It also meant that I could almost entirely move away from worrying about the "emergency" expense because In a month or so I could come up with a couple thousand dollars without issue, without dropping 401k contributions or dipping into savings/investment accounts.

Upgraded life style in anyway?

Not really.  Definitely spent a bit more on certain things(athletic hobbies, travel, etc.), but largely I've avoided lifestyle creep.  Still drive the same Hyundai.  If it's still in good condition, why change?

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

Not from salary increases.  On the other hand, as my savings have increased, there have been psychological benefits - namely all the flexibility/options afforded by having a substantial financial cushion, and knowing that if I don't like something I can walk away without it putting me in a difficult spot financially.

mistymoney

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 11:38:43 AM »
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?
Self -worth is a tough word here. Certainly my parents are excited/relieved when I get a raise. Passing a certain salary mark was a big milestone feeling of “I made it!” Otherwise I know I’ve always been “worth” more than I was getting paid due to work ethic and competence. Just took a while to earn my stripes and pay my dues.

.........

Still want to double my salary again. Hah. Not sure it is possible on my current trajectory. Will need to quit my job and take entrepreneurial risk to make that happen. Hard to justify when you have a 60%+ savings rate. For now the plan is to get FI then try to work for myself afterward just to see how big I can grow a business.

My father took every raise, every bonus, as a mark of distinction. I was always so happy to share those details with him. It is rare the person who is 100% truly happy and excited for your own good fortunes, I fear. He was for me. Otherwise, I've learned to keep those details on the down low.

I think doing your own business post-FI would be exciting! keep us posted on that!

A Fella from Stella

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 08:04:29 AM »
We exercise more.  signed up my daughter for a sewing class, which I thought was just going to be $75, but then there was a bunch of supplies I needed to buy. Not a big deal.

Birthdays for me and my wife are different, too. In past years it was always a struggle to do much for us. But recently, she sent a text out to some friends and said "I'll be at such-and-such bar. Hope to see you there." Everyone just paid for themselves, but in the past she'd have just let the evening go by. For me, we had some friends over for a potluck, and maybe we spent $200. It was a good time.

Christmas is different. Rather than buy a lot of junk, we get less gifts, but have more friends over. My older daughter had her own holiday party at our house, and we hosted family on the 24th.

effigy98

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 09:20:52 AM »
Every year we get a 5 figure bump on average. It feels great at first, but then the feeling goes away in about 2 months when that money just goes into investments and I still feel "poor" compared to my friends and neighbors because we drive 12 year old car, bike to work, do not upgrade our kitchen, etc. Seeing the investments grow is amazing but it is like watching paint dry.

Steeze

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 09:51:02 AM »
Every year we get a 5 figure bump on average. It feels great at first, but then the feeling goes away in about 2 months when that money just goes into investments and I still feel "poor" compared to my friends and neighbors because we drive 12 year old car, bike to work, do not upgrade our kitchen, etc. Seeing the investments grow is amazing but it is like watching paint dry.

Hah! I feel you on this one. - this year I got an “unexpected” 3k raise for passing the PE exam. I spent the whole damn thing on a rock climbing gym membership and gear. I now have something fun to do 4 days a week! Best decision ever. Went from zero scheduled fun to lots of scheduled fun, and I am getting stronger again!

My net worth though, even at nearly 10k/mo it still feels like it doesn’t move. Spreadsheets are super boring to watch all the time. Wish it was more exciting...

Travis

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 11:40:36 AM »
I am curious to hear how various salary increases have impacted peoples quality of life.

-incremental increases to quality of life. Eating out doesn't feel quite so painful to the wallet at 39 as it did at 24. We can also be much more choosy about where to live.

Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?

-My self-worth has been more of a factor in my savings rate and financial knowledge rather than my income.  My ego took a big hit when we bought a house at 30. It was a stupid financial decision, and I didn't know how to take care of the house.  Knowing I know what to do with the money I have is more important to me than how much I make. 

Increased feeling of financial security?

-My job and pay are extremely stable. I didn't start to worry about financial security until retirement from this career started to inch closer. Financial knowledge + increased salary=less worry about that future.

Upgraded life style in anyway?

-Not really.  Our tastes in "stuff" hasn't changed.  We've become more mindful of our spending over the passing years, not less.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

-Most of my pay raises come from promotions which automatically include more stress.  It's just part of the package.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 11:07:21 AM »
Wish it was more exciting...

Every time there has been something "exciting" in my portfolio, it has because I did something sort of stupid.  It's like the, perhaps apocryphal, Chinese curse: "May you lead an interesting life."

hops

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2019, 12:21:14 PM »
We saw a six figure jump in salary when my SO finished her training, and a big jump in bonuses. The biggest difference in our quality of life was a peaceful feeling of security. We had low living expenses and a sufficient EF before, so it's not like we were in a horrible place. But life felt so much easier the first time that bigger paycheck hit our account.

It also impacts, in subtle and unsubtle ways, how others view you. Our idea of splurging was to set aside $1,000 to repair a fence and a few hundred dollars to adopt a dog. We've been told so many times to "live a little," which seems to entail buying a huge house or new cars. So far our wants haven't really changed with our income. Maybe that'll change once the student loans are paid off.

PDXTabs

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2019, 11:12:35 PM »
I no longer live in my mom's attic, that's a plus. I max out my 401k. Soon I might buy a house in a M/HCOL area.

tryingtosave

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2019, 01:07:07 PM »
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?

At the beginning it did make me feel better that I am worth more. As the years go by, that goes away as you just get more responsibilities and stress along with a higher salary. Going from driving a toyota to an Infiniti to a Mercedes and then realizing why am I paying for this when a toyota works just fine and I get less looks when I only tip the valet kid $5. I still remember the gas attendant always come up and washes my windows and gets a tip when I had the Mercedes. Now he never even steps close to my window anymore. Going from a poor college kid to having enough to basically know you can comfortably afford anything. I remember reading an article about after making $75-100k depending on where you live, any more money just really doesn't make a difference anymore unless if you are talking about moving up to the ultra rich status.

Increased feeling of financial security?

Yes, this definitely. Knowing that you can comfortably afford pretty much anything and not have to worry at all.

Upgraded life style in anyway?

Yes and what a mistake that was. There is always something better and better. Although I do miss the steering wheel warmer now once in a while.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

Less stress about the small things but more stress with the added responsibilities.

theolympians

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2019, 01:39:03 PM »
The wife and I always seemed concerned about money. Less so than when we were younger  (my late 40's, she early 40's), but still concerned. In my 20's I was worried if I had enough to get by, now do I have enough for retirement. I think that comes from both of us growing up poor.

More money doesn't necessarily solve problems. However, it gives you more options if there is a negative turn in your life, and makes it easier to recover.

There is a better sense of self realizing you are succeeding, not necessarily because there is more money available. It allows you to move into a better neighborhood with better schools, better neighbors etc. Even smaller increments make a difference.

As for an "upgraded lifestyle", that would have to be defined. My mind tells me that money is going out the door in discretionary spending on cars, clothes, restaurants, throwing cash around. An "upgraded lifestyle" could simply be affording better furniture, being able to landscape a lawn and perhaps pay for lawn care. Improving your house to make it more livable and comfortable and increasing it's future value. Not having to worry if the kids blow out their shoes or outgrow their pants too quickly. The latter is worth it.

With the increasing salary, there tends to be increasing responsibility and stress. That is a fact of life. The CEO or big boss often appears to be cruising and chillin', but in reality a lot of people's futures hang on their decisions.

I've talked with the wife about "simplifying"; and will likely do so as I near retirement and the kids begin to leave.

With all of that, I consider where we are a gift, and as such enjoy it, and not squander it.


A Fella from Stella

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2019, 08:50:44 AM »
Recently, I was able to pay cash for a used vehicle whereas the concept of purchasing a vehicle some years back just seemed impossible.

My kids have had tutors and private music lessons, and we once overpaid for an overrated sports program, which was financially doable, but pretty stupid.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 08:26:07 AM by A Fella from Stella »

BobTheBuilder

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2019, 11:12:11 AM »
My first "job" paid 1800€ after taxes. The job itself was not good, and while I was living a student live style and making approx. 20-25% surplus per month, I was constantly stressed out over the debt payments. There was almost no free cash flow.

I now make twice what I made at a job where no ones is throwing shit at me. I was able to have a wonderful vacation this spring, my car does not stress me any longer (if it dies... it dies...) and we can afford to leave this run down appartment and make a livestyle inflation that falls way short of our income increase. We are moving out in 4 weeks and I am not stressed at all. I can cashflow moving out. That feeling is so damn good.

It should be possible to raise my income next year by another 15% after taxes. While that will improve my savings rate further, it will not improve my live on the same magnitude as the first sweet increase. So making it from cash constraint to cash flow happy is a big big plus for quality of sleep.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 11:13:58 AM by BobTheBuilder »

A Fella from Stella

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2019, 08:26:46 AM »
I no longer live in my mom's attic, that's a plus. I max out my 401k. Soon I might buy a house in a M/HCOL area.

That's really great. I'm happy to read this.

Seadog

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2019, 10:04:50 AM »
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?

At the beginning it did make me feel better that I am worth more. As the years go by, that goes away as you just get more responsibilities and stress along with a higher salary. Going from driving a toyota to an Infiniti to a Mercedes and then realizing why am I paying for this when a toyota works just fine and I get less looks when I only tip the valet kid $5. I still remember the gas attendant always come up and washes my windows and gets a tip when I had the Mercedes. Now he never even steps close to my window anymore. Going from a poor college kid to having enough to basically know you can comfortably afford anything. I remember reading an article about after making $75-100k depending on where you live, any more money just really doesn't make a difference anymore unless if you are talking about moving up to the ultra rich status.

Increased feeling of financial security?

Yes, this definitely. Knowing that you can comfortably afford pretty much anything and not have to worry at all.

Upgraded life style in anyway?

Yes and what a mistake that was. There is always something better and better. Although I do miss the steering wheel warmer now once in a while.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

Less stress about the small things but more stress with the added responsibilities.

I was going to post the same thing. That after a certain point around 75k or so, the stress and hours increase more than the benefit of the extra money, as the bad stuff has a compounding effect, while the good is diminishing returns. I mean there really is only so much someone needs. How many steak and lobster dinners can you eat in one night? How many bikes can you ride at once? It just rapidly approaches a point of diminishing returns.

I managed to borderline fire by early 30s, but for about 7 years work was my life. The sort of job you're married to, and would be impossible to do as a parent, simply because your hours are all of them, and you're often getting calls at all hours to fly off somewhere for maybe a day, maybe a month with no predictability. "I'll let you know XMas eve if I'm going to be home for XMas" tends to strain relationships. But, it effected my current status and now only work when I want to so maybe it was worth it? For the folks who bought 80k vehicles they got to see a couple months per year maybe not...

I think the more telling thing is looking at happiness surveys, many poorer places are happier. I honestly believe that any problems you have after earning about 40k, at which point you'll have a full belly, roof over your head, and all necessitates aren't solved with more money. I lived over in Indonesia for a few years, and people are rated among the happiest on earth, despite being some of the poorest. Why the discrepancy with the west? Getting on a bit of a tangent, but honestly I think it's due to community. Often people at homestays where I go would just hang out with no real set hours, working when say a guest checks in, and otherwise just drinking rice wine and playing guitar, bullshitting with the guests. Owner often provides room and board, and then at the end of the month you take the few hundred dollars you earned for pocket moey. Is it possible that low stress, good friends, and having your basic physiological needs met is the ideal recipe for happiness?

A slight aside, read a neat book a year ago called stumbling on happiness

https://www.amazon.ca/Stumbling-Happiness-Daniel-Gilbert/dp/0676978584

Talks a lot about how the brain works, psychological stuff, and how the brain takes so many short cuts, that both make you remember things wrong, and poorly predict future emotional states. In short, the brain is horrible at predicting what will make you happy, or remembering what made you happy in the past.   

aceyou

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2019, 09:45:04 PM »
5 years ago my wife and I combined for about 120k/year.  Now we are at 160k. 

I can only think of two lifestyle inflations:

1.  We invite families/friends/neighbors over for dinner very often, and it probably adds a couple thousand to our annual food spending.  This has been well worth it, it's a great source of happiness to spend quality time with others and to be able to be generous in that way. 

2.  Travel.  Our kids are now 4 and 7.  DW and I are their two favorite people in the whole world, and we want to travel as much as possible as they grow up.  Places we've been to in the past two years...Chicago, Indy, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Silver Lake, Fort Myers Beach, Mammoth Caves, Ruby Falls, Mackinac Island, Detroit, multiple camping trips.  This probably adds 3-4k to our annual spending. 

So, I guess we've upped spending by about 6k/year in those two areas, but well worth it. 

Despite this, we are investing about 70k/year to our investments.  We are fortunate to be earning good salaries. 

RWTL

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2019, 09:10:27 AM »
My brother has now passed, but growing up he was 20 years older than me.  When I was in my 20's and he in his 40's, he told me that his company allowed him to buy more vacation - and he bought all he could. 

At the time, I never understood this - and I always cashed in my vacation time to get a little extra to buy silly things like end tables and rugs.

Now that I'm in my 40's, raises don't mean much to me anymore.  I have enough.  Anything extra gets added to our FI goals.  I would gladly buy more vacation time at this point in my life. 

Funny how your perspective changes over time. 


use2betrix

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2019, 10:09:15 AM »
When I finished tech school at 21, my first jobs take home pay was around $950/wk. Between student loans, car payment, $950/mo rent, etc., I was making ends meet. I was putting a few percent in my 401k and mostly working on paying off my student loans (which basically amounted to the minimums, around $450/mo).

10 years later at 31, my take home pay is about 4.5x that, at around $4500/wk or so. My rent now is about $1600/mo. No more student loans, no more car payments. We do spend more now, probably around $6000-$7000/mo with a lot of very, very free spending. If we cut out all the extra “crap,” we could be around $4500 or so. However, with our current income, I a 100% fine going out to good dinners once or twice a week with some expensive drinks after. We don’t hesitate to spend money on little weekend getaways, or really anything else we “want.” Beings we can live like kings (to me) and still save $15,000/mo, I am very appreciative what the raises over the years have allowed us to do.

On another note - the higher income has allowed more freedom for time off. In 2017 we took two, 4 month sabbaticals, that were life changing. We couldn’t have done that otherwise.

Meggslynn

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2019, 12:52:42 PM »
I am curious to hear how various salary increases have impacted peoples quality of life.
Was this impact in personal perceived self-worth? External perception of self-worth?

It definitely has helped my self-worth even though some should argue it shouldn't. My salary has doubled in a year in two years due to working my butt off. I went from an IC to senior level management and have been told I should reach executive management in a year or two's time. From a little school-aged girl who had her english and math teacher tell her parents that post-secondary education wouldn't be possible for me and I basically would not amount to anything "successful" yes it has helped my self-worth.

Increased feeling of financial security?

Yes. We have tripled our savings and investments in the last year as well as large unexpected expenses do not sting as much as they used to.

Upgraded life style in anyway?

With each increase there was a celebration of something bought that was long time lusted after (most recently a vitamix blender and a peloton app subscription) but nothing substantial like bigger houses or fancier cars.

Felt less stressed at work? Felt that your hard work was now more "worth it"?

No, with each increase my position level increased therefore my level of responsibility has increased so my stress went with it. Now I am focusing on how to manage that properly as well as getting the right people within my reporting structure to ensure the jobs below me are done correctly.


Padonak

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2019, 01:07:03 PM »
I used to be a really cheap ba$tard, now I'm just frugal. I'm fine splurging on small things like going to a nicer gym, taking the girl I'm dating out to a nice restaurant, not worrying about AC running all day when I'm at home and it's hot outside, buying higher quality groceries, etc.

I think it was Mad Fientist who wrote something that seemed profound to me and stuck in my head. I'm paraphrasing here, but basically he decided to not try to save every dollar and splurge every now and then, within reason, on things like nicer restaurants, etc. Then he did that for a year, tracked expenses and found out that the difference was like a couple of thousand dollars. I haven't done my math yet, but I figure that for me the difference between being a cheap ba$tard and a frugal, sensible mustachian is in the same range which is perfectly fine with me. I am naturally frugal, so I'm not going to spend money on stupid things regardless.

It took a few raises and several years of earning a decent salary for me to change my mindset.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 01:27:00 PM by Padonak »

Car Jack

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2019, 01:19:14 PM »
Salary increases?  What are those?

I'm almost making the base salary today that I negotiated for myself moving to a new job in 1999.  Total compensation.....2005 was my big year.  Last year, I about matched it.  I expect I'll never make more than I did in 05. 

ysette9

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Re: How have Salary increases impacted your quality of life
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2019, 01:22:56 PM »
For me it was less the salary going up, though wonderful, as the increased money in the bank that has given me a sense of safety and confidence. We can weather a lot of storms and navigate life more on our terms now that we aren’t so reliant on our salaries coming in to keep us afloat. That provides tremendous peace of mind.