plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

April 2, 2009

dangerous comparisons

Filed under: philosophical — Tags: , — plonkee @ 9:17 pm

Does anyone else compare their income to their friends?

my friends make more money than I do…

I just got off the phone with one of my closest friends. I guessed that she earned more than me these days because of the industry that she’s in and because she lives in London, but I didn’t realise it was as much as £10k more. She and her boyfriend are looking at buying a house and with some help from her mum, their budget is about three times as much as my house cost me.

I have to admit that I’m jealous.

I’m pretty certain that I’m not doing as well in the income stakes as many people I know. One of my other friends who is about 3 years older than me makes about £15k more than me. A guy I went to university with earns about twice as much as I do.

…but this is not really important

I’ve just accepted a new job, and it comes with a pay cut on paper. The overall package is actually very slightly better than my current overall package, and I even managed to negotiate the starting salary up by £1k (I knew in advance that there wasn’t going to be much wiggle room). But, when I was deciding whether or not to take this job the money was to a certain extent irrelevant because it was much more important that I choose the job that I thought would make me happy.

The only way I can do that is by keeping my spending as under control as possible. I’ve experienced a reasonable amount of lifestyle inflation since graduating. My spending has grown about 3% above inflation since I started my first graduate job, mostly because I’ve moved from a rented 2 bed flatshare to a 2 bedroom house owned and occupied by me alone.

Money isn’t everything, but keeping income and expenditure in balance is pretty important. Do that and you can build wealth, and happiness if you like, eventually.

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