Michael on June 6th, 2007
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Welcome to my new blog. If you’re reading this on the day I wrote it (the 53rd anniversary of D-Day), you’re either related to me, a very good friend, or doing some excessive surfing. Still, I hope this post is read and commented many times in the near and distant future.

This blog is an expansion of the conversation you and I started in Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck. And you know I mean it literally when I say “conversation,” so I hope you will hold up your end by commenting below.

You: Yeah, I’ll get to that.

Well, when you do please let me know – are you living paycheck to paycheck?

Depending on your preferred survey, somewhere between 41% and 65% of people out there are living paycheck to paycheck. So if you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re far from alone. In fact, you’re probably in the majority!

You: Well since I basically run out of money right around the time I get paid, I’d have to say I live paycheck to0 paycheck. But once I get my raise–

If I had a nickel for every time I heard “If I only made a few more thousand dollars a year, I’d be able to save,” well, I’d have a big old pile of nickels.

Indeed many people–particularly those of us in our twenties and thirties–think the paycheck to paycheck problem will be solved by our expected higher future incomes. But I named my company Total Candor for a reason. So let me help you straight out by immediately alerting you to one key fact: your income isn’t the issue you should be focusing on.

You do have an excellent chance to make more money in the future thanks, primarily, to raises and promotions. That’s the good news. But here’s the twist: your expenses are going to increase as well and in many cases far faster.

You: Well there are a couple of things I saw last weekend that I did promise myself I wouldn’t buy before I got that raise.

I thought so. Most people do raise their spending in response to an increase in income and some of this is actually required. Taxes, for example, will increase as your income increases. And taxes will probably increase at a rate higher than the rate of your raise. But your bigger problem is likely to be that as soon as you can afford to live comfortably, your definition of comfort will ratchet up. People are always chasing something that is just out of reach. Will you be any different?

You: I hope so. I’m here reading this blog.

Fantastic. I hope so too.

But know that it is the rare case of a person who changes their spending habits as they make more money. That’s why nearly one in five people making $100,000 or more lives paycheck to paycheck. Personally, I doubt any of them thought that they would struggle making ends meet on a 6-figure income. But they do.

So don’t be one of those people living paycheck to paycheck thinking that you’re income is the problem. It’s not. It’s your spending. So the first and most important step in living Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck is to understand and then control your spending. This will be the subject of future postings.

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2 Comments to “You gotta start somewhere”

  1. Gary says:

    Now you’re blogging, Michael? Glad I found you. I have a funny feeling our dialogue may continue far longer than you ever thought it would.

  2. Michael says:

    It already has. Your presence makes the truth come out faster and clearer for those I care about, so I’m glad you found me.

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