28 July 2011

Expectation of wealth - guest post by Kylie Ofiu

 "So when you gonna get a real job son
And buy a little real estate?
If that means living someone elses life
I guess we’re gonna have to wait
Another day"
~ Bob Evans, Hand Me Downs
Lots of people expect me to be more financially advanced than I am. Owning a house. A better car. And a yearly holiday. In my dreams. 

Money expert Kylie Ofiu from Aspiring Millionaire wrote this guest post for my blog. Enjoy!

These days the pressure to be incredibly successful and wealthy is enormous. Pretty much anyone can become a celebrity it seems with reality TV being churned out like never before. It seems everywhere we look other people are living rich fantasy lives which puts a lot of pressure on those who are living on a more average wage. 

It seems the pressure to keep up with the Jones’ is worse now than ever before because what everyone else has is thrust in our faces all day every day. At any given time online, on TV, through social media websites, radio and magazines we can see what everyone else has and is doing and it can make us feel like we are missing out, that working more and earning more money will solve all our problems. 

What is interesting though is if you look past the lifestyles to the real lives of the really rich such as Warren Buffet he lives in the same house he bought years ago and has always lived a modest lifestyle, yet he is one of the richest men in the world. The book The Millionaire Next Door discusses this in detail, how most real millionaire do not live the lifestyle we expect millionaires to have. 
The pressure of trying to keep up with the Jones’ is unrealistic. Most people cannot afford the fancy cars, new clothes all the time, the mansion and unfortunately throw themselves into a lot of debt in order to live this way. Yes, some people can afford it, but it is often at a great sacrifice to family life. 
There is nothing wrong with aiming higher and striving to succeed or dreaming about being financially successful. The problem comes when it is done with a negative attitude and a general dissatisfaction with your life. 

If you look around the world, there is so much poverty and homelessness that if you have a job and somewhere to live, realistically you are financially successful. It is estimated that ¼ of the world’s population is homeless; over half the world’s population live on less than $2.50 a day. If you have more than that you are successful. 

If you are looking to be financially successful you more than likely are. If you are looking to be financially successful as the Western world sees it you can be, but it is not easy. It takes either a lot of hard work to create something worthwhile or that will sell to the masses; a qualification in a highly specialised field or you need to find a way onto a reality TV show. 

It all comes down to your personal view on financial success. Would $60,000 a year be successful for you? If so, that is doable with many careers. You might need to study and work a while to achieve it, but it is achievable. Would you prefer $150,000 or more a year? If so, again it is achievable but what you gain in money you may lose in big taxes and often a loss of family and social life. Most doctors and lawyers who are on the six figure incomes have to work 70+ hours a week so they often well and truly earn their income. Also when you are on that sort of income you are taxed quite handsomely. 
In order to determine if you are successful or not you need to define what success is to you. Once you know what it is to you, it is easy to see if you are headed in the right direction or if you need to make some changes. Sometimes in order to earn the big money you will need to study for years, move town or even country and often work long and hard. But if that is what you want, go for it. Nothing is stopping you. 

The reality of it all is that you can change your situation, you just need the drive and motivation to do so, which is what most people lack. Decide what it is you want, make a plan and go for it. I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking and aiming high, but also understand not everyone shares my view.  

Kylie Ofiu is author of 365 Ways to Make Money. Her blog www.kylieofiu.com is where she shares what she is doing as well as ways to make and save money. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your interesting words, Kylie. It's definitely important to define success before you continue forward and it was very useful (and timely) for me to read such advice. I'm learning that success for me is more related to happiness and achievement, rather than financial reward (although that's also nice). It's very helpful to have that knowledge right beside me as I contemplate making changes in my working life. :)


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