T Nation

Money Elusiveness


I rarely find people with it all. I mean usually there is an imbalance in their priorities. Money is everything, family is nothing, training is everything, money doesn't come. Art and creativity, no recognition. You get the point. Ive met many a miserable business man, with his hair falling out, wife and kids and that ferrari in the drive way, but deep down miserable.

I guess real money has been elusive to me in my lifetime. Ive had better drive lifting 550 lbs, or transforming my body, but making money has never come easy. Ive worked as a trainer in my life, for production studios as a grip. Now Im going to chiropractic school because I love the art of healing. Besides that I dont want to plot along life in servitude. I found more education in life and self teachings that from my Degree.

I was wondering with those of you who have an eye and skill for making money I would like to hear your adivce. Yes follow your heart, follow what you like, but yes that doesn't allways come to fruition.


I'm with you man. I lead a happy, but poor life. I can't seem to make any real money either, and everybody else around me living unhappily makes more than they need to.


Follow the high paying careers. Nobody likes studying business models or law books but related professions pay well. Make money and you can afford what you like outside of work.


Money will never make you happy, but it can do a great job of making you miserable. I've been broke and I've been very comfortable, and while being broke is no fun, you have to realise that money is only one aspect of your life, and often not as important as we all tend to think.

In general, I'm a very happy person. I'm healthy, my family is healthy, and things could certainly be worse, and for that, I am grateful. It's not so much what you have, but what you don't have.


And then you can you spend your free time dreading going back to a high paying job you hate.

Find a happy medium. If you can find something making a high salary, doing something you love, more power to you. But, most people can't or won't. It's not the end of the world. Find something you half-way enjoy that gives you a decent wage and perhaps some room for advancement.

Find a job that you have something you like about it, whether it's the people you work with, an aspect of your job you enjoy, or something. You can't spend your life hating your job, no matter how much money you make. Living for the weekend sucks. But then again, so does always being broke.


I agree a happy medium is best, but while money does not equate happiness, it makes happiness easier to achieve by eliminating virtually all major sources of stress.

If you work at a factory for eight hours a day you probably don't like it. If you work at a law office all day you probably don't like it. You get paid more at the law office though.

Now if guitar is your passion and you teach guitar lessons you may have a case for a happy medium so long as the bills are being met.


I wasn't completely disagreeing with you. I just don't think someone should chase a high salary for the sake of a high salary, especially if it compromises their current life significantly. There are many, many jobs one can get in the $40,000-$70,000 range, which is very, very livable. (Well, depending where you live, but that a different topic.)


The whole "happy medium" thing has never sat well with me. Work is work. While I don't hate my job, I don't love it either. I know a few people that have their dream job, and honestly, they are the saddest group of people I know. Their career consumes them. If effects their social life, their family, everything, they actually live to work. For them, maybe they are very happy, and that's great, it's just not something that is for me. I'd rather have a job like everyone else that allows me to afford to indulge in my hobbies.


Umm, isn't that kinda what a happy medium is?


income: $1,000
expenses: $1,001


income: $1,000
expenses: $ 999


A lot of people allow their desires for things expand until it equals or exceeds their earnings. No matter how much money you have, you can ALWAYS find more shit to buy.

I know / have known people who were very very "rich" and some of them were slaves to needing the money and needing all the bullshit to look wealthy, and others were not slaves to this, kept their expenses in check, and enjoyed the thrill of making the money. So you cannot make generalisations about the amount of money being a problem, and also some people enjoy the pursuit of money as well.

Or to put it another way,

How to BUY happiness: spend less than you earn.


I guess. I was thinking more along the lines of having a high salary job you hate vs job you love that pays $6.75/hour. Bad wording on my part.


All about harmony, mate.

Money does allow you certain things like food and shelther.

I myself love my job. I'm an IT nerd. It pays well to!

Some people like high pressure and stress. Since all of us can't be fighter pilots then high pressure corporate jobs are what some are attracted to.

I would have prefered to be a fighter pilot but I wear eyeglasses. :frowning:

There is no secret to making money.

Budget. Don't piss your money away.
Invest. Go get a managed fund and put away some cash from every pay cheque.
Goals. What do you want your money to do for you? Buy a house? Take a holiday? Retire comfortably?


To know this happiness thing, you need to figure out the unhappiness part.

If you're out on the street, have no health insurance, no car, and you're in constant pain, then you're unhappy. Money can definitely buy a car, a house, health insurance and comfort.

Those things may or may not make you happy, but they will make you not homeless and ill, which goes a long fucking way to being comfortable.


I think its something like 80% of millionaires are business owners, think about it....


So your work is your major cause of stress (given that you dont like your high paying job) but the extra money allows you to releive the stress. Lets say you work 5 days a week and "play" for the other two. I dont see how two days of "play" would "eliminate virtually all major sources of stress."

That said, most of the very wealthy people I know work 6 days a week, with most of them working longer hours than 9-5.


While we're on the subject of making money, I've recommended the book "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Shugart used one of his principles in a seminar I went to. So I picked up the book and its fucking brilliant. I honestly cannot emphasize how important this book could be in your life. If you choose to do it, its a surefire way of getting out of debt and building a buttload of wealth.


Now that's a very common sense response. True.

$40,000-$70,000 a year is average, and is not much for Americans, but consider those in other countries. Those in the third world sometimes have to support a whole family on an income of only $30 a month. What's that? $360 a year! Like, fuck! Talk about division of wealth in the world.

The thing is, America is a core nation, while the third world is in the periphery. All the money in the world - the entire system - is designed to make money flow from the periphery to the core. That's why core nations have all the money and contain uber-wealthy people.


I agree with most of your responses. Follow your path, money doesn't buy happiness. Ive known a billionare in my lifetime. He always said if you think money will make you happy youve never had money.

I have made some decent money in my life. Currently choose to struggle financially back through school. For the chance at doing something I love.

Looking at it besides the salary wage factor. Which I call "your making money". Its nice to have money make you money. I think the things I really dream about are traveling around the world. The freedom to be jobless while soaking up culture.

I guess writing your book you always wanted to, inventions that you dreamed about, your creativity, are the only ways besides business and slavery. I find some where money just comes like water, in real estate and stuff. But Id never like to be a consultant working one hundred hours a week.


There are a lot of uber-rich people in Russia and China (and other places) that have money you don't know of - I wouldn't go by Fortune's rich list anymore.

As for countries as a whole, for the average Joe in a country, again, things are not so clear cut. There are many countries where on less money you can experience far better wealth - better food, standard of living, potential for growth of wealth etc... healthcare and so on.

For that matter, it is going to vary a LOT between cities and states in the USA (or anywhere).

I've known people buy houses in prime areas of a prime city and see their house prices go up say 5% a year. I've known others who at the same time bought houses in the styx ie in country areas and less "prime" areas and seen their houses go up 50% in a year - and 300% over a few years. I am just using this as one example of not assuming anything based on location and wealth creation. The cost of living in the prime city is getting only 15% returns on capital instead of 150-300% and that is a big big expense that most people do not factor in. Opportunity Cost is what it is called. You are paying it all the time but don't realise it.

So you can live in country/place X in a job you don't love and slog it out and get by and feel OK, or you can do exactly the same thing in another country/place but at the same time, build some massive wealth by comparison.


Those are not examples of the core-periphery structure I was talking about. Russia and China are not at the periphery of the world economy. Russia is a once-superpower, and China is pretty much a superpower now. The core-periphery structure is one of dominance and exploitation. I'm talking about developing nations where labor is cheap; those who produce goods for the first world - i.e. sweatshop workers in impoverished countries, or countries that grow things like coffee and bananas for people in America and Europe.

There are rich elites within the periphal nations, who serve to maintain this power structure, support the core, and also benefit from this relationship.

Of course, this is true to an certain extent.

$70,000 a year is a livable income in America. But if you had an income of $70,000 US a year in Thailand, you would be able to live like an absolute king! That's equivalent to 2,205,330 Baht per year, and the purchasing power of the baht within Thailand is greater than the purchasing power of the dollar within America - i.e. you can buy a lot more stuff for a lot less money in Thailand.

The thing is, the extent is this - you don't see many people from America moving to live in Thailand, because although you can do a get more with your money over there, the overall standard of living of the general population is lower. People like to stay around other people who are more alike. If you were living in Bangkok, even if you were rich, you'd be rubbing shoulders very closely with the dirt poor every day, the bargirls & prostitutes, the peasants, etc. If you were living in suburban middle class USA, you'd be rubbing shoulders with people who have living standards just like yours. You'd feel more comfortable amongst that general way of living, with people who are more like you. That's why Thailand is more of a place for a holiday than a place to actually go and live, for the majority of Westerners.