How has the money changed you?

David Aames's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,350

Mod Note (Andy): Check out the great response in the comments by user @"Dingdong08"

I'm a bit older then most of you (see my post on live advice/quotes) but curious to hear from those who are in their first few years of banking and the bump in income is more noticeable. So how has the money changed you, for good or for bad?

I moved a few years ago to a place with a lower cost of living and higher ppp for me while maintaining a similar salary and have seen my expenses slowly rise (funny how that happens eh) - though have been having more fun and enjoying what money can buy (more on experiences rather than things). I'm single/no children so obviously that's a big factor.

I'll say this...money makes things more fun, it changes your friends/social circles/activities and gives you more freedom to do what you want. I've noticed it's not that much easier to save as of course your expenses rise because it's easier to justify the expense. I save more than before, but the % is about the same.

Am I happier with more money? Compared to the stress I had coming out of college not having to worry about money is f*cking wonderful but with the right mind set and adjusted expectations I feel I could be on a similar happiness level with less income.....and from my thread (linked above) i'll always try to remember the formula: happiness = reality - expectations + internal processing

Comments (69)

Aug 6, 2014

Money doesn't change character, it reveals it.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Aug 6, 2014

umm which motivational book of quotations did you pull that from. i'll beg to differ

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

Aug 6, 2014

In my view, money buys security/protection and increased options. What people choose to do with those things is inherent in their character. They could donate it to charity or spend it all on themselves. It's a tool and a resource, not necessarily a determinant of who you are.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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Aug 8, 2014

would SB it if I could.

Aug 8, 2014

It's understood!

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Aug 6, 2014

I couldn't agree more, even though I am making more I end up saving about the same %. As you subconsciously know that you can afford that extra dinner or night at the strip club every month, so you go ahead and do it. Just part of the process of growing older and learning how to adjust to changes.

Aug 6, 2014

Still a tough, meat and potatoes guy.

Aug 6, 2014

You never stop thinking about money

Your worries just shift from the day-to-day to larger purchases like houses and boats

Best Response
Aug 6, 2014

Personally I don't think it's changed who I am but it's drastically changed how I live, and I'm older than the OP by a decade. The easiest way to conceptualize it when you're a college kid is that you drink cheap beer, cans of domestic crap, kegs, plastic half gallons of cheap vodka, etc. Maybe you can occasionally can afford better stuff or when the parents or friends parents are in town you'll drink good stuff so you know what it is but you're not buying it regularly. Then you get a job and realize you can afford craft beer regularly (in my day we called them microbrews-I'm not sure when that changed). But in general you're not ordering top notch single malts unless you're at a work dinner/expensing them, or your parents have money and they're paying. Maybe you occasionally order one that you're paying for but it's the exception. Then you work a few years, get a few bonuses/raises, promotions, move to new firms or whatever. And you realize that you can afford to regularly drink top shelf single malts and pay for them without a thought, and I'm not talking about the over the top $100+ ones, but you don't have a heart attack when you order a few $20-30 scotches/martinis. You also have developed a taste for wine and the lower end ones just don't do it for you and you can afford to spring for a nicer one so you do. Again, you're not necessarily downing bottles of first growth vintage Bordeaux on Tuesday nights but you're not ordering the cheapest bottles on the list. You're also less likely to be doing any of this regularly at dive bars or even loud bars where it's tough to get a seat, but at nicer restaurant bars. This can keep going if you make tons of money and I know guys who do regularly order first growth bordeaux and I know guys with tons of money who stay at a level where they don't blow money on $1500 bottles of wine on anywhere near a regular basis. And it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a PBR at a dive bar or a Bud at a summer bbq, but you're probably not doing that regularly because even when you host or attend a bbq, you have craft beers and decent wine.

You can basically apply this to many aspects of life. Housing: in college you were in dorms and crappy apartments. You graduated and got a job and got a better apartment, started making more and moved up the housing scale. Some guys top out and regardless of their comp or net worth figure that they don't need more than 4-5000 SF (in the burbs, I'm not talking NYC) and some try to compensate for the size of their phallus by replicating Versailles in Westchester County. Cars, vacations, watches, clothes and more fall into the drinking comparison. Having money is going to change what you do and buy, but it doesn't necessarily change who you are.

Most people who gradually make more money tend to not let the wheels fall off and let it drastically change them as people. Even thinking IB/PE, MBB, etc: to outsiders it may seem like you're making a ton at 25 or 30 but you're most likely living in an expensive city so it's not going very far and you gradually make more each year so by the time you're 35 or 40 you could be making seven figures (which is very difficult, takes a lot of hard work and luck and is by no means the norm even in finance) but you've worked up to it and it was gradual. You very well may be a douche bag but you probably were a douche bag when you were broke and 21 in college.

Where I've seen money change people is when they don't have much of it and then all of the sudden get a ton of it. When people are involved in a start up that exit relatively quickly, or they inherit money or quickly build a business and sell it for a lot of money or things along those lines is when I've seen it drastically change who they are. It's the money itself and if they earned it, through the start up route or building and exiting a business (essentially a start up, but start up has the connotation of tech) or I've even seen execs do an MBO where they were making a couple hundred grand before and exited relatively quickly to millions, they tend to think that they're the smartest and greatest person on the planet and everyone else is a peon that is far less of a being than they. I've seen good family men become whore mongers, cheat on their wives, do drugs when they never did before (nothing against drugs personally, but it's odd when a 40 or 45 year old guys who smoked pot a few times in college starts doing blow) and just generally treat people like shit when they would never have before.

None of this is hard and fast and are just based anecdotally on what I've seen.

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Aug 6, 2014

Great post.

Aug 6, 2014

*soft clap*

you da man dingdong, this is some millionaire next door stuff

Aug 6, 2014

That is why I am a firm believer a man should be a whore mongering, cocaine using, anti-family man during his 20's. Gets it out of his system.

Never an excuse to treat people like shit, though.

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Aug 6, 2014
CorpFinanceGuy:

That is why I am a firm believer a man should be a whore mongering, cocaine using, anti-family man during his 20's. Gets it out of his system.

Never an excuse to treat people like shit, though.

Haha. Totally agree.

Aug 7, 2014

haha preach! That's what I've been doing all through college and now work life. You don't wanna be one of those suburbia fathers, wishing he would've done such and such.
In regards to the OP - I feel like the money hasn't changed me: not any happier, just an increased feeling of security.
I just do everything I used to do on a larger scale. You have less free time, so you end up going harder in the little time you have free. it's a balancing act.

Aug 7, 2014

+1 for confirmation bias.

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Aug 7, 2014

i raise @"thebrofessor"'s soft clap, with a slow clap.

awesome post +1

Aug 18, 2014

Absolutely could not have said it better myself. Agreed 100%

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Aug 6, 2014

well said @"Dingdong08"

Progress is impossible without change...

Aug 6, 2014

I have to admit that when I had no bank account I was a nice guy. But now that the balance in my savings account is $647.24 I am a prick. I feel like I can go out to lunch every day of the week, so I don't even pack a sandwich anymore! The best part has been that I can now pay for parking so I'm not constantly praying to holier deities for there to not be any tickets in between my windshield wiper and my cracked window. I might start being a bit more frugal so that I can save up for a partner but for now the fun continues!!

YAY!

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Aug 6, 2014

this is the second post of yours with which i've had the unfortunate experience of reading. Just stop.

Aug 6, 2014

At which point in my life? From $0 to $10 million was huge. From $10 to $100MM, not a huge difference in lifestyle, especially given that my pay was increasing so rapidly. From $1B to $100MM, there was no real impact on my material well being, but significant damage was done to my reputation and ego.

I went from a huge ego at $0 to an enormous ego at $10MM to an uncontrollablly large ego at $100MM to an unstoppable force of nature ego at $1B. I cooled to less than where I was at $0 on 9/15/2008. Long story short...it wasn't the money, it was the power that really gives you the ego stroking. I'm still worth 9 figures but I'm much more humble now than I was when I was worth 1/10th what I am now.

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Aug 6, 2014

Working on my first $1MM.

Aug 6, 2014
PaloAltothBurn:

Working on my first $1MM.

I hope you're under 27, otherwise that's not something you should admit, otherwise that's just embarrassing. Unless you're talking about liquid, then you have until 28. Good luck to you though.

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Aug 7, 2014

I agree its the power having money brings that changes you. Different experiences, buying what you want, places you call home and social circles. It start to create this false sense of being better than the next person.

Aug 7, 2014

I agree its the power having money brings that changes you. Different experiences, buying what you want, places you call home and social circles. It start to create this false sense of being better than the next person.

Aug 7, 2014

I agree its the power having money brings that changes you. Different experiences, buying what you want, places you call home and social circles. It start to create this false sense of being better than the next person.

Aug 7, 2014

I agree its the power having money brings that changes you. Different experiences, buying what you want, places you call home and social circles. It start to create this false sense of being better than the next person.

Aug 7, 2014

It seems as though I'll be able to break into the 4 figures with this next check I'm expecting. And that's liquid money I'm talking about.
Curious on any tips as to how I may avoid turning into a bigger prick. AKA: how can I keep the green from making me a mean machine?

Aug 7, 2014
MahmoudAbbas MD:

It seems as though I'll be able to break into the 4 figures with this next check I'm expecting. And that's liquid money I'm talking about.

Curious on any tips as to how I may avoid turning into a bigger prick. AKA: how can I keep the green from making me a mean machine?

Don't super size at McD's. That just screams douche bag like "look what I can do! I can afford another $0.99 to make my fries and drink big you homeless food stamp motherf'ers!"

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Aug 7, 2014
Dingdong08:
MahmoudAbbas MD:

It seems as though I'll be able to break into the 4 figures with this next check I'm expecting. And that's liquid money I'm talking about.

Curious on any tips as to how I may avoid turning into a bigger prick. AKA: how can I keep the green from making me a mean machine?

Don't super size at McD's. That just screams douche bag like "look what I can do! I can afford another $0.99 to make my fries and drink big you homeless food stamp motherf'ers!"

Wow, that's great advice. I knew coming into WSO that I would learn how to master the universe but I'm learning much on life also. Thank you Ding Dong 08, you're a star.

Aug 7, 2014

Listen son.. when I had nothing to my name i want it all... now that i easily break 4 figures every paycheck.. before taxes I always answer the phone with "who the fuck is this". just make sure you are not doing that when you 40+, not cuz its retarded but because you might catch a beat down. UHHHHH

Aug 7, 2014

Unless you're going up 1-2 decimal points from middling wealth (like the sudden wealth scenarios @Dingdong08 identified), it seems having children leads to much, much more change in the people I know than wealth.

Aug 8, 2014

money isn't worth the hours

Aug 8, 2014

Money doesn't make people into assholes, it just allows them to be the asshole they always were inside. Case in point, take yours truly. I honk at old ladies when they drive too slow in the parking lot. I yell at pregnant women when they walk to slowly down the sidewalk. I intentionally piss on the toilet seat when I know some bitchy woman in waiting on me in a unisex bathroom. Could I get away with all of this if I didn't have money? Well likely yes, however I take much more satisfaction in it.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Dec 21, 2014

delete

Aug 8, 2014

I'm more perceptive to character. Money doesn't make you rich.

Aug 11, 2014

Money makes you more of who you already are.

Aug 12, 2014

Money moves me closer to whom I really am.

The Auto Show

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Aug 18, 2014

The Auto Show ?

Aug 19, 2014

no..the bitchy little witch.

The Auto Show

Aug 17, 2014

I noticed I've started ordering sides and appetizers and all that bs. Never used to touch those with a 10 ft pole, not enough food/$... but meh, you only live once.

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Aug 19, 2014

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Aug 19, 2014

This has what to do with the topic at hand? Not to mention that makes you seem like a heroin addicted prostitute.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 19, 2014

you know ain't nothing's changed but my limp.

Dec 29, 2014

.

Dec 29, 2014

I always get guacamole on my burrito at chipotle's now :P

Dec 29, 2014

Haven't started work ft. but earned close to 6 figures last summer. It hasn't changed me much, I just don't worry about money now. Bought a house and a car so far and it's nice to rent out the house and make passive income every month. I Still am cheap and pretty thrifty in all I do. So I guess, to answer your question, no it hasn't changed me much. Just gives me a peace of mind...

Dec 29, 2014
analyst_808:

Haven't started work ft. but earned close to 6 figures last summer. It hasn't changed me much, I just don't worry about money now. Bought a house and a car so far and it's nice to rent out the house and make passive income every month. I Still am cheap and pretty thrifty in all I do. So I guess, to answer your question, no it hasn't changed me much. Just gives me a peace of mind...

lol what did you do last summer sell coke?

Dec 29, 2014

back then hoes didnt want me, now im a trader they all on me

Dec 29, 2014

haha i probably would have made more than 6 figures selling coke. I sold alarm systems, door to door...

Dec 29, 2014

and you made over 100k annualized ? or in that one summer? 100k in profit or in sales?

Dec 29, 2014

Do not be impressed by this guy. We did some diligence into this industry and he most likely worked for a "summer program" with notoriously unconscionable business practices. Sure you make a lot of money, but you also make it with outright lies.

Some of the companies have cleaned up their act (e.g. Vivint -- had to change their name from APX because of all of the lawsuits) so for all I know this guy is completely legit.

Dec 29, 2014

The lack of money definitely changed me.

Dec 29, 2014
levelworm:

The lack of money definitely changed me.

second this.

Dec 29, 2014
levelworm:

The lack of money definitely changed me.

agree, NYC rent and living expenses...can't beat it.

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

Dec 29, 2014

Yes it has.

Dec 29, 2014

I think the work I put in for the money has changed me, I'm spending it a little more carefully than I used to. Funny, because I always had the "earn it to burn it" mentality.

Dec 29, 2014

money has changed me.

i used to drink concentrate OJ for breakfast. but now that i'm so cash i buy SUNNY D.

All things are possible with Him i have to deal

Dec 29, 2014

money has changed me.

i used to drink concentrate OJ for breakfast. but now that i'm so cash i buy SUNNY D.

All things are possible with Him i have to deal

Dec 29, 2014
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