My ex is an attorney with a 6-figure salary and a cushy job in the city. He’s also one of the most frugal people I know. Go figure.
He IM’d me this evening to say “it was a sad day.” I figured some girl blew him off again. Instead, this time, it was potential layoffs at the office. Well, he was sad about a new pay structure at the office… no more bonuses.
A part of me gets really ticked off every time he complains about money because he’s making, like, $150k a year. On the other hand, I’m making $60k a year and I still remember a time when I was making $20k and thought $60k was “rich.” I complain about not making enough money too… so I really have no right to be upset with him. While I do feel like I can live comfortably at $60k, it no longer seems “rich” to me at all.
I’m still trying to understand what “rich” means. My greatest desire in life is the ability to donate my money to different causes and people who deserve it. And… realistically, I could do that now… yet I also haven’t donated one penny in years. I’m an awful person. Or at least a guilty one. I used to try to volunteer my time, but that was back when my time wasn’t worth that much money. Now… my time is worth a fair amount of dough, and my free time is worth even more.
My biggest money question is life is when do you reach the point where you can donate money and feel good about it without worrying that you’re pushing off an opportunity to own real estate, go to grad school (etc)? All the extra money… I put into savings accounts or retirement accounts. I’d like to one day make “enough money” where I can donate a sizable amount to non-profit(s) I care about. There are lots.
I’m always intrigued by the person who can’t walk by a homeless man or woman on the street without giving them cash, or, even better, a meal. I’m awed. I grew up in the ‘burbs of NY. My parents taught me to look the other way.
These days, I don’t know which way to look. I just feel so guilty for having such great luck (as in, having a job right now, not having student loans, etc) and so terrified of running out of money one day and going into debt. Money totally controls my life. I like having it (who doesn’t?) but I can’t stand not knowing what to do with it… and feeling like I don’t deserve it. That’s probably why I have a spending problem… I always want to get rid of it as soon as possible.