Let’s face it. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born wealthy. Even if you do everything right and work hard for your money, you may still have less money than your friends. Consequently, you may find yourself in an awkward position when you have to say no when one of your wealthier friends invites you to do something or go somewhere you can't afford.
No worries: We've got you covered. Here are five tips that will help you deal with earning less money than your friends:
1. Don't feel bad.
Remember, you are not your money. There is more to you than how much you earn for a living and your salary should not determine your self worth. There are lower-paying jobs that are worth it. Some lower paying jobs are in competitive industries, like entertainment and journalism.
The sacrifice for working in a creative field is usually that you have to pay your dues for a few years before your paychecks get bigger, but even then, the perks of having a "cool" job tend to imply the pay may always be less. If you have a job that pays a little while working a minimum number of hours, you'll have free time to pursue passion projects, go to school, take on freelance work or put some more effort into your job hunt! If you work in a creative industry, odds are you will be working your butt off for long hours. But creative environments are fun, so the time flies a lot faster.
2. Don't compare yourself.
This may be the most difficult tip to implement, but it's a must. If you compare yourself to others, you could drive yourself crazy. You are your own person and you have your own path. Sure, your college roommate may have the job of her dreams or your brother might have recently scored a promotion, while you're still wondering when things will start to work out for you. It sucks, but find comfort in knowing you're not alone. Everyone feels this way from time to time. Just trust the process and know that it will all work out. Your friend may have more education than you or a winning personality, while you feel nervous and awkward at times. Whatever it is, know that you have something special to offer the world. Hustle hard and think outside of the box to find the opportunity that will allow you to share your gifts.
3. Look to your friends for motivation.
If they're truly your friend, they'll want to see you succeed, too. Be honest and ask them (in person, if you can) if they have any suggestions for you. After all, they know you better than most. Find out how they got where they are. (Do they belong to professional organizations? Did they find the job through a particular site or recruiter?) Learn from them. That's what interpersonal relationships are all about. And, don't forget to return the favor when they're asking you for help.
4. More money, more problems.
Know that earning more money (above $50,000 to be exact), won't make you as happy as you might think. $50k seems to be the happiness "tipping point, according to research." It used to be $75,000, but - Yay! - it's gone down. If you create a budget and make your salary work for you, you could come on top in the end.
5. Work with what you've got.
Master money management. Save, budget, and make your money work for you. If you still yearn for a bigger paycheck, figure out ways to earn some extra cash. Mint can help you get a handle on your finances and Learnvest can help you create a game plan for financial success. Both are great resources.
Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure you're on track for financial security in your 30s and beyond. If you’re not quite 30, still take a look. It’s best to be ahead of the curve than behind it.