Dominate Your Financial Destiny

We put in a bid on a condo! Alas, it looks like it’ll fall through – so our crazy week may be coming to an end. It has been a crazy ride diving into our budgets here in the DD household. Let’s just say another 90 day spend challenge is around the corner

Round II of guest posts this week! Anyhow, I trust you’ll enjoy this killer post from Lance, founder of mystrategicdollar.com, a new blog on how “money is a vehicle to experiences.”:

Dominate Your Financial Destiny

Do you ever try to analyze random stranger’s financial situations? I was at the gym recently (see I didn’t get rid of my membership!) when I noticed this couple working out. They are at the gym almost every time I go. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Through these informal experiences, I’ve noticed a few things about this couple:

  • They’re both incredibly good looking
  • They’re both in extremely good shape
  • They’re both so trendy (clothing, accessories, personal equipment, etc.)
  • They seem very happy

I was done with my workout, so I was walking to my car in the parking garage when I noticed they were walking just in front of me. What happened next? THEY GOT INTO AN ASTON MARTIN. And not just any Aston Martin, an Aston Martin Vanquish. That’s a $300,000 vehicle. It’s a beautiful car and I immediately felt car envy.

Then my analytical mind kicked in and I began asking myself questions about their life. For starters, this car probably has at least a $5,000 a month car payment. But of course, they can’t afford that because they’re probably broke. But how could they qualify for the car payment if they’re broke? Maybe they make enough money but spend it all on expensive items like this car. Then I started making assumptions – do they own this luxury vehicle but live in a run-down home or apartment? Are they spending all their money on STUFF, but have nothing in savings or in investments?

On the flip side, do they really have THAT much money that a $300,000 vehicle is a drop in the hat? Maybe so. Maybe my envy had gotten the best of me and I was just being an ass now.

Do you ever find yourself asking yourself these same questions? I do it all the time.

And you know what, the truth is – YOU NEVER KNOW THE ANSWER. Personal finances are such a personal topic that you just don’t have any idea. And that’s ok. You own your own financial destiny. This means always doing what’s best for you. Don’t get caught up in other people’s situations. We all start at nothing.

It’s easy for your envy of someone else’s stuff to turn into you impulse buying something you can’t afford. Don’t do that. Keep a clear mind and focus on your own goals.

It’s easy to see someone driving a nice car, wearing nice clothes, owning the latest tech gadgets and try to appear “well off” like they are. Don’t do that. Realize that you know nothing about their financial situation. Owning the newest material items doesn’t make you cool.

It’s easy to max out your credit cards and get so deep into debt that you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to dig yourself out. Don’t do that. Cut up your credit cards, pay with cash and forge your own path.

Dominate your financial journey. Do it for you, not for other people.

Have you ever questioned your own path because someone else seemed to be doing it better?

-Lance

13 comments… add one
  • Financial Coach Brad May 25, 2017, 5:23 am

    “Don’t get caught up in other people’s situations.” – #TRUTH

    A lot of our financial challenges seem to be related to this. We see something and start to desire it. When we don’t see “something we’re missing” then we tend to stay content with what we have longer. Perhaps we need to put some blinders on to avoid this envy, or build better discipline toward contentment.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher May 25, 2017, 8:16 am

    Um, only all the time. I read so many FIRE blogs that it’s hard not assuming that I’m doing an awful job. It’s important to remember that everyone’s money journey is different–and we’re all at different places in our journeys, too. 🙂

  • Ryan @ Just Another Dollar May 25, 2017, 8:26 am

    I’m sure you’ll find the right house deal soon enough. I’d be curious to know how you’re finding the lending market since we’re looking to buy in the next 12-15 months. Did you end up going in with a lower down payment as I believe you had mentioned on a previous podcast episode?

    The post was a great reminder that there’s really no way to tell actual wealth vs. portrayed wealth just by looking at someone. There are probably far more “stealth wealth” millionaires driving around in 10+ year old cars than millionaires driving $300k+ ones.

    • Lance @ My Strategic Dollar May 25, 2017, 11:26 am

      I recently heard of the term “stealth wealth” and I have to say it’s probably my new favorite! LOL

      I’ve met several millionaires that dress in plain clothes and drive old cars. It’s amazing.

  • Lance @ My Strategic Dollar May 25, 2017, 11:28 am

    Thank you so much Matt for allowing me to guest post! I appreciate the opportunity to share my experiences!

  • The Grounded Engineer May 26, 2017, 8:39 am

    Nice write up, Lance. I found myself doing this often when I first got out of college. I was a young engineer making good money, and at times I thought about making impulse purchases to “keep up with the Jones”. However, over time I realized that making impulse purchases wouldn’t make me happy. My wife and I are getting better each day on focusing on the things that make us happy and only spending money on those things.

    I love this quote you had, “Dominate your financial journey. Do it for you, not for other people.us on your own goals.”

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Lily @TheFrugalGene May 29, 2017, 1:27 am

    I have a client who has a full time nanny for her 3 children, incredibly expensive private school with after school daycare, and a private nanny (separate from her children) for her 15 lb dog. HER DOG. I know she works in corporate America but my lord – a full time nanny for the dog?!

    I’m just trying, like you, to not have my mind go there haha.

  • Your First Million May 31, 2017, 11:56 am

    This is the exact attitude that more people need to adopt! We are all in charge of our own finances and we get to choose where we want to be! And everyone starts from ground zero and we all have the exact amount of time in each day. Decide now where you will go!

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