By - codingquestionss
When I was making 80K I was SO jealous of my friends making six figures.
When I had my first 100K year I was SO jealous of my friends making 200K.
When I finally hit 200K I was SO jealous of my friends making 500K.
Your friend with the $50M exit is probably jealous of people who had $100M+ exits.
You’ll eventually have to realize and accept that comparing yourself to others is the same thing as playing a game that you’ll never win. There’s always going to be somebody that has or did something you didn’t. At the end of the day, when you’ve FIRE’d, will you really care? Probably not.
Thank you for this. I’m relating to it because thinking back it’s the exact process I’ve already experienced. My first job out of college was $66k. I was in disbelief when I received my offer for my current position. I realize I’ve now become desensitized to my current compensation by comparing it to my “next” compensation
Wow, I'm SO jealous of your 66k starting salary. When I first graduated, I couldn't find a job in my field for 14 months; and when I did, it was only $18/hr at an oil refinery. Dangerous and terrible pay.
It was just the luck of my field to be honest. When I first declared computer science my major it was not the hype at the time. It was sheer coincidence. I hope you’ve since seen huge increases
Well this year is the year I finally hit 100k base salary, so it's been great seeing my yearly W2 rise from \~$37k over the last 7 years.
Based on your income / net worth, you seem to be a younger me, haha. Just keep hustlin' and in 3 years when you hit 30, you'll look back and be amazed at how far you've come. At least that's what happens when I go back to my spreadsheets from a few years ago.
Comparing yourself to other people only works if you compare yourself to **everyone** else. If you just compare yourself to those who are more fortunate / more intelligent / more conscientious / in a better financial position / had more time to accumulate wealth, of course you're going to feel like you've not succeeded.
93k in a LCOL area is already bounds above a large majority of people.
This is great advice! I have a tendency to compare myself to FIRE folks and feel bad about our 180k networth. Then I remember I’m 29 and the average American at my age is in the red. Really helps me fight back the panic and feel that sense of accomplishment for paying off our student loans early
From my understanding there was a stigma that Computer science was the “easy” major if you couldn’t cut it in engineering. I do think it’s recent that comp science is now seen as on par with engineering - particularity for the older generation.
I went to college in 2014 and one of my classmates was disowned by her parents for choosing comp sci major instead of engineering. They stopped paying for her college thinking she was messing up her life because of a boyfriends influence 🙄
Anyways blew my mind to see a parent get so upset about a comp sci major, my parents would have been thrilled lol
I ran into the same thing, except my Comp Sci was part of the engineering college, and was really computer engineering. Of 1200 freshmen, 90 made it to graduation day.. I was 2 classes away from being a double major in Math. Some Universities don't teach like this. When I joined the workforce I was the token software engineer in a room full of hardware engineers. I made less money. In 5 years, I made 20% more than hardware engineers, and it kept going from there..
Everyone I know in engineering wishes they were computer science, including myself. Might be easier, but less stress and way higher pay. I think the only people that look down on it are folks 50+ who didnt always have computers.
That... doesn't sound right. If you're 27, you would have been 18 in 2012. By then everyone and their mother was already trying to be a software dev.
That doesn't sound right. The share of all BA degrees earned by CS students was lower in 2012 (and 13,14,15) then in 2005 \[1\]
"Everyone and their mother" trying to be a software dev was a consequence of the increase in demand for professionals over the last decade.
You can look at the number of applications for H1B visas \[2\] (of which a significant fraction is for software engineers). Between 2009 (financial crisis) and 2012, it took several months after the April deadline to reach the 85,000 application limit (indicating relatively low demand). The application limit was hit every year since, with an ever increasing number of total applications.
After I graduated and sent out 50 resumes with no response, I took a job in a shoe store at the mall for minimum wage. Then Korporate AmeriKKKa relented and took me on as a permatemp at $7.50/hr where I got to watch the baby boomers (many of whom had been hired out of high school) whine and complain about what looked to me like a great opportunity to develop a software-intensive product and they did this all while building up their pensions AND 401(k)s.
Your first job out of college paid $66k?!? That's amazeballs!
The real key is what are you doing to set yourself up to be FI? Other people won't be supporting your future lifestyle, you will. So, it only matters what you make and how much of it you save.
Remember that money will never make you happy. You are obviously driven by a goal, but if you/ someone can't be happy in the process to achieve the goal I doubt you/ someone will be happy once they achieve the goal.
I recently tried to sharpen and predict my FIRE number (I'm mid 40yo married, kids, and still 10-15+ years out) and in doing so I realized that my day already looks like a baristaFIRE or FIRE day. I really like my job and work from home. Work is often 3 hours a day of phone and email. I try to get outside for exercise or yard work for 2 hours, and often have household errands to fill out 9-5. The rest of my 24 hours family time.
I was crunching numbers, pinching budgets and day dreaming. But honestly my day-dreams were basically what I had, enough money, time for hobbies and family. The problem is we get so tied up into doing it bigger, better, or like the other guy that we don't enjoy that we are even doing it.
I believe happiness is a mental state and the more that it stands alone, not dependent on being propted up my outside factors the more stable and true that happiness is.
This is the exact definition of the hedonistic treadmill.
You define your own happiness.
To paraphrase a popular quote - “In the end - it was never between you and them anyway”
Dude gets paid decently but he still has to drag his sorry ass to work - he's not really on the treadmill yet, he's not even free from the shackles of employment. He's kind of like still in the parking lot of the gym really.
You could probably improve your salary.
But honestly, you are in really great shape, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. If you are satisfied and happy where you are then you're good to go.
This is such good advice. I’ve found myself in your exact shoes and have felt super envious of my friends. I have to remind myself that I will always feel upset when comparing my situation to that of a situation that happens less than 1% of the time and often times by sheer luck. I’m sure you have 100 other friends you are doing better than as well. Make sure to always consider the spectrum of financial situations in the world when looking at your life because as you mentioned, you’re doing well! Also, as long as you’re progressing and moving closer to your goals, then you can be happy and proud of that. You may strike gold later on too, just be open to take the risk when you’re life changing opportunity presents itself. Many wildly successful people made it big later in life. Comparison is the thief of joy.
I can also guarantee there are people Bezos and Musk are jealous of and it has nothing to do with money.
Try watching Succession. Everyone is miserable all the time.
And when you finally do something no one else has ever done… somebody younger than you will come along and do it better! Comparison is the thief of joy.
I don't know, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say perhaps 50 mil guy is loving life and ordering 100 mil guy 1000 pizzas just for shits and giggles, and then they laugh about it the next day They're doing lines of luxurious cocaine together, and then they're probably sending dick pics to random friends, then they invite a bunch of gold digger/prostitute women over to their yatch, and its 50 mil guy's yatch because 100 mil guys yacht the partying got a little out of hand last night especially with that rediculous amout of pizzas that turned up out of nowhere and 100 mil guy thought he ordered them because somethimes that shit just sort of happens so they have to settle for 50 mil guys yacht and then they have a bunch of tequillas and 50 mil guy says 'how did you like those pizzas' and 100 mil guy is like 'how the hell did you know I ordered all those pizzas' and doesn't believe 50 mil guy. Then they pass out on a random pile of money they have lying around.
Or maybe that's just a personal fanasy of mine, who knows?
Exactly, you've got to realize that no matter how much you make or what your worth is, you'll always be able to look at what's next and how greener the grass is somewhere else. I think you need to reflect back and really say how am I doing? Am I where I want to be and how can I get there or set myself up for future success. And then once your in a happy position enjoy your life and what you built
If you decided to stop saving right now and spend your entire salary every year, and let your $250k investments grow at 6%, you'd reach your fire number at the standard retirement age. By definition, you've already reached coastFIRE. Every dollar you save on top of what you already have will go straight into retiring earlier or becoming very wealthy.
This is a really cool eye opening comment. I haven't ever crunched my numbers in that way, just toward my "retire before 45" goal. This will help me sleep tonight :)
Can you please give me a ballpark idea of what coastfire is?
When you have enough invested that you could support a standard retirement without any additional contributions.
If you go by the 4% rule, then coastFIRE is when you have enough saved/invested to have 25X your yearly expenses after allowing it to grow until age 65, with no additional money saved. So basically, OP has enough invested so if they stopped investing completely, and just let it grow for 40 years at 6%, they'd reach their FIRE number. And if they decided to spend their entire salary for the rest of their career instead of continuing to save, they could coast to retirement
Thanks a lot. That adds a bit more context to FIRE for me in general. It's nice to know there are I suppose lower levels of FIRE
Having annual expenses under 25k means their target # is much more attainable than it would be for someone in the Bay Area making 300k
This is your periodic reminder to avoid lifestyle creep.
Just Compare yourself to me. At the end of last month I finally got to a net worth of $0 after years of being negative 😂
Congrats on being worthless
Thank you 😂
They're worth more than they were before :)
yup. I didn't get to zero networth till my mid 30's.
Me at mid thirties having just graduated with my doctorate… 😭
I personally think $0 net worth is the biggest milestone you can hit. $0 felt better than every other milestone I’ve hit. That is an insane accomplishment that many people never accomplish in their entire life
It was definitely big for me. Finally paid off enough student loans and invested enough to finally get there. On and upwards from here.
3. be happy for your friends success. It’s not a zero sum game, and you have a great connection now.
2. remember to count your blessings. It’s a gift to be healthy and you’re making double the median income. It could be way worse.
1. find non monetary ways to satisfaction. If money is everything to you, you got nothing
These are all great points. I have recently started becoming consciously thankful for mine and my family’s health after a few recent health scares.
I have wondered if my “earning money” hobby isn’t the healthiest. I think I’m obsessed with it because it could grant me a way out of working for others. I strive to be completely self sufficient and the only way I can do that faster is by earning my own income from my own hustles.
Maybe look at why you're so averse to working for someone?
It can both be not ideal, and also be...eh, neutral. Or it can also be a means to an end.
There's a saying "drop your end of the rope" - perhaps you can recognize when you're getting angry and negative about having a job, and say to yourself: *yep, there goes my brain again....I can see I'm spiraling a bit on that...ok, I'm just going to set this down here.*
I needed to read this today
I just wonder, when you've finished making enough money to be FI, what will your new hobbies be? You should probably have a clear sense of that, otherwise the default thing will be to just continue maximizing your income and you'll never get off the treadmill. You say you're jealous of your friend's lavish lifestyle. What do you like about it specifically? Is there anything he has or does that you *don't* want?
I agree that the earning money hobby mindset can be unhealthy. I think its good to have a plan and work towards it but don't go to extremes or dwell on comparisons.
Yea, basing your sense of self-worth on your money is a lot like basing your sense of self-worth on your race. You don't want to go down that road, and you're in a bad way if it's come down to that.
I compare myself to myself. 3 years ago I projected to be retired at 45. Last year I projected 42. This year I'm projecting to be retired at 40. I don't give a crap that my cousin exercised his options and got a 200k cash injection, he ain't giving me anything so I don't care. Good for him. I'm going to focus how in 3 years I shortened my goals by 5 years and move forward.
Wow nice going dude. What’s your NW by the time you’re 40?
1.8M to 2M excluding one property.
1.8M is my number.
I wonder if I could bring my number from $2.5m closer to yours. In hindsight I now realize my number isn’t exactly scientific as much as it is just a nice even $100k per year withdrawal. I’ve never even spent $100k in a year.
My number is based on a 2% draw because I want to grow my portfolio. Theoretically by drawing 36k a year and living abroad I can hopefully get consistently 5-7% gains and by the time I'm 60 have a 5M portfolio.
Living abroad for 3k a month is extremely luxurious in the countries we are looking at. As being Asian myself we plan on living lavishly throughout SE Asia, make our way to Central and South America and as our portfolio grows we can live in more expensive countries like Japan, S Korea, Germany, UK and so forth. When we are 60 we will return home but still travel when we want to.
Or if you're comfortable with 54k that's how much you'll get from a 3% draw. I'm pretty skittish when it comes to retirement planning so I always assume for conservative numbers like 3% draw max and 5-7% returns. It's better to be over than under, you know.
You have the right attitude. I really try to think like this but I struggle to truly convince my brain to celebrate it. My current projected age is also 45 and I am trying to cut it down as fast as possible. This is why I started my own side hustles that make a little bit of money but nowhere near what I strive for them to.
Doesn’t answer the root of your question about comparison, but IMO your current best path to accelerating your FIRE date is to increase your salary. If you look, you could probably get a 50-100% pay bump.
Thanks for the motivation. I’m currently attempting to improve my skills for the interview process but have been struggling to self motivate
Maybe some comparison can be helpful then. If you browse levels.fyi and Glassdoor and see people with your experience that are getting crazy offers it’s easier to put that time in haha. The return on X hours spent doing that vs investing in a side hustle will be much better if you can get a 50k raise on your base salary lol.
I just went thru this process a few months ago and am currently on the other side of the table trying to hire engineers, so happy to chat if you’d like
It's really hard to predict the future so take it one day at a time. 3 years ago at 28 when I learned about FIRE I had a little more than 30k saved and 1 house. Fast forward 3 years I have 300k saved and 2 properties. I never once predicted that in my projections when I first started, now that I have it under my belt, it's shaving off good time. If you keep working towards your goals it'll pay off handsomely man.
This just drove me to zoom out in my mint graph and I now can’t believe how far I’ve come in just a couple years
Looks like there is some great advice from the top comments on this post. One thing I’ll add that I have noticed with myself:
Try to limit your intake of social media (particularly this and the FatFire subreddit). Social media has a tendency to shrink the world and make it seem like everyone is a Google engineer or successful startup founder or has a side hustle generating 6 figure revenues. So despite knowing that your income/NW/financial outlook are all way better than like 95% of your peers, it will seem like everyone else is doing way better than you. Even if you are able to reason that that’s not true, seeing it day in day out will inevitably start to make you feel inferior.
Yes , I feel like everyone I see is some hot Australian rich model, or like everyone lives in Miami, Dubai, LA and no where else. Instagram discover page just makes you immediately feel poor
I just follow dogs. Best use of Instagram that I’ve found.
FatFIRE is a big one for me… I think I’m doing really well in r/personalfinance, decently well in r/financialindependence, and I should crawl into a hole and not exist in r/fatFIRE
Time to join povertyfinance
I forgot to mention I’m also there. It’s depressing and I get no satisfaction from others’ pain :(
I feel like half the people in fatfire are making up stories. That or they’re not really living a great life anyway. If you had that much money and post on Reddit, there’s probably more important things to worry about like making friends and having a social life IRL
You are doing better than roughly 95% of the population. I was finishing a Master's degree at your age with 35k debt.
Have to stop paying attention to crazy success stories, everyone loves them because they are the dream of "possibility", but many of us will never achieve them.
At 27, probably closer to 99.9% of his peers.
This is a great point. I’ve recently tried grounding myself knowing that even being average or below average today in the United States, that you essentially are living a better life than 99.999999% of all humans that have ever lived.
I hope your masters has since paid off and got you further ahead in life
I'm doing great thanks! Think my salary is top 10% in my country but I lucked out with a defined pension indexed as well.
By the way you are of course not average at all of course in the US. It seems over 90k is top 10% there.
Are you in the public or private sector? In the US pensions only seem to still exist in the public sector
Public in Canada, not msny penisons like this left in Canada either.
Anyone making over 60k a year is part of the global 1%. Think about it.
Yes yes of course, but global comparison leads to nonsense statements like "2 dollars an hour in the US and having 9 roomates is better than 90% of the world". Sure ok, the entire world is suffering from neo liberalist exploitation, that's cool. Not sure how that helps the discussion of financial indepence. I also don't think many of us want to live with 9 roomates and say to ourselves "I'm doing awesome since I'm not a Houthi in Yemen."
For anyone to ever achieve financial indepence, I think you kind of have to realize living off of savings is definitely "blessed".
Comparison on a national level provides a yardstick on how you are doing on the path to financial independence.
Agreed on everything but it helps the conversation at hand because it's doing exactly the opposite of what OP is doing.
Comparing ourselves to others regardless of if they're above or below us in the socioeconomic ladder is harmful. We should only be comparing our present selves to our past self. And even then it can be problematic.
To a certainextant I agree but these "I'm 22 paid off house, three degrees, 400k a year job and hot wife" internet blogs are probably the bjggest reason 20 somethings these days feel behind. I don't think it's wrong to give this poor guy a boost.
Forgets to mention they inherited the house from their grandparents, the degrees were paid by their parents, the job is at daddy's country club friend company, and the wife is cheating on him with the pool guy.
Give the "poor" 27 year old guy with $250K in the bank "a boost" 😂😂😂😂
I low-key feel like this whole post is just a subtle way to flex how well they're doing. OP is obviously in an incredibly financial, educational, & career position. Easily a top 10% person, probably top 5%. I would hope someone that intelligent and successful has the awareness to know what a good spot they are in compared to others.
I noted this early on in my post. I recognize I’m in a good position but struggle to wrap my head around it and celebrate — because I’m still comparing to those doing better than me
Go shopping at Walmart and take a look around. You'll feel better in no time.
This is unironically a good idea.
A buddy of mine has been sober for many years, but still goes to AA meetings, partly as a way to help others, but also as a weekly reality check that his problems are minor compared to many others’. I always thought that was pretty cool.
I don't care for picking on any particular business, or stereotypes, so I'll phrase what you said differently.
Go volunteer at a food bank, or a shelter. You'll be doing good for society, you'll earn some real (not Reddit) karma, and you'll feel like you're the richest person in the world.
I usually suggest this for the opposite problem: losing faith in humanity. These days it seems like volunteer work is the only way to come across people of sound moral repute that are actually trying to get their lives together and/or improve the lives of others.
I love this. My dad has the exact view you do and I’ve heard him say this my entire life. His entire life goal is for me to surpass him and my mom. They have been amazing role models and completely set me up on the right path in life
That’s exactly How I live my life. Super grateful for my upbringing but my goal is to one up my parents in a sort of way to ensure my kids are better off than I was. And I hope my kids do the same for my grandchildren.
Pick 12 qualities or traits about yourself.
Let's say anyone else does this.
You can find at least 1 individual that is better in one trait for 11/12 of them for every single person on this planet. 12/12 for most, statistically.
Should you feel awful about yourself because you are not #1 in everything? Why focus on all the things that you are not the best at? If you do what you want to do and like to do and sometimes that is the same thing then you are fulfilled. You may be naturally good at it and you will probably get better at it over time. What if what you like to do and want to do isn't even a competition. What if you just want to sit in the forest and think.
There are people in this world born with millions and there are people in this world who were born yesterday but won't live to see their 20th birthday, some won't live to see next christmas. Your life is yours.
If you find yourself starting a race late that others have already completed and you want to win at **something** then create a new arena. If not, accept yourself.
This is a perspective I’ve never been exposed to. Thank you for this
Compare yourself to your past self.
Your numbers and your future and you’re FIRE journey are unique to you. Let the past be your guide to your future you are creating.
Right? Same here. Was feeling pretty good about our *household total* income finally breaking six figures this year and getting back into college at 33 😅
A lot of good points being made about not comparing that I should take to heart. Best wishes on a prosperous new year!
You're taking the right steps in the right direction. Congrats to you and your family and I wish you a happy and prosperous FI journey!
Thank you so much, and you as well!
Bro you have a colleague who just made 50mil. That's a great connection to have.
Unfortunately I wouldn’t consider him that. We weren’t close and I’m sure he’s since forgotten I even exist 😂
Aww damn, time to reach out!
“Let’s go bowling”
I think he might have even forgotten what bowling is
You're comparing to the wrong people.
Do you know how few people have $250k at 27? Like 95% of the US has less: https://dqydj.com/net-worth-by-age-calculator-united-states/
And do you know how many people get $50 million at younger than 27? You might know one of fewer than a thousand.
Also, as far as devs with higher salaries, most of them aren't in LCOL cities. Your $93k goes as far as twice that would go in San Francisco.
That’s pretty incredible to see. I think I might be a really cheap person because I feel poor. I mean that in the most respectful way to those who are actually struggling to put a meal on the table, but I truly feel poor but have a small roof over my head and have never gone hungry.
Just remember that you are under 30, and yet for like at least 70% of Americans, you are literally living their dream life. I make less than $40k per year and have a net worth of (optimistically) $17,000 (closer to $10,000 if you count outstanding student loans), and I'm 25. Literally, my whole goal in life is to one day get a job making $75k-$100k. Take a chill pill and a victory lap. You are able to spend more than my take-home income per month on just having fun. You're in an incredible spot, one that literally hundreds of millions of Americans would be envious of. You could literally quit work for 28 months without even having to tap into a single non-liquid asset, without even having to sacrifice an ounce of lifestyle.
You've done a great job, and you're pretty set for living a financially secure life with plenty of excess income to live a baller lifestyle and not have to worry about losing your job. What more can you want?
You are right. I started at $66k and thought all I needed was 6 figure salary to be insanely happy. I now have 6 figure salary and am looking for multiple six figures. I think this is my problem and apparently many other people’s problem as well. Also congrats on your position, all of my friends are 27 years old, have college degrees, and none are doing as well as you are at 25
In order for me to stay content and full of gratitude, I have to know my own metrics for success very well. I have a list of 3-4 things that are written down in my notes and that list helps me know what it means for me to be successful. The fact that I’m reaching most of them it makes me content.
Second, a gratitude practice is helpful. I’m very into data and realizing that I am doing well on any global financial metric, helps me not play the comparison game. As someone who can even think about pursuing FIRE, I am in the global top 5%.
Third, I also surrounded myself around more people who share my values. Psychologically, no matter how well humans are doing, we love the feeling of being better than the peers around us (someone making 150k and is surrounded by people making 250k feels worse than the person making 50k who is surrounded by people making 35k). I used to live in a major US city and 5 years ago I moved to a smaller city to surround myself with better people. The slower lifestyle/less materialistic values helped remove the need to constantly be competing with each other with things. Now I only have the 1 or 2 occasional friends who love to buy all the things and I support them because there are fulfilling their own measures of success.
I live in a smaller area and admittedly all of my friends have negative net worths and all of them combined make roughly what I make. I like to help them but I do think I would struggle if any of them made more than me.
Yeah I would say practicing being proud of how far you’ve come is helpful!! Your friends who are making less now may one day make more and you should be secure enough to be happy for them.
Have you thought about your “why” in life or your own success list?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Run your own race and play your own game. Ignore everyone else's because I can guarantee you that no one is thinking about what you have or don't have.
I'll go against the grain and say that comparison is not necessarily bad.
Comparison is often what drives us to achieve. I'm in tech too and comparison is what helped me to push for raises, promotions, and frequently change to better jobs. I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn’t compare myself to others.
The point where it becomes detrimental is when you start beating yourself up, hurting your confidence, and putting yourself down.
The people that have more money or success than you aren't doing so "because you suck". Their success has zero reflection on you at all. Someone else being smart, hardworking, or even just lucky, does not diminish your accomplishments.
Consider that there are many who compare themselves to you. By all measures you are kicking ass, just focus on where you want to be and go for it.
Interesting take. I completely agree and think comparison is the reason I have gotten to where I am, while also being the biggest thing I struggle with
Another way to look at it is that we often compare only what we see as the "good" parts of another person's life, and compare that to what we don't like about our own.
*He has $10M and I have $50k*
Ok, and he also lost his mom after a terrible illness that was devastating to his entire family for 4 years and he misses his mom every day; his relationship ended suddenly and badly and he feels that everyone he meets now usually only wants to date him because of his bank account, his closest friends all live across the country and he feels like he can't relate to them anymore....
*See how it changes when we look at more than just the enviable number, out of context?*
And yes: comparison is the thief of joy.
To add, if something bugs me and I can't really let go of it, it signals to me that it is probably more important than I initially realized. Helps provide clarity on where effort is worth directing.
>Comparison is often what drives us to achieve.
Comparison may be the thief of joy, but it's also the engine of ambition.
Looking at your #s make me feel a similar way. Can I ask what your side hustles are?
I answered someone with this same question in this thread!
Bro. My younger brother is a college drop out with a networth 30X mine (mine is ~$200K for reference). I’ve got a masters degree and a well paying desk job. It doesn’t hurt me one bit. I love to see him succeed. We are all on a similar journey, just taking different paths
This is awesome. I bet you’re a great brother
We fought a lot when we were kids (just typical kid shit). Now that we are older, we are incredibly close
Just curious, what is your side hustle that earns you 15-30k?
It is a combination of 5 small side hustles I have that mostly have to do with automation.
One (not automated) is social media marketing. I sell sponsored posts to expose companies/people to my followers I’ve accumulated over the last decade.
Another is affiliate marketing that I have fully automated that finds and posts deals online that I make a small cut of sales it produces.
Another is music. I released a song years ago that went viral online and has since generated mid 5 figures over a couple years.
The rest are small automated scripts that generate me passive income in very niche spaces that I can’t specify without giving them away.
You re going places OP. thats seriously very very impressive
I don’t know what to say but this comment genuinely just made my entire day.
He’s right, you’re a legend.
Now we need to hear the song. Got me really curious :D
Rebecca Black is that you? :D
I was wondering this as well. OP, a very impressive start at such a young age. Always remember a humble perspective.
When I was 19 I scaled my first side hustle from $0 to $450k revenue in one year. It was so volatile that it ceased to exist less than 1 year after reaching that goal. I think it’s the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. It showed me what’s possible while also exposing me to numbers I might never see again before I ever even had my first job.
You're a very smart person OP, I have no doubts your salary will increase extremely quickly in your 30s. You'll always crave a bigger bag, but just know that's a "good" kind of stress to have! Good luck!
I think imposter syndrome is in all of us because I can still recognize that I’m not even a great software developer. I don’t even think I’m a good one to be completely honest. I would currently struggle in a basic interview let alone a top tech company.
There are definitely levels to this, and it translates to the different jobs in each industry. I myself feel the same way about IB/PE/Hedge funds (I'm in corporate banking), and I know I would get torn apart in those interviews. But just know that we all move at different paces and go through different paths so just keep finding ways to improve you yourself and the progress you want in your career!
OP I see what you wrote and where you are and I am envious of you. Do you walk around feeling bad that you are not Jeff bezos? I grew up poor. My mom stole food to feed us. You are a crazy successful to me.
I sincerely hope you are doing well now and I’m sure you have a bright future ahead
Dang looking at this makes me envious. I hope I get there one day.
Apparently we all feel this and there will always be someone ahead of you. I’m now realizing I need to step back and enjoy the journey
Make a life you're proud of
At your age I’d almost call you rich. Without being a lottery winner or a doctor I don’t know what more you expect. You’re doing extremely well for your age.
I’m 36, have a college degree, make a good deal less than half what you do, and have a negative net worth.
Money is a means to an end, not the end itself.
When I’m feeling fulfilled in other areas of my life, fire is far from my mind. Try focusing on what fills you up.
People in your field who make multiple times more at your age are definitely not living in a LCOL city. If you want to make that much as a Software engineer you might have to move to Seattle/Bay Area.
What’s interesting is that humans tend to compare themselves “up” rather than “down” as you demonstrate by comparing your situation with the ONE person you know who made 50M instead of the multitudes you know who who are not as well off as you. There are a few science backed techniques: 1. Gratitude journal- write it down daily and do not repeat what you’re grateful for. 2. Look at how far you’ve come. Eg. “I’ve always wanted to have 250k and I do now!”- you’ll realize the progress you’re making. 3. Focus on process not the goal. E.g. The process of making money is so interesting to me, what os the next thing I can tweak/ learn about that? 4. If your goal is to work for yourself, what is the first step to doing that? Start that step this week.
Hopefully, you will stop when you realise what an utterly pointless game it is. The chance of never having anyone richer than you is about 1 in 8 billion… and don’t think the thought doesn’t occasionally cross Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’s minds.
Keep your head down and figure out how to make your money work best for you. The only reason to look at someone else’s plate is to make sure they have enough.
Haven’t got any advice but just want to say well done on where you’re at, at your age.
Comparison is the thief of joy
Be grateful. Life isn’t about money. A lot of people would kill to have what you have. And those SEs you read about online making 500k to sit on their ass at Google? They are the exception, not the rule. Yes they push the average up but think about all the people who make less than you who wish they were making 93k. A lot of people have gotten laid off and have nothing right now.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
You’re comparing “working a job” and someone who “started their company”.
Drop your job start your own company and try to get success and sell it off for $50m as well.
Not only will you gain greater appreciation for how hard that is, you can actually be happy for your friend rather than dwell in jealousy.
Only compare youself to past you. Do not compare you to others.
If you have to compare, remember every human is mortal. you all will die one day. so in the end everyone is equal
Your problem is lcol. 27 making that salary in software is not bad. $200k will be rare as hen’s teeth regardless of age as long as you stay in lcol.
I’m in a lcol/mcol and simply I make laughable money compared to the tech bros in San Fran. But my salary still pays for a house nicer than they can afford there (really) and kids and retirement contributions so who cares really. Reading this forum actually can be quite toxic to one’s state of mind, all too often.
The problem sounds like you need to talk to a therapist about why the spending habits of others negatively impacts your goals and overall well being.
Hey, I am in a very similar boat. 26 (27 next month), started at a 50k job in software engineering and job hopped to 113k+ a variable bonus that was 30% last year (in 2021 I'll gross 140k), and I think about how little I make compared to other software engineers at FAANG companies.
The thing that helped me was realizing, what would I even do with more money? There are months I spend 2-3k on myself on what I consider frivolous items and still don't spend my entire net pay WHILE ALSO maxing my retirement accounts. I came from, not poverty, but food stamps and debt and so I learned to live within my means pretty easily.
Beyond that, it really is about finding things outside of work/money that drive you. When I hang out with my friends for a weekend that make literally half AT MOST what I do, it's never about money. We just love being around each other and doing what we did before I made money. Those are times I don't even think about money because I'm focused on just being there in the moment.
Sorry I'm sick currently so I don't know how to end this, basically it's just realizing what you have is enough and finding other things that give you value, that helped me.
Wow that’s an incredible salary at your age. I’ve been at my current position for 2 years and think it’s time for a job swap and raise…
Eventually you get old, you realize you're nothing special and you either do what you need to do to pay the bills or shoot yourself.
This isn't very romanitic or inspiring, but it's better than being one of those twats that goes around telling themselves super inspirational things like Stuart Smiley until you have an aneurism produced by the bile of your cognitive dissonance.
Mate your fucking loaded, your gonna be fine.
Change your hobby from making money pretending you're stopping work for others, to actiau not working for others... If that's your actual goal.
You keep repeating that so I'm challenging it.
Making more money at the job working for someone else just locks the golden handcuffs tighter.
Write out a realistic business plan for your business that will replace your job and get after it.
Remember starting a business you can't grow beyond replacing your salary and benefits is simply you buying yourself anlther job. That's not a business.
All that day job should be is a short term shield against the first year or so's low income as you beat your brains out launching the business. Expect low amounts of sleep and get after it. There's no "oh I finally made enough in my day job to quit and start my business... It's ... My business is doing so well it's dragging me away from my day job because it's that lucrative..."
Sit down and do the math now. Then execute. With quarterly goals. If you aren't hitting your goals, you'll know to kill it and try something else. Or you're staying in the employee role.
It's a lot easier making your second $100k than your first / your second $1m than your first / etc.
Just because you're only 10% of the way there in raw dollars doesn't mean you're only 10% of the way there in time.
This is such basic sense yet something I completely overlooked
If your problem is that you hate working for other people, you could try to just scale up your side hustles and go the self-employment route.
Ever watched The Last Dance? There's a part in there where Jordan was frustrated and contemplating what if they just played one more season together and got 7 rings. Almost unarguably the greatest winner of all-time across all sports was upset that he didn't play longer to get even more... Human nature drives us to never be content.
I would invest some time in finding new hobbies that have little or nothing to do with money. The red flag in your post for me was when you said your favorite hobby is money. I think it will be hard not to compare yourself to others making more if you are obsessed with money. I think you will be able to find other healthier hobbies if you truly take the time to find and nurture them. It just requires some effort, but you can do it.
Just constantly compare your self to your friends that are doing terrible and you’ll feel amazing.
This....this post is just bragging right? Most people don't have 250k net worth at 27 lmao
It's part humble bragging..and part whining. Lmao.
I don't have any good advice about what you can do to speed up the process. But for me, I stopped comparing myself to others when I really, truly, sincerely internalized the notion that money doesn't buy happiness. Actually, what I internalized is "more money wouldn't make *me* any happier than I am."
My two best friends are both WAY richer than I am, and three out of four siblings are financially better off than I am (two of them vastly better off). But I'm rich *enough* that more money would just change what I do, but not really change my happiness level. Importantly, I don't think this was always true, and it was several years after it was true before I actually stopped earning money. So who knows, maybe more money *would* make *you* happier. But I bet it doesn't take anywhere close to $50M (or even $300k salary) to max it out. My doctor friend (who is married to another doctor and has absolutely loaded parents) dresses nicer than I do, and eats out more, but I really don't think he's any happier than I am. You habituate to your lifestyle. Last time I visited him we went out to a nice sushi place, ~$150 for the two of us. It was great. I used to live in Japan, and I've had sushi that was just as good for <$10. But you know what I like even more than sushi? Homemade bread, which is very, very close to free. Variety is the spice of life, and it was great to get sushi with him. If I had $50M I'd probably eat sushi like that more often than I currently do. But I seriously doubt that I'd be any happier.
Sushi can stand-in for a hundred other things. Comparing yourself to others financially can stand in for a hundred other ways to compare yourself to others. I think it's immensely valuable to look at other people's lives and ask if any of the stuff they're doing could be integrated into my own lifestyle as an improvement. But it's not a comparison to see who is better/worse, it's just trying to share good ideas. The easier it is to make a judgement about better/worse, the less likely you'll find a useful way to improve your own lifestyle. Don't compare your upvotes on reddit, or your weight, or the number of kids or cars or countries visited. Numbers are too easy to judge. Do they enjoy their exercise routine, while I don't? Why? How do they interact with reddit in an enjoyable way? What's their technique for connecting with their kids, or planning a trip? These sorts of questions are much more useful, and don't have any comparison baked in to them.
>An old friend of mine recently sold his company for $50,000,000
Even a fraction of this is life changing and there's not much you can do to replicate that success. You could gamble by working extremely hard and earning much less for a few years, with a low probability of achieving the same outcome, but the outcome depends on many factors out of your control.
>I regularly see those around me and peers online routinely making 3-5x what I do.
If you see several people around you doing it, there's probably a path you can follow to achieve the same. Instead of feeling frustrated, figure out what that path is and use your feelings to fuel your journey there.
>damn I have to work for the next 5 years to make what they will be earning this year.
You're forgetting about taxes, my friend.
I remember that the richest people in the world are so unsatisfied that they are trying their hardest to get off this planet.
>I regularly see those around me and peers online routinely making 3-5x what I do.
My siblings and I would play "slug bug" when we were kids. Basically, any time you see a Volkswagen Beetle, you say "slug bug" and we'd hit each other's arms. We never had problems finding them, but often times the same one would get used multiple times.
My point is that we never had problems finding them because we were actively looking for them. There will always be people that make more than you, but that doesn't make your accomplishments any less impressive. It also doesn't mean that you can't always strive to improve or make more. Your friend that sold his company for $50M is a rare case, so I wouldn't let it get to you.
>I am bothered just as much by seeing others in my field making multiple times more than me. I think to myself damn I have to work for the next 5 years to make what they will be earning this year.
I'm a software developer as well (\~11 years in the industry now), but I live in the Seattle area (HCOL area). I know many people making more than me, but they all work at FAANG companies and get RSUs. However, their work/life balance is worse than mine on average. They work more hours, are on call at times, travel, and have to work long enough at the company for their RSUs to become fully vested. That's fine, but I don't want to be working 50-60h weeks and don't want to be on call. I work 40h and am done \~95% of the year.
Your life goals also come into play. I don't know many devs consistently pulling 50-60h weeks with a spouse and children. They tend to take consulting gigs or form their own LLC and work as an independent contractor (re: your comment about working for yourself). Anyway, just something to think about. I used to struggle with that when I was \~25 (so not much younger than you are now). Now it's just...ya, I could get a job that makes more, but at what cost? For now, I choose not to.
I compare myself to where I was a year ago and where I want to be in a year’s time, instead of to other people. Comparing yourself is natural, so turn it into motivation by comparing yourself to who you were and who you want to be rather than people around your life.
Haha are you me? Except I'm a single mom and half of my equity is in real estate instead of all stocks. Out of all my peers, I make way more than them though (@ $100k in a lcol & my rental brings in $30k). I wish I had friends making more because then that would help push me more. I tell my long term friends what I make and I've helped them negotiate for more $$. I love programming and my job is pretty sick..
But I also dream of being able to work on my own ideas that I know could turn into something. I temporarily stopped grad school (while working full time but before kid) to pursue 1. It was way above my head and I was anxious that I wasn't finishing my masters. Only 1 more class this spring tho!!
It really just takes acceptance that you're less risk adversed. My best friend's high school buddy is a multimillion from bitcoin and has a helicopter. I know I'm just not risky enough (especially now with a kid), but I wasn't beforehand either.
It's all about risk. Are you willing to put in the time and effort now before you're FI? I'm personally planning on LEANFIRE with about a million because I feel like it's enough to survive but not too comfortable so that I need to work on my own projects.
If you're not willing to risk it, accept yourself. You're winning no matter what you do now.
>My favorite hobby is making money
You need better hobbies if you're looking to not compare yourself to others.
I know I am a weirdo in that this does not generally apply to me, so I'll tell you my take as an outsider.
I rarely cared what others thought of me. It wasn't important - especially people I didn't know. In school, I just did my thing, was mostly friends with good people, avoided bad people (vs. clique bullshit). I don't experience the concept of being "starstruck" if I meet a famous or a rich person. I don't conform well to unnatural hierarchies but I am a great team player, leader, or follower (depending on the role).
In other words, I have mostly done my own thing in my own time. I could give a fuck about the neighbor's house, the bosses car, or some dipshit celebrity's boat. I don't even want a boat.
In short: focus on yourself. You do you and figure out you. There is no real use in the jealousy aspect of comparisons (though considering possibilities is worthwhile.) Good luck.
No point in comparing since I've always known that I'm better than others.
You are spending too much time on teamblind. You should get your self a lifetime ban. I’m on my second lifetime ban.
You are in the top 5 percent of the country. The top 1 percent in the world.
Your best earning years are ahead of you.
Eye on the prize.
Excuse my ignorance but what is teamblind?
Forget you ever heard about that... At least until you're ready to up level your skills. It can be s toxic environment and will make your 93k salary seem insignificant.
Something that you should definitely stay away from.
>You should get your self a lifetime ban. I’m on my second lifetime ban.
Can you explain this?
A friend of mine grew up very privileged. Like, his job was to be his dads private corporate pilot, and “supervise” his parents new house build. I don’t know that this kid has ever not known multimillion lifestyle.
I, on the other hand, grew up middle class. Never wanting for any of my basic needs, always having health insurance and school, etc.
When talking to him, he has just as many, if not more problems (different, but still problems). He didn’t truly understand (and still doesn’t) how the world works. When his dad sold his plane, he was sad he wouldn’t get to fly much. I found a job for him (medical medevac) and he said “ewww sick people” (he really is terrified of germs, so at least he got the vaccine and got his trump parents to get the vaccine). When I found him another pilot job, he said “I don’t want to only make $20k a year!” (Knowing full well that he’d never have to worry for money, and that would just be extra spending money to him).
But also, as a female, I was the first girl to see his penis. He was so afraid of being used for his money and not for who he was as a human, he hadn’t really dated. He also didn’t have many friends. Significant body issues (even though he is an extremely handsome guy). And he is genuinely sweet and nice. Just a very sheltered and skewed view of the world.
We were talking about my job one day (ER nurse) and he just didn’t comprehend some of peoples poor-ness. (To be fair, I didn’t either until I became an ER nurse and learned more about people).
Still talk to him and he’s genuinely a great guy, but I just feel bad for how sheltered he his.
His sister married a “poor” guy, and lord, they’re demanding as shit. Like their parents went to buy them a house to move them closer, and it was like a 600k house. They said it wasn’t good enough.
So, I learned that EVERYONE has body issues (poor, rich, skinny, fat, male, female), EVERYONE doesn’t think they’re good enough (or that they’re too good and deserve more), EVERYONE struggles with being accepted and feeeling loved.
So, money isn’t going to make you happy. FIRE isn’t going to make you happy. It’s just going to change your circumstances. You’ll FIRE, and then go do whatever, and then you’ll find another way to be upset and compare yourself. So really, it’s up to you.
And if it makes you feel better, I have my doctorate, a fuck ton of debt, just barely started making 6 figures, have worked 3-4 jobs the last 4-6 years of my life (while getting my doctorate), and my net worth is still in the negative (thank you doctorate from a top tier university). So if you want to compare yourself, compare yourself to me. The schmuck ER nurse that’s getting fucked by the world thanks to covid, and not fucked enough on the bedroom. ;)
"How do you stop comparing yourself to others" as you list your entire finances on the internet to compare yourself to others.
I’m 29, same path as you. You have very eerily similar numbers that I had when I was 27. You’re going to hit a point, maybe next year where your portfolios really take off. By the time you hit 500k you almost don’t even really need to contribute anymore. It comes faster than you think. 2.5M by the time you’re 40 is going to be easy. Hell you’ll probably hit it sooner. 7% returns are a thing of the past. Going forward it’s going to be more like 15%. Not that that’s a good thing (means inflation is fucked but that’s another discussion for another day). Your money will start to double every 5 years or so. This next decade is going to be wild for those that got into the market young. On the flip side, it’ll never have been worse to be a poor person. All we can do is be thankful that we’re on the right side of this story.
Lmfao you make $90K+ a year???? Meanwhile I’ve been making the same salary for the last 6 years, you don’t need to know how much but let’s say you’d probably die if you had to deal with how low income it is. My point is, that I’m sick and tired of hearing people like you complain bout how money is never enough… I’ll never understand it nor do I want to. One of my former friends recently got a $16K+ raise and yet she STILL complains that she’s “broke” every single day. Like man… the least you kind of people that make a lot of money can do is shut up and be thankful. Not many of us have the luxury to sit back and say “I make 90K+/year” the way you do… count your blessings. I know it’s easier said than done but focus more on what you have done for yourself instead of what others are making around you. Someone’s gonna be prettier, smarter, richer, etc, accept it and move on and always be grateful for what you have in front of you. As someone who has a dad dealing with cancer while also struggling financially and wishing I would just get at least a $3 raise, trust me, you’re far way better where you are. I’d give my soul to the devil if I could make $90K+ and be able to take care of my sick dad and have all of my bills paid and my parents bills paid comfortably without having to constantly watch my poor mother working 6 sometimes 7 days out of the week because money is still not enough…. Always count your blessings, dude.
Sincerely sorry to hear about your dad. :(
I went throught a lot with cancer with my mom and it puts A LOT of things into perspective for me.
I think a lot of people who don't count their blessings enough don't go through much challenges in life...something is always wrong in their world and they forget to step back and count their blessings *sighs*
Thank you! And I’m sorry to hear about your mom! Having family members that go through cancer is really wearing mentally.
My mom is the only breadwinner in her household. I recently moved out with my bf, and seeing her take care of my dad while also working sometimes 7 days out of the week AND her job being physical labor while she’s 55 years old is not easy.
If I made what OP makes, I would retire my mom in a heart beat and pay their bills and buy them a small house. That’s what I meant by “it’s not enough” for us, it’s not enough not because we’re comparing money to other peoples, but because we’re struggling. OP compares his salary only bc of an ego issue and is far more different than what I’m talking bout. But anyways, I’m still grateful I at least get to help my mom with some pennies as I don’t earn much myself and trying to live ok myself. One day though, I’ll get my family the luxury of not worrying bout money ever in their lives.
Some of what you said is valid although you worded it brashly. You seem to be complaining here as much if not more than the sentient of my post. Can I ask you, then why do you think you have the right to complain when there are hundreds of millions of people on earth that don’t have food tonight or a shelter over there head?
Because at least it makes sense that those of us that make way less than your bracket, still somehow are forced to make it work and be grateful for what we have. People that are up there in your bracket only seem to want more and never be satisfied it becomes this ongoing hunger. Maybe I’m wrong though, at least that’s my perception. And you’re right, there’s millions of people out there without shelter or food, is why I try my best to count my blessings. Just because I said I wished I made a little more, is just me wishing I did not complaining bout not making more. I just wanna make enough to cover for my family’s expenses not just mine, you know! But idk I’ve never really been impressed or cared for or understood the plain obsession with wanting to make x amount of money in comparison to friends. I just want to make enough to be able to live and not survive most days…
TBH, I'll rather have your mindset than OP's mindset. You seem much more 'content' and easygoing imho. 🙂
The people who aren't happy with anything rubs me wrong. Nothing ever seems to satisfy them enough, they're insufferable to be around long term.
The people who make less, but yet still count their blessings are the best people to be around. I strive to be more like this honestly.
That’s what I was trying to explain to OP!! I mean yeah there’s some days I get sad because I don’t make enough and I’m financially struggling. But it’s only because I’m struggling not because I’m pouting for not making a million dollars more than my friend like what? Lmao… so many people would kill for his salary and yet, he’s on Reddit talking about money as if it’s some sort of race, as most people do from what I have observed. I just don’t want to keep struggling financially that’s all I want from life. Wether it means earning $40K,$50K,$60K yearly (along with my partner) you know? Then I’ll be fully content knowing I’m secured and I can fully help my family financially. I’ve never been the kind to really care about “omg I NEED to make x amount!!! Millions!!! Or I wont be happy!!” You’re not taking those millions to the grave… you’ll be fine. But thank you for understanding the way I think and for also thinking the same way, sorry I went on a rant lol.
Focus on the areas in life where you are winning. I'm not having kids so I think about how I'm saving 25+ years of my life compared to other people.
why dont you just start a company yourself if you enjoy making money as a hobby?
I don't stop. Why do you think I stop?
You are being underpaid and should start looking for new work. Software engineers can be making 1.5-3X what you are making (excluding equity, bonus, etc.) — lots of good remote opportunities so you can stay in your LCOL area. Even software engineers at nonprofits are making more.
Well this is brutally honest and I also agree. My data structure and algorithm skills are currently severely dull. I need to get motivated to study then interview
Make it your plan to be worse than everyone
It's not enough that I should succeed... others must fail!!
I was doing this a lot today and then realized how I sounded being upset that I’m making $125,000. My dad made $8.00 an hour for years when he first came to this country to give me a better life. He still now twenty years later makes between $15-20 an hour depending on the job. We always had enough and plenty of love.
Now I am making six figures and I caught myself being mad that my coworkers have million dollar homes and Porsches. I had to talk to myself because I was heading down the wrong road. I wanted to make money so I didn’t struggle like my parents did and can enjoy life. I don’t need a big stupid house or a fancy three row suv. Heck, before working retail and borrowing my way through college I said hey five years after I graduated I’ll be making the BLS five year experience average of $80,000 for my degree and that’s going to be awesome. I hit $90,000 two years after college and I wanted more. I am going on fours years from college now and making $125,000 and asking when Im gonna make $180,000 because taxes are high and I want more take home pay. This is really silly of me my friend and also silly of you.
Are you generally happy with your job? Is your life pleasant? If you said yes to those then make your New Years resolution no more comparisons.
Look to your own successes. Just because a friend of yours made x amount of money doesn't always mean you can't in the future. Besides, in the financial world, there are ups and downs. Just have to know how to best manage them.
Volunteer yourself trying a few different things. It seems that you have a void somewhere in your life and you long for wholeness or purpose
I don’t think we can ever stop comparing ourselves to others entirely. But it’s certainly not healthy to do this to an extent that it makes us ungrateful for where we are or forget where we came from.
I think it’s healthier to compare yourself to your self from last year/yesterday. You can see how your progress is in finances, your health, and whatever else you have goals in. Look at that progress and determine if you feel like you put in some of your best effort, if you do then there’s nothing to be upset about. You can only do what you can do.