I had a meeting with a very young couple yesterday. They are in a great financial position. They are able to live on one of their salaries and use the other salary to accomplish some financial goals. Their incomes are not massive by any means. In fact, I would call them modest. But, when it comes to financial acumen, they are very well-off. I was just finishing their meeting when the 21 year old bride says to me. ” I am quite happy with the amount of money we make. Besides, you know what they say? The more money you come across, the more problems you see.”
It was a surreal moment. I felt like I was in an episode of the Happy Days, and the Fonz punched the Jukebox to make it stop playing. Pop culture had finally caught up with the financial world. This young innocent bride had just recited a Notorious B.I.G. lyric back to me. Ignore the fact that the saying is pretty accurate. This was a monumental moment in the history of financial planning. A rap lyric was used on me to explain a financial situation. The funny part was when I asked her if she knew that she just recited a “Biggie Smalls” lyric. She said, “No, who’s that?”
After 10 years in the business, I will tell you that the more money you come across the more problems you will see. It has a lot to do with financial decision making. The more money that you have, the more financial decisions you will have; thus you have an opportunity to make more poor decisions, which lead to problems. Therefore, Notorious B.I.G. is right. The more money you come across, the more problems you see.
How do you combat this? Work on your financial habits when you are young and broke. If you are saving 15% of a small salary, then you will have no problem saving 15% of a big salary.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.