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How do you not use financial baromaters to compare yourself to friends?

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Posted

It's kinda a hard fact to swallow when you hear many of your friends make more money than you do. We all went to the same college, but of course we studied different things. Obviously, I knew from day 1 that some people were going to make more than me, but thinking about it versus actually having it happen are two different feelings.
I majored in the liberal arts and was lucky to get a great job at a great company. Many of other friends studied social science and got great jobs with other companies in the financial services. However, I have a ton of friends who did engineering and are now making 50% more than what any of us make. What makes me the most envious is that even the people with the crappiest GPA got solid engineering jobs at great companies. It's like...for all intents and purposes, I should have just studied engineering and got a 2.1 GPA and then go on to make 60k+ off the bat. It's just shocking because most of us who weren't in engineering had to work out butts off and practically be the cream of the crop to get the jobs we have now.
Of course I don't let money affect our friendships, but in the back of my mind, I always think about how much less I make than them and it makes me feel a bit...well, inferior and jealous. Argh...I know I need to stop comparing myself to the Joneses but I can't!

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Posted

Should of listened to the asian parents lol.
I have a design degree, with friends who are engineers, dentists, lawyers and doctors...There are times when I feel envious that they come out of school and starts off at a "higher point" easy, but I would never imagine myself doing something that wasn't design.
And of all the passionate designers I have met, who work their butt off and some don't get paid that great, they all told me something along the lines "there's nothing in the world they would rather do".
So it is about your values in life, stay true to them. You can always have more money, but to live life to the fullest you just need enough. My career is what drives me to do better, achieve higher, not money.  

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Posted

the grass is greener, something something (ad nauseum)

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Posted

A degree does not make your career. It gives you a step up in the right direction. I have an engineering bachelors and a master of science and sure I was making >$60k a year in my last job but I was also doing 60hr weeks. Doesn't leave a lot of time for much else.
No matter what field you studied, your prospects are governed by the basic laws of supply and demand. If there is demand for engineers then they'll command top dollar, but they also have to show that they're worth that salary and deliver consistently.

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Posted

because I know money =/= happiness. There's a quote like "Some people are so poor, all they have is money." I know having money doesn't hurt, but having a career you don't love does. Whatever career you land in, you'll probably be at it a looooong time. I'm choosing between job A and job B in the same field, both which I know will be fulfilling for me. One pays higher across the board but I'm going to go with the one I feel more passionate about even if it pays less because I know I'll do better at something I love, and I don't want to waste my most productive years on something that doesn't truly matter to me.
I'm only envious of friends with better-paying jobs if they genuinely adore what they are doing on top of the pay. I get a little regretful about not considering engineering only because my strengths do happen to be in math and science, but what I'm studying now excites me more so I eventually see no need to really compare.
I think the real reason why I don't envy friends for money is that I know I require really little in terms of physical things (really, little enough for me to be able to afford now, just working as a server) to be very happy. If you wish for many expensive things then I imagine it's harder. Maybe it'd help to be as financially smart as possible so you accumulate more money and are therefore wealthy on even a lower salary :-)

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Posted

Engineering is nothing. I make much less than the law and med folks I know.

And yes, sometimes I wish I earn more, but I try to keep my perspective and not be greedy/entitled. I don't want to be one of those ppl who overcharge for their service just because they can. It sounds awfully idealistic and naive but I just want to be useful to my community and make a decent living out of it. If after all the bills are paid and I still have some left over to save, then that's good enough. It's much more than many can claim.

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Posted

^money issues aside, i think engineering is a great field to get into. many of my friends who are engineer graduates have worked in more than 1 country.

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Posted

Make friends with degenerates.  You'll feel a lot better about yourself and your current situation.

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Posted

When it comes to finding a job, it is not about the marks (for most cases anyway). It is about luck and timing, and for some others, connections as well. You also have to look at the job market for a specific career. There are more opportunities for some and less for others. Then there are other factors such as experience and first impressions as well.
If you enjoy what you are doing, you should not let money influence you (too much). Just because another career means you will get paid more does not do justice if you will end up hating your job. IMO, if you are content with your job and you make enough to live comfortably, that is all that matters. Everyone wants to make more than what they are getting, but it is something they cannot change. Lot of people have a tight budget as well, but most stick to the jobs they have because it makes them happy, or they are just comfortable with it.
I never compare how much I make to my friends. Some make more than me, but it does not matter because they are in a different field. Now, if they work in the same field but get paid more than me, I will feel like I deserve more, especially if they work in an environment that is less stressful than mines (mines the most stressful it can get, but I chose the path because I have the energy and I do not like boredom). Am I content with my pay? It is not the greatest in comparison to other jobs, but in comparison to others with the same title or similar titles in other careers, it is quite good. As for whether I am content with my job, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Nothing is ever perfect in life, but all you can do is look at the positives rather than the negatives.

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Posted

You picked liberal arts.

You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.

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Posted

EpicLifeStyle said: You picked liberal arts.

You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.

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Posted

blnyc said: EpicLifeStyle said: You picked liberal arts.

You only do that if you're content with making less money than everyone else with a degree.

Sorry, won't beat around the bush for you.

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Posted

because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.

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Posted

do what you love,

the money will follow.


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Posted

It's like when you meet new people or introduce yourself to strangers, the first questions will always be something along the lines of: "Where did you go to school? Where do you work? Where do you live?  How much do you make?" (the last one if they're cheeky enough)  Depending on your answers, you'll see your number of potential "friends" rise or fall.

At the rate we're going, we might as well stop using our names and just go by our credit scores, ID number, etc.

Isn't social darwinism great? =D>

I've seen some girls asked those questions as a mean to gauge a guy's financial eligibility and vice versa. But whenever it has happened to me, it was only harmless polite small talk. I work in the engineering field so I meet other engineers and we like to know what school we went to, thus which football team we support :D And sometimes it's not that we won't befriend those who are less well off. But you do have to have a general sense of other people's spending comfort. For example, if a dinner is held at some upscale restaurant, you wouldn't invite a friend who can't afford it unless you're prepared to get their check yourself. Or if you're planning dinner and really want to include this person, you'd do it at a more affordable place. It's a hassle, but social circles tend to have ppl of the same financial means because you can afford to do the same things together. Not because richer ppl look down their noses at the poorer ones... although maybe that also exists.

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lol. I don't even have friends so I don't have anyone to compare myself to. Besides, what are we in? High school? Comparing feels so juvenile. You do you. You live at your own pace. As long as you're happy with your success and whatever success means to you, that's all that should matter. It's really not about how much you make. It's about how much you save. As cliche as that sounds, think long-term rather than short-term when it comes to managing your finances. I don't care if anyone I personally know is making tons of money right now, managing their mortgages, taking care of their kids, owning various luxury, maintaining car payments, etc. To me, that's just a burden. I have a licence for a profession. I'm thinking long-term, because this is something I can do until I'm dead (as much as I don't like my career). I can make money anywhere in my province no matter my age. So if anyone I know thinks he/she is all high and mighty now? I don't give a richard simmons. I can name tons of things to give myself instant credibility that they haven't been able to do at a younger age.

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Posted

 It's a hassle, but social circles tend to have ppl of the same financial means because you can afford to do the same things together. Not because richer ppl look down their noses at the poorer ones... although maybe that also exists.

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Posted

blnyc said: because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.

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what are you going to do with all that money anyway? buy stuff? I suppose the only good thing is reduced debt, which always sucks, but I think that if I ended up getting a well-paying job as an engineer etc, well, I'd regret every weekend of my life, "I should've done marine biology ..." it'd be pitiful. I would be paying all my grief, anxiety, and regret just for that >$60k/year...

anyway, to answer your question of how not to compare financially, you can always compare other things like I do sometimes just to make myself feel better: how smart you are, how lucky you are, how many friends you have, how many sports you play, and my favorite- how many skills you have. all stupid stuff, but good for petty feelings.

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Aziraphale said: blnyc said: because I got a brilliant job, it's just not as brilliant as an engineering job.

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