Celebrate Average

Godzilla
unknown artist
It doesn't take much to be average, in fact the very definition of average means that there is a pretty good chance that you are average. Chances are, there are many areas of your life where you are either above or below average.

Since we probably can't be above average in everything in life. For example, some people can't really sing, others can't dance, and others don't know how to manage money!

I'm also guessing that it's going to be impossible to be above average in all areas of your life so it's probably best to focus on the areas that you think are the most important.

Everyone likes money. If money wasn't important then people wouldn't work for it. So I think that this is an area that that everyone should focus on. There are so many people out there that dig their heads in the sand when it comes to finances because they just don't want to know how badly they are hurting themselves. Some people don't know how much debt they have, others haven't really looked into saving for their futures. Trust me, years from now you'll want to be one of the people that tied to get ahead of the pack, the earlier you start thinking of these things the happier your future self will be.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis the average American was only saving 5.1% of their disposable income in May of 2015. To me, that doesn't look like a very difficult number to beat. Even if you can't beat that number now, you should strive to beat it in the future.

Here's my advice on what you should strive to be above average at (not a complete list):

Be the best person you can.

Save as much money as you can, later in life you'll be happy you can retire - 20 years from now you probably won't care about that new iPhone or flat screen TV.

Set high goals, but be realistic about it. You probably won't be an astronaut, but you could have a solid job with job security.

You won't get everything you want in life. We can't all have the dream home, new car, latest gadgets. There's a reason they have a term called a "starter home" no one starts off in their dream house. Learn where the trade offs are and be happy with what you have, don't be envious of what you don't.

Celebrate average.

7 comments:

  1. I like this idea. In particular, the last paragraph rings true for me. We don't all have our dream home and all the latest gadgets and that's perfectly OK. Somewhere along the way I think people who watch too much TV have decided that they *deserve* the best of everything and total comfort in life. In many cases, average is perfectly fine. However, most people should be trying to CRUSH the 5.1% savings rate that is the average. That number is crazy and it always shocks me when I see savings rates for people in the US. I was saving more than 5% as a graduate student making $15k/year. I know some people have it rough, but for the average to be so low is ridiculous. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Bearded Dragon,

      Basically I think that you should just be the best person that you can be in the areas that you want to be good at, and don't worry about the rest of the noise. I really do find it interesting that people these days want to start off living in their dream homes, I mean, we all do, but it's not very realistic for 98% of the population.

      But good for you on crushing the average savings rate even while in school! For me it took a few years of just saving the "standard" amount before waking up and realizing I could do so much better.

      -Zee

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  2. Just as a little perspective, and building off of The Bearded Dragon's comment, I am currently a graduate student making close to **gasp** 14k a year. And no it is not ideal or fair or ... etc. I am not paid by the hours I put in. I am paid by the intellectual property I produce. Anyways, on 14k, it is possible to save, invest, and it is possible to see growth from those investments and to learn a lot in the process. That has been my approach, at least. Although 14 may not enable me to retire, it has allowed me to dip my toes into the financial world and begin understanding some of the fundamental moving parts of the world.

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  3. There's a lot to be said about the discipline it takes to NOT buy that new iphone or car or other luxury. Think of buyer's remorse. It's real . . . and I think it's innate. We're not supposed to consume all that we can - we're not made that way. We're made to produce and to consume only what will help us be productive . . like enough food to provide energy for a task at hand.

    There's a certain satisfaction in making a purchase knowing you got a good deal. You feel like you took them, instead of vice versa. As you allude to, you will enjoy the rewards of that mindset down the road!

    -DP

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  4. Hi,

    You state it nicely. I don't care about the fact there is a new flat screen or a new Iphone. If the one you have is working for you why buy something that everbody else want to have just because it is the newest product.

    I rather save the money and pursue the things I want.

    Cheers,
    Geblin

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  6. This is a very sober but hopeful post. Thank you for your perspective.

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