Everyday I run into new entrepreneurs who tell me about their “business venture” that is going to change the world. After they share this with me, I immediately ask them this one simple question:
Why are you an entrepreneur?
You can probably guess what the most common response is:
I want to be rich!
When I start digging deeper to find out why they want to make a lot of money, it’s almost always because they want to live a comfortable lifestyle so they don’t have to worry about money.
That’s when I usually think to myself, “how much money does one really need to live comfortably?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am also an entrepreneur because I want to make money, but I quickly learned that you don’t need as much money as you think to live comfortably.
How much money does Neil need?
I’m not going to tell you how much money I make each month, but I’ll tell you that I live a pretty comfortable lifestyle without stretching myself thin. Just for a moment, let’s look at my monthly expenses:
Life insurance: $225
Mortgage (includes property tax and home owners dues): $3,000
Cable TV: $186
Food: $1,000 (I eat out a lot)
Partying: $1,000 (I work hard and play hard)
Total expenses: $5,976
Some of you may think that I live a lavish lifestyle, and some of you may think that I live a frugal lifestyle. I personally think I am somewhere in the middle.
I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I am currently single, and, overall, I think my expenses are pretty low compared to my income. I know if I got married and had kids, my expenses would shoot through the roof. I don’t know what those expenses would entail, but I am assuming that I would need a bigger house at the very least. Obviously, everything else would double, if not triple, in order to support a family (except the partying, of course).
So, how much money do you really need? When I was younger, I quickly learned that anything above $15,000 in monthly income for me didn’t change my lifestyle. As long as I am single, I can easily live within my means and have a good amount of savings after taxes, assuming my income never dips below $15,000 a month. And if it does dip, I can cut back on my expenses to $3,500 a month.
How much money do you need?
By no means am I saying that it’s easy to make money, but what I am saying is that you don’t need much to live a comfortable lifestyle. And if you do need big amounts of money, it’s because you are putting the added pressure on yourself by buying fancy cars, a really big home, and a variety of material possessions that you don’t need.
Making millions of dollars is never an easy thing to do. It’s a lot harder to make money than it is to save it. For this reason, I am a big believer in living below your means so that you don’t have to stress about making more and more money each month.
Heck, I even somewhat regret paying $3,000 a month for my home. I probably would have been better off paying $1,000 a month living in a 275-square-foot motel room (which I did for six months).
The point I am trying to make is that you don’t need much money to live a comfortable lifestyle. If you are trying to be an entrepreneur to make millions of dollars, that’s great! But if you only need to make $10,000 or $20,000 a month to live a great lifestyle, there are much easier ways to make that money.
If you still want to go down the entrepreneurial path, by all means, do so. I’ll even help you along the way. But if you are trying to just live a chill lifestyle, here are some other ways you can make a good living:
- Get a college education – I hate to say it, but it really does help with getting a good job. A person with a college education on average will make a million dollars more throughout his or her life than someone who doesn’t have one.
- Network, network, network – the people who tend to get paid the most are the ones with big networks. Go to industry conferences that are close to where you live. By doing this, you’ll start to meet decision-makers who are able to write big checks and potentially hire you for a lot of money.
- Work hard – I know this point is obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many hours 9 to 5 employees really work. 63% of people work less than 6 hours a day, so if you can start working more efficiently and for 8 hours a day, you’ll be more likely to rise to the top.
- Connect with recruiters – recruiters not only know about hot jobs, but they know about lucrative ones as well. Even if you have a job, it’s good to connect with recruiters because they can lead you to a lot of future opportunities. An easy way to connect with them is through LinkedIn.
- Blog – whatever industry you are in, make sure you blog about it. By starting a blog, you’ll be perceived as an industry expert. Once you are one, not only can you demand higher wages, but you can also take advantage of consulting gigs on the side that will pay a nice hourly wage.
Like I mentioned above, if you want to shoot for the stars and try to become a millionaire, by all means, go for it. If you just want to live a comfortable life, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur. You just need to find a high-paying job.
And if you are wondering why I still keep on working, it’s because:
- I have nothing better to do – I really don’t know how to do or be anything else other than being an entrepreneur.
- I suck as an employee – If I were a 9 to 5 employee, I probably would be fired within a few weeks because I suck at dealing with bosses, and I hate being stuck in meetings all day.
So, how much money do you really need? And why do you need it?