If you are over five years into your career, on your 2nd or 3rd promotion, and still find yourself asking the question…..”where does all my money go?”, you’re probably a HENRY. That’s right, a HENRY – High Earner Not Rich Yet.
Think of where you are today vs. five/ten/twenty years ago. Do you make more? Do you spend more? Do you have more financial obligations? If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, you’re not alone as this is the place most HENRYs find themselves. Why? Because of a phenomenon known as Lifestyle Creep.
Lifestyle creep occurs when a larger paycheck becomes an invitation to develop more expensive habits, hobbies, and tastes such as eating at fancy restaurants, buying designer clothes, or signing up for an exclusive membership.
The spiral feeds itself and before you know it, the new expenses outpace the increase of the raise. Forget about being excited for the next raise; you are now desperate for it.
HENRYs are particularly vulnerable to lifestyle creep as they have demanding jobs, busy social lives, and a lot of disposable income. Life for HENRYs is complicated, and with the speed of technology and information, it’s only getting worse. Our time and mental capacity are under constant attack as we ponder decisions about food, clothes, education, career, investing, shopping, fitness, social media, and what to watch on TV. The solution seems to point toward doing and having more. Download a new productivity app. Buy a bigger house. Work longer hours. Watch and read more news. More stuff turns into more obligations, distractions, work, money, and stress. We’re pulled in a million directions, and our time, attention, and intention are hostages held captive by the next decision.
But you can fight back by adding more intention to your daily life. Intention is all about bringing future goals to the present, creating space between the impulse and action, altering your environment, and knowing your values. If you’re having a difficult time bringing more mindfulness and intention to spending and building future wealth, try these simple implementation strategies.
Bring Future Goals to the Present
While building wealth is an important goal, the benefit may seem too far away. The only way we’ll embrace saving and budgeting is if we can get some points on the board today. We need to see progress. We need savings goals and targets that are within reach. We need to shorten the distance. Building wealth is like training for a marathon—start small, celebrate the early wins, and slowly increase the distance. For the next month, set an achievable goal to move money into a savings account. Can you move $100, $200, or even $500? And next month, do it again, and slowly start increasing your monthly savings goal as you build momentum.
Create Space Between the Impulse and Action
Doing some impulsive online shopping? Before checking out, try stepping away for at least five minutes. Actually, try stepping away for an hour. Create some distance between the impulse to consume and the purchase. Doing so will allow time and space for you to think about the fact that you’re letting go of your hard-earned dollars and making somebody else rich. Everyone’s getting paid, except you. Remind yourself of this. You may still make the purchase, but there will at least be some thought and intention behind the action.
Alter Your Environment
If you struggle with overconsumption in times of stress and anxiety, remove the ability to consume.
Did you just get paid? Great! Now, pay yourself first. Move a set amount to a savings account after each paycheck. Because when it’s out of your checking account, you are less prone to spend it.
Feeling anxious and looking to calm your nerves through some online shopping? Try taking your nervous energy to the gym. A two-mile run or a yoga class will help clear your mind, and by the time you’re done, the impulse to consume will be long gone.
Succumbing to another promotional email? Unsubscribe from the mailing list.
Can’t resist stopping at the mall after a difficult day at the office? Change your route home. Eliminate temptation. Set a goal to delete at least one retail app a month for the next three months. Doing so will create an added barrier between you and spending your money.
Know Your Values
What do you want at a deep level? Do you even know? If not, work on defining your values and goals. The next time you find yourself ready to consume, ask yourself: “Does this purchase align with my values or get me closer to my goals?” Once you have the answer, you’ll know if it’s right to move forward. Visualize the best version of yourself. What does your best life look like, and how does the purchase fit into it? If you are a visual person, try putting together a vision board and place it in an area where you will see it every day.
Do whatever you can to have daily reminders of your goals, values, and true wants.
It’s Time for HENRYs to drop the NRY part of the acronym
I hear the same cry from almost all of my HENRY clients at the start of each engagement– “It’s impossible to build wealth!”
No, it’s just that you’re not trying to build wealth because you’re choosing to fall into the trap of mindless consumption.
Mindless consumption is all about succumbing to the daily attacks of brand messages and allowing yourself to be manipulated to overspend on “depreciating assets.”
The financially independent – those who are truly wealthy - say no to mindless consumption and yes to ownership. They own stocks and real estate assets that pay income and dividends while their owners sleep. Ownership is the secret to building wealth and getting rich. More specifically, owning the “stuff” that appreciates and/or pays an income stream over time.
But first, you need to be committed to getting rich by adding more intention and mindfulness to the wealth building process. It’s about defining and embracing your goals, living in alignment with your values, and imagining all the benefits that come with prioritizing the future version of you. You don’t need to be a HENRY forever. You can take action today.
Want to learn more? Set up a free call today!
Future You Wealth, LLC is an Investment Advisor registered with the State of New York. All views, expressions, and opinions included in this communication are subject to change. This communication is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services. Any information provided has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy, or the completeness of, any description of securities, markets or developments mentioned. We may, from time to time, have a position in the securities mentioned and may execute transactions that may not be consistent with this communication's conclusions. Please contact us at 917-515-4470 if there is any change in your financial situation, needs, goals or objectives, or if you wish to initiate any restrictions on the management of the account or modify existing restrictions. Additionally, we recommend you compare any account reports from FYW with the account statements from your Custodian. Please notify us if you do not receive statements from your Custodian on at least a quarterly basis. Our current disclosure brochure, Form ADV Part 2, is available for your review upon request, and on our website, www.futureyouweatlh.com. This disclosure brochure, or a summary of material changes made, is also provided to our clients on an annual basis.