Perhaps you lack the motivation. Please allow me to help you out. Here is an article entitled When a million isn’t enough: Why top bankers are struggling to get by.
I’ll give you a hint, though. They are of course not struggling to get by.
What they’re struggling to do, according to the article, is continue to behave like they make, say, two or three million per year. That’s all. I assume the headline is there purely to enrage us all.
See, struggling to get by is when you’re making a grocery list right after you paid the mortgage and the car payment, and now you have a hundred and ninety dollars, and you have to not only feed yourself and your spouse and two kids, you have to pick up some allergy medicine, and there’s an electric bill due. You’re sitting there planning a menu out of beans and rice and eggs and potatoes, thinking maybe if I put the check in the mail on Thursday, the electric company will post it Friday and it will clear Monday.
You’re just barely knocking out the basics, and at the end you’re broke, crossing your fingers until the next check comes in. That’s struggling to get by.
This article reads like it’s joking, but it’s not. See, it turns out that once you become a wealthy Wall Street banker, you are locked in. It’s like if you’re a vampire and you decide you’re not going to drink blood anymore, none of the other vampires want to hang out with you. Except vampires drink blood and live forever, whereas Wall Street bankers simply drink blood so whoever it belongs to can’t have it.
These guys, the article explains, have a different set of problems, like nannies and private schools and enormous houses. You know, if you make a million dollars a year, your take home pay is going to be in the six hundred thousand dollar range. So the definition of “struggling to get by” is “struggling to keep your nanny and private school and your giant house and in general not appear to your douchebag neighbors as though your income has dropped to a million a year.”
And let’s not forget trophy wives. A specific problem laid out in the article is that a lot of bankers get rid of their wives once they’re loaded, and get a hot new younger wife, reasoning that they’ll always have an extra million dollars per year to spend on handbags and second homes and trips to France. Suddenly there’s only one million dollars – after the IRS gets their cut, and the ex-wife gets her alimony, and the trophy wife gnaws on the bones the rest of the year, what’s left for the Monopoly Guy who made all that scratch in the first place?
It turns out that trophy wives are not nearly as loyal as the regular kind, and also they weren’t attracted to the banker gut or the facial lumps or the ear hair. No, there’s an economic component, shall we say, to these marriages.
In other words, won’t someone please think about the trophy wives, just for once? They’ve grown accustomed to a certain level of materialism. Plus, they often have little trophy kids – those suckers aren’t free, you know, and public school isn’t going to cut it.
My favorite part of the article is the end, where we get Tips For Living On Less Than A Million, basically. Number One on the list is, stick with your wife. Yes, because if you have a million dollars and get divorced, then now you only have a half a million dollars. That’s just math. Also, presumably, staying married has other advantages, but the article doesn’t really elaborate. I got a lot of browser windows open or I’d google it.
Also listen, get some non-millionaire, non-yachting hobbies so you can still mix it up with the Morlocks. Like Mr. Shapiro, who tells us:
“I always had a lot of hobbies which brought me into contact with people from different walks of life. I always knew people who earned £25k-30k a year.
Why is this in Euros or whatever? I don’t know, they were talking about the Hamptons earlier, I thought this was about Americans. Certainly sounds like Americans. But anyway, make sure you know people who aren’t loaded, that way you can hang out with them, and still get to feel like a big shot. That’s a pro tip, right there.
It’s cool to slum it, and chicks dig you. Roger that.
And of course, they remind us that when you’re loaded, and things start to tighten up, when seven figures turns into six – well, there’s always counseling. There are counselors who specialize not only in wealthy people who are not quite so sickeningly loaded anymore, but millionaires who have so much, it’s like they don’t know what they want anymore.
“When you’re insecure, you can take refuge in a kind of grandiosity in which you say ‘at least I’m earning a lot and going to these kinds of expensive places. You can only get over this kind of thing with intense therapy.”
Yes, plenty. Of Expensive. Therapy. Preferably of the belly-rub variety, where you pay someone five hundred bucks an hour to tell you that you’re not a spoiled brat, until you believe it.
Gross. I’m going to go watch The Avengers again. You don’t see this kind of silliness out of Tony Stark. All he needs is his robot suit and his mansion and his private jet full of non-unionized flight attendants, and he’s cool as a cucumber.