I first wrote this article about 3/4 years ago when I noticed that most of my peers (and myself) were financially illiterate and didn’t fully understand the concept of living within ones means. We were trapped in a designer lifestyle that would make you think we had an unlimited supply of money somewhere, but most us couldn’t afford to maintain it. We were making our money very quickly (selling bibles init) and we were spending it even quicker BECAUSE of that. There was one point in my life when I was doing things I probably shouldn’t have been doing and I thought the money would never end. What’s the point of saving when I can just wake up tomorrow and make what I need and do it again the next day, and the next? We knew how to make money, but we had no direction, no compass. It was the ignorant leading the ignorant. We were breaking our backs to purchase clothing from designers whose names we couldn’t even pronounce.
“I may not be able to pronounce it but I can afford it!”
That’s very debatable. There’s a big difference between having enough money to buy something and being able to afford said item.
Look at it like this; you are an accountant, you have a client, lets call him Tunde, I like the name Tunde. Tunde so happens to be a very enterprising young man that is very good with other people’s “misplaced” bank account details. After flicking through a few upscale lifestyle pages on Instagram, he decides that he is ready to bless himself with a very photogenic Rolex President Day Date II. (The one with 18k yellow gold Presidential bracelet with a hidden clasp and the 18k yellow gold case with a fluted bezel) This impressive piece of kit is priced at a humble £19,999 and Tunde has £20,000 to his name. Would YOU say that he could afford it? Would you advise him to move forward with the purchase? He has every single penny that is needed to purchase it, but can he afford it? Is it within his means?
“Living within your means”
To ‘live within your means’ refers to not spending out of proportion with your income.
Has anything changed since I first wrote the article? Yes, INSTAGRAM. This social media site was born and it became popular and living within your means literally became a thing of the past. Instagram pictures quickly went from people pretending they were good parents, selfies on stretchers after getting hit by cars, to everyone on Instagram trying to be Dan Bilzerian, with but a fraction of the fortune. I’ve never understood people that can’t wait to take a selfie from the ambulance. Your face is literally sliding off and the first thing you thought of doing was asking the paramedic to stop supporting your skull and holding your brain in your head and take a picture for instagram? “Rub some blood on my face so it looks serious”
I was reading an article the other day and I can’t say I was surprised by the number of people that have found themselves in debt because of Instagram. That so makes it sound like instagram made them do it. It was a piece about women that had gone as far as taking out credit cards to keep the lavish lifestyle they had built up for their Instagram followers alive.
Scroll down your feed any hour of the day and every other post is a Ferrari, a Rolex, a stack of money, someone chilling in a penthouse overlooking some unicorns in Dubai. This has led to a lot of people going way out of their bank accounts comfort zone to emulate this ‘insta worthy’ life. These likes won’t get themselves b. The pressure to appear like you are doing better than you are actually doing is ruining a lot of people. When it comes to instagram, ‘perception is reality’, what most people see, they believe to be.
John uploads a picture of his BMW on instagram, Mark sees the picture and assumes John is doing very well and decides that he is going to get a Mercedes Benz on finance to outdo him. Unbeknownst to Mark, John shall be returning the BMW that he was given as a company car due to a mix up at work. One of the senior analysts found himself stuck with a Vauxhall Insignia for 2 weeks because of it.
My mum always told me NEVER to envy other people’s things because you have no idea what they had to do to acquire them. That’s how your unemployed sister ends up taking multiple trips to “Dubai” every month. Scroll up and down certain women’s (Instagram) pages and you’ll see £1200 Louboutin heels and numerous pairs of new edition Givenchy boots, Hermes bags and ladies Rolex watches. Pictures in expensive garments, with someone’s expensive Cartier watch and matching bracelets on the nightstand beside the super king-sized bed draped in silk bed linen in a 5 star hotel that’s above a Michelin restaurant of course. Pet centaurs and SnapChat videos from the passenger seat of the new Range Rover Autobiography BLACK. All of this on an £800 TopShop salary? It’s all fun and games until uncle pulls his dick out and it’s time to earn those Giuseppe Zanotti’s. I saw a girl kissing uncle in the car not too long ago and it looked so painful. She was literally drifting in and out of consciousness all kiss long. NOTHING in this world is free and uncle’s dick in your mouth is a very big transaction. Don’t be jealous, it’s not for you. Unless you also want to start advertising for “bookings” on instagram.
A rich older man who lavishes gifts on a young woman in return for her company or sexual favours.”
You want to drive expensive cars, adorn yourself in expensive clothing and sip expensive beverages when this is beyond your tax bracket? How can you want to live that millionaire lifestyle when you earn 30k a year, BEFORE taxes? You want to run before you have learnt how to walk? This is how some of you end up struggling to decide whether to buy Louboutin heels or pay nursery fees for your pikney. Don’t you dare get self-righteous on me like your kid didn’t go to bed the other night with cornflakes in his belly because mummy spent that child support money you ran your baby father down for on £600 weave! Like you’re not buying loud with his school shoe money.
A slang term for marijuana of high quality.
I remember I was on Instagram one time and I saw what I have come to call “India Jones and the case of the teleporting Roley”. I was on a mans Instagram, and in one picture, the Roley was on his wrist, and in the next picture it was on his mates wrist. Community part ownership Rolex’s will ALWAYS be funny to me. How can you only own 23% of the Rolex? Not only was said Roley teleporting but it was also sliding up and down his arm. (Biggest tell of a stolen ‘to be resized’ Roley.) Guys putting their hands in uncomfortable positions to keep the baggy Roley from sliding off their wrist. Can’t even get it resized because it has to fit another 6 wrists. If you’re going to go halves on a Roley, at least make sure that your wrists are the same size. I’m not even the kind of guy you go halves on the Roley with because if we part ways, I’m confiscating the bracelets and paperwork and you can keep the face until we can unite again and find a buyer. I’ve always wondered, when you go halves, who pays insurance? How does it work? Is it on a percentage basis? Does the most likely to get robbed pay a higher premium? Because obviously if you’re on stuff, you don’t want to be paying for something you won’t be needing. A lot of ladies reading this will laugh but the reality is you have probably fucked a guy that only owns 16% of his Roley. Your own boyfriend might even be the minority shareholder in his Roley; they probably don’t even let him hold the documents. He’s probably taking pictures for Instagram in YOUR Rolex. I’ve seen quite a few guys wearing their woman’s Rolex.
Lol I’d really be the worst person to do this with.
“Sorry to come to your mums house so late bro, It’s my day with the Roley and you haven’t been returning my calls so I thought I’d let myself in”
An unrealistic lifestyle leads to doing unrealistic things to maintain it.
Some people are so driven by this pursuit of the designer lifestyle that they’ve resorted to wearing fake clothing to fit in. It’s all ‘swag’ and ‘classy’ until you start asking where they bought their clothes, and then it becomes a “gift” from that distant relative they can’t contact because he lives in the far away land of Vauxhall Market. “Where is the receipt?” will have Ray Charles taking over guy’s eyes. “I’m legally blind” As blind as the man that stitched those testicles on to the horse on your Ralph. Wearing fake clothes is really no different to telling lies. Actually, it’s exactly the same thing; and where I come from, liars get no respect. If your clothes are chatting shit and trying to deceive me, how am I supposed to trust you? Wearing fake clothing is an act that I believe is born from a lack of PRIDE and SELF RESPECT. If you can’t even respect yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Your Guchi hat is telling me to suck my mum and you expect me to rate you? I have way more respect for a guy wearing a charity shop bought t-shirt over a guy wearing fake designer, simply because the former knows himself and what he can afford. He is LIVING WITHIN HIS MEANS. Ps: Even if your Gucci or LV belt is 200000% real, let us remember that it does NOT go with EVERYTHING. Sometimes a plain black/brown belt will do just fine.
Do you know who the cheekiest people on the planet are? Guys stunting in the rave with bottles of champagne! I’ll tell you why in a minute. But lets set the scenario first.
You walk into the club, you look around and it’s popping, music is going off, atmosphere is amped and there is literally every type of club goer in the venue tonight, and trust me there are quite a few types:
11’s – These are the ladies that make it to the venue before the ‘free before’ cut off time. They can’t afford to get to the club too late because they usually can’t afford the entry fee, no matter how expensive their weave. Should probably be at home watching the pennies, but turn down for what?
+1’s – These are the women that have earned themselves free entry to the event because they’ve either fucked the promoter or the manager at some point or are planning to. They can come in anytime. Their friends have to pay though.
Gazelles – These are the ladies that hang around the bar and in close proximity of VIP in hopes of getting a free drink, or if they’re really cute, an invite over to the table or into VIP for unlimited drinks. They’re kind of like real gazelles at a watering hole, waiting for the predators.
Prowlers – They’re usually found in clubs that accommodate the older gentleman with very deep pockets, loose morals and an appetite for young women that love to fly out to Miami and Dubai and carry LV luggage.
Glory Hunters – They’re in the club for nothing but an ego stroke. They’re looking for guys to approach them and recharge their vanity. They can be spotted dancing with their friends all night and will more than likely drink your drink and then proceed to tell you that they have a man. So you didn’t know you had a man before drinking my drink? “I’m a lesbian” After all the champagne I bought? You’re bisexual tonight.
Promoters – They’ve fucked most of the regulars and spend half the night avoiding old conquests that expect free entry.
DJ’s – They fuck all the women the promoter hasn’t, in exchange for complimentary entry.
True Religions – Guys that spent all their money on the outfit they wore to the club that night. They slaved away all month long for this. They will blow all their money on bottles and be back at work tomorrow to start the process all over again.
Hennessy Boys – These guys usually have 1 bottle between about 12 of them and they pass it around for pictures. It’s usually very strong liquor with no chaser, to minimise the amount needed per person. This category of male is also known to occasionally fill up expensive bottles of alcohol with much cheaper brands to prolong the visual. Is that really Ciroc in your cup?
Ciroc Boys – These are the guys with tables full of overpriced champagne, Ciroc and Grey Goose. This category is mainly occupied by drug dealers and fraudsters that will get drunk and spray you with cheap alcohol and then want to fight you if you complain.
Ballers – They are usually at the club by invite because they know the promoter/manager and they have a booth in VIP with an unlimited supply of alcohol courtesy of the club to encourage the rest of you to splash out and compete. This category is usually occupied by footballers and celebrities.
What Time Is It? – The rental boys, they usually clock watch and stay sober enough to hear the slow jams come on in the club because that is their cue to get in their vehicles and do laps around the club like they’re in Monaco. Rentals are expensive so every second counts. If they could leave their cars in the cloakroom, they would. Hell, if they could bring the Range into the back of the club, they’d sit in it all night and holla at your girl from the back seat.
Yak Boys – These are the guys that are in the venue looking for Rolex’s. They are ruthless and will more than likely break both of your arms for it.
But anyway, as I was saying. You walk into the club and it’s jumping. At the back of the venue, you have your collection of booths and VIP tables, a few well dressed fellas on each. They’re wearing 3 piece suits in a club that’s hotter than the deepest parts of Mordor so we can assume that they’re Forex traders. The guys on the first table order a few bottles and they are delivered by a trail of very scantily clad and attractive women, complete with sparklers and everything. Not to be outdone, the fellas on the next table order even more bottles and they proceed to open and pour them on the strategically positioned women. That makes it sound fancy; I’m talking about the bitches that are hanging around waiting for free drinks.
This goes on for more or less the whole night. You can see as the Hennessey boys watch in awe, they’re literally turning green with envy. Then you realise what is happening. How can you want to make me feel inferior by stunting on me with bottles of Grey Goose, Ciroc and champagne in the club? Are you dumb? I don’t think some of you actually fathom how cheeky and condescending it is for you to be stunting on me after YOU just got mugged into paying upwards of 8 times the retail price for a beverage. You bought a bottle of champagne that cost the house £18 for £180 and you have the nerve to document the occasion with pictures? Would you take pictures of yourself getting your chain snatched to post on the Internet? But really, £180? Has it been fermenting since before the first world war? Are they mixing it with the tears of virgins for the price to multiply like that? Ciroc and Grey Goose cost no more than £35 in supermarkets! If you walk in to Tesco right now, you can secure a bottle of MOËT for £26.99 but you prefer to go to the club and spend £180 you don’t have on it, so that people can see you walking around the club with the bottle in your hand or on your VIP table and think ‘you get it in’, because if they don’t see the bottle, how will they know you get it in right? I always say that if Dom Perignon and house champagne were served in the exact same unmarked containers in the club, not so many of you would buy it, simply because nobody will readily recognise what you’re drinking or how much you paid for it and that defeats the point right? How are females going to know that you are ‘somebody’ if they don’t see the expensive bottles on the table? Some of you are probably saying that you would still buy it, but we both know damn well that you are not spending £700 on a bottle of alcohol if nobody would know what it was or what it cost.
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
This is a quote that I used to think was, simply put, about the virtue of living within your means. Depending on your income relative to your expenses, your wealth would either go up or go down.
But now the quote strikes me as a commentary not just on financial happiness and misery, but on overall happiness and misery. If you’re trapped in an expensive lifestyle, you won’t only suffer financial stress. You may also find it tough to lead the life you want.
In short: continue to spend more than you earn and you’ll find yourself in serious trouble.
Suicide because of debt is one the biggest killers of people in the UK. Living lavish can quickly turn into a nightmare for you. If your cost of living is higher than your income, you have problems brewing. Rule of thumb: they say you should try and limit your fixed costs to about 50% or less of your pre tax income. Your income must ALWAYS be greater than your expenditure. No matter how much money you earn, as long as you have more going out than you have coming in, you are not financially stable. Look at Allen Iverson, one of the most talented athletes of our time. He made in the excess of $250 Million but due to very bad money management, he was left with nearly nothing. He was earning £300k a month, but he had outgoings of about $500/600k a month. L’wren Scott had a lavish lifestyle, she was in private jets on Instagram, took multiple trips around the world, wore expensive clothes, ate at expensive restaurants but was over £6 million in personal debt and her business was £5 million in the red. She eventually committed suicide. I look back at times when we were getting money, we would have £4k but we would behave like we had £40k. Having £4k just wasn’t enough, people had to think we were worth a whole lot more, that usually cost the whole £4k, which would then leave us with nothing, but people didn’t know that, they just assumed we had money falling from the heavens. Appearing to be well off seems to matter more to some people than actually being well off. Some people put more effort into looking the part than actually being the part.
For a lot of young men, living within your means just isn’t cool. The life they want to portray is expensive and if they had to choose between debt and not having it, they’d pick debt. Hell, some of them actually do pick debt, especially when it comes to women. You’ve got women that share their bedrooms with their little sister asking you why you haven’t bought your house yet. No bedframe or wall paper at her house but she wants to know why your car ain’t German. Does she even have a provisional license? It’s crazy how far out of their way guys will go to impress women, some of whom aren’t even financially stable themselves. Got women that can’t even afford to pay full entry at the door making you feel some type of way about not having bottles of unicorn blood served at room temperature on your table. If it wasn’t “free b4 11” and these women had to pay full entry to get into Mayfair and Aura, they’d be climbing the fence like they were in the “21 Seconds” video. You’ve got women on £14k a year asking why you haven’t got a 19 plate Range Rover with the leather off Aslan’s back on the seats and you’re bussing your arse to keep up with them. Finance company squeezing your neck, clamping your vehicle every couple months because you cyaa afford to pay fi di ting. Don’t lose yourself trying to impress women that are signing on. If all you have to offer is money, then you’re probably fucked.
It’s easy to get caught up when you’re trying to “keep up with Joneses”. The constant battle to have more than your peers, to have a bigger house than your neighbours, to have a better car than your colleague. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with wanting and getting yourself ALL of these, if they are within your means. Don’t over extend your finances to keep up a life that is beyond you.
You get a promotion at work; you now have extra money floating about every month. You decide that now that you have moved up at work, it’s time to move up in the neighbourhood, and get a bigger house and a better car. What just happened? Your expenses have just gone up and you’re probably back in the position you were in before the promotion, with the same amount of money left at the end of the month as before. It happens to a lot of us, when we get more money, instead of saving it; we accumulate more expenses. The problem with doing that and not saving and living month to month, is that at some point your situation may change and you may be out of a job for a while, your bills won’t go away just because your job has and unless you have money put away, you’re going to be eating dust for a long time.
Remember that the wealthy don’t remain that by spending it all, that’s not how it works. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you can have more money than you can spend. There are a lot of athletes and celebrities that beg to differ.
“Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.” – John Rockefeller
Don’t let these celebrities and the media gas you into believing that you NEED things that you can’t afford to live a fulfilling life, you don’t. Don’t let these rappers gas you into believing that they’re paying cash for their vehicles, they’re not.
With all that said, live your life and enjoy your money, YOU made it so it is YOURS. Just remember that if you’re spending more money than you make, you’re in essence, broke. Don’t let the lack of proper business skills and financial education be the end of you. Educate yourself and the only way is up from there.