Do You Make More than You Did 5 Years Ago?

The simple answer is (if you are in your 20’s or 30’s) is, of course. I make more than I did 5 years ago, however, do you really? Has your lifestyle changed to consume that increase in income ?

Lamborghini Gallardo Sports

You Deserve this don’t you?

Lifestyle creep is a very dangerous problem for young folks, who start making good money, and decide that their lifestyle needs to expand so they can “enjoy their new life”. Speaking as someone who fell into that trap, I can assure you that it is much harder to simply keep living like you did when you were “poor” (or a student) than to give into your Impulses and “spend, Spend, SPEND!!!”. I borrow this idea from the concept of Feature Creep, where your customers (or worse your management) want to add more and more things to a project, “because they are small”, however all these small add-ons become a big expense (in terms of time, money and resources).

The question really should be, “Do you net as much as you did 5 years ago?”, and that question is a lot harder to answer.

While your income may have increased a whopping 25% (gross) over the past 8 years (or so), the problems you run into are the following:

  • If you crossed the magic line and jumped into the 2nd Canadian Federal Tax Bracket, your new income is now no longer being taxed at 15% and now it is being taxed at 22%, so you aren’t actually having a linear growth on your income. If you live in Ontario your provincial tax rate jumps from 5% to 9% too, isn’t that fun?
  • That crappy apartment that you shared with your annoying roommate that cost you only $400 a month is now gone and you have a great apartment of your own that you are now paying $1000 a month.
  • You have worked hard, so instead of camping in Algonquin park with your buddies and having your major cost being 3 cases of beer, you decided that you deserve a cool vacation to one of those all you can drink (and eat I hear) in Cuba, and it only cost $900 with the air fare.
  • That death trap of a car that you drove into the ground at school, that you did most of your own service on is gone, and you are now leasing a nifty new Studebaker SuckTheMoneyOutOfYou, but your girlfriend really likes it (and it only costs $400 a month on the lease, then more for insurance, and gas).

Are You Getting Ahead ?

You really think you are 25% ahead? If you look closely you might actually be 8% behind (that is a guess on my part it might be more, or less).

Lifestyle Creep is a real danger for young folks, almost as dangerous as belly droop for old guys like me.

Image courtesy of  foto76 /


CEOs Salaries, are they worth it?

The CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) put out a fun graphic on their site yesterday which has really caught the fancy of the Media in Canada. The graphic is an updating graphic showing the Clash for Cash: CEO vs. Average Joe which gives you an idea how much some of the top 100 CEOs in Canada make in compensation.

This kind of tool is always useful to show folks just how much is spent on the top end of the management tree in many of Canada’s largest companies. The actual numbers suggest that a CEO makes about 189 times what an average employee makes in a year (but the graphic is just so much more fun to look at).

The question does arise from this simple ratio, are the CEOs of Canada’s Elite 100 companies really worth the $8.38 Million (on average) that they make every year? I have no idea, but my opinion is that the reason these folks make what they make, is that they have convinced someone they are worth that, and thus they get that kind of compensation. Is this fair? Fair doesn’t really come into it, if the company is successful, then the CEO has earned their pay, and if they don’t they are fired, that should be the way it works (although in some cases like Nortel you had to wonder what was going on).

The mainstream media seems fixated on pointing out the 1% that make so much money and such, but I’d like to point out that there are a couple of Hockey players earning that much, a few more NFL Football players, even more Basketball Players, and pretty much every baseball player that earn that kind of compensation as well. Is that fair? Some billionaire is willing to make a Multi-Millionaire out of someone who is talented at their job, that is just what happens in this world.

Do I like all of this? Hell no, I’d love to make that kind of money myself, but if I did, just think how much folks who were more talented might make?

I do still like the graphic as well:


If you go to the link (click on the picture) you’ll see it being updated (which makes it that much more depressing).



%d bloggers like this: