Money Shame – I Make Too Much Money

Money shame is a very real thing. There are taboos around money, that, in my opinion, should be broken. You can feel shame for having too much debt. But the other way around is also possible. You can feel money shame for making too much money.

I Make Too Much Money

My close group of friends are all well-educated and well-paid professionals. In my social circle our money game is quite the same. OK, I might save and invest way more than my friends because I’m a personal finance nerd, but regarding income we used to be pretty much the same.

In my sports, however, that is a bit different. People reading my blog regularly might know that I practice the martial art of Brazilian jiu jitsu. In our gym, people from all walks of life come to practice this amazing sports.

We have consultants like me, people who work in social services, soldiers, nurses, sales people, Phd graduates, but also people working in warehouses moving inventory.

And some of these people make very little money for a very tough job. It’s unfair, and sometimes I felt ashamed that I literally made double the salary of some of these people in my previous job.

And now that I went freelance, I had a great week, and made in 1 week my entire monthly salary I made in my job.

Let that sink in. I used to make double what other make. I realise how lucky I am, and the position that puts me in. At age 26, I’m worth well over 100,000 euros already, own a luxury apartment in a large city, and can save and invest half my income.

Then I started my own business and had a very busy week. I worked my ass off, and the work I did that one week, I billed my entire monthly salary. I used to make around 4,000 euros gross at my previous company, and billed almost 4,000 euros for the hours I worked last week. It’s crazy.

I know this won’t be every week, but still. I sometimes do feel money shame. Not for having too little of it, but for having a life that’s maybe too good to be true.

I am thankful of the opportunities I have had so far, but also I know I work really hard and take calculated risks to improve my financial situation. With the excess money I’m making, I can invest in stocks, pay down my mortgage, and improve my overall financials. I would love to be worth 250,000 euros when I turn 30 in three years.

Until then, I have to figure out the money shame thing for making too much.

Has anyone ever dealt with these kinds of feelings? How did you overcome them?

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4 thoughts on “Money Shame – I Make Too Much Money”

  1. I can definitely relate. I just don’t let anyone know. They know I make decent money, but just let them keep guessing how much… I’m a big fan of stealth wealth. No fancy car, house, clothes, etc. Just save and invest boys ;)

  2. I recognize your story well. When I started my first full-time job at 19 years old, I was earning close to minimum wage (around 1650 guilders a month). Because I kept improving my skills and knowledge, and because good people kept giving me chances, I was able to get regular increases in salary, sometimes more then 10% ! I always felt very rich and spoiled when that happened. Last month I made about 25k in gross income. I’m very proud of this, but also realise well it’s really a lot of money. What works for me is to give some money to charity, invest a big chunk, and enjoy some of it. Balance in all things, right?

  3. I don’t find it difficult, I do my job, I earn my money and I know that there are people earning much more and much less than I do. It’s the way things are. I don’t envy the folks that earn more and count my own blessings. Comparing is a useless activity, a waste of time and energy if you ask me. I am happy for people who have more than I do. I support some good causes to help people who are less fortunate. I cannot save or change the world, I do my bit.

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