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Why Everyone Seems to Have More Money Than You

After more than a decade immersed in finance—from earning a finance degree and an accountancy qualification to spending nine years in banking—one of the best skills I learned was how to spot the true markers of wealth. In this video, I want to share six eye-opening reasons why you might feel like you’re always playing catch-up with your finances. We’ll dive into the truth behind that feeling and, most importantly, how to use it to your advantage. Let’s get into it!

1. You’re Making Upward Comparisons

We often compare ourselves to people who seem to have more—more money, a fancier car, a more luxurious lifestyle. This is called upward comparison. Conversely, downward comparison involves comparing ourselves to those who appear less fortunate or successful. Naturally, we are wired to compare upwards, but much of what we see is just an illusion. The financial status that looks so enticing is usually carefully curated.

For example, if you and a friend both budget $500 a month for cars, you might choose a decent mid-range car on a five-year finance plan. By the end of the five years, the car is yours, valued at around $20,000. Your friend, however, might lease a much nicer car for the same amount. After 36 months, they’ve spent $18,000 and have to return the car with nothing to show for it. The same applies to credit card debt—many people appear wealthy but are living beyond their means, creating an illusion of wealth.

The comparisons that truly matter are with those investing in their future—people who put money into personal growth, education, and skills. These investments might not be flashy, but they increase a person’s future value and reduce future obligations.

2. You Don’t Know What You Stand For

We compare ourselves more often when we don’t know what we stand for. This applies not just to finances but to every aspect of life. If you’re constantly focused on what others have, you’ll always feel like you’re falling behind.

For example, when I was about to quit my job, all my friends were climbing the corporate ladder, getting promoted, and buying homes. I took a huge step back to study and grow in a different direction. Although it was scary, I didn’t feel like I was missing out because I knew it would make me happier. Now, I get to do what I love every day.

When it comes to finances, knowing what you stand for is crucial. Align your spending with what truly makes you happy. You might find joy in getting the latest upgrades, or like me, you might value experiences like travel, learning, and starting a business. You don’t have to be locked into these choices forever—you can always realign with new values. What matters is having what you genuinely value, which is far more fulfilling.

3. You Aren’t Learning

Transforming how I compare myself to others has been life-changing. Instead of asking, “Why does this person make more money?” I ask, “How are they achieving this?” This shift turns envy into curiosity and growth.

For years, I was skeptical about people making money online. But when I started learning from them, I realized they were building brands, connecting with their audience, and diversifying their income streams. Viewing comparison through the lens of learning and growth changes your perspective and growth trajectory.

The same goes for investing. When I talk about an 8% return, people often comment that no bank offers that rate. They’re right, but I’m talking about the S&P 500, which has averaged over 10% returns over the past 100 years. Learning how others achieve their financial goals can transform your own approach.

By the way, if you want to feel less stressed and more confident about your finances, I’m hosting a free master class. We’ll cover where to put your money on payday, how to craft a budget that works, and what to invest in for consistent returns. Check the link in the bio for more details.

4. You’re Forgetting the Trade-offs

It’s easy to see someone thriving and assume they have it all together. But we often don’t see the personal sacrifices they’ve made to get there. We miss the late nights, the missed family moments, and the doubts they’ve overcome.

For instance, someone might afford exotic vacations by living in a modest home, driving an older car, and skipping new clothes. Understanding this helps you stop comparing your best moments to theirs because their struggles might be incomparable to your own.

5. You’re Following the Wrong Competition

When it feels like everyone around you is more successful, it’s easy to fall into a trap of competition. But collaboration can take you much further. Recently, I was working on a personal project and discovered someone else had launched a similar one. Instead of treating it as competition, I reached out, and now we’re collaborating on a new product that combines our ideas.

Collaboration can open doors you never knew existed. Many people are willing to collaborate if you approach them with genuine interest and a collaborative spirit. It just takes one person to set aside ego and pride.

6. You Haven’t Focused on Yourself for a While

When was the last time you looked at your spending and asked if it makes you happy? It’s easy to get caught up in tracking budgets and controlling expenses. But part of getting your finances together is also about enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Take time to treat yourself to something that brings you happiness. This weekend, indulge in a hobby, have a nice meal, or thoughtfully track your expenses. By focusing on what enriches your life, you’ll find more joy in your journey and less need to compare yourself to others.

Thank you for reading. If you found this useful, please share it with someone who might feel financially behind and needs a reminder on how to let go of that feeling.

Blog Credit: Nischa


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