I often write a lot of words on saving money. Cut out this expensive item… consider substituting this other item… Sometimes I write about making more money. However, I very rarely go into the psychology behind making and spending money. Today, I’m going to venture into those waters… and hopefully avoid drowning.
I first read in Larry Winget’s book, You’re Broke Because You Want to Be, your income is typically the average of your five closest friends. Though Winget gives credit to Jim Rohn, the concept pans out when I look at my life (at least as long as I’m not only a full-time blogger). Winget makes a great point that he tries to surround himself with wealthy people.
Surrounding yourself with wealthy people is a solid idea, but it’s not like you can just make friends with folks who can afford to shop at 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive overnight. I met most of my high-income friends in an expensive, private top 30 university. They had typically had fairly wealthy parents and went on to high paying jobs after school. Winget/Rohn seem to approach it as a egg – surrounding yourself with high-income people will help you get rich. I approach it like a chicken – I’m surrounded by high-income earners for the same reasons that they earned a high income.
There’s another side of coin that Larry doesn’t discuss in his book (at least that I recall). I have a theory that your spending is the average of your five closest friends. This is a completely untested theory – it seems logical to me and consistent in my own life. Why is it logical? Well my wife still thinks that I have a plasma television because “all your friends got them.” She doesn’t seem to factor in that me and all my friends love technology. My wife also expects me to get a high-end SLR digital camera soon – simply because my other friends have them. That’s an exception to the rule… I’m not looking to carrying around a murse (man-purse) full of lenses.
So if your income is the average of your five closest friends and your spending may be the average of your five closest friends, do you really have any control of your life? As always, I think the answer is yes – if you recognize these subconscious principles at work and make your conscious deal with them.
What about you? Is your income the average of your five closest friends? Do you feel that your income is the result of associating with those friends, or is it just “birds of a feather flock together?” Do you find your spending is the average of your five closest friends?