An Uneven Recovery

One of the themes of the economic recovery is how unevenly distributed it been. Those who could least afford to miss a paycheck have been hit the hardest, while those at the top have gotten wealthier with rising stocks and real estate values.

With this backdrop, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sharp rebound in job postings for the bottom third wage tier, according to data from indeed.

I’m happy to see a rebound for those in the bottom and middle third, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy to see the top-third struggling to come back to pre-pandemic levels. I feel bad for everyone who lost their job, regardless of how much money they make.

Wealthy people can get by during a recession, but the same can’t be said for high earners. You would think that high earners are synonymous with wealth, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, lifestyle creep can make it that those with big incomes can no more afford to skip a paycheck than those with a more modest one.

One of the core lessons from this awful pandemic is that you never know when a crisis will strike. Whether you’re making $50,000 or $500,000, if you can’t go without a few paychecks, then you don’t have economic freedom. I understand how hard it is to save money, so I don’t mean to lecture, but you have to pay yourself first. Saving what’s left over doesn’t work. Save first, then spend what’s left.

If you don’t think there’s anything to save, then you should probably find $6.58 a month for Tiller Money, a powerful piece of software that shows you where all of your money is going. I used this and it was an eye opening experience. Again, whether you’re making $50,000 or $500,000, you can probably afford to save more than you think.

Save first, spend what’s left.