You Are More Than Your Average Salary

you will only be as financially successful as you choose to be

First things first, what is considered an average salary? The annual income you take home obviously varies based on a few factors. Where you live, what industry you’re in, your years of experience, and more. But you and I both know there are average numbers for each country, whether they’re relatable or not. Average gross income per year in 2014 ($USD) Canada - $48,164 United States - $57,139 UK - $41,659 Japan - $35,672 Spain - $36,013

Are you surprised? I’ll never forget sitting in a college classroom, back in school after I left my first job out of university, trying to stay positive. The professor boldly asked everyone what they thought salaries were like upon graduation. I kept my thoughts to myself and was just as intrigued as him to hear their opinions.

Out of nowhere, one of the students shouted “$80,000/year”. I tried my best to stay composed, and pretend I didn’t hear what they said. But immediately I burst out laughing.

“Life would be a lot simpler if the average salary were $80k per year,” I said.

The students face looked full of fear and shock. Yes, surprise! You’ll be lucky to make half of that upon graduation. Especially coming out of the program we were in.

An as Bridget states in this honest/hilarious post, “I have only one piece of advice for those of you stuck in this cycle: don’t be afraid to bite the hand that feeds you if it’s only giving you scraps.”

This is why I love our generation. We expect more, because we think we deserve more. And honestly, we do deserve more. The cost of living is high, and the job market is weak. I work hard, learn quickly, am well-rounded in my industry, and can adjust to change on the drop of a dime. Just like you.

But this isn’t going to change just because I blog about it, and imagine a better world where I made a six-figure salary and can eat buckets of Nutella without gaining any weight.

So here is how to get ahead on an average salary (with multiple gifs):

Stop spending more than you earn.

Seriously, I don’t know how many times I have to use the phrase “live within your means” before it actually starts to catch on. Spending $300 a month on new clothing you hardly wear hasn’t been working in the past, so what makes you think it’s going to work now?

Save more money, hold more power.

Imagine having an emergency fund so full you could actually start taking control of other areas in your life. You could ask for that raise, or look for a better-paying job, because you have a backup bank account that will help you accomplish all the things you've planned for.

Increase your income.

Whether you are able to negotiate a raise, find a part-time job, or start your own business providing income, increasing your pay will (obviously) make a drastic difference. As hard as it may be to spend your down time working, it may also be well worth it in the long run.

Commit to educating yourself.

You and I both know that growing up, the amount of financial literacy offered in our educational system was zilch. If you want to become financially successful, one of the first steps is to understand what your moneys purpose is, how to best use it, and how to make your income work for you.

Essentially, you are more than a number. Companies use salaries to define our work ethic, intelligence, experience, and beyond. So lets be our own advocates for change. Prove why you deserve things, voice why we deserve change, and stay driven.

No matter how much you make, you decide how you use it. Whether you want to save half of your income, spend half of your income, or divide everything evenly among your budgeted categories, you will only be as financially successful as you choose to be.

Keep telling yourself that you deserve it, prove to others that you deserve it, and promise yourself you will get there. Because you will. Eventually.

What are some ways you’ve increased your income? Let me know in the comments!