The same things that everyone else does.
Making $100,000 may seem like a lot if you make $30,000 – $50,000, but it’s really not.
When I was young and starting my career I had a few different instances where I made substantial steps with new jobs and promotions, doubling my income overnight. This new found income felt great. I started to imagine all the things that I wouldn’t have to stress about and all the new things I could finally buy. I remember starting a new job after graduating college, two weeks later the HR person walked over to my desk and handed me my first paycheck. I knew what my salary was and how much money I would be making, but when I opened the envelope and say the actual check in my hand I froze. For several minutes I just sat there and stared at it, eyes glazed over, totally speechless. I had made money in the past and even gotten a few relatively large checks in the past, but the idea that someone was going to send me one of these every two weeks was overwhelming.
I felt this again every time I got paid, a disbelief that I was actually making this much money. Each check felt a little more normal though. Within six months the feeling had mostly worn off, within a year I started to feel underpaid. I stayed at that job a little over a year before leaving for a different company, this time getting another raise of about 50%. This one was the first time I had a base salary of over $100,000. By this point, the feeling of making money was somewhat normal, but getting that raise still felt like a gold mine at first. This time the feeling went away within a couple months.
Over the years I’ve made moves to constantly increase my income, whether it be a new job, promotion, investments or business ventures; I’m always finding ways to make more money.
For me, I still mostly live off the budget I had in college. I took on some more expenses that college kids don’t worry about like 5 different types of insurance, charitable donations and medical bills. The only real difference is now in certain situations I just buy whatever I want and forget about what it cost. I buy as many lattes as possible, because I love them. I will my tank up every week and couldn’t care less what gas cost or my MPG. I have really expensive and comfortable socks. I get the guac with my burrito.
Everyday there are little things that make my happy and only cost a few dollars; I buy them every time. It’s eliminated countless hours of stress and feeling guilty while only costing me a few thousand dollars each year.
Most if they get a raise will spread the extra money across their expenses and feel little to no real impact in their lifestyle. There is a big difference in comfort between making $100,000 a year or making $40,000; I am a lot happier and less stressed. I feel like I can do whatever I want. Even if I choose not to, I love having the option.
I wrote a post previously about this with more detail,