The 3 Worst Things I Have Been Spending Money On

The phenomenon that occurs when your income increases.


Kevin Shan

2 years ago | 6 min read

I have been spending way too much money in the last month. I’m earning the most money I have ever been in my life, but I have also spent the most.

It’s awful right now. I’m looking at what I spent my money on, and I’m wondering, did I really need to spend the money?

I’ve spent $5,923.10 CAD this month, and I’m not done yet. It was only three years ago when it took me an entire year to make how much I spent in this one month.

My income last year was only $20,000. Here I was spending more than a quarter of that income in one month.

Not all of the expenses are unwarranted, though. The company I work for gave me about $10,000 to cover my costs to do an auction in Toronto.

I had to travel here, which meant finding living accommodations and buying plane tickets. Even after booking the cheapest Airbnb around here and flying economy, that was a few thousand dollars.

Of course, I also have to pay for food and whatnot, but I felt like I could have managed that situation a lot better. Everything I spent on top of essentials might have been a mistake.

Buying Expensive Takeout

For some reason, in my head, I thought I was saving more money buying $30 takeout meals instead of $15 ones.

Skip The Dishes and its various restaurant partners have an excellent sales strategy of offering free delivery when you order above a specific price point.

Usually, that price point was $25 to $30, so I ended up buying the most expensive stuff from a restaurant because I would be saving a $4 delivery fee.

In reality, I was spending $30 when I could have spent $15. It just seemed like I was saving money because when I bought the $30 meal, it was a $30 meal while the $15 meal was actually $11 but had the additional $4 delivery fee.

So I ended up eating sushi and steak every other day. It was delicious but not suitable for my bank account.

I could have saved way more money if I went for groceries instead. My parents probably spend around $600 per month to feed a family of four. I, as one person, was somehow spending nearly a hundred dollars per day on takeout.

I definitely could have made a few trips to the grocery store, cooked myself, and only spend $300 in my stay here in Toronto.

But I’ll cut myself some slack. For the first time in my life, I came to Toronto, going headfirst into a job where I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I lacked both the time and energy to get groceries.

For next time, however, it’s groceries for sure. While I have some free time right now, I should prepare a grocery list and cooking plan for the next time I travel somewhere new to do an auction.

Why Did I Buy Alcohol?

I don’t usually drink alcohol. Going to a bar when I had just turned 18-years-old was the last thing on my mind.

Yet, I bought alcohol way too many times. And even worse, I got expensive bar drinks and alcohol from restaurants meaning that I paid a tip on an already expensive item on the menu.

Looking back, I didn’t need to spend any money on alcohol.

Getting a couple of drinks the first time I went to a bar was okay. It’s an experience, and I always want to try things out.

But that wasn’t a queue for me to start ordering sake every time I went to get ramen or sushi, nor did it mean that I should become a regular at the bar I went to.

I can understand why people go broke so fast now in their 20s. Going to the bar is fun but expensive.

Alcohol can definitely get addicting, and that’s when your health and financials both go bust. It’s crucial to maintain self-control and discipline.

A $290 Pair Of Ray-Ban Sunglasses

I was thinking of getting sunglasses for some time. I never wore sunglasses in the past because I was a kid that was always running around. Wearing sunglasses was always an inconvenience for me.

But as I’m getting older, I’m beginning to concern myself more with my health. My eyes are one of my most important assets, and they need to be protected.

I have a potentially harmful habit, though. If I’m going to buy something, I always want the top-of-the-line stuff.

Every time I go to restaurants, I always want their specialties or the most expensive thing. God forbid when I buy a car because I might end up paying tens of thousands of dollars for features that I don’t need. Cough, 21-inch rims, cough.

It’s the same with sunglasses. I didn’t want any pair of sunglasses. I wanted something good.

For the longest time, I had the mindset that a good pair of sunglasses cost close to a thousand bucks. I didn’t have that money, so I never got a pair.

But I did some research later and found that a pair of Ray-Bans — one of the most popular luxury sunglasses brands — cost close to three hundred dollars.

Since I had the impression that a good pair of sunglasses will leave me nearly a thousand dollars down in my bank account, I was like, “Wow! So cheap!”

So I went to the mall and spent nearly $300 on a pair of sunglasses.

After getting hit with a video ad promoting sunglasses on YouTube, I realized sunglasses that cost over $200 were very expensive.

That day was the same day I spent over $50 eating ramen because I ordered a $9 cup of sake, a dessert, an appetizer, and the most expensive ramen on their menu.

I watched a video that night about how if you invest $200 into an index fund or something every month when you’re young, you will be a millionaire when you’re old.

I was almost spent $400 in one day. Imagine if I put all of that into the stock market. I could have been securing my financial future!

Why Many People With High Incomes Are Poor

My issue where I spent more money as soon as my income increased is an issue that happens to many people.

Many high-income people make six to seven figures every year but are still “poor.”

As soon as their income increases, they subconsciously want to spend it all and end up buying supercars, big mansions, and go out for hundred-dollar steak dinners.

They don’t have any money saved or invested, so as soon as the economy crashes or these people with high incomes lose their source of income, they suddenly go bankrupt.

Lifestyle inflation is something that happens to many people. As soon as our income increases, we increase our expenses as well.

This is what happened to me, too. Despite earning 10X of what I used to make, the number in my bank account is still the same.

Well, not yet, but it will be if I continue doing what I am doing.

Spend What’s Left After Investing

Although I’m talking about how bad I’ve been with my money, I’m actually pretty good with it when I have an actual plan.

For example, I have a TFSA account that I maxed out at $12,000 CAD. I put my money into high-yielding dividend stocks and ETFs with the goal of one day building my account to a point where it generates thousands of dollars in tax-free dividend income every month.

I vowed that I would never take money out of the account until it reaches the point where it can generate a thousand dollars every month from dividends. When it comes to that point, I’ll only be taking out the dividend money, too.

There have been multiple occasions where I wanted to sell some stocks and take out money to do things like buying a computer or take out some of the dividend money for treats like bubble tea.

But I disciplined myself and reinvested all the dividends.

I will do the same with any income I get next. I plan to invest at least half of whatever comes in and save a little more than what is needed to pay my taxes.

With the leftover money, I would keep between $1,000 for myself and use the rest on building my online businesses.

Of course, things will change. I plan to live with my parents for just a bit longer, but there would definitely be essential expenses that pop up here and there that would potentially increase how much money I need to keep for myself.

However, the mindset is the same. When you get your money, first look at how you can invest it. Then live off whatever you have left.


Created by

Kevin Shan

Project Manager at Concierge Auctions who sells multi-million dollar luxury real estate all over the world at auction.







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