Much has been made of the new study that says 1% of the world will soon control 50% of the wealth. This seems outrageous until you realize how unsurprising it is. People don't do a lot of things well, but pissing away money sure is one of them
I had the bad judgment to choose radio for a career, knowing full well that unless I was in the top 1% (!), it wouldn't be a high paying job. Not only was it low paying, but it was the antithesis of secure. Every radio newsletter contains an except about who lost their job that day. Thus, I went into it thinking how important it was to save. Save save save. My streak of days with a Buddig meat sandwich once hit 20 days. My weekly allowance from the ATM was $20. That was my fun money. Money spent? No more fun. It wasn't that hard to do.
Fast forward a few years. The jobs got better, the money got better, the approach stayed the same. Sure, my so-called "allowance" changed, but I've never lost the habit for saving and making moves that made economic sense. Married well. Chose not to have children. Bought a small house (no pool). Paid off my car 2 years early (NOTE; No car payments for 12 years is great fun). Again, these aren't things that are hard.
My parents were raised in an era with no handouts. Nothing came easy. Not making enough at your job? Get another job. Can't afford it? Don't buy it. That kind of stuff was passed down to me, and I thankfully married a gal that now also sees it that way. It didn't come easy for her, but she knows now how nice it is to have money in the bank (and the stock market). You can go to school for 20 years, but the lessons you'll carry with you as you get older are usually the ones you learn under your roof growing up.
Yeah, there's plenty of cool stuff to buy. Nothing's cooler than not living paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth. I'm not even close to the 1%. Never will be. That's fine. The view is plenty sweet in the Top 20.