I enjoy my share of stand up comedy performances. One of my favorites has been the earlier Kevin Hart stand up called “Laugh at My Pain”. He has a bit (check out the clip below) about staying in your financial lane.
I call this one of the best pieces of financial advice. It has to do with both keeping up with the Joneses and lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation.
I was pulled out of my financial lane in my 20s. It does not matter how much money you make, everyone has their own financial lane.
I was that money moron college graduate thinking he was a hot shot despite having $80,000+ in student loan debt, which was eventually defaulted.
I can tell you first hand what it is like to give in to outward appearances. Every single dollar I made went towards leasing a luxury sports coupe, which ended up with a double digit interest rate (or money factor in lease terms), and buying high end fashion designer clothing.
What did I get out of this?
Well I ended up not contributing to any company 401k retirement accounts in my 20s which included a 8% match at a Fortune 50 company. I ended up overpaying on a leased car for 3+ years. I ended up not saving a single penny because I had no concept of paying yourself first. I ended up destroying my credit.
When you stay in your financial lane, you think about what you can control and what matters to you and you alone. When you block out the peer pressure, the marketing messaging saying you should buy today, and ignore what others think about you, this will do wonders to your mental state of health and your bank account.
Kevin Hart’s bit about staying in your financial lane is hilariously told, but there is real meaning to what he is saying.
Stay in your financial lane.
Avoid keeping up with the joneses.
Avoid lifestyle creep.
Avoid lifestyle inflation.