Let’s talk money….and what you actually keep. Let’s say you sell a custom t-shirt for $20, how much of that do you keep? From one perspective, you just made twenty bucks, hooray! Dig deeper, though, and you realize that you have to pay taxes on that money, so now you have $17. Oh, and the shirt itself costs $5 to buy yourself and another $2 of ink to make. Now you have $10. In reality, you have half the money you thought you had!

This is a silly example, but you get the idea. There can be many other costs that aren’t readily apparent. We can fall into this trap with paychecks too. If you get paid $1,000 one week, and your bank account says you’re a grand richer, you feel great until you realize you have bills to pay, you went out to eat a few times, there was this cool gizmo on Amazon, and your credit card payment is due tomorrow. Crap…

This is a depressing thought, but we all have to face this in some way or another. Any salesperson on commission has felt the annoyance of seeing how a sale can get diluted between fees, management fees, shares to their broker/parent company, and taxes (the big one).

Don’t let all the added costs of living get you down, though; it’s only for the rest of your life, which we hope is a long time. Overcome this by getting in the habit of thinking that any money you make isn’t truly that amount and be prepared. Knowing that the money you make will go to different places will help you plan more effectively and reduce the stress of seeing a different amount on your paycheck than you thought and thinking, “I made HOW much…?”