Today’s Market Realities II – Old Fogie Agents- Consider Living a Bit Less Large…


posted by on Reflections From a Difficult Market

Ahhhhhhhhhh… I remember when my average monthly income was $23,500… which meant some months were even higher. I remember two $50,000 months in a row. I remember the year I broke the $300,000 mark. I remember the year I burned out and half-heartedly worked only six months … and brought in $179,000.


Trouble is, I got into the habit of spending those dollars, not frivolously, but spent them I did. If I wanted a new kitchen, I got it. A sweet little investment property that seemed like a good deal – I bought it. And yes, there was a bit of the princess in there – weekly massages, daily “maid” service and a cute little Caribbean blue Miata I just had to have.

Easy come… easy go.

And speaking of easy – it’s an easy habit to fall into when you work on commission – treating those enormous commission checks like Monopoly money and assuming there are plenty more growing on that money tree in the back yard.

I haven’t seen a $23,500 month in awhile! Neither has anyone I know.

We Old Fogie agents developed some poor spending habits during the days of prosperity; habits which are hard to break.  But break them we must. We need to practice using that dirty little word… NO.

I can proudly admit that I have curtailed my lifestyle, although it took awhile to admit to myself that I needed to do so. And then some more time to actually listen to myself when I told myself NO. I’m far from perfect and I still spend money I probably shouldn’t, but I can promise you, when those $50,000 months return, I intend to maintain my frugal lifestyle (although I really miss those weekly massages)!    

Many of my Old Fogie agent friends are giving lip service to the idea of cutting back. But they aren’t doing it. They’re so used to the good life they don’t see that many of what they consider “necessities” are actually ridiculously luxurious. New Years Eve in Aspen, a ski pass to Vail, season tickets to the Nuggets, gourmet coffee imported from Costa Rica, monthly facials and weekly visits to the acupuncturist.

Hey, I understand how hard it is to sacrifice in response to what we hope is a temporary downturn in the economy. And I hope with all my heart that my current state of frugality soon becomes a choice, rather than a necessity. But in the meantime, I can almost FEEL that character building!