Developers and tech workers: What are you doing with your money?

I spent over a decade working in software startups in the tech industry. Now I help those working there manage their money more effectively.

I worked in the tech startup industry for a dozen years.

That’s an eternity in tech years.

In a space where JavaScript frameworks go from hot new thing to passé in the time it takes to develop materials to explain them, to survive for twelve years is kind of like saying that you can remember the Alamo. (Or at least a time when you had to develop for IE6.)

That said, working in software for as long as I had, I understand both the incentives and pressures that come along with being in such a high-prestige, high-visibility industry.

It’s massively rewarding, massively hard…

…and you can earn massive amounts of money.

This isn’t a brag, it’s the truth. The average salary for a startup employee is over $100,000 a year.

Plus, this isn’t counting alternate compensation, such as bonuses and stock options. If you work in the tech industry, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The average age of people working in startups tends to skew younger, so you have this situation of folks, some not too far from college-age, getting huge paychecks with little experience to handle it.

In that way, it can be a bit like winning the lottery. Holy hell, what do I do with all this money?

And that’s a good question. In my experience, what I’ve found is that those working in the tech industry don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to manage their money effectively.

And this can lead to heartbreaking, but predictable—and totally preventable—outcomes.

Where does the time go?

Working a tech job, your hours are crazy.

Sure your hours are flexible. In all my jobs, I never had to be at work at any particular time.

But that flexibility came at a cost. It meant that I was kind of at work all the time.

At one point, I had coworkers in New York, Europe, and Thailand, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to have a meeting at 7AM with people before they went to bed, and then another meeting on the same day at 7PM with the same people who had just woken up!

When you have a lack of time, your financial choices are affected.

Gone are the buying of groceries and preparing your own meals. It’s takeout and delivery for you.

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Instead of driving yourself or taking public transit, you may be taking taxis or Lyfts where you need to go.

These two choices can add up to thousands of dollars in increased costs in a given year, without even realizing it!

I’m not against delivery or taxis mind you, just that the lack of time creates a lack of intentionality here. And this means that you can’t put your money where you might want it to go if you really sat down to think about it. What else could you do with that money? What do you really want to do with it?

No long range plan

It’s easy to think that if you make a lot of money, you’ll be financially set.

But this is not necessarily true. If you spend all the money you make, it doesn’t matter how much money you make; you’ll still be left with no money.

in some ways, a higher salary can actually be more dangerous, because one is lulled into a sense of false security, thinking that they don’t need to worry about money, because so much of it is coming in.

But this is a delusion. You need to plan for the long term.

You want to set aside money for your future retirement, future home purchases, future education expenses for you and your children, and more. This stuff isn’t going to just happen, no matter how much money you make.

Moving on

You need to plan for the long term in any case, but with a cushy tech job, there is always the potential that the riches may not last forever.

You may decide that you want to leave the industry for something a little bit more satisfying. That might mean a reduction in salary, possibly a big one.

Or, the wild ride you got on may come to a bruising end when your Series C funding never comes through and payroll isn’t viable anymore. Boom, a pink slip, and your Slack access is cut off.

When you get to that point, don’t you want to look back and see that you’ve done something with all that money that you used to make?

I understand the tech world

I’m probably the only money coach with a GitHub account.

Having come from the tech industry myself I understand the world that you come from. I’m been on software development teams. I have been a Product Manager. I’ve spent time on site with clients doing professional services. I’ve even built and released a v1.0.

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I like to say that I’m probably the only money coach with a GitHub account.

I’ve seen the high points of the climb, jetting off across the world to have “meetings” in expensive and beautiful locales, as well as the low points, where half the team is let go due to changing business needs.

I’ve been through it all. And I want to help you through it now.

Whether you’ve recently come into a large salary or promotion, or whether you’ve been in the tech world for years, you could definitely use someone to help you take control of your money.

The time to start is now, not later on when things settle down.

Let’s make a plan together to put you in good financial shape. It’s not hard, and it won’t take a ton of your time. But the results are life-changing.

You have a great opportunity. Don’t waste it. Let’s move fast and break [your bad financial habits].

Click here to get started.

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