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First, realize that you're probably making at least double the median US income. If you have a house with no loan and that income, you're doing way, way, way better than average.

I see two possible paths forward.

The less likely is to read and internalize http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-sim... and realize how quickly you can reach financial independence at a reduced spending level (but one that still affords an amazing life). Buying time is the most valuable use of money, IMO.

The second is to stay miserable for a while, striving for something ambiguous yet out of reach, until you get older and this feeling fades.

Path #1 (or a variant) is probably healthier and happier.




in my experience, knowing that you're doing better than average doesn't help this mindset. OP craves money, and an excess of success. Unless you fought for a long time to get out of the "average" bracket (which many software engineers haven't had to do), it's easy to just want more and more.

Also I have mixed feelings towards recommending the Mustachian community to OP. FI might help quench a thirst for money, but it also might just augment or exacerbate the obsession with accumulating money.

Personally, I see this problem as more of a philosophical one. I can't offer answers, but as someone who also has to consciously fight off obsession with money, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, and finding joy in relationships and other "free", meaningful things helps. idk ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I have a related question but from a different situation. In throes my job hunting, I described my job search and overall work experience, and someone pared down to conclusion to, I am fetishizing having a job too much.

If I am truly doing this, can that still be rationalized even when I am very underemployed?

While I won't bog you down on the details, I have a really patchy work history created by frequent layoffs. This created a lot of unemployment time, taking up about a quarter of my post-academic life. On top of that, I am very underpaid for a developer (~40% of the local average pay) so I often struggle making ends meet when I'm out of a job.

I feel pressured from many sides thinking of many possible solutions to choose.




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