Wednesday, March 23

Are You a UAW?

As in an Under Accumulator of Wealth.

The term UAW comes from the book "The Millionaire Next Door".  In the most technical sense, a UAW is someone who's net worth is 50% less than their age multiplied by their pretax earnings and then divided by 10.


For example, a 26-year-old making 40,000 would have a target net worth of $104,000. If their net worth was below $52,000 that would make them an "Under Accumulator of Wealth". If that same person had a net worth between $52,000 and $208,000 they would be considered an Average Accumulator of Wealth (AAW). While a net worth over $204,000 would make you a saving maniac, or as the book calls it "Prodigious".

All formulas and calculations aside, what is a UAW really? Someone who is high consumption. I would say prior to 2007, I was incredibly high consumption. I would turn over my closet at breakneck speeds. I was often spending money before I even earned it. However, I was nothing compared to what SSF and I witnessed the other night on "My First Sale" (HGTV). The family featured was selling their home because they didn't have "enough room". Let me clarify, the 3 person family in the 3 bedroom home that had a playroom for their only son was running out of room because the father was a race car junky that had a car and garage containing $70,000 worth of a car and parts and the mom's self-proclaimed hobby was "shopping".

Now, I don't like to judge (on my blog) but we watched in horror as the couple pondered selling off the husband's "racecar" to cover the loss that were going to sustain to get out of there home when there was no REAL reason for them to sell at all (well, besides being able to consume more). I'm also going to assume they lacked any kind of emergency fund or savings.

That is a UAW.

But UAW shouldn't be a dirty word, it should be a signal that it's time for a change. SSF and I are UAW's (SSF kind of lacked a choice in that matter) but we are doing what we can to change that. We are paying off liabilities and setting aggressive savings plans.

So, are you an UAW? What are you doing to change that?


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