How To Save Money When You Work A Commission Only Sales Job

Posted on September 20, 2015

Ryan Stewman



It’s not easy to save money when everyone around you is blowing it like it’s going out of style. One thing most of us salesmen suck at, is saving our money. Most of us have no fear of loss and have the confidence to think we will always be able to make more. While those mindsets can serve you well, they can also give you a sense of irrational exuberance.  

Us salesmen are known for our crazy lifestyles. Thanks to the publicity of guys like Jordan Belfort, we are known as fast talking, drug bending, money blowing, madmen. There are several reasons most of us choose to live this way, and I’ll take the time to explain this, along with how to break the pattern and set yourself aside from all the other fools in our industry.

Part of the reason we are so terrible with money is our abundant mindsets. We ALL think the money will never run out and if we spend it all today, we can sell some more sh!t tomorrow to make up for it. We never think about saving because we don’t feel we have to. We think: What good is having money if we can’t spend it?

Now for the sad part. In my years working in sales and sales consulting, I’ve met and talked to a lot of dudes who were badasses at one time, but lost it all and never got it back. It’s gotta be one of the most humiliating and humbling experiences you can have as a man. Being on top of the world and then falling all the way to the bottom, then worse, bouncing back to the lower middle. There’s probably someone in your office right now who’s broke AF but has stories about back in the day.

In order not to end up like that guy, you’ve got to use a combination of your sales skills and savings ability to really prepare yourself for the rest of your life. Every industry is cyclical. Every good run comes to an end, or at the very least, a pause. You’ve got to live, work and save accordingly. It’s amazing how many people I’ve met who make 6+ figures a year and have zero savings to show for it. Sure, they have nice homes, TVs, cars and all that stuff, but most of it is leased, financed or depreciating.

Now that I have your attention and YOU KNOW exactly who and what I’m talking about, let me do my part to educate you so that you don’t end up like Steve who was a badass 20 years ago but now smells like stale coffee and couldn’t close a sale to save his life.

How To Save Money When You Work A Commission Only Sales Job

Most of us only get one shot, yet we love to think we’ll get another. In the meantime, the search for that next lick never ends, just like the next lick never arrives. When you get your one shot, don’t blow everything you get from it, thinking it will never end. There’s not a human on this planet who can escape tough times. Tough times are constantly hunting for us all.

When I first started making five thousand a month, at age 22, I thought I was rich. Then, when I started making ten thousand a month I thought I was a millionaire. I was single with no kids and all the money I could possibly burn through. I didn’t do what others around me did though. I didn’t go to strip clubs or clubs in general. I never ordered bottle service or threw crazy hotel parties. I saved and invested.

The  ONLY reason I was so good at saving and investing was from my car wash days. I’m sure you think that working at a car wash taught me to budget my money. While it did teach me that, the real lesson came from all the washed up guys that applied to work there, that once had a good life. I didn’t want to end up like them.

When my friends all drove BMW, Benz and Audis, I drove a Dodge truck that was 5 years old. While my friends all ran out and got big, expensive mcmansions, I moved into a 2500 sqft home in a modest neighborhood. I’d dealt with bad luck scenarios and hard times before, I wanted to do everything I could to avoid dealing with them again.

While I haven’t always been the best at saving money, I have been really good at investing it. Investing it in nontraditional ways. If you’re bad with money, you need to get it out of your hands. Investing in things keeps you from blowing it on clothes, cars and chicks. I’ve always liked to tie my money up in real estate and in businesses that I own.

Most people will tell you you need to tithe or give 10% of your money to a 501c3 organization. I don’t believe in that. Like it or not, that’s not how I roll. I’m in control of my cash and what gets done with it at all times. I’m in real estate, I help families get their dream home, that’s more important than what most of 501c3’s accomplish any way. If I want to help a family or supply someone with something, I don’t do it for a tax write off through a charity that has tons of employees, I just TCB.

Until then, I save my money. The more I save the more I can invest, the more I can make, the more people I can help. I started from scratch too. I had like $1000 to my name when I started, and to make matters worse, I owed about $1500.

Every time I got paid, I’d take 20% of my money and invest it into growing my business. Sometimes that was $50 sometimes it was $5000. I’ve always dropped at least 20% of my income back into advertising, web design, product creation, marketing or something like that.

This 20% should ONLY be invested in something you are 100000% for sure that will turn a profit. In other words if my 20% is $500 and I invest $500 in Facebook ads, I need to be 100% certain that I can at least make $501 back from this. This is 20% is not for risks. It’s to be invested in sure things that will grow your business and repay you 10 fold.

Next up, I always put 10% of my gross income into risky investments. You know, things like the stock market, “friendly opportunities” and ground floor stuff. I keep this portion to a percentage for a some good reasons. This 10% allows me to gamble, but with a controlled dollar amount. Also using a percentage allows me to turn down deals that cost more than the 10% I’m willing to invest. It makes for one hell of an excuse to say “no”.

If you’re making good money, especially if you’re w2, you’re most likely paying 30% or more of your income to the good old state and federal tax institutions. I don’t know about you, but taxes are the biggest bill I have. Nothing else I do costs me 35% of my income.  Taxes suck, but it is what it is and we all gotta pay them. ‘Merica! Patriotism!

That leaves us with 40% of your income to live on and save. We’ve talked about investing, so now let’s talk about saving.

The first 10% you get from any sale of any check, you need to put into savings. I don’t care if you need to pay a bill with it or not. You pay yourself first, and you get paid 10%. That goes in your savings account and NEVER gets touched. Never. No matter what. Until you are old AF.

Lastly, you need to get your living down to 20% of your income. This means ALL of your bills should add up to 20% of your income. If you make $10k a month, you need to have no more than $2k/month in bills. This means paying off cars or driving older stuff, having a roommate, skipping going out as much. I know this number may be hard on you at first, but make it a point to pay off credit cards, cars, and student loans until you can get here. 20% living expense is your new goal.

The last 10% is your party money. This includes buying TVs, video games and stuff like that. You get to blow only 10% of your money now. If you make $10k each month, you get to party on $1,000 and nothing more. So if you want a 72 inch TV, you got to save your money for two months without going out if you want it. It’s been my experience that once you save for two months, you find something better to spend the money on anyway, or you don’t spend it at all.

If you’ll follow my formula, and stick with it for the next 5-10 years, it won’t matter if you hit a hard spot. You’ll be prepared and have the cash to invest so that you won’t be that old dude telling stories about back in the day, that no one believes. Nobody likes to hear Steve’s old BS stories. 

For those of you who’d like to find out more about my programs, simply take a few minutes to fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you to discuss what options are available for you and I to work together and accomplish your goals.

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