31 minutes | Nov 23rd 2020

#071 | Is entitlement good or bad?

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We talk through what entitlement is, how it can be both good and bad, how it relates to your finances, how it can help you in your career, grow confidence, and more.  

What is entitlement?  

Entitlement is defined as the fact of having a right to something or the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.  I think when most people hear the word entitlement, it comes with negative connotations.  People think of entitlement as a bad thing.  They picture trust-fund kids or people who don’t appreciate everything they have and take things for granted.  Yes, that’s one view of entitlement.  There is another angle on entitlement.  If we go back to the definition itself, it’s the belief that you deserve something or have the right to something.  Entitlement from this angle can be a good thing, though it is a fine and nuanced line.  The good side of entitlement is that when you’ve worked hard for something, you then grow confidence in yourself and your abilities, and you should feel entitled to certain things as a result.

How does entitlement relate to your personal finances?  

  • Your mindset is critical to reigning in your finances.
  • You need to sharpen the good side of entitlement and dull the bad side of entitlement.  
  • You need to work hard to make money.  It doesn’t come magically to the majority of people.  You need to work even harder to save your money.
  • If you continuously feel entitled to things, you will not work hard enough, and you spend too much money and thus not save enough money.  
  • You’ll feel like a victim and, as a result, won’t feel compelled to make changes that could result in progress.

The bad side of entitlement and things to remind yourself:

  • You are not entitled to have a specific type of job.  If you approach life this way, you’re less likely to save and live below your means.  You should prioritize an emergency fund so that if something suddenly happens to your job, you’re not stressed, and you can handle things financially.
  • Entitlement can create a mindset of specific emotions and expectations that are hard to manage.  If you approach life constantly feeling entitled to certain things, you won’t work as hard for them, and you may constantly be disappointed.  
  • Victim mentality.  Growth vs. fixed mindset.  Scarcity mindset.  

The good side of entitlement and things to remind yourself:

  • When you work hard for something, you deserve good things.  And often, those good things come in the way of money.  This doesn’t mean you get to spend all the money, or it defeats the purpose of you working so hard for it.  
  • If you’ve saved up an emergency fund or are on a journey to financial independence, then you should feel entitled to feel good about what you’ve accomplished.  
  • Entitlement can breed confidence, and confidence can bring happiness.  Be proud of what you’ve accomplished in life.  

Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. Understand what entitlement is, and the good and bad side of it, and how it relates to your life.  
  2. Avoid the bad sides of entitlement.  Don’t ever take things for granted, and work hard for what you want in life.  
  3. Focus on the good side of entitlement.  If you’ve worked hard for something, then feel good when you’ve achieved it.  Take the confidence and pivot it into a purpose-led life.  


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