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Why You Shouldn’t Spend Less Than You Earn

I’m trying to break the habit of telling people to ‘spend less than they earn’.

It’s more a question of emphasis than a questioning of the doctrine.

To many people ‘spending less than you earn’ means cutting costs. And again that’s OK, but it’s not the most efficient way to increase your disposable income.

Let me use a weight loss analogy; exercising is not an efficient way to lose weight. Say what?! No. The most efficient way to lose weight is to stop putting so much freaking food in your mouth.

Consider these 2 facts; running one mile burns off around 100 calories, and a chocolate chip muffin contains around 400 calories.

If you eat a muffin after breakfast lunch and dinner, you would consume 1200 calories. To burn them off you would need to run 12 miles. That’s almost a half marathon every day!

It’s more efficient to stop eating the muffins.

Sure, exercise is good for the heart, but as the primary method of losing weight? Meh.

So it is with increasing your disposable income.

Most people will say ‘stop spending’ and ‘cut your costs’. That WILL work. Plus it has an immediate impact on your disposable income. However, it’s effects are finite.

You can cut out coupons to get a free can of beans or add the online discount code to claim a free pasty, it all adds up. However, to have the largest impact on your disposable income, you need to increase your income.

If you worked only one evening delivering takeaways you could earn an extra £390 pm.

If you got a part time job on top of your full time job, you could increase your earnings by 50%. I used to work 35 hours per week. When I moved to working 70 hours per week, guess what happened to my income?

If you did a little matched betting you could make £40 per day tax free. More on there right here.

Either way, the effect on your income is far, far greater than saving money on your lekkie bill on a price comparison site.

So, I believe a better way of expressing my opening statement would be to say ‘earn more than you spend’.

It’s not just semantics. The whole statement becomes more ‘active’. It places the emphasis firmly on increasing income, because it’s the more efficient option.

No one ever became wealthy by cutting costs. It’s ALWAYS achieved by increasing income.

The other massive difference between ‘spend less than you earn’ and ‘earn more than you spend’, is that the former reduces your life to one of frugality, whereas the latter allows you to live a more luxurious lifestyle (providing you are making more money).

What does it matter if you’re spending £10k per month if you’re earning £20k per month?

You can have a good life AND be wealthy if you ‘earn more than you spend’.


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