Money is money is money is money. Everything likes to think that if they had more money all of their problems would be solved. And maybe there is some truth in that statement. But have you ever heard the old adage by the poet The Notorious B.I.G.
Mo money, mo problems.
I’m not going to point out all the obvious analogies being made in the song, I instead want to focus on a specific one, which is that as you gain more money you indeed do solve the current problems you have, but you trade up for new ones, and the risk of those problems is sometimes greater than the reward.
Which means, is it really within your means to aim for more means?
Income The Problems
I may have already written about this once or twice before, but there are a myriad of factors to consider in the OECD Better Life Index. You know what I am referring to dear readers? Where you rank housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, and work-life balance. Those are all pieces of the puzzle, and as I’ve mentioned previously, they vary by importance from country to country in how we measure well-being.
Inspired by this concept and following the footsteps of a post I wrote up on the website Postconsumers and how they view health and wellness, I realized there is a great way to address these factors. Writing dedicated posts to each topic. And today I want you to consider the second of these points, your income. This is a difficult topic to write about because, generally speaking, we are very protective of sharing what we make with others, and for good reason.
When we reveal our incomes certain things can happen. You associate your identity with your income for starters, and depending if you make more or less than others it can swing you upwards into arrogance or downwards into submission or depression. People will target you as a source of wealth and liquidity, which means you might get gamed by strangers or expected by friends, not to top judgment on how you spend your money. And it also puts you into the spotlight with business and agencies.
And if you have to share you income be prepared. If you make within a certain median grade for your job description, it’s less likely for you to be targeted when the situation calls for a share and care session.
It is important to figure out what a health income is for you, you don’t want to make money just so you can now spend it on things that you don’t really need. That’s counter to the purpose of the wisdom being imparted. However, I do disagree with the notion that you should settle for a certain income just because you don’t know how to get to it.
But maybe that’s not the issue here, you could just not see the value of additional income. Consider this theory for a minute.
If you spend more than you earn, you have negative money, correct? Conversely, if you spend less than you earn, you have a positive flow of cash into your personal finances. Which means you can pay off debts if you have them OR if that is not the case you can begin to invest into retirement or other personal goals you have. As a for instance, you could buy a car outright and avoid the financing costs OR get a brand new iMac upfront with no credit card fees.
Being frugal allows you to move towards wealth, which can make you independent and allow you to focus on your positive contributions in the world. Say by travelling to areas of the world, making art, performing in theatre or going on a comedy tour.
I’m not going to dive deep into how exactly you increase your income, a lot of the time it’s a result of limiting spending and investing money, but here are some key examples that you can look into, and an article that details it better than I could do in this post space.
- Max out your salary – negotiation, raises, and planning are key, maybe a second job
- Get an education – stats prove those with better education earn more
- Monetize your hobbies – mystery shopping, photography, and baking for starters
- Start a side business – you choose the commitment level, and can earn much or little, blogging too
- Real estate – it’s complex but you can be an investor, landlord or combination thereof
- Selling old things – it’s not a one-to-one return, but old items get new use, and you get some money
Again, I’m not rolling in the dough by any means dear readers, but I’ll let you in on a secret, I have done or am currently doing all of the six things I’ve listed out for you. You can live the lifestyle you want, you just have to commit to it and like the author of this GetRichSlowly article I referenced says, if you are willing to make some sacrifices, you can make more money than you do now. But hey, that’s just a theory.