Most of us could use a little more money at the end of the month. Sound about right? Yea, me too. I’m right there with you. But should that be from spending less or making more money? Both options result in you having more money to reach your goals, but they’re completely different approaches. So, which should you be doing? Well, it depends…
The Experts Disagree
First, let’s talk about what the experts think. You won’t be surprised to find out that they disagree. Grant Cardone said, “you get rich connecting with opportunities that can produce and multiply money. You don’t get rich saving money. Missing opportunities is what costs people money.” Cardone also often says managing money doesn’t make you wealthy and that this belief is one of the biggest lies believed by the middle class. Similarly, Ramit Sethi (one of my favorite people!) has a chart comparing being frugal to increasing income that you can see here. His chart suggests that increasing your income is far better. But on the other hand, in The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley writes that although millionaires have a high income, they have a frugal mindset and live well below their means (most are not buying and spending lavishly as we see in the movies). He argues it’s spending less and managing your money well that will make you a millionaire. So, there you go — three pros who have different views. And these are just a few. There are many more who have very similar and differing opinions. Let’s be honest, though — they’re both right, right? You have to make money, and you have to know how to manage it. So, what should you do right now?
What Should You Do?
Here’s my advice:1) be honest with yourself, and 2) make the wisest decision for you (ignore what people tell you). The truth is that everyone is different — you’re different than me and we’re both different than the next person. If you’re a natural saver and you’re reading this, you may already live frugally, but finding out that your frugal-ness isn’t enough. In this case, you need to focus on making more money. If you’re a spender, you need to focus on spending less. That’s your pain point. That’s what’s hard. And you know it deep down. So, focus on spending less and managing what you do have. If you’re somewhere in the middle, you need to cut back on your spending and you need to make more money. I consider myself in this category because I’m a natural spender so I need to cut back, yet I have massive student loan debt, so I need to make more. This is why I built my blog up in the first place. I went from side hustling to creating a full-time gig, which is amazing. The bottom line is you need to sort through the information and decide what’s right for you. Only you know whether you’re a spender or a saver. Only you can decide what you should be doing. There is so much information out there. Decide in your heart what’s right and go with that.
I am a natural spender. I love to shop. I know it’s the wisest decision for me to not have a credit card (I’ve never had one). Most people think I’m nuts, but I don’t listen to them. It makes my life so much easier without having any temptation. Being a spender is why I started to learn about money. I didn’t understand how I could be an attorney and in so much student loan debt. I thought I was going to be super rich. And because of this, I’ve been on a mission to learn about money ever since. I’ve gone from lawyer to financial planner to online entrepreneur, and it’s been amazing. This is just my story, though. Yours is different. The most important advice I have to give is to know yourself and do what’s right for you. Make a decision, create a plan, and move forward toward your financial goals, doing what is wisest for you.
Natalie Bacon is an online entrepreneur. Prior to this, Natalie practiced as a certified financial planner, at a firm that managed over $1B in assets under management. Before her financial planning career, Natalie practiced as a business attorney. Natalie has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, and other publications. Natalie is most passionate about helping young, professional women design their dream lives. Read Natalie‘s full story here.
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