When paying down debt, many consumers first consider how they can cut their expenses. This can be one way to find the extra cash to reduce your debt.
However, what many consumers overlook is the ability to earn more money. While cutting out some of your unnecessary expenses can be a way to overhaul your budget, don’t underestimate your ability to earn more money. Making more money can be more effective than spending less at helping you reach your financial goals — no matter what you are trying to accomplish.
Why I’d Rather Earn More
The way you manage your money has a lot to do with your mindset. And the “spend less” mindset is not one I’m fond. While I don’t believe in wasting my money on things that aren’t important to me, I also don’t like the idea of trying to cut and cut and cut in an effort to scrape out a few extra dollars each month.
Spending less is also difficult because you reach a point where you can’t cut anymore. At some point you run out of unnecessary things to cut from your budget. On the other hand, you can always earn more money. There are opportunities to make extra money and put that toward your debt reduction, or boost your retirement savings, or do whatever you prefer.
What Do You Want Your Money to Accomplish?
Figure out what you want your money to accomplish, and then make a plan. Will spending less help you reach your goals? Or are you better off looking for ways to increase your earnings? You can increase your income in a number of ways:
- Additional part-time job
- Side hustle (home business, web site, hobby, etc.)
- Odd jobs on the weekend
- Acquire more income assets
- Create something for the royalties
Consider a combination of cutting out the unimportant spending in your life and adding more income. If the spending doesn’t help you reach your goals, or live your preferred lifestyle, cut it out. Then, concentrate on boosting your income so that you don’t have to cut the things you really enjoy from your life. If you really enjoy buying that latte three times a week, you don’t want to cut it out just to save a small amount each month. Instead, make enough to cover the cost.
If you are trying to pay down debt, this approach can work as well. Start out with a balance transfer. Balance transfer credit cards can help you make more efficient payments, since you aren’t sending a good chunk of your payment to interest. Cut the unimportant items out of your life, and apply the savings to your credit card debt. Then, look for ways to earn more money. This will super-charge your efforts to reduce debt.
Consumer debt is a drain on your resources, and your goal should be to get rid of this high interest debt as quickly as possible. Spending less alone probably won’t make enough of a difference in the long run. Earning more, though, can speed up the process, and provide you with more financial freedom down the road.