There are a lot of different “experts” out there who talk about budgeting and building wealth. Sometimes the advice they provide is pretty basic, like creating a budget or paying yourself first.
But when it comes to financial advice, I like to follow one simple mantra: Spend less, earn more. It reminds me a lot of the dieting mantra: Eat less, move more. It boils all the advice out there down to a simple sentence.
Of course, personal finance is much more complex than that, but when you’re starting out or trying to get back on your feet, that advice is some of the best out there.
Although the mantra sums it up nicely, sometimes it’s tough to do both of them. Earning more might require getting a second job which could take away time from family and things you enjoy. But if you work it right, you can treat the money you save by spending less as extra earnings.
When you spend less, treat those savings as bonus earnings to pay down debt or save for your goals. Many times, people see extra money as money to spend on fun things. For example, when people get a bonus or a tax refund, it is extremely tempting to use that money on something fun, like a trip or in my case, more Starbucks.
When you look at your budget and find that you can save $100 on auto insurance, earmark that money for another expense, such as a credit card or debt payment. Although you “saved” the money, you are using it as additional income to reach your other goals.
Take a look at your budget and find ways to cut spending and create additional earnings. How can you “earn more”?