The reason that people have jobs is so that they can earn money to pay the bills. You’ve got to earn money so that you can keep a roof over your head and food in your belly, right?
Of course. We all have basic needs that we have to cover in our lives.
Here’s the thing, though. Most of us – almost all of us – earn more than what’s required to take care of those basic needs.
So, we have a nicer house. We have a nicer car. We eat better – or more convenient – food. We have a nicer cell phone and nicer clothes and on and on and on and on…
The reality is that 72% of Americans spend all of the money they earn each week. At the end of the week, they’ve got nothing left and they’re just waiting for the next check to come in.
If that describes you, then I have a hard message for you. You will always financially struggle. Unless cash just falls out of the sky onto your lap, you’ll never get rich.
As long as you spend all of the money you bring in, you will always financially struggle.
If you want something different than financial struggle in your life, you have to spend less than you bring in. Not just once, either. You have to spend less than you bring in week in and week out.
It’s simple. If you want to be financially successful, there’s really only one thing you have to do. You just have to have some left at the end of the week – and then have some more left at the end of the next week. Ideally, you’ll use it for something sensible, like building up an emergency fund in your savings account or getting rid of your debts or saving for retirement.
That’s where it all starts. That’s where it all ends. There is no secret. There is no magic technique.
Many people look at the money they bring in as money that’s in their pocket, that they should be spending. If you look at your paycheck solely as money to be spent, you’ll never get there.
Instead, you need to look at that paycheck as a tool to get you to wherever it is you really want to be in life. Do you want a better place to live? Do you want freedom from all of this debt? Do you want some education so that you can have a better job? Do you want the ability to give your children every possible opportunity in the world?
The only way you get there is by letting go of the idea that the money you’re paid is just money to be spent.
Instead, every dollar you’re paid is a dollar toward that goal. Every dollar you spend on something not leading to that goal is holding you back. Yeah, some of your money does have to spent on the absolute basics like food and shelter, but it’s not long before you’re spending it on things you want rather than things you need.
Every time you do that, you take a step away from whatever it is you want in your life.
Getting there isn’t easy. No one has ever claimed that a path to a better life is easy.
That path starts with recognizing that your paycheck isn’t just money to be spent. Instead, it’s a partial ticket to your dreams, and every dollar you spend on something you don’t need is taking you away from those dreams.
Own your paycheck. Own what happens next in your life. Don’t let it own you.