When I counsel people (including myself) on how to make their budgets work, I often find that they are much better at EITHER controlling spending OR earning money.
As a reminder, there are two sides to each budget/balance sheet:
The old cliché is that we tend to be ‘savers’ or ‘spenders’. While that is often true, it is very difficult to win with money if you a thrifty saver but don’t earn enough money. Likewise, no matter what my income is I can always find a way to outspend it.
To make a budget/balance sheet work, we need to earn enough AND spend it wisely. The majority of people that volunteer to come talk to me about their money (grad students), tend to be thrifty savers but are having a hard time making ends meet without going into debt – something they don’t want to do.
For them, they don’t have a saving/investing type problem. Instead, we have to put our heads together on how they can earn more money. That can be challenging with the time constraints of school and family. It also isn’t a quick fix – there isn’t one change to be made.
The good news is that there are lots of options. Earning more money is a skill that can be built. The reality is that someone that has earned more in the past is significantly more likely to earn more in the future. Why?
It may be that they are more apt to recognize financial opportunity, how to leverage their skills in the marketplace, how to ‘sell’ themselves as a bargain to potential employers, or how to provide and communicate their value.
More on that:
Step one to any change is making a decision. If we decide we need to make more money to make our budget work, we will begin to look for and see opportunities. Prayer is a powerful tool in this. God can open the eyes of our mind.