Guest Post from Kalyn of Creative Savings Blog
It’s awfully easy to look at your income and argue that life would be a lot simpler if you made just a little bit more. I have to admit, it would be nice, no thrilling, to have money for that unexpected repair, or enough wiggle room to replace a few pieces of furniture in our own home!
But honestly? That thrill would last for a single moment.
Don’t get me wrong — more money isn’t a bad thing. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, it can help you get ahead of the curve. And if you’re drowning in debt, it provides additional resources to help chip away at that massive balance. But it’s not the magic potion that will suddenly fix ALL your problems.
I know… not what you probably wanted to hear, but it’s true! Even well-known millionaires have proved this principle over and over again.
It’s estimated that 80% of retired NFL players go broke within the first three years — men who averaged a salary of 2 million or more per year! Even multi-billionaire Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy four different times. I think it’s safe to say that more money is not the key to financial success.
If you can’t manage what you have now well, you won’t be able to manage more later. You’ll fall right into the same trap you were caught in before, except this time, with bigger numbers.
A Life-Changing Principle
There’s actually a term for this phenomenon, called Parkinson’s Law. In technical terms, this principle says work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
Let me give you an example of this in more basic terms:
If you have a project you think will be finished in three months, it’s going to take the entire three months to finish. But if you give yourself a week, it’s only going to take a week. This is Parkinson’s Law — time spent is equal to what you have.
When we apply Parkinson’s Law in a financial sense, we see that higher income often leads to higher expenses. Not because we intentionally set out to spend more, instead the extra money in our pocket gives us that false sense of security and more of a reason not to care. Because why hold back when you have enough to afford it anyway?
I’ll let you in on a secret — most of us don’t.
The Real Secret to Financial Success
So if “more money” isn’t the end game, then what really defines financial success? And more importantly, how do we get there? The answer is two-fold:
- By changing our mindset. Instead of chasing MORE, you develop an attitude of contentment for what you have. Simple to say, much harder to practice! A gratitude journal like Crystal’s is perfect for this, and I’m always amazed at how thankful I am when I take time to write down my daily blessings.
- By changing our habits. If you don’t follow up your new mindset with action, you’ll never make any real financial progress. This means a commitment to that b-word — “budget” — as well as a system to track everything you spend. Sometimes this requires a massive spending overhaul; other times, a more targeted focus on one or two expenses.
Ultimately, I want you to have the freedom to spend more where it really matters, but in order to do that, you have to spend less on the things you need.
Remember, more money isn’t the answer…and it never will be. The real secret to financial success is in learning how to manage what you already have, even better. And once you find it, you’ll quickly realize you have more control over your finances than more money could ever provide.
Note from Crystal: Kalyn’s new book, 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses, is just $0.99 today only when you download the ebook version on Amazon!
In this resource, she walks you through every part of your budget, and give you the tools and resources to change your expenses for the better — even if you already think they’re as low as they can go. Grab the Kindle ebook for just $0.99 here (today only!).
Have you found financial success? What is your best tip to maintain it?
Kalyn Brooke is the founder of the popular frugal lifestyle blog, CreativeSavingsBlog.com, where she empowers women to make their money work smarter, so they can create the life they really want. Originally from Upstate NY, Kalyn now resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband, Joseph, and one terribly spoiled rabbit, named Cody.