Okay, the title is a bit unwieldy. But a conversation last night got my dander up and I feel like ranting about one of my biggest pet peeves, money wise. This is definitely a “money rant,” could classify as a “frugal musing,” and possibly as me being a “personal finance contrarian.” So I think I’m living up to my name today!
My pet peeve is when people claim that it’s unnecessary to embrace frugality because increasing your income has a much larger impact on lifetime cash-flow. In the phrase “earn more than you spend” they concentrate on the earn more and ignore the “you spend.”
I will concede the fact that a higher income will enable you to save more money than saving money will. But there are two problems with the mentality that focusing on the first allows you to ignore the second.
First of all, why not do both? Why not try to earn more AND spend less? The phrase “burning the candle from both ends” tends to have negative connotations, but no one can deny that it would be a fantastic way of burning up a candle faster. Besides, if you don’t take action to control your spending, then lifestyle inflation can easily eat up all your income gains, if not outpace them!
But here’s the real reason behind my pet peeve. Earning more income isn’t as easy as it sounds! Not everyone can ask for a raise. Maybe you have other commitments limiting your ability to get a second job. Maybe the interwebz laugh at your attempts at earning money online. If making more money was as easy as the “make more money” crowd claimed, a lot more people would be making more money.
Today’s paycheck has put me over $20,000 annual income for the first time in my life. Yeah, I’d LOVE to increase that number. But I don’t see it happening very much in the near term.
Do you share this pet peeve? Do you disagree with it?