Have you ever felt that your income is not enough to supply for all of your needs? With the rising cost of living and the low wages, you must be feeling a lot of frustration as you face bills every month. You think that this is a sentiment that most people living in poverty have right?
That is where you are wrong. If you are looking to ways to increase your income to get out of the rut, then you might want to rethink this solution first. Believe it or not, sometimes, even earning more money is not the right way to solve the discrepancies in your budget.
Truth is, regardless of the income that you are taking home, there are instances when you still feel like your salary is really not enough. Even those who have 6 figure incomes sometimes admit that they feel like their paycheck falls short of their real needs. When payday comes, you hardly feel the money stay in the palm of your hand. In most cases, you have divided it into different expenses even before you have withdrawn. That can be quite discouraging if it happen month after month.
Increasing your income is not always the solution
If both low and high earners feel like their income is not enough, then you know that no matter how much you earn, it will not solve the problem that you face.
In a study done published on the site of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), it is revealed that it is true that as income increases, the hardship decreases. However, it has to be noted that the decrease is not as significant compared to those in the highest income bracket. For those who come from low income households and sought to increase their income, the study observed that the amount of parent stress also increased.
While you may feel like adding more money in your monthly cash inflow will help, there are sacrifices along the way that you have to accept. Let us enumerate some of them.
- You sacrifice your time. Unless you are able to effectively set up a passive income business, you need to take into consideration the time that you need to invest in that additional work. You will be sacrificing what limited time you have with your family and even yourself if you work longer hours.
- You sacrifice your physical body. Work, regardless of what type it is will take its toll in your body. You may be solving the problem about your budget but it could increase your health expenses in the future.
- You sacrifice your relationships. When you increase your income, another sacrifice that you have to make is on your relationships. Even if you provide for your family, your presence is needed in their lives. Failure to make that happen can lead to the destruction of your relationship with the ones you love.
These sacrifices can all lead to the stress that can ruin your life in other areas. You may be saving your financial life but end up losing in others.
When the income is not enough, there is evidently a problem with the current financial situation. It is not right that you go right ahead and increase the income. It is like pumping air in a flat tire that keeps on losing it. You need to find the hole and patch it up before you add more air into it.
We are not implying that increasing your monthly cash is not good. It is still good in a lot of ways because you are being proactive about building your wealth. However, we just want to point out that doing so is usually not enough. While there may be cases wherein earning more is the solution, it is oftentimes partnered with something else.
5 ways to change your mindset about your paycheck falling short
In most cases, the problems lies in the financial habits that you are implementing in your life. If you know that the problem is in the habit, then you should check certain mindsets that might be influencing you to act the way you do.
If you don’t believe in the power of the mind, you have to at least try it before you turn your back to it. There are scientific experiments that prove that your thoughts will manifest itself into the physical world. In an article published on TheMindUnleashed.org, Dr. Masaru Emoto showed evidence that our thoughts can influence what is tangible around us. In a rice experiment, he placed cooked rice in two containers and had school children read out the labels on each of the containers every day. After a month, the rice in the container labeled with “you fool” became rotten. The one in the container labeled “thank you” barely changed after 30 days.
Having said that, you need to understand that if your income is not enough, you should focus on changing your mindset about money. That may be the reason why your financial situation is all rotten.
Here are 5 of the common mindsets that you need to change in order to improve your financial situation.
- Focusing on what you do not have. We are all consumed with the need to acquire something new. This is why retail therapy is real – albeit quite a dangerous stress buster. Although it feels good to know that we can buy anything that we want, it always makes us focus on what we do not have. That mentality will really impress on you that your income is not enough. So to change that, make sure that you keep your eyes on what you already have. That will make you more appreciative of what you have.
- Upgrading your lifestyle after a paycheck raise. Another mindset that you have to change is immediately upgrading your lifestyle once your income increases. The typical American spending habit is not just overspending. It is also the habit of raising the standard of living according to the income bracket. While there is nothing wrong with that, it removes the breathing space that should have been there to keep you from thinking that your income is not enough. In some cases, we even exceed the upgrade to go beyond the actual increase in income. That puts us in situation that can lead to debt accumulation.
- Failing to search for alternatives. When you go out shopping, do you keep your eyes on what is on your eye level or do you look below the racks to search for the low price items? If you are the former then you most likely fail to search for the cheaper alternative to your needs. There is always a cheaper way to do things. In some cases, it involves learning new skills. Think about it before you start increasing your income.
- Keeping our eyes onto our neighbors. In an article published on LearnVest.com, they discussed that there is proof that your friends can hurt your finances. At least, if you constantly look at your neighbors and compare your life to them, you will never be satisfied with what you have. You will always look at what is new to them and it will keep you feeling like you are always lacking. Stop this mentality and just focus on what you need – not what your neighbors have.
- Cutting off the wrong expenses. Cutting back on your expenses can help but only if you cut back on the right ones. Some people think that completely removing entertainment expenses will help them but that only brings forth a feeling of deprivation. And when you are feeling deprived, you feel like your income is not enough. Be wise about what you will cut back on so that you will not feel miserable about your financial situation.
Obviously, it all boils down to how you will budget your money. You can actually live debt free on a $30,000 a year income but you have to make sure that you are implementing the right habits. That will keep you from doing wrong – regardless of how much money you are taking home every month.
When your income is not enough, you have to take a look at your budget to see where your expenses are going. This is how you begin to determine what you are doing wrong. Here is a video from National Debt Relief that will teach you how to create a budget.
Diana hates debt just as much as you do. She is a finance writer for National Debt Relief. She aims to provide the best information to win the battle against debt.