Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Make More" to Get Out of Debt

There are two parts to getting out of debt and to saving money in general. They are "make more" and "spend less". Making more without spending less will never result in an increase in net worth. Alternatively, spending less without making more is a good start, but will never help you achieve your maximum potential.

The posts on this blog have primarily focused on the "spend less" part of the equation and recently I have felt that there are not many more ways I can cut back on spending without resorting to eating nothing more than beans and rice, taking public transport and living in a cardboard box. A girl has got to have her limits.

The best part about focusing on "making more" is that there is no limit to how much you can make. Depending on your skills and your willingness to take risk, you can make millions with luck, a good idea and hard work. Granted, most of us will not make millions (darn it) but the point is that how much you earn is entirely up to you whereas spending less is limited to the amount of money you already have.

For years I avoided thinking very much about money because I thought only greedy people thought about money a lot. Then, as you already know, I got myself into loads of debt, over $30,000 by the time I graduated from college in 2004. (I've only been tracking the amount of debt I had since I started this blog last year but yes it was much more to begin with!)

Being in debt has taught me a lot about what money really means. It's not about buying new cars, clothes and jewelry, although it can be for some people. What I have realized is that having money is more about having freedom. The freedom to do what you love, help others and be happier as a result. Now, I don't feel so guilty about thinking about ways to make money because I've learned how it feels to be powerless without it.

There are so many ways to make money but most people only focus on the one tried and true way: getting a job. I'm sure this does not apply to some of you. Obviously if you are reading personal finance blogs on a regular basis you have an advantage over the average person. Nonetheless, I want to take a beginners approach to all the myriad ways a person can increase their income while at the same time spending less.

I'm thinking of doing a series of articles taking each topic from beginners level to advanced. Maybe something on investing in stocks, real estate, starting a business, advancing your career.

What do you think? What would you like to see? Obviously, I'm not an expert in any of these fields (yet) so if you would like to contribute, let me know!

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~Dawn said...

Do it! that's why we read to get your opinion and not a professionals. said...

i would definitely be interested in stocks, 401k, mutual funds, and setting up a business from home...

i love your idea... i often leave your blog feeling motivated. its nice to know there is someone else out there so honest about their desire to save!! :)

Debt Hater said...

How did you pay off so much debt so fast?! That's what I'd love to know. I am also at the point where I think I'm going ot have to "make more" to pay down my debt, because I'm running out of places to "spend less." I have a debt reduction plan on my blog... if I can do it faster I'd love to know how!

mbhunter said...

My two cents -- your mileage may vary:

Look into advancing your career and starting a business. More money coming in will make it easier to save.

Empty Spaces Inc. said...

If you'd like me to contribute let me know.

I also strongly strongly recommend "the millionaire maker" by loral langemeir. check out my review.

Tricia said...

I have to smile after reading your post. It is so true that you get to a point where you just can't be any more frugal then you already are being. I've been at that point too.

I must say that the way you are paying down your debt is inspiring. I would definitely be interested in reading a series authored by you.

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I will have to check in more often. I put you on my site too!