Why Making More Money Is Not the Answer to Your Financial Problems

by Jason on June 18, 2010


Are you in debt?

Things a little tight right now?

Have your savings dwindled?

You just need to make more money, right!?

Get Below the Surface

If you could just make a little more money, everything would be OK.

That may be true on the surface. 

You might need a few hundred bucks extra per month to pay some bills, but guess what – it’s just a surface issue.

I’ve talked previously about our yard problems.

Basically, we are trying to get landscaping done including sod.

We’ve been unable to lay it because we’ve been waiting for our sump pump to get trenched.

Our sump hasn’t been trenched because it’s been raining so much – it’s an endless cycle!

Needless to say, our yard was overtaken by weeds – and I let them get a bit high.

So this week I got the trimmer out and did a little weed-whackin’!

After I was done, you could see that the weeds were trimmed, but you could also tell they were still there. 

All the weed-whacking did was deal with the surface issue – I didn’t fully eradicate the weeds because I didn’t deal with the roots. 

The only way to kill the weeds is to kill the root.

Making More Money Doesn’t Deal With the Root

Maybe you’ll get a part-time job, turn a hobby into a business, or find some other ways to bring in a little more money but that still won’t deal with the root cause of why you are in the position you are in.

As a side note – yes, I totally understand that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that put you in a tough spot financially.

But for the most part, the majority of us are in financial troubles because we spend too much money, don’t stay on track with our financial budgeting and lose our focus!

Worse than that, we bow down to the god of money and serve our posessions rather than the God of the universe!!

In order to fully eradicate the weeds of your financial woes you must deal with the root!

How to Deal With the Root

So how do you actually deal with the root causes of what’s going on with your finances?

Begin by answering these questions:

Get your financial house in order!  As Christians we have a responsibility to be good stewards of what God has given us.

Realize that money won’t satisfy you - making more money isn’t the answer to all your problems! 

Once we realize that, we can begin to do the right things and get our finances in order and start plugging away at getting on track financially and staying there!

You have to do the right things no  matter how much money you make.  It’s not rocket science – spend less than you make, cut back, simplify your lifestyle and make the sacrifices you need to make to get on track!

And realize also that sometimes, less is more!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin@OutOfYourRut June 18, 2010 at 7:33 am

I tend to think that earning extra money can solve certain problems, especially if income is the issue. But it’s equally true that most of us will adjust to additional income by spending more as part of the new pattern–lifetyle inflation.

Earning money is a function, budgeting it is the discipline, so in most cases it’s the budgeting that will “save the day” while higher income will mostly be about flexibility and options.

Miranda June 18, 2010 at 7:54 am

It kind of goes back to those stories of lottery winners who make it big, and then go broke in a couple of years. You have to learn how to control your money, and control yourself, otherwise it doesn’t matter how much money you have.

Chris@FeFi June 18, 2010 at 9:10 am

This is contrary to most people’s “If I just had a little more money…” thinking. I like it!

“You have to learn to control your money, and control yourself, otherwise it doesn’t matter how much money you have.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Jon DeGroff June 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

Excellent post. You’re absolutely right. I try to explain this to people all the time that are always “waiting for the promotion/raise/etc.” Change your habits, change your life.
Excellent blog!

Money Smarts June 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I agree that money isn’t always the root issue, overspending and lack of responsibility is. Even the richest of the rich often end up having to file for bankruptcy when their spending catches up with them. I remember reading recently about one basketball star who made over 100 million dollars, and ended up going bankrupt because of his spending, and gambling problems.

Get your house in order first, do a budget, THEN get some extra income to if you can!

Kristine June 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Awesome post and blog. This reminds of the tree example, where everyone is focused on the fruits of their labor. They see the fruit, or lack there of, and try to figure out what is wrong with the fruit. They fail to look at the roots or see where the roots are planted (like on rocky ground, instead of good soil).

Set a good foundation of what you want and why you want it. You want more money…great. How much do you want? Why do you want it? To pay off bills, yes….but what else? To have the freedom to be, do, and have all that you want. Getting better…Once you have that freedom, how are you going to keep it and cultivate it? Maybe share it with others, and help them create lifestyles like yours?

I believe when you work to get what you want, and in the process, help others. It’s a win/win situation. It can only get better from there.

Khaleef @ KNS Financial June 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Good points. I think it’s easy to think that more money – or a computer glitch at our mortgage company – will be the answer to all of our problems. But, as you said, in reality it’s about our terrible spending/saving habits and a lack on discipline.

I love the question, “Is money your functional savior?”!!! I’m sure most (if not all) of us would answer ‘no’, but our actions would tell a different story.

Mneiae June 19, 2010 at 1:43 am

“If money is the only problem, then there is no problem.” I heard this from an acquaintance in high school when we were deciding which college to attend. It’s true, but only to a certain extent. I agree that getting more money doesn’t solve the deeper issues. Lottery winners are a great example of this; generally, people can’t handle winning the lottery because they are unaccustomed to having that much cash.

Mneiae June 19, 2010 at 1:44 am

*they aren’t accustomed to having that much cash.

youngandthrifty June 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

It’s all about lifestyle inflation, right? =)
The more money you get, the less you might save, because of a fancier car, or fancier house, etc.

Great insightful post!

Financial Samurai June 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

If money is a problem, I honestly have to say I’d like more problems!

IT is true that no matter how much you make, you still worry about overpaying for this and that and what not…. but I have to say, having that nut in the bank sure makes me feel better.

Jason June 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Sam, money is NOT the problem – it’s not the solution either. That’s the misconception.

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Young & Thrifty – Yeah, unfortunately, we always seem to take the extra money and upgrade our lifestyles. Sure, it isn’t all bad, but what we don’t realize the majority of the time is that the more money we make the more we spend.

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Mneiae – The late Notorious B.I.G. put it best, “Mo’ Money – Mo’ Problems” ;)

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Khaleef – that question is a convicting one for me. Tim Keller asks that question in his book, Counterfeit Gods. You’re right, our actions tell a completely different story!

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Kristine – I like where you are going with the “helping others” part – we all need to camp out on that for a while and determine practically how to do that!

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Money Smarts – It’s amazing how many high profile athletes and celebrities have to file for bankruptcy – hmmm, makes you wonder if money is the answer to financial problems!? ;)

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Jon – great point about changing habits!

Jason June 29, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Kevin – great way to put it – “earning money is a function, budgeting is the discipline”

Moneyedup July 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm

More money more problems. Learning how to save the money you have and to spend it wisely is half the battle. Earning more money won’t help you if you are losing it twice as fast. You need to develop a solid plan that makes the most out of your money and gets all your bills paid on time.

Derrik Hubbard, CFP April 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Jason,

Very insightful.

I believe that money is the way that we work out our value system and priorities. I don’t think that it would be an overstatement to say that all financial problems are rooted in our spiritual belief system about ourselves, God, and the world.

Asking the right QUESTIONS is a great way to get to the root. “Why?” questions in particular reveal our motives.

Why do I want to buy this? Because of “x” Why is “x” important to me? Because of “y”. Why do I want “y”, until we get to the root of our belief system.

Derrik Hubbard
http://www.yourfinancialpurpose.com/blog

Anonymous June 8, 2011 at 3:10 am

Asking those “why” questions is a great way to get to the root. Thanks for checkin’ in!

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