Earn More. Save Less.

Many people are under the belief that if you want your life to be more financially abundant the best thing to do is to save your money the very best you can and then hopefully down the road you’ll be able to retire with a decent amount of money -enough that you can live comfortable without working. It seems like a smart idea - work hard enough now so that some day, through lots of saving and scrimping, you’ll be able to enjoy financial freedom and security.

The only problem with this idea is that it doesn’t work. The reason it doesn’t work is because of the limited amounts of money that are on either end of the spectrum here. for example, you can only save so much money at any given time because of what you make right? If you have a job, like most people do, that pays you a fixed amount of money each month, coupled with bills that require a certain amount of money to maintain, then you have a very limited scope as to what you can save each month. On top of that, if you were to save everything it leaves no room for any kind of fun or enjoyment, and it leaves you in a vulnerable place if anything where to happen to you.

What happens if one month you have an extra bill or expense? Would it completely wipe out any ability for you to save or invest your money for the month? Is there a possibility that it might even dip into your other savings, causing you to fall even further behind in your plans for golden retirement? Of course these are all very real possibilities that can seriously impact your way of living and saving - so long as you hold this mindset about money, that is.

If the constant stresses of not enough money coming in and too much going out to bills are frustrating you then it might be time to change your way of thinking about money. That means changing how you interact with money and the level of power you give it in your life.

Money is a tool - a useful tool, but a tool nonetheless. Money also is no excuse for not having or doing specific things in your life. Now that right there will send off lots of alarm bells for people. Many people tell me that, no - money is exactly the reason they don’t have what they want in life. Because if they had all that money they could buy the house, the car, the boat, the dream vacations, or whatever else it is that they feel they can’t otherwise have. Unfortunately, I have to tell these people (and you) that money is not the means to having these things in your life. It simply isn’t.

Instead you are the means to having whatever it is you want in your life. You and only you determine if you do or don’t get the things you want. It’s not your paychecks fault, your spouses fault, or your bosses fault. These people/things may show up for you as some of the effects of not having what you really want but none of them are the cause. Instead they are the residual outcome of you making choices again and again that deny you the very things that you want most.

How many times do you really want a specific object but decide that the purchase is out of your budget and then buy something cheaper? How often do you complain about your job but continue to get up and go to it every single day? Do you despair over how much you make but still refuse to go ask for a raise, start a new business, or try a new venture that might bring in more?

All of these and more are the choices that you make every single day that continually place you in a state of financial lack and yet time and again people think that the solution is to save more, spend less, and sacrifice their quality of life - as if that will somehow bring them the happiness and freedom they desire.

Have you ever tried to grab a bar of soap? Weird question I know - but think about it. You probably know that you can easily pick up a bar of soap. Now what if you took that soap, held it in your hand, and squeezed it as tight as you could manage. How long would be holding that bar of soap? Not very long right? The harder you gripped the soap, the faster it would slide right out of your had. Money is exactly the same way. The tighter you hold on, the more pennies you pinch, the more you try to cut back your expenses, the harder time you’re going to have keeping money in your life. Until you change how you interact with money you won’t be getting much more of it any time soon.

The point here is that money, once again, is a tool - and you are the one wielding that tool. If you want to give that tool power and let it stomp all over you and drag you every which way then go right ahead - continue to view money as having power over you. But if you want change, abundance, wealth, and more in your life then you get to make a shift in your mindset about money.

The first step is to begin considering yourself as more than someone that has money given to them. You are no longer the type of person that just sits around (possibly at a desk) hoping that every couple of weeks money is going to fall into your lap. Instead consider yourself as a source of money. Now I don’t mean you’re going to go out into the woods, chop down a tree, and break out the green colored pencils - you’re not physically going to make money from paper. You are however going to accept your responsibility as the creator of money in your life.

I know this can be a shift in the mindset of a lot of people and that it can be a strange one too. It’s really all about your attitude towards the process of money coming to you. Prior to reading this you may have been in a place where money was something you got in return for showing up to work, something that was handed to you by some greater force, something that you didn’t have much influence over. The good news is that it’s not - money is not some invisible powerful force that has dominion over us, nor does it have any control over what we do or don’t do. The only control money has is that which we give it. So when you step back and look at yourself as a source of money, not just a pit stop on its journey from one bank to another, you redefine how it is that you interact with money.

The second step is to remember that the tighter you squeeze, the harder it is to hold onto your money - just like the soap. It’s simply the way it works. Now this isn’t a place of being irresponsible or disrespectful of the influence money can have - quite the contrary in fact. Once you stop struggling so hard to keep every single penny with you, you open up your life to have more abundance show up.

Now this step is really difficult for a lot of people because it means turning away from what, for many people, is a habit learned from childhood. We start young by putting pennies in a piggy bank, counting them over and over, to see what we can buy. However at a young age we naturally have a good sense about money  and how to create more it, but it’s an instinct that gets overridden pretty quickly by adults telling us to save and “be careful” with our money - as if our money might hurt us or get out of control. So as young children we turn off those instincts and learn to fear money like everyone else does. However, once you stop gripping and straining to scrimp and save you are able to turn back to your natural instincts with money.

The third step is to turn back to money as a way of creating, of having fun, and of expressing yourself. Both the making of money and the spending of money should include all of those things - the fun, the excitement, and the joy. Young children know this naturally. They see something they want and they go after it. If they find that they don’t have the means to purchase it or have it right away what do they do? They don’t start complaining about the economy or their budget or that special objects price do they? Of course not - children haven’t learned to use excuses the same way we do to prevent themselves from taking action.

What they do is they head out to make money. They start a lemonade stand. They ask mom for flowers from the garden to sell. They rake leaves, mow lawns, clean houses, babysit, and so forth. If you’ve ever watched a child trying to earn money for something they want then you know that they’re pretty unstoppable. They pull all their resources and lean into with everything they’ve got. There’s no thought of “Oh, I’m sure no one will want me to rake their leaves - why would they pay me to do that?” There’s just a frenzy of movement as that child moves towards what it is they want. And that’s the true essence of getting what you want.

It isn’t about waiting for money to show up in your lap. It’s not about squeezing pennies or staying cheap. And it’s certainly not about making excuses or holding back due to fear. What it comes down to is you shifting into the space of being a creator of wealth. So earn more, save less, and take your finances to the next level. Be open to creating more wealth in your life by taking the first steps of changing how you view money as a force in your life and in relation to yourself. Take on the challenge of learning to use money to create the life you want - all it takes is a few new ideas.