Will More Money Really Solve Your Financial Problems?

by Miranda Marquit · 15 comments

Suitcase with Heap of Dollar BillsOne of the most common financial pitfalls out there is having a poor money attitude. And among the worst money attitudes is the idea that all you need is more money, and that once you have it, your financial problems will be solved.

The harsh reality is that, while making more money can help your situation, chances are that it’s not truly a money earning problem you have; it’s a money management problem.

How Do You Manage Your Financial Resources?

There are some situations in which a lack of money really is the issue. If you’ve lost your job or had a major and unexpected financial catastrophe, more income will really help. If you already have a steady income, however, your problem might not be that you aren’t “rich.” It might be that you’re not managing your finances as well as you could.

It doesn’t matter how much money you have if you don’t manage your resources so that you’re living within your means. If you don’t live within your means now, chances are that you wouldn’t live within your means if you had more money. More money is likely to just mean that you experience lifestyle inflation, which also means that you’ll still be in debt.

Think of all those wealthy athletes and other celebrities who end up going broke. Their problem isn’t that they don’t have a lot of money. It’s a management issue. Before you can solve your financial problems, you need to look at your money habits and the way you manage your financial resources. Until you start employing sound financial management principles, you’ll always have money problems no matter how much you make.

What’s worst, you might even become a slave to your lifestyle.

Have You Become a Slave to Your Lifestyle?

As bloggers, one of our primary concerns is how many posts we should publish each week. Often, we set a schedule and then just blindly adhere to it, turning ourselves into slaves that need to feed the machine.

But this doesn’t only happen in blogging – it happens with our lifestyles, too. It’s easy to become a slave to your lifestyle if you’re not careful with your choices.

Do You Need to Keep That Job?

Among the most obvious ways you can become a slave to your lifestyle is with your job. Many people stay in jobs they don’t like because they believe they need the money. And, of course, you feel like you can’t quit your job because you need to keep up with your lifestyle. Pretty soon, you’re stuck in a rut with your job, convinced that you need the pay, even though you aren’t that thrilled with the prospects.

In some cases, however, having a job you don’t like isn’t that big of a deal. If you don’t like the work, but you have other activities outside of the 9 to 5 that make you happy, clocking in for six to eight hours a day isn’t such a big deal.

But you still need to be careful. If you’re keeping a job because you rely on 100% of every paycheck for your financial destiny, you could be in trouble. You’ll never be able to leave, no matter how much you want to.

Have You Become a Slave to Your Image?

Are you trying to impress others with your items? It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to spend money to maintain a certain image or lifestyle. If you like that lifestyle and can afford it, there isn’t anything wrong with that.

However, it might be time for a change if: you feel as though you’re backed into a corner, you’re not happy because you feel out of control, and/or you think you “have” to spend money on a laundry list of items to keep up with others.

When you start feeling like you have to work for the money to maintain your lifestyle, rather than having your money work for you, you could be falling into the position of lifestyle slavery.

Consider the Reasons Behind Your Lifestyle

To avoid becoming a slave to your lifestyle, you need to consider what motivates you. Why are you spending the way you do?

Think about the lifestyle you want to live, and consider whether or not your current job and spending habits are helping you achieve that. Instead of letting your lifestyle run you, think about how you can take control and do what you want to do. And by the way, more money certainly won’t help you.

Take Charge of Your Finances

One of the biggest problems with the “more money will solve my financial problems” mindset is that it encourages you to hand over your financial destiny. When you say that you need more money in order to fix your situation, you’re relying on outside forces. You essentially choose to make yourself impotent in your own financial destiny. Instead of taking charge, you’re waiting for something else to come and “save” you, whether it’s getting a raise or promotion, winning the lottery, or receiving an inheritance.

The idea that more money will solve all your problems is a very passive mindset. Instead, if you really want to tackle the root of your financial difficulties, you need to change your mindset to one that is more active. Recognize that you need to make changes in the way you view your situation and the way you think about money. Reflect upon what actions you can take to improve your financial lot in life.

Even if you’ve experienced an unavoidable financial setback, it’s possible for you to take charge of your situation and move forward. Think creatively about how you could earn more money. Think about how you could work smarter, as well as harder, and how you could put your money to work for you.

Recognize that you can make a change. You don’t need to wait around for someone else to grant you a higher income. You are in charge of your own financial future.

Have you fallen victim this attitude before? How did you overcome it?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Multikrd says:

    Keys to solving problems – identify there is a problem , work a plan to solve or change it. Execute the plan & crush it.

  • Connie says:

    I remember in the early 70’s when our annual income was $6,000 and my husband stated that we would be “rich” if we could only make $10,000 a year!!!! We lived extremely frugally back then and when our income increased we did lived much more comfortably, although I do not know if I would say we were happier. We have borrowed money only for housing and only then when the payments could easily be made by one of us if we lost one income. My obsessive budgeting allowed that I always knew exactly how much money we spent on everything. We are doing quite well financially now, but we still live modestly, knowing that if a major catastrophe happens, we will probably be able to weather it. Life at 70 is much easier after you have lived it and realized after the fact, what is important in life and what is not so important.

    • David@MoneyNing.com says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Connie.

      I’m still learning what it means to have enough. The stock market going bonkers and so many people getting rich quickly has turned my “dreaming mode” up a notch, and it’s a voice in my head I need to quiet down.

      It’s going to be a lifelong pursuit for me, but I hope to move much more towards realizing the beauty of what’s truly important.

      Cheers to you for finding it!

  • Steveark says:

    I was able to build a positive image/brand not by spending money but by running marathons, winning tennis tournaments and volunteering in addition to having a demanding job. Those were not expensive things to do, mostly free in fact. I became known for being bright, kind, funny and very fit even if I drove used cars and lived in a very small modest house. That self image motivated me and helped me be successful which led to more money but mostly it gave me a healthy self image not based on how much I spent but on having quality friends and enjoyable hobbies and of being able to help others. To the extent that you can separate how you see yourself from how much money you make and spend, that goes a long way in determining how others see you. I know this is true for high earners, I do not know if it will work for someone struggling to make a living wage, I don’t offer advice to people who are somewhere I’ve never been.

    • David@MoneyNing.com says:

      You were definitely onto something with your healthy lifestyle.

      I was talking to my sister a while ago and she said that people used to think it’s cool to smoke, but it’s now the fitness buffs who people look up to.

  • Troy says:

    Having more money is actually not the solution to financial problems. Managing your financial resources carefully will help ease financial worries. Sometimes the more you earn, the more you spend money. Your lifestyle can totally change if you have more money.

  • John says:

    For many, having the security that money in the bank provides in and of itself is a use of the money. You say the farmer died wealthy at 96 never having spent a dime… but perhaps he “spent” his money on peace of mind, rather than on “things” That way he had both his cake and ate it too… he had wha the wanted most: peace of mind, plus he still had the money.

    • Connie says:

      My grandfather was that farmer who died at age of 92 and rarely ventured out of our county. We often asked him why he did not travel more or update his house more and he just replied that he had had a good life and traveling and spending money did not bring him happiness. What we did learn just this past year, 20 years after he had passed was (unbeknown to anyone but him and the town grocer) that he provided the funds to pay for those around him who were unable to pay for groceries during the depression, thus helping those who were not used to taking handouts to save face and also allowing the town grocer to stay in business during extremely hard years.

  • Ha'penny Bits says:

    Never a truer post (although more money would always help of course). I have friends who make a ridiculous amount of money, the husband was forced to take a pay cut that amounted to 2/3rds of his salary. The new salary is still 7-times my generous annual income, but he has to find $40K a MONTH just to cover the BASICS. He lives in a constant state of stress and misery. It’s terribly sad. More money doesn’t automatically equal financial freedom.

  • Kate says:

    The important thing is to know what you want to do and where you want to go. My Dad had a farmer that he tested milk for who was “saving [his] money for [his] old age.” He died wealthy at 96, never having enjoyed a dime, and his son blew the whole wad on the horses, never having earned a dime. My Dad always said that his will would read “Being of sound mind, I spent it while I was alive.” We had what we needed, and we took a lot of vacations (on the proverbial shoe string, but we kids didn’t know that) and two of us went to university, and he died with enough to keep Mama comfortable if she was frugal, and she is. And neither he nor she ever made more than $10,000 a year in their entire working lives.

  • Bert says:

    This is a great post. Since the pandemic, I have struggled to bounce back. Every penny I now earn has a thought out purpose. Everyone should consider these measures.

  • Shane says:

    It can solve them, but if you are bad at managing money all together it could end up getting you more in debt.

  • Terry says:

    Since I live on a poverty-level income, I’m confident that more money would improve my situation.

    • david sky says:

      Not sure if you are trying to make an intelligent sounding counter example, but the essay clearly states: “There are some situations in which a lack of money really is the issue. If you’ve lost your job, or had a major and unexpected financial catastrophe, more income will really help.”

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