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The myth of earning more

I’m a research junkie.

Image By: AMagill

I love looking at numbers and identifying trends.

Particularly around other people’s behaviors.

While I was researching google search terms on the topic of money, I stumbled upon something that stopped me in my tracks.

Something that made me rethink everything about the way I talk about money.

It turns out people really want to get rich.  In fact, 7.4 million people searched the term ‘get rich’.

The way I see it there’s two primary ways we can make that happen:

1. Earn more money

2. Spend less money

And if google is any indication, people clearly prefer option 1.

Earning money beats out spending less on google searches by nearly a 9:1 ratio (2.7 million searches compared to 301,000).

I get it, earning more seems like a magic bullet solution.

It’s easy to think that once you make six figures, richness will just automatically happen.

But it’s not always the right solution.

Making money isn’t synonymous with getting rich.  Far from it.

In fact, one survey by Thomas J. Stanley, found many high-income earners are actually less efficient at becoming millionaires than their moderate income counterparts.

Once people start making more money, they have a tendency to spend more money. They live in more expensive homes in pricier neighborhoods and increase their lifestyles to match their incomes.

If you want to really create wealth, you have to be willing to look at both sides of the coin.

Think about it:

  • How much money were you making 5 years ago?
  • Has your income increased?
  • Has your net worth increased?
  • Has it increased by the same percentage as your income?
  • Do you know what your net worth is?

Most people don’t.

I used to be one of them.  In fact, I’m a perfect example of the earn more myth.

As recently as a few years back, I was making six figures and was far from rich.

I had no idea what my net worth was.

I knew exactly how much money I made, but I had no idea how much I spent.

If income was the solution to wealth, I would have nailed it.

But as I found, creating wealth took more than a high income.

It took consciousness.

It took awareness.

It took understanding.

And it took spending less than I earned.

If Google has it right and we really want to get rich, we have to be willing to look beyond earning.  Earning is only half of the equation.

Share our comments below.  

I’m curious: what do you think about the google earn more, spend less discrepancy? 

How are you creating wealth?  What’s had the greatest affect your bottom-line?



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5 Responses to “The myth of earning more”

  1. Houkje January 19, 2012 6:06 pm #

    Great post. I’ve never made 6 figures, but I can tell you that when I was working a job that was close to it, I did not feel rich. Stressed out, weighed down, and completely chained to the job is how I felt.

    I made about as much money last year as I did when I was 16 and working for minimum wage. That is not to say I wasn’t working. I was. I just wasn’t getting paid very much. But last year, I also felt the most freedom I have felt since I was 16. That feeling… doing the work I was meant to do, the work that feeds my soul, that is richness defined.

    I will say it again, Christy. I love what you are doing!! The world needs you!


    • Christy January 19, 2012 9:40 pm #

      I always find it fascinating how more money doesn’t = less stress. It doesn’t necessarily = more stress either, but there’s much more going on than the dollars and cents.
      Love that you’re finding your richness!

  2. Inner West Chick January 20, 2012 11:13 am #

    I’m just listening to Mike Dooley – thoughts become things…..he was on the Secret.

    I believe in keeping money moving. Save the amount we need to for peace of mind and give. I believe in giving…the more I give, the more I get. Give to those who inspire you.

    I’m making more every year.

    You are in the exact place you have allowed yourself to be. I am just painting a more richer picture. I really want to experience how it would be to be more generous and still have more than enough money for myself and my family.

    Good people make lots of money. Good people win money. Good people make use of that money for good things.

  3. Christy January 21, 2012 2:50 am #

    Inner West Chick –
    Yes, good people make lots of money. Good people win money. Good people make use of that money for good thing.

    There’s nothing wrong with making money. Making money is a gift. And it’s also not the cure all solution for our woes that we think it would be. It’s just a way we try to create a feeling, like everything else.

    I believe in enjoying your money. And that doesn’t necessarily mean spending it. It can, but not always.

  4. Stella January 21, 2012 10:09 am #

    Very intersting post, Christy!

    I see a correlation between spending as much as you earn or more than you earn, and the widely spread pattern of behaviour to “spend” more energy than you actually have, or try to spend more time than you have – at the disadvantage of sleep, of slacking time, etc.

    It is a bit like breathing out, and out, and out…

    Maybe we tend to consider the necessity to husband our resources a narcissistic wound?

    I began budgetting only half a year ago, and boy, has my money vibe began to soar! I started with a “no spend month”, and then I saw the “truth” about my resources – they are really, really abundant, as in I have thousands of books of CDs, dozens of lipsticks and perfumes, an incredible ampunt of beatiful clothes etc., and I startet to go “shopping” within my own closets and drawers, started to really appreciate what I have, and really use it (and got rid of things I had a hard time appreciating), and that’s when I understood how rich I already am.

    To me, now, it is just as much of a satisfaction to know that I spend only what I have, and even less, and to see my surplus grow, as it is to get enough sleep for weeks in a row, to never feel exhausted, or to have enough time for everything that is important to me.

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