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When faced with a savings goal or working on paying down debt there seems to be two options on how to do that: earning more money or decreasing your spending. Which one is the better option?

Should You Focus On Earning More Money or Decreasing Your Spending?

For those of us who are in debt there seems to be a couple different schools of thought: earning more money or decreasing your spending. Some people tend to put a lot of effort into one or the other. However, I think people should focus both on earning more money AND decreasing spending.

Earning More Money

Earning more money is not always bad thing. If you’re like me and tens of thousands of dollars in debt it can be crippling to a budget. Finding opportunities to earn more money can help financial goals. Working as an ER nurse provides most of my income. However, in my field there are no shortage of opportunities for earning extra income in the form of overtime.

My profession requires that I only work three twelve hour shifts a week. The three day a week work schedule leaves free time for earning opportunities. I find those opportunities through overtime which is where I earn my extra money. I’m blessed to have the option of being able to work anywhere between eight to twelve hours of overtime each week. Sometimes there’s even extra incentives to work these extra shifts as well. The incentives can range anywhere from $5 to $7.50 an hour above my base rate. That fourth shift can also pay anywhere between time and a half or double time for working. Because of the financial incentives, I try to do four of these extra shifts a month. Try to find any opportunity you can to earn extra money.  

Decreasing Your Spending

If you can’t decrease the amount of money that you’re spending, earning money will do little to help in the long run. Money that isn’t being put to good use is a waste of extra work. Finding ways to earn extra income AND decreasing your spending, you’ll find yourself getting to your goals a lot quicker.

What If One Of Them Isn’t An Option?

For some people it may not be possible to earn extra income. As a result, saving or paying down debt can be a lot tougher to accomplish. Time away from family, inability to work overtime, pick up an extra job, or lack of items to sell for extra cash are all valid reasons. The best thing I think a person can do if they can’t earn more money is to decrease spending.

If you’re unable to have much flexibility on budgeting and decreasing spending, finding extra income may be your best option. Just remember, a person shouldn’t get used to having the extra income. Extra income should be looked at as extra and not to be used on spending. For me it was the spending that got me into trouble.

Earning More Money Or Decreasing Your Money – No Wrong Answer

There is no wrong answer or no right formula. Do what’s best for you. There will be times when it’s easier to decrease spending. There will also be opportunities for earning extra income. What’s your take?