I know it sounds crazy. You might be thinking I’ve gone off the deep end here. How in the world can making more money NOT help you? Before you throw in the towel, hear me out…
There are several reasons why making more money won’t help you
1) It doesn’t matter how much you make, if it all flies out the window
I was not taught personal money management skills and how to spend money wisely as a child. I wish I had that story, but I don’t. There was a time in my life where I was just spending every penny of what I earned. If my income was $2k/month, I’d spend $2100/month. I just wanted everything. I felt like I NEEDED everything to be ‘cool,’ to impress my friends, to impress my enemies (sad huh!), and to be happy. I thought that if only I had THIS one item, I’d be happy. And while it did give me instant gratification, that happiness was fleeting. It didn’t last. I’d need something else to keep that happiness alive, and so I spent and spent and spent. I could have made a million dollars cash a year and spent foolishly. I inerrantly thought that making more money would fix all my problems. That was my problem, I just needed more money. If only I had more money, everything in my life would suddenly be perfect. I’d be happy.
I was wrong. It didn’t matter if I was making $2k/month or a million, it would have all flown out the window just as easily. It wouldn’t have helped me financially because I didn’t know how to spend my money wisely!
2) When a person starts making more, they start taking more
It’s really a sick and twisted way the government is, and yes, I was on welfare in the past, so I do speak from experience. The more you earn, the more they take. The less food stamps you get, the less help they give. They make it almost impossible to get off welfare. Now, I KNOW there are TONS of people who fully take advantage of welfare, but that is between them and the Lord. I’m talking about welfare here. Every penny you save to try to get off the system, they penalize you for, thus keeping you on the system because you can never save enough, fast enough to get off. While there ARE a lot who take advantage, there are also some who want to get off and can’t.
Taxes. Ah, the wonderful world of taxes. Again, the more you make, the more you are penalized. You are in a whole new tax bracket, so you have to pay a ton more money to Uncle Sam. The higher you go, the more you pay. The less you make, the more you get back ironically. I guess they play Robin Hood. Take from the rich to give to the poor. Since I’m considered poor in income, I’m thankful. See, the government really DOES pay me to stay home with my kids, thank you! LOL
3) Pride and superficial friendships
When a person starts making more, most people tend to start getting a big head. Being more prideful. At least that’s how I am. When my income starts going up, I start thinking to myself, how cool I am for being able to do this, be a single SAHM, and how not many can do that, so I must be special. I start forgetting about God and where the money REALLY COMES FROM!!!! I start to take credit for it. Like it’s ALL me. While I do work extremely hard, nothing I have is apart from God, and when I forget that, God shows me! Being prideful will not help you or anyone around you.
Likewise, when you become more affluent, people start being your friend just for the fanciness of it all. You end up not knowing who’s real and who’s just there for selfish purposes. You change. Your spouse changes. Again, the pride sets in. You start having this lifestyle that can become very fake very quickly. I deal with it in the blogging world quite a bit. You never really know if someone wants to be your friend because they truly like you for you, or because they think you’re some famous person, or cool just because you have a blog. Just so I set the record straight, I am far from cool. Loving God took care of that long ago! It’s not cool to be a Christian, not in our world, and I am 100% okay with that! 🙂
4) Stress and fear
The more I make, income-wise, the more stressed out and fearful I become. What if something happens and I lose everything I’ve worked so hard to create? You start worrying about losing it, it can even lead to loss of sleep and health issues as a result. Yes, I’ve been there, I speak from experience. You tend to be more fearful overall. You start trusting in your money and going away from God’s plans.
It becomes very easy to start trusting in your bank account and money than the One providing it, and THAT is a whole ‘nother subject! You start to take your eyes off Christ and look at the temporal. The temporal starts becoming more and more important to you. It reminds me of The Hobbit. Where the…whatever he was supposed to be…says, “my precious.” It was all about the ring. He used to be an upstanding gentleman and look what happened to him in the pursuit of a trinket. Now, I know it’s just a movie, but there are overlaying tones in there which are true in life.
5) Loss of joy and happiness
You know, it’s a total myth that more money produces more happiness and joy. Some of the most happiest people in the world (do your research and look up the stats!) are in poverty. The rich have more to worry about. It drains you physically, emotionally, and mentally. The poor know in Whom they trust. They have to rely on God MORE each day to provide for their needs, so in that way, they are often closer to Christ than the rich. They know whatever they have comes from the Lord. I’m not saying that the rich can’t love God, but I will refer you to the verse where it says a camel has more chance of going through the eye of a needle than a rich man to Heaven. This is not ALWAYS true. I know some very affluent Christian families. But in general, it is very hard for a rich person to choose anything over their money, including God.
The more you get, the more you want. I have experienced this in my life as well. If I was making $500/month, then I’d always want $1k/month, and if making $1k/month, I’d always want $2k/month. I’d always want more and more and more. It was never enough. When my income would go up, mysteriously, so would my bills. It was my own fault, yet, I didn’t see it.
One of the best things that has ever happened in my life was being homeless! Sounds crazy, huh? In that homeless shelter, I learned how to truly be content. When I got my first apartment, I had nothing. No silverware, no table to eat on, no couch to sit on, no plates, bowls, no clothes, nothing. We lived like that for several months. I remember a friend from church donated a bottle of laundry detergent to support me and it made me cry. Crying over laundry detergent. Pretty dumb, right? Not to me. I didn’t have ANYTHING. I was thankful for WHATEVER I could get! The bed I borrowed from the 1980’s that killed my back, whatever it was, I was happy. I was just happy to be out of the homeless shelter! lol.
Listen, I know where I’ve been. I know where I am now. No one will ever convince me I’m not rich. Not when I want for absolutely nothing! My garage has a ceiling fan! Like seriously, who does that? I have a lot, but I will never forget where I was 4 years ago. So, people can say I’m poor for only making $18k/year, that’s fine, but I know the truth is that I have more than many people who make $60k/year. I’m not in any debt and I sleep comfortably and well at night.
What do you want in your life? Still convinced that having more money will solve all your problems? Do you have any of your own tips to share?