I’ve spent a lot of time (borderline too much time) over the years just observing frugal living, personal finance, and deal blogs. I’ve read. I’ve gathered ideas to incorporate into my own life because I so badly want to be a good steward of all of God’s blessings. But recently, I’ve noticed a big, fat, glaring discrepancy in the information shared on these blogs.
Here it is: Personal finance is about more than just saving money. Saving is only one aspect of personal finance. It’s one pillar, as I like to say. But if successfully managing your money is the goal, you need to put into practice all three pillars of personal finance.
Pillar #1: Saving Money
Cutting expenses, selling what you don’t need, finding the best deal on an item before you purchase it – these are all marvelous things that I love to do (and I know you do too). But when you stop here, you’re not really doing yourself (or your budget) any favors.
Pillar #2: Increasing Your Income
This is what we forget sometimes. You can only cut your expenses so much, right? But most people have an unlimited earning potential. And at the end of the day, you need to be earning more too so you can do things like pay down your debt, build up savings, keep up with the cost of living, and do the fun things you love to do.
Pillar #3: Using What You Have Wisely
If you’re saving money, and increasing your income, but still mismanaging your total funds at the end of the day – well then you’re not really making any progress, right? But luckily, there is where you can find the most help. There’s a whole lot of information online (just search Pinterest!) on how you can stretch your dollars further and manage your money wisely.
Here’s how I think we can make sure we don’t spend too much time on one pillar and end up neglecting another: For every cost-cutting measure you put into place, match it with a money-making plan. And as for using your money wisely? Well that’s what budgeting, saving, and spousal accountability is for.
What about you? Do you find yourself focusing more on one pillar over another? Any tips on how to make sure time and energy is evenly distributed among all the pillars?