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Money Pillar #1 - Income

getgoodwithmoney learnaboutmoney makemoremoney May 24, 2022

While the term “Money Pillar” might be new to you, the concepts behind it won’t be. The best place to start is with Income, which underpins what you have to “work with” when it comes to your money.

Once you have figured out why you want money, and how your values are connected to your life and how you want to live it, then it allows you to focus your energy on maximising your income, as best as you can at the moment.

Having income makes the rest of the Money Pillars possible and is why it’s the foundational pillar.

Income can be in salary from employment, proceeds from a trust or inheritance, earnings from investments, interest from savings, or a gift.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do something to “earn” the money.  It means the money is “coming in” – income.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “money makes money”?  Well, it’s true.  You need to start with some money in order to grow that money.  You could take the slow and steady approach, or the get rich quick approach.  Whichever you decide on, it must be what is right for you.

The amount of money you earn underpins (or should) your lifestyle.  The problem arises when you live beyond your means, and your income becomes overtaken by spending (which ironically is Money Pillar #2, which I’ll talk about in the next post).

If this is the case, you have one of two options – you can earn more money, or you can spend less.  As we are talking about income, I’ll focus on the first option.  Now this might seem painfully obvious, or even patronising, but if you’re serious about your money journey, you need to look at your income, and how you can increase it.

I’ll give you an example – I studied Accounting at university.  My first “real job” was for one of the Big 4 accounting firms.  After 6 years in my chosen profession I was miserable and being paid peanuts.  So, after being offered a role in a completely different industry and area of work, I took a risk and went for it.  It didn’t hurt that I was going to be paid double what I was earning in my accounting-based job.

This leap really helped me kickstart my money journey, as until then I had been living pay check to pay check.  It also presented new issues, like going a bit nuts with my spending to start with, and then what to do with the extra money I now had.  If I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, I had already seen how I started to squander it.

So, based on my own experience, I encourage you to look outside the box, and really challenge your thinking about what your earning potential is.  Do you want a career change, or are you able to even ask for a pay rise?  Whatever it is, do some research, make an informed decision, and most important of all – ACT!

Improving your income is the first big improvement you can make on your money journey.