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Should You Earn More or Spend Less?

Earn More or Spend Less

When getting your financial house in order there are two schools of thought. If you want to build savings or get out of debt you can try to earn more or spend less. Sam and Stan, a newlywed couple, have a different strategy.

Why not earn more and spend less?

They were a part of Best Money Class Ever, a four-week class that’s like CrossFit, but with money because, “we didn’t have a roadmap,” said Stan.

Sam is an attorney with LaRue Tactical and Stan works in politics. They found themselves saving here and there, but then spending a lot on eating out and entertainment. They wanted to be smart with their money and invest for their future, but didn’t know where to start.

“We didn’t know what to do with our retirement. I didn’t know anything about IRAs. I needed to learn, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn,” said Sam.

As newlyweds, they hadn’t merged finances, but after class they quickly decided to. “We combined checking accounts. It’s all one. That was a good change. It simplified everything,” said Sam.

How to spend less

Since spending money eating out was adding up, they now take out a set amount of cash to pace their spending each week versus just swiping a card. This really helped with their day-to-day spending Learn how this brilliant system for managing money works here.

“The class changed our habits,” said Stan.

Instead of eating out every day for lunch, he now takes his lunch to work, “I get sliced turkey, cheese, pickles, mustard and bread plus some good ol’ classic potatoes chips,” said Stan.

Their trips to the grocery store are now more organized versus just throwing everything in the cart.  They now mostly dine- in, and splurge once a week by going to a sushi happy hour for a treat.

Do these little habits make a difference?  Sure seems like it. 

“We (now) basically live on a paycheck and save a paycheck,” they said.

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How to earn more

Sam enjoys her full-time job, but her wheels started spinning on how to get extra legal work.  After hearing how another student pursued his passion with a side income, she decided she wanted to bring in extra income.

“We don’t have any kids. I only have a wiener dog. I watch a lot of television. Why not?” said Sam.

She spent this summer researching and setting up shop to take on extra work. Then started drafting trusts on the side for a very niche market. When people buy firearms they’re heavily regulated so she drafts trust for people who purchase a particular type of firearm. 

She has since doubled her income.

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What is their motivation to earn more and spend less?

For starters they want to retire young and always have options. Their immediate focus is Stan’s 2001 truck.  They’re now on track to save $30,000 to outright buy his next truck by the New Year.

*Update, they did it! They bought a car with cash.*

Managing money isn’t all work and no play. They recently got back from a two week trip to Europe.

What do you think, would you rather earn more or spend less? I’m with Sam and Stan, why not do both?

best money class ever carly michelle

Hi! I'm Carly

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class. I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved a nest egg of over $100,000 by age 26 (earning only around the median household income!).

If I can pay off debt and build savings at a young age, anyone can with a little education and solid plan.

Get out of debt Invest like a pro Buy a home Make yourself recession proof Stress less about money Ditch emotional online spending

best money class ever

“Oh, my goodness, I learned a lot. I enjoyed everything! Carly’s a great financial teacher.”

Asinah, Best Money Class Ever student

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