What do I mean? I mean that the raise you are hoping to get is not going to fix your financial squeeze. I mean if you were making what your boss is making, it will not fix your financial squeeze. There is a famous principle that expenses rise to meet income, so if you are having a hard time paying your bills or making a dent in your mountain of debt money is NOT your answer.
I know it may sound like this is bad news, but really this is great news. This is because money problems (difficulty paying bills, paying off debt, getting into debt, difficulty saving) are really behavioral problems. Since they are behavioral problems they can NOT be solved with money.
People seem to think that they can make their problems go away with more money, but really it just covers them up. This is apparent with all of the millionaires who file for bankruptcy. They have more money than most people can dream of, yet they also have a spending problem that is far stronger than their income.
How do you fix behavioral problems? Well, you start just doing one small thing at a time. It is a lot easier to update your house by working on one room at a time than by tearing up every room all at once. You can start by learning to not spend more than you make.
There are practical things that can be done to help out, but I think nothing will be more valuable than just taking a long hard look at where your money is going and asking yourself, “do I really need this?”
We say we NEED all this stuff to survive and yet 100 years ago most of it didn’t even exist yet. I think when we are honest with ourselves we can see that a lot of our NEEDS are really just screaming, yelling, panicky WANTS.
It is a tough pill to swallow. Go visit a third-world nation and swallowing it will become much easier.