Always Working and Always Broke

When I ask people if they can save one simple dollar a day they scoff at me and say that is no problem. 

Sometimes they are actually offended because of the small amount. To which I reply, “if it’s not a problem to save $30 a month, then why don’t you do it?”

Easy Come and Easy Go

The simplicity of saving just one dollar a day appears to be no big deal but think about it this way. If you are spending more money than you bring in then you aren’t even saving one dollar a day. Four little measly quarters and you can’t do that.

That is the reason you are always working and always broke. 

Always Working Always Broke

I didn’t come up with that term, it is something one of my employees said to me one time. I sat down with him, and we talked about finances. It’s not part of the job, but it’s important. My company has actually started some finance classes for employees, and they are flocking to them. 

Basic finance lessons seem so simplistic but to other folks, it is like finding gold and really it is because it can drastically change lives and start you toward building wealth, not just surviving month to month.

So my employee immediately asked me for a raise and said if he made more money he wouldn’t be broke. I said that is one potential solution for today but let’s also check some other ways we might be able to help out as well for the long term.

I personally like when my employees ask for raises because that means (most of the time) that they feel like they have earned it and that means they have been working hard and are top employees. I’ve never had an employee who hasn’t earned a raise ask for one. I’m sure it happens, but hey if you have earned it, then go for it. It’s the fastest way to increase your income. 

If you haven’t asked for a raise lately, you should really think about it while the economy is doing okay because it is not going to last forever. You need to get yours while you can.

Recent Purchases

So as we sat down and talked about what we could do with a raise (which I wasn’t able to do at the time but did get one to this person later) we also went over some other ways to help free up some cash immediately.

I told him I can’t help but notice he always has the latest smartphone and new tablet. He said that they were on sale during “Black Friday” so they really didn’t cost that much. 

Well, that is what they want you to think, but it raised your daily cost because now you are on a data plan and you used to not be so that is an extra $30 a month and your wife has one too, so that is $60 right there. That is an ongoing cost every single month and over $700 a year. 

Take that away and it’s like receiving a $ 0.35-an-hour raise. I know that isn’t a lot but if you tweak a few things it can add up, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. You may save up to $500 a month!

Why do you have a new tablet when you have a smartphone, they basically have the same function. So we continued this conversation and then talked about lifestyle inflation, and I said, “while I can give you a raise I am concerned that until your spending is under control it just won’t matter. Control your spending and you control your life and money, then when you get your raise you will be in a really good spot.

Income Doesn’t Always Matter

At the end of the day it just doesn’t matter what you make, it matters more what you spend. I know some doctors and lawyers that are broke and not going to be millionaires because of college debt and then add on a giant house, a vacation home, and a nice boat, and they are hundreds and hundreds of thousands in debt.

They love their new income but are always behind because they add debt upon debt because it’s nice to finally pull down $250k a year. However, their work career can be pretty short because they spent so much time in school that they have a shorter time span to try and make it up.

So that is why people with high incomes have problems and those with low incomes have problems because it just matters what your spending and obligations are at the end of the month. The only way to ever change it is by changing your spending.

It can take a while to get used to saving and not spending, but I have found that I enjoy seeing my money grow just as much if not more than the spending experience. There is never a letdown with more money. 

I have never said, “why do I have so much money…why did I save so much!” But I have said, “ugh, why did I buy that.” You should try it out and see how it feels.


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