More money, more problems, right?
Weeeeeeellll…not exactly. At least, not for me anyways.
I used to be broke. Like broke, broke. Like the “almost $80K in personal credit card debt” broke. I was the kind of broke that kept me up at night, constantly wondering how I was going to pay rent.
And it sucked.
Now that I’ve grown my business and have been able to increase my income, I can tell you that “more money, more problems” isn’t always true. I will gladly take a big paycheck over not being able to pay my bills, thank you.
I’ve learned a lot from then to now. And today, I want to talk about some of the biggest lessons learned from increasing my income — and how life is different since being broke.
Before I got my money ish in order, I was really stressed out. I don’t just mean that I had a lot on my plate or that I was too busy, I mean that sometimes, I was worried about whether or not I could pay all my bills. And if you’ve ever been in that spot, you know how awful that feeling is.
The stress was so bad that it kept me up at night. I’d constantly wake up at 2 am with panic over those bills. I hardly slept because I was so worried about it. And the long-term effects of that stress cause even more stress. It was a heavy burden to bear.
But now, I can sleep at night. I still get stressed out about other things, but knowing I have a roof over my head, no debt, and a steady income is something I’ll never take for granted.
When you’re strapped for cash, you’re spending more time trying to make money. You’re constantly having to shuffle things around to make sure a bill gets paid, or that your card won’t get declined when you go out with the girls. You’re always trying to squeeze what you can so you won’t overdraft your accounts.
But after making more money, I don’t have to worry about those things anymore. And I started to realize that I spent a lot of time (and mental energy) just trying to manage every penny.
Now, I have more time to do other things. I can pay for convenience because I’m not worried about whether or not an Uber ride will send me further into debt.
When you don’t have much, you’re scraping pennies together. You take the red-eye flight with two too many connections because it’s cheaper. Or buy clothes from cheap stores that don’t last and need to be replaced after a few washes.
One of the most exciting things about increasing my income was realizing that I could take flights with leg room…flights that didn’t require me to be up at 4 am and reach my destination at 10 pm because of layovers.
It’s opened up space for me to invest in better quality things and experiences.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m in my thirties now and have a lot more confidence than I used to, but increasing my business revenue and being able to pay myself more has opened up better opportunities.
I can pick and choose what I want to do. I don’t have to say yes to everything (even bids on my business when I put it up for sale), because my money isn’t controlling me anymore, I’m in control of it.
I don’t feel like I’m defined by my debt. When you have a lot of credit card debt, people tend to unnecessarily judge you for it. And as you probably already know, the credit card system is messed up. People with a lot of debt are often left paying it off millimeter by millimeter, never really making progress, and staying chained to that debt.
And whew…..am I glad to be rid of those chains.
I don’t exactly mean with your money, but that happens too. Because you aren’t always stressed, always pressed for time, and have limited resources, it makes you feel much more generous.
For example, I can host people at my home in Colorado more often. Or when a friend is going through a tough time, I can be there in practical ways. And it’s such a great feeling knowing I can pour into others that are pouring into me!
It’s not really fair to chalk up getting out of massive debt and improving my financial health to just one thing in particular. It took a lot of things to get there — support from others, lots of willpower, and learning how money really works.
But if I could tell anyone who’s in the shoes I used to be in, it’s to automate! Automating your finances makes things so much easier, and sets you on the path to more time, less stress, and ultimately, more money!
If you want to learn more about doing that, take a look at the video below!