Spending less than you earn

Trent Hamm over at The Simple Dollar started a new series summarizing his money and life principles. First in his series is a great rule that I follow with fervor: Rule #1: Spend Less Than You Earn. Hands down, this is easiest way to get control of your finances and get on a path of peaceful saving. 

After reading Trent’s post I thought about why I find this rule easy to follow. Here’s what I came up with:

Why I Find it Easy to Spend Less Than I Earn

  1. Peace of mind.  I’m a saver and I prefer not worrying about money. I’ve learned first hand that employees are expendable, but I don’t worry about losing my job because I have an emergency fund.
  2. I’m saving for my kids’ education.  I’d love for my kids to get college scholarships, but in case they don’t I save.
  3. I love working 30 hours a week.  I limit my spending so that I can work less. I enjoy picking up my kids from school and spending the afternoon with them.
  4. I don’t need to spend money to be happy.  Some of my best weekends are spent with my family doing free stuff or digging in my yard. The three things I used to spend money on are books, plants, and music. The library and the Internet are great resources for music and books. Pandora Internet Radio streams free music; it’s like a radio station without ads. And plants are everywhere and don’t need to be purchased, because gardeners love to share their wealth. I mainly spend money on social experiences, like concerts and events.  
  5. I’d like to retire someday.  Someday I’ll retire and spend my days reading, writing, and photographing my view of the world. 
  6. I really don’t need any more things.  If anything, I need less. I get great satisfaction from removing things from my home, not adding them.

All of these reasons make it easy for me to spend less than I earn.

The Get Rich Slowly blog offers this formula:

[WEALTH] = [WHAT YOU EARN] – [WHAT YOU SPEND]

As mundane as it may sound, the way to build wealth is to spend less than you earn.

How about you? Do you spend less than you earn? Do you find it easy? What are your motivations? Please leave a Comment.

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