Are you making enough money? That's a great question, but it's the wrong question. The real question is, "What are your financial goals?" Do you have any financial goals? If you don't have any financial goals or if you have the wrong financial goals, how do you know if you are making enough money?
Growing up, my first financial goals were to buy toys, mainly Star Wars action figures, Micronauts and Legos. My allowance provided enough money to meet my goals. Then I graduated to more expensive financial goals. I bought fishing poles and other items, but most of my money went into buying and fixing up my car. To accomplish these goals, I had to increase the amount of money I was making. I graduated from allowance to a part time job paying around $4 per hour.
As I got older, I needed more money to meet my needs and I found better jobs. During my college days, I lucked out and landed a $15 per hour job for the summer. Suddenly I found myself making twice as much money as I'd ever made before. Unfortunately, my financial goals were still the same...buy more stuff. I didn't have the right financial goals.
So how do you know if you are making enough money? The answer isn't quite that simple. First you have to set your financial goals...and they need to be the right financial goals. Once you have good financial goals, it's easier to know if you are making enough money. In reality though, enough money is a tricky way of looking at things. An enough money mindset can make you miss out on your real potential and opportunity in life. What do I mean? Here's an example.
In college, I made $15 per hour. More than twice the money I'd made at any other time in my life. In reality, $15 per hour is about $30,000 per year. If you work 40 hours per week for 52 weeks a year, you have 2,080 hours of work. Taking 2 weeks for vacation, you end up with around $30,000 for your annual income. $15 an hour was a lot of money to me in college. I was fixed on an hourly mindset because that is all I knew.
After graduating college, I landed a $13 per hour job with lots of overtime. I made $39,000 my first year. Over the next several years, my pay rate changed allowing me to decrease my hours of work but still increase my pay. I made $47,500 or $20 per hour (I worked some overtime). During those years, my financial goals were pretty straight forward. Get out of debt, pay the house mortgage and bills, feed the family. Oh, and become a millionaire by age 40. Just your basic financial goals right?
While my financial goals were pretty good, my income didn't really line up with my financial goals. I was not making enough money to hit my goal of becoming a millionaire by age 40. Now, you need to know I actually set that goal when I was 25, 2 years before I was married and building a family. Adding a wife, kids and more bills to the mix threw off my single guy financial plan. I needed more money if I wanted to reach my millionaire goal and stay on track with my millionaire plan.
My income was maxed out on my current job. I needed to find another job or another way to boost my income. I decided to take a chance and change both my job and career. I entered the tech industry during the dotcom rise, and it paid off. Before long, my income was growing 25% to 50% per year, and my financial goals were back on track. Become a millionaire by age 40.
Now, what would have happened if I hadn't had financial goals? I probably would have become complacent with my $47,500 and year job and the 3% raises that went along with it each year. I would have thought, "I'm making enough money." My financial goal let me know that my income and my goals were out of whack. I needed to find a way to boost my income.
Getting More Income
There are lots of ways to boost your income. You just need to pick one and go for it, but be smart about it. Weigh the risks of change.
In my case, I chose a job and career change. I went from being a manufacturing engineer to being a technology guy. Both were great professions, but one held more opportunity for income. Later during my technology career, I stepped more into a business leadership role and that yielded even more opportunity and more income.
Building a supplemental income stream is a great way to boost your income while maintaining your current job. Maybe you like your job or it has great benefits and is stable. That's okay, but you don't have settle with being stuck on your income. You can make some money on the side. Plenty of people create online businesses through reselling products.
Yet another way to boost your income is through Direct Sales Businesses. These businesses provide all the infrastructure of a business while you spread the word about the business and bring them new clients. They pay you to help them build their business. There are hundreds of these types of businesses around peddling various products from make-up and health supplements to complete household goods. Instead of paying a marketing budget like most companies do for advertising, they pay you to spread the word about their business. DSA businesses can be great hybrid models if you don't want to commit to starting and running your own business. The beauty is almost anyone can be successful with a direct sales business, but the other reality is that almost anyone can fail as well. Whether you succeed or fail is really up to you. Will you do what it takes. Winners never quit and quitters never win.
My goal in asking you, "Are you making enough money?" is this. If you're making $50,000, what could you do to boost your income to make $60,000 or $70,000. If you are making $100,000, what could you do to make $120,000 or $150,000. How would this extra money affect your financial goals for the better? If you have a millionaire plan, how can you accelerate your plan with a little extra money?
The money is out there. You just need to decide if you're going to go get it.