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Do You Have a Spending Problem or an Earning Problem?

Spending Problem or an Earning ProblemWhen you look at most financial advice online, they tend to cater it to people who have a spending problem.

Given the statistics that come out about our lack of savings as a whole, it’s easy to assume that most of us are spending too much money. Not to mention that, culturally speaking, we tend to partake in consumerism.

However, as I’ve come to learn through my own financial journey, financial issues aren’t always because of a spending problem. Sometimes, it’s actually an earning problem.

This post was written by Amanda Abella, an expert writer and speaker in personal finance.

The Moment I Realized I Had an Earning Problem

I’ve spent the better part of a decade teaching myself personal finance. Like I already mentioned, most of it is catered to people who overspend, don’t have savings and don’t have money to invest.

Fast forward a few years and I am no longer one of those people, yet I was still having issues reaching my financial goals. That’s when I realized what I really had was an earning problem. It was earning that was really going to move the needle for me, not finding ways to cut in my already drastically cheap life.

Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you have a spending problem or an earning problem.

Have you already cut your expenses as much as you can?

Here’s the issue I have with the extreme frugality movement. There’s really only so much you can cut down on expenses before your quality of life starts to suffer.

Even if your quality of life is still okay, there’s only so much you can do as far as not spending money. You eventually get to a point where your expenses are as low as they can go. At this point, saving on a $4 latte isn’t really going to do much to really make a difference.

If you’ve already reached this point and you’re still not making much headway toward your financial goals, then you probably have an earning problem.

Do you feel overworked for little return?

I consider myself a recovering under-earner. This means I’m someone who is healing from not earning money to my fullest potential. I’ve made a lot of progress in this area of my life, but I still have to keep it in check.

One of the ways I realized that I had an earning problem was when I started to feel frustrated and overworked without much to show for it. I noticed I was still giving away too much of my time for free, I was still hesitant to outsource, I’d been procrastinating on creating digital products because of perfectionism and I hadn’t revised my coaching and consulting packages.

Well, no wonder I was feeling overworked and broke! The moment I realized this is the moment I invested in new team members, started charging more money, started promoting digital courses and started charging a lot more money for my coaching.

That’s the stuff that’s moving the needle, not cutting more.

Final Thoughts

Money management is a two-pronged approach. You need to stop spending unnecessarily but you also need to find ways to earn more. Once you start implementing the two on a regular basis, then you’re able to make real progress.

Do you have a spending problem? Or an earning problem?

Battle of the Mind Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I first read this as “do you have a spending problem or an eating problem” and thought yes! I probably eat too much of my salary.

    Now onto your actual topic, I completely agree, there is only so many frugal tips you can follow, you also need to consider ways to earn more. When I give this advice to people they often don’t think it is possible to do, especially if they are in a low paying job role, so I always challenge them to think outside the box and how they can utilise their skillset to get a promotion, a different job or start a ide business.

    I’m glad you came to this realisation and are now much happier (and wealthier!) for it.

    • It really is amazing how many people don’t think they can earn more via a promotion or a side hustle isn’t it?

      For anyone reading this, YOU CAN EARN MORE! No matter what your skill-set, I bet you can earn money doing it. If you’re still hesitant, email me through the Contact tab at the top of this page. I dare you. 😉

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