Should You Earn More, or Spend Less? Why Not Do Both? Here’s How

When it comes to money there are two schools of thought: focus on earning more, or focus on spending less.  Sam and Stan, a newlywed couple, have a different strategy: why not earn more and spend less?

They were a part of Best Money Class Ever last spring because, “we didn’t have a roadmap,” said Stan.

Sam is an attorney with LaRue Tactical and Stan works in politics. They found themselves saving here and there, but then spending a lot on eating out, and entertainment. They wanted to be smart with their money and invest for their future, but didn’t know where to start.

“We didn’t know what to do with our retirement. I didn’t know anything about IRAs.  I needed to learn, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn,” said Sam.

As newlyweds, they hadn’t gotten around to merging finances, but after class they quickly decided to. “We combined checking accounts… it is all one.  That was a good change.  It simplified everything,” said Sam.

How They’re Spending Less:
Since spending money eating out was adding up, they now take out a set amount of cash to pace their spending each week versus just swiping a card. This really helped with their day-to-day spending.

“The class changed our habits,” said Stan.

Instead of eating out every day for lunch, he now takes his lunch to work, “I get sliced turkey, cheese, pickles, mustard, and bread plus some good ol’ classic Lay’s potatoes chips,” said Stan.

Their trips to the grocery store are now more organized versus just throwing everything in the cart.  They now mostly dine-in, and splurge once a week by going to a sushi Happy Hour for a treat.

Do these little habits make a difference?  Sure seems like it.  

“We (now) basically live on a paycheck and save a paycheck,” they said.

How They’re Earning More:
Sam enjoys her full-time job, but her wheels started spinning on how to get extra legal work.  After hearing how another student pursued his passion with a side job, she decided she wanted to bring in extra income.

“We don’t have any kids.  I only have a wiener dog! I watch a lot of television. Why not?” said Sam.

She spent this summer researching and setting up shop to take on extra work. In August she started drafting trusts on the side for a very niche market. When people buy firearms they are heavily regulated so she drafts trust for people who purchase a particular type of firearm.

She has since doubled her income.

What’s Their Motivation for Earning More and Spending Less?
For starters they want to retire young and always have options.  Their immediate focus is Stan’s 2001 truck.  They are now on track to save $30,000 to outright buy his next truck by the New Year. (*Update, they did it! They bought a car with cash).

Plus, managing money isn’t all work and no play. They recently got back from a two week trip to Europe.

What do you think, would you rather earn more, spend less, or both?

I’m with Sam and Stan, why not do both?

P.S. If you’re wondering if Best Money Class Ever is for you,  Sam and Stan are real people, who made real progress. If you have questions about class, submit your question here!

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