What is more important than saving money?
Written by Christoph Schnelle and published in the December 2015 / January 2016 issue of Style magazine
What is more important than saving money? Easy: Earning money! In order to save, we have to earn enough so that we can save.
If we are good at saving, we are well on our way to increasing our wealth. But if we increase our savings AND our earnings, we are turbocharging our way towards wealth.
So what stops us from increasing our earnings?
Here something strange happens quite often when I talk to people. Their first answer is that they can’t increase their earnings and that it is hard enough to earn what they are already earning. But when we look a little deeper, we almost always find plenty of ways - often a cornucopia of ways to increase their earnings appears.
One of the key ways to increase your earnings is to increase your skills. This is obvious but there are ways to look at skills that most of us never do.
A lot of skills that make us money are actually life skills and those can be learned on a day to day basis. The most important moneymaking skill of these life skills is … looking after your body.
If you say to me that you see plenty of people who are making lots of money but are abusing their body, then you are right, but most of these people will run out of steam sooner or later.
If we live in such a way that we enjoy making money, there is no reason to stop. Quite possibly we will have a far better time (and much more money) than somebody who is worn out and just wants to retire as soon as possible.
We can’t control every aspect of staying healthy but reducing those things that leave us tired and worn out, and increasing those things that make us feel refreshed and full of beans, makes a big and pleasant difference over time. Having more energy also gives us more space to find money making opportunities.
Once we look after our body, the next best way to increase our wealth is to improve our formal and informal skills.
Here again, one of the key skills is not to make major mistakes. Going to university and studying something with no earnings potential or almost no professional future can be very enjoyable but essentially it is leisure – and something that can leave you with a lot of debt followed by a hard time finding work that you actually enjoy. Studying something you find boring purely for the future job security is almost as bad – you may earn good money but will have a hard time enjoying it. People often find lots of ways to compensate for a boring job and many of these ways cost money making them less wealthy.
The same applies to certificates and trade skills. Finding something you enjoy that also allows you to earn money may be much harder than just finding something you enjoy. But the effort is extremely well spent because if you are on the right path, then more and more doors open up ahead of you.
Some of the most valuable informal skills are people skills! Learning how to have fun around people, how to harmoniously work with people, how to sell to people when needed, even how to speak publicly, each of these skills can greatly increase our lifetime earnings as we will get more and more support from others.
Looking after our body and taking great care in acquiring formal skills are among the best ways to increase not only lifetime wealth but also lifetime enjoyment. Then the question becomes “what to do with that extra money”? Well, we can go and see a good financial adviser!