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My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to the question of earning more versus spending less. We both rather earn more to support our "lifestyle," even though we don't exactly have a lavish one. We just like to buy what we want to buy.
The other day my husband showed me two $100 gift certificates he received as an incentive from work. He had a rather pathetic, forlorn look on his face until I said, "That's great. You earned it. Have fun spending it on whatever you want." From the look of relief on his face, I knew he thought I'd demand he share it with me.
Knowing the tradeoffs
My husband and I don't mind working 50 to 60 hours a week. We love the flexibility to work at home because means we can be productive while spending time with our family. On the downside, I often have to cut conversations short with friends because I need to get back to work.
Putting enough aside for taxes
One of the main concerns for people who like to earn and spend rather than scrimp and save is the matter of taxes. We have to be diligent to save money every year for the tax bill.
Keeping our spending in check
Although we have the freedom to purchase many items we desire, we still stick to a budget. We earn money first and then spend rather than purchasing what we want on credit.
Cutting expenses isn't always enough
Although I understand why some people rather work fewer hours and cut expenses to get ahead, I've seen that approach backfire. Some people settle into early retirement only to learn they can't make it without supplementing their income. You can't control inflation.
Loving the freedom to live
What I love most about ditching the frugal lifestyle and earning more is the freedom to life. I can afford to travel. I can afford my favorite gourmet health food store purchases. I can be generous without feeling resentful.
When I think about the people I know, most of them either gravitate toward earning more or spending less. My younger sister, a registered nurse, often looks for overtime opportunities so she can earn more. My older sister tends to shop thrift stores and use coupons. One path is not better than the other. It's possible to live below your means taking either approach.