If you’re like me, you have a good reason for everything. I like to be right. I like to see the angle. I like to understand why things happen and infer why things played out the way they did. It feels great to be right.
Here’s the problem with that mentality when it comes to your finances: You will have a GREAT reason for why you can’t make progress in your finances. Here are some real world examples from my life:
“No, see…the bank has a terrible policy. They charge things in a certain order and they don’t let me get money in by the end of the day so that’s why I need to borrow money so that I don’t stay in the negative.”
Here’s the deal. You’re the only one in control of your money. You are the only one in charge of making sure you understand what a written budget is. This isn’t easy if you’ve had no training. Seriously reach out to Jordan and I if you want help understanding how to MAKE a budget and how to get your finances in line. Ultimately, here’s a good kick in the butt, think about it: Do you want to be remembered as someone who borrowed and used the resources of everyone around them, or someone that had the tenacity to learn how to manage your money? I know this might be low level for some folks, but this is ALWAYS a good reminder.
Make a budget and realize it’s YOUR responsibility to learn how money works. No one showed it to you. You have to learn it. We have GREAT reasons why we are not spending money, but there is NOTHING that will replace feeling great after two weeks of spending money wisely. You feel financially straight and in order and you feel like you have control of the life you’re living instead of ALWAYS being a slave to who you owe money, time, effort, and energy to.
“They were supposed to pay me.”
This is HUGE. I worked for someone one time for over on HUNDRED hours. He didn’t pay me. He’s a HUGE name in the industry where I was working. I simply thought, based on his reputation, that I could trust him. I ended up paying to go to the in person part of the job and realized some of my design had been used in he client’s final product, but ultimately I had no firm contract and no recourse.
Do NOT spend money you don’t have in your pocket yet. Bonuses are NOT guarantees. Remember the Bonus Check in Christmas Vacation? Dude contracted a POOL to be built. It wasn’t his EVIL EMPLOYER’s fault that he didn’t get paid. It was ENTIRELY his responsibility to determine his income and outgoing cash flow. Do NOT assume you’re getting paid. Get everything in writing.
“No really, these guys screwed me and dropped my salary and gave me less hours!”
One time, I was at an employer’s house and he had people in his yard firing and calibrating his rifles as we pulled up to his multi-million dollar compound 2.5 hours away from our workplace (you can’t make this up). I realized this wasn’t normal and smiled, looking forward to whatever shenanigans this “company meeting” was about to present us with. Instead of the usual catered Chipotle, they literally served trays of peanut butter an Fluff. I actually fell out of my chair laughing because we joked about this after my check didn’t clear that week. There was a wonderful announcement that we would all be taking a 15% pay cut that night and that they were VERY thankful that we would stick this out with them.
I quit that night.
Now, before we get to the lesson. Please understand: I think that quitting a job before you have another one lined up is a TERRIBLE idea lol ultimately I am VERY grateful that I had a job with them in the first place. THEY TOOK A chance hiring a music major for a computer gig! THEY OWED me nothing. It was just time to move. I think this is irresponsible if you have obligations that you will need to pay. THREE other times, I stuck it out with the employer, but with the rifles, the peanut butter and fluff, and falling asleep driving home from these meetings after a 60 hour week, I’d had enough. I had a LITTLE cash and knew I could make it a month on what I had and that I would have a job by then or could flip phones and laptops to cover my small salary if I needed to.
It’s NOT your employer’s responsibility to make sure you get paid properly. That’s YOUR job. It’s THEIR job to maximize profit while keeping costs low. I think there’s a balance in between, honestly, but for MOST workplaces, they are focused on keeping costs down and making budget cuts whenever possible. You must go get the compensation you seek. I have doubled my income in 2 years using this principal. Literally. I make 2 times as much as I made 2 years ago because I simply believe I’m worth that much money. I save my company money in process efficiency and generate them profit by allowing efficient business to continue. After studying the cost I was saving them and having locally comparable market salaries in tow, I walked into my boss’s office and told him I need to make $XX,XXX more than I do now. He said he couldn’t do it and I told him “Thank you.” I immediately went looking for a new job. I got one within 3 weeks at the exact amount I asked for.
YOU are the SOLE controller of your income. It’s YOUR responsibility to get paid what you believe you should be paid.
Here’s the catch:
That means you ALSO are responsible for making sure you have skill-sets that make you invaluable to your employer. Do NOT walk into your boss’ office and demand a raise because you think you deserve it. I entered the workforce drastically underpaid because of the amount of student debt I was holding. I took a job because I needed to. I do NOT regret that. You must recognize where you are and do what you need to do to just “get it done”. BUT, once you realize where you want to go, be willing to do anything you need to do to become an extremely valuable resource in your profession.
This is a little bit of a kick in the butt post, but sometimes we need them. NO excuses. You’re not too young, too old, or too tired to make a difference for yourself unless you SAY you are. Use your words and thought process to change your outcome. Speak positively about your situation and realize that it is entirely within your control on YOUR end. Be prepared for the blessing and favor before it happens. Get ready for increase. I believe you will see it.
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