When hunting for jobs or pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, we often fall into the trap of looking at income. Of course, income is important, and if there are available methods to increase our income, we should take them, but if we pursue income without thinking about saving money, then we will end up stuck in the mud, spinning our wheels and getting nowhere.
This is a lesson that I have been learning here in China. My income has reduced compared to what I made back in America, but lower taxes and a cheaper cost of living have made it easier for me to start building my savings. In comparison with the life that I would have been stuck with in America, I must say that I made the right choice both financially and socially by coming to China.
Don’t get me wrong: it could be very easy to blow a lot of money here in China, especially if I indulged myself in the party lifestyle that many foreigners engage in here. Of course, many of the non-Black foreigners have financial safety nets laid out for them with the special treatment and additional money-making opportunities that they have just for existing, but I am not a super-duper White guy or exotic Latino, so I need to keep my money in my pocket in order to grow it. I’ve been out in the Game here, done my dirt, and have had many drinks bought for me out in the clubs back during my time in Xi’an; I am serious about wanting to be financially free and stable, so stacking is my only option now until better opportunities present themselves. If and when they do, I will simply have more to stack.
A good friend of mine that struggled for years to build a successful business here in China contacted me recently. His toiling finally paid off, and he often makes what I make in a month as a pissant English teacher in one week or less. I admire his success, but with his increased income, he has drastically increased his spending, buying every latest gadget. While he does reinvest some of his money into his business, he reports still being broke, since he does not save much for himself. This illustrates the point that all of the income in the world means little if nothing is stored away. All of his hard work will not lead to real freedom if he does not learn to save and invest for his personal freedom.
Living paycheck-to-paycheck absolutely sucks, and those of us with minuscule incomes often find it hard to save money. Still, depending on our lifestyle, there are probably ways that we can set some money aside:
Cut the Fat
We should try our best to cut out some costs in order to save just a little bit. This could be going out partying excessively, so-called vices such as drinking or smoking, eating out, buying expensive things when there are more affordable alternatives, and so on. It’s better to do without that pricey video game or dinner at Red Lobster if it will allow us to set aside some money for our future.
Increase our Income
This is something that is easier said than done, but if we have Internet access, there are ways to try that do not take too much money to get started. Writing for others is one possible way to make a little bit of side cash. Those that are skilled at art also have a world of potential clients, as there is a litany of people that require graphic design out there. Affiliate marketing is yet another potential way to make a bit of change, especially those that are skilled at SEO or garnering a following.
The sooner we start saving, the more it will count for us in regards to compound interest and investment returns. Try to find ways that you can save as well as ways that you can make more money. Time is money as well, so utilizing what spare time we have productively is also imperative towards improving our financial positions in life.