One thing stuck out to me yesterday. That one thing: choice. Financial Planning 101 would tell you that when faced with a faced with a financial shortfall, you have the following options:
- increase your income with current job
- get an additional job
- spend less
- seek additional credit
Oddly enough 95% of Americans choose to seek additional credit (Side note about statistics: 80% of statistics are made up and the other 40% are inaccurate). Those who tend to improve their situation by increasing their incomes do it in the following ways. People with white-collar jobs tend to seek additional income opportunities within their current jobs, while blue-collar workers tend to get additional jobs. Yesterday was evidence of this. I met with a number of different couples both blue and white collar. They all had financial “issues”. The interesting part was how they each dealt with their problems.
One of the people I met with has two full time jobs. He makes a great deal of money in both blue-collar jobs, but he needs that money to deal with his financial issues. He was working a ton, but he had a great attitude about his future. He chose to take the easy way out. And by easy, I mean hard. You see, ultimately the easiest thing to do is to work your butt off and have two jobs. The easy thing in the short term would been for him to go into more debt.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.