Your Income is Your Greatest Wealth Building Asset

For those of us who like to read (and write) information on personal finance subjects, we spend energy on a wide range of wealth building strategies. Too often we ignore the concept of making money because we feel it’s something outside our control. After all, our employer pays us, we don’t pay ourselves, right? The reality is that your income is your greatest wealth building asset (at least until you get everything else going).

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Keeping & Growing Income

The first thing to focus on is keeping and growing your income. Obviously, this is a concern for many people today considering the high unemployment in America. If you’re wanting to improve your financial situation, you must re-establish your income even if it means taking a less-than-ideal job. If you have a job still, do what you can to keep it — and if you’re in the minority with an opportunity for a raise or other opportunities, take advantage them!

Next, I believe it’s worthwhile to pursue additional income opportunities to create income outside your “main job.” This has been a main focus of my blogging for a couple years now — finding ways to make extra money to improve one’s financial situation. So, do put in the time and effot to build extra income opportunities for yourself.

Letting Your Income Work

Now, letting your income work for you is what almost all Americans struggle to do. What do I mean by this? I mean letting your income actually building your wealth. Instead, most Americans inhibit their income and put obstacles in front of it and prevent it from building wealth.

For example, the biggest obstacle is debt. By tacking on insane levels of debt, we fail to let our income build wealth. How? Well, big chunks of our income immediately go towards paying interest on our debt rather than building wealth via savings and investments. Basically, we latch on to ourselves burdens that force larger and larger portions of our income to be diverted to others instead to ourselves.

Even for those of us without debt, we still put things in the way of our incomes such as lifestyle and consumer spending. Even if we’re paying cash for our lifestyle, we’re still preventing our income from building wealth. Let me give you a real example — how about what we spend on food, specifically, eating out? By having the habit of eating out frequently, we automatically funnel a portion of our income into restaurants all in the name of a short term craving. While eating out is great, keeping the frequency to a reasonable level is a smart way to allow your income to work for you more and more.

Conclusion

Learning to invest and learning about credit and so forth is great stuff to learn, but don’t lose sight of the fact that your income is your greatest asset. Maintain it, maximize it, and let it work for you. Divert as much of your income as possible into assets and wealth building instruments — namely, investments and savings. Make incremental improvements in this area and you’ll see your financial situation improve drastically.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author

By , on May 13, 2013
Kevin Duffey is the writer behind 20smoney.com. 20smoney.com focuses on aggressive investing, developing income streams, money management and more with advice targeting 20-somethings. You can read more about his pursuits of online income and financial freedom.

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{5 Comments}

  1. My lack of steady income is the biggest hurdle I face in achieving financial freedom. I invest, save, spend wisely, but it doesn’t really matter how awesome I am at all those things if I’m not bringing enough in.

  2. Phil Horton says:

    I totally agree that a person’s income is their biggest wealth growth opportunity. We have cut way back on our eating out habit. We used to eat out mostly because it seemed easier than cooking after a long day of work. However, with a little planning, there are tons of easy meals that can be prepared in short order and are healthier for you to boot!

  3. Absolutely true, and too often overlooked. How we manage our income definitely has the most impact.

  4. Dennis says:

    Very true. People focus on saving more too often. The real focus should be on earning more and spending the same.

    A nice reminder post.

  5. Completely agree; and the mastery is to move away from selling labour to selling reputation. Then your income increases manyfold and accumulation for investment becomes much faster.

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