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  • Ryoga

Are You Broke? We Spend More When We Have Money

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

American dollars are falling from the wallet

Do you always find yourself saying that you're broke, and struggling with finances? Whether you earn less than average or even more, it's common to feel like you don't have enough money. The truth is, while you may not have an abundance of money, you likely have enough to cover your basic needs and survive. Many people share this sentiment, constantly claiming that they don't have enough money.

It's a simple reality that many of us grapple with: why do we seem to spend more when our income increases? This article dives deep into this financial paradox and provides strategies to escape this cycle.

Our Relationship with Money

We all have unique relationships with money, often shaped by our upbringing, experiences, and societal norms. For some, money is a scarce resource, constantly being stretched to meet daily needs. For others, it's a tool for obtaining luxury and comfort.

However, a common thread runs through these diverse perspectives: the perceived need for more money. Irrespective of our income level, most of us believe that having more money would significantly improve our lives. But is this belief grounded in reality?

The Cycle of Spending: More Money, More Expenses

Take a moment to reflect on your spending habits. Do you notice a pattern? Most people, when observing their expenditures, will find that their spending tends to increase alongside their earnings. This phenomenon, in economic terms, is known as the income effect. It suggests that as income increases, so does consumption.

But while some of this additional spending is on essential items, a significant portion is often directed towards non-essential, luxury goods and services. This is where the problem lies.

The Downside of Extravagance

Consider this: You've just received a significant raise at work. Naturally, you decide to celebrate. Maybe you start dining at upscale restaurants, buying designer clothes, or even upgrading your car.

Sure, these upgrades might enhance your lifestyle, but do they contribute to your long-term success and happiness? Probably not.

Instead, they create a new standard of living that you now feel obligated to maintain. This cycle of earning and spending can be endless, and it's why many people feel like they never have enough money, regardless of their income level.

Breaking the Cycle: Invest in Your Goals

Blackboard says invest yourself

So, how do we escape this pattern of spending more when we have money? The answer lies in shifting our focus from spending to investing.

Investing, in this context, doesn't merely refer to stocks and bonds. It also involves investing in ourselves and our future. This could be through learning new skills, hiring help for tasks that don't contribute directly to our goals, or creating more time for ourselves to focus on what truly matters.

Investment Example

Here's an example: If you aspire to be a successful YouTuber, your main tasks would be creating content and expanding your knowledge. You could invest in a good video editor to save time on editing. Similarly, if you aspire to be an entrepreneur, the essential tasks may vary depending on your business. For instance, when you need to reach out to prospects, you can invest in hiring a skilled copywriter and outreach specialists. This investment allows you to focus on these crucial tasks, which are essential for your success.

The 10000 Hours Rule: A Path to Mastery

You might be wondering, "How much time should I invest in my goals?" A popular theory answers this question: the 10000 hours rule. This rule, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book 'Outliers,' states that to achieve mastery in any field, one must practice it for 10,000 hours.

How many Weeks Are 10000 Hours?

Let's break this down. If you work a 9-5 job 5 days a week and want to create more time for working on your goals, you could wake up 2 hours earlier each day and dedicate 12 hours to your goals on your day off. By doing this, you would be working on your goals for a total of 34 hours per week. In this scenario, it would take you approximately 294 weeks (or about 5.5 years) to reach 10,000 hours. But if you could free up more time by reducing your regular work hours, you could potentially cut this time in half.

Work Less, Achieve More

The idea of working less to achieve more might seem counterintuitive, but it's possible. If you can afford to reduce your working hours without compromising your survival needs, you should consider it.

Remember, we're not advocating for you to exchange your time for money. Instead, the focus should be on investing your time wisely to achieve your long-term goals.


The journey to financial independence and personal fulfillment is a marathon, not a sprint. It demands a shift in perspective, from spending more when we have money to investing more.

Don't let your income dictate your spending. Break the cycle, invest in your goals, and see the transformation unfold.


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