If you’re anything like me you often set goals for yourself. With respect to personal finance, these goals are often directly or indirectly related to how much one makes. If you have a goal to pay down debt, you have to base your pay down rate around how much discretionary income you have. If you are looking to buy a house, you typically make sure your mortgage payment is no more than XX% of your take home pay. There’s no denying our incomes are crucial pieces of the game that is personal finance.
So what if I told you Girl Ninja and I are intentionally falling short of our maximum income potential? Some might think that’s crazy, but I suspect those that really think about it will admit, they too are guilty of under-achieving.
Here are two ways the Ninja household is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to more money.
Girl Ninja’s Job:
She taught public school in San Diego last year and her contract paid $40,000/year. Last year sucked major vacuum (see what I did there?). She was worn down emotionally and physically which in turn put unnecessary stress on our marriage. So when we made the move to Seattle, we had a few decisions to make. Does she look for a public school contract, a private school contract, or go back to substituting? Ultimately, we decided she should give private school a shot and see if her overall work/life balance would improve. It has She makes $11,000 less this year than last, but she is at least $20,00/yr happier. I’ll take that trade any day of the week.
So I mentioned yesterday I made $13,000 last year from PDITF. Many of you are like “Holy cow, you mean you get paid to write this garbage?” Not exactly, it’s more like I write this garbage regardless, and sometimes people give me their monies. I love their monies.
Thirteen G’s sounds like a lot of money to those that don’t understand how blogging works (from a business perspective), but let’s get real; It’s pennies compared to what many other PF bloggers make. You might not realize it but Get Rich Slowly, Bargaineering, The Simple Dollar, and Consumerism Commentary all sold for millions of dollars. Literally. (click link for reference)
(side note: there have been times I’ve wanted to write about how personal finance bloggers go about making major money on their blog, but am not sure if this is something that you care about since many of you are not bloggers yourself. Would love to hear from the non-blogging community as to whether this would interest you or make you want to stab your eyeballs out).
Suddenly $13,000 doesn’t seem like so much. If I was more disciplined (read: If I cared) I don’t imagine I would have much difficulty doubling my blog income in just a few months. There are all sorts of SEO tricks, ghost writers, ad networks, etc that I could use to make this thing more profitable. But frick, I spend about five hours a week on PDITF (an hour for each post) and at this point in my life, I have no desire to spend any more of my precious free time on it. Not even if it means I could make more.
So yeah, money is cool and all, and I’m sure if our income wasn’t as generous as it is right now we’d focus our attention on making more. But in this current phase of life we are chilling out maxing, relaxing all cool, shooting some b-ball outside of the school (fresh prince of bel-air reference). Translation: we are content with our current position.
We have zero desire to work harder just to make another dollar. Money can buy me more stuff, but it can’t buy me more time.
So reader, are you maximizing your earning potential? If not, how much more do you think you could make in 2012? Be reasonable not optimistic. What lead you to the decision to pass that money up?
p.s. I have no beef with people who are maximizing their potential, especially if it’s for life improvements like paying down debt, vacationing more, retiring earlier, blah blah blah.
p.p.s. I’m going to include a link at the end of each article from now on with my favorite “nail” that was recently posted to MANteresting… How to save a life if someone is choking.