Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dear CR: Expenses High, Salary Low


I've got a lot of bills to pay and my current salary doesn't cover my living expenses. Normally I could earn more money, but there's a shortage of opportunity going around. Any suggestions?




You've got a few options, none of them easy.

First, you can cut your expenses. This is the hardest to do because it forces you to look at yourself and confront the fact that you can't live the lifestyle you've become accustomed to. I went through the process last year. At first I hated it, but now I love it. These days I hardly spend money on anything, and it feels pretty frikkin' good. It's easier to keep money you've got than to go make more of it.

Second, you can get a 2nd job. This option won't work for everyone given that there aren't enough jobs to begin with. Also, if your primary job requires you to think a lot, your performance may start to suffer. A good computer programmer working during the day and serving food at night is going to become exhausted, and thus a become bad programmer.

Third, you can move. There may be more opportunity somewhere else, so go look for it. Just be sure to make it easy on the employer who wants to hire you. Unless you're in high demand, no one really wants to think about what it'll take to relocate you and your family a bajillion miles. You also don't have to move to find another job. You could find a tropical location in a cheap part of the world and chill out for a year. Sitting on the beach doesn't cost a damn thing.

Use your imagination. Spend less and save more. You can do it.


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