IHHE Rant: It Is NOT An Income Issue

Pardon me while I rant for a moment …

I encounter numerous people who believe that their financial situation is solely an income issue.   In nearly every case, they are wrong.

For example, Eddy Curry is an NBA basketball player who has reportedly made $57,267,294 in his career and is being paid $11,276,863 this season alone.   He is in financial trouble.   According to THIS ARTICLE from the NY Daily News, Eddy has defaulted on a $570,000 loan with 85% interest.   Read that again.   A huge loan for 85% interest.

Call me crazy, but this is not the result of an income issue.

While Eddy’s situation is an extreme case, I know many people who make ordinary amounts of money who genuinely believe that the answer to their financial struggles is more money.

Two cases in point:

Individual lost job and is in the financial ditch

  • They worked for 20 years and managed to save up exactly $0.
  • They earned $25,000/year for 20 years – that is $500,000, yet they managed to save exactly $0.
  • I wonder what their situation would have been if they had saved up $10,000 or $20,000 of that money over that 20 year period
  • If one saved $19.23/week for 20 years, they would have $20,000 – with no interest growth!
  • CONCLUSION: NOT an income issue.   Definitely a planning/saving issue.
  • SOLUTION:   Make SAVING a top priority!

Individual makes good money, but has no extra money.

  • Their non-house debt load is $600/month in payments (car, student loan, credit card, and furniture)
  • If they eliminated the debt, it would equal about $800/month in a gross income pay raise!
  • That is $9,600/year
  • CONCLUSION:   NOT an income issue.   Definitely a planning/spending issue.
  • SOLUTION:   Plan every dime earned.   Refuse to sign up for more debt starting immediately.

Here is how to win with what you have:

  • PLAN every dime
  • GIVE some
  • SAVE some
  • INVEST some
  • SPEND some


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  1. Kris on May 26, 2010 at 5:31 am

    My rant:


    You hit the nail on the head, but you should have also listed the obvious causes for the financial debacle we are all in… Basing the majority of our financial decisions and lives on credit and debt!

    As far as I know, the curriculum in High School does not include a mandatory business class that could teach the basics about budgets, the value of cash vs. credit, etc. College students, aiming for high paid pro athlete careers usually are ill prepared for the life of glamour and riches; that’s why 85% of all pro athletes are soon forgotten when they are out of the limelight!

    The motto should be “Cash is King”! Living from paycheck to paycheck just to cover the minimum credit card payment each month just doesn’t cut it… Of course our government has never been a good example and the current “Clown in Charge” has extended the limits of recovery far beyond what can be undone in the near or far future.

    Rant off!

  2. Terri McDonadl on May 26, 2010 at 5:34 am

    When I hear people complain about their “income” and it not being enough, I often think , ” God will not bless you with a million if you cannot manage a thousand.”
    I have watched many people with incomes that have fluctuated up and down and it really doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum they are on, they are broke.
    My sister in law was recently in a car accident that totaled her car. The insurance company is paying her $5,000 of which she has to pay the balance of her loan against the car which is $1500. Instead of shopping for a car that costs $3500, she has opted to use that as a down payment to buy a $15,000 car. Now, she was having problems making the payment on the old car but instead of eliminating that debt she has chosen to get further in debt with a higher payment and longer term of the loan. Is it just me, or can everyone else see that is just plain silly?

  3. Todd Helmkamp on May 26, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Absolutely Joe! And I agree with Kris, I had to learn the hard way how to budget, how to avoid debt, etc. Nobody expects us to learn how to drive on our own, why aren’t we taught this as well?

  4. Jill on May 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Joe, Last year we took two paycuts. This month my husband was laid off. While this was a big disappointment, we will make it through. We live a frugal life. We give generously, save and plan. We drive old but reliable cars and have no consumer debt. If we lived life upside down, we would be in big trouble. Because of God’s provision and handling money His way, we have peace.

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