Many people have the belief that money is hard to make. They sometimes even believe that “the rich” are actively trying to prevent them from having more money themselves.
I cannot overemphasize how harmful this belief is to your pursuit of greater abundance. This set of beliefs is the single largest obstacle to you opening to greater wealth in your life.
And the thing is, it isn’t even true. Yes certainly, if you look for it, you can probably find some evidence, but that’s just the law of attraction at work: whatever you believe and look for in your world, you will find.
What if I told you that money was rather easy to make more of? What if I told you that the economy was actually built in such a way as to encourage amassing wealth?
You likely wouldn’t believe me. But, I’ll ask you to hang on for the ride and give me a chance to explain myself.
And, be forewarned that some of the things I’ll share in this post won’t be comfortable. It’ll force you to look at your current financial situation and realize that the responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders for how successful, or not, you have been—how wealthy, or not, you are. You can no longer blame “the rich”, businesses, the government, etc.
This isn’t blame, necessarily. Many—probably even most—people are clueless when it comes to these things. They don’t know about the financial principles of building wealth, and they also don’t know how to increase that growth through the law of attraction.
But you do. Or at least, you will. And then, you no longer have an excuse.
Are you okay with that? If so, keep on reading.
Why the Law of Attraction Won’t Save You
The LOA community is just about the worst when it comes to real, concrete discussions of wealth. Why is this?
I think there are several reasons:
1. The LOA Can’t Replace Good Financial Decisions
Firstly, there is this idea that if you know how to use the law of attraction, you can just wish really hard and piles of money will come crashing through your door.
It doesn’t help that there are certainly some stories where money has just shown up. People have manifested checks just being delivered into their mailbox. And so, everyone thinks that financial abundance consists of doing no work, making no preparation, and money just showing up.
For some people, generally with already very positive beliefs about money, this can sometimes happen. I’m emphasizing sometimes because I personally think it’s foolish to rely on this as a strategy of wealth-building.
And yes, I on occasion have manifested my way out of a dire situation and had money show up in unexpected ways. But the thing is, this shouldn’t be the norm.
It’s kind of like this: if you’re in the desert and parched from lack of water, certainly some who are very good at manifesting could potentially make water just show up. Moses was able to get water out of a rock, after all.
But perhaps we could have avoided the need for such a dramatic demonstration if you had simply, you know, brought enough water in the first place?
It’d be silly to make your water-acquisition strategy consist of, “Make water show up out of nowhere.”
It’s really nice that we have running water nowadays. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to rely on my manifesting ability to make water show up out of thin air, when I could instead go turn on the faucet.
So similarly, if you have to manifest a check showing up in order to pay your rent so you don’t get evicted, then there’s a deeper problem. Wouldn’t it be nicer if money showed up consistently, on a regular basis, in quantities sufficient to meet all your needs? Wouldn’t that be less stressful?
And perhaps some would show up from unexpected sources. But trying to repeat that feat deliberately, again and again, is just tiring.
Does that mean the law of attraction isn’t useful? No, of course not. It means that you’re applying it at the wrong step of the process.
Apply the law of attraction to actually creating greater amounts of consistent income from sources that are fun and enjoyable to you.
If that seems difficult to you, I have news: you actually don’t even have to do that. Greater wealth is actually far simpler than any of this: it’s just about making responsible decisions, and using the law of attraction to smooth out the process along the way.
If you don’t know if you necessarily believe in the law of attraction, then substitute it for “mindset”.
A positive mindset will take you further than a negative one, but it isn’t a replacement for actually making the best decisions available to you in the moment. It’s an aid, not the entire story. You can’t get by on positive thoughts alone.
2. You Must Understand What Abundance Really Is
Secondly, people seem to have a misconception of what abundance actually is. This is magnified in the law of attraction community.
If you know about Abraham-Hicks, then you’re probably familiar with their “prosperity game”.
Basically it goes like this: on day 1 pretend you have $1,000. You have to spend every last dollar of this. Imagine in detail what you’d spend that on. On day 2, you’ll get $2,000, day 3 $3,000, and so on. Each day, you have to spend the full amount, because you’ll be getting more the next day.
I tried this game once, and it just got tiring. There aren’t enough things I want to spend that much money on.
But now I realize how absolutely harmful this little game is:
Firstly, it is unrealistic. You’re never going to get money every single day, and certainly not in those amounts.
Secondly, it encourages the idea that you should spend every dollar of the money that comes in. This is a consumer mindset, and highly dangerous to your efforts of building wealth.
Thirdly, it doesn’t conform with what rich people actually do, at least those who remain rich. If you read a book like The Millionaire Next Door, you’ll learn that most millionaires aren’t spending extravagantly: indeed they are often rather frugal and living far below their means. This holds up in my experience, with the people I’ve known with lots of money.
Does that mean that no millionaires spend extravagantly? No, of course not. But those who tend to remain millionaires tend to not spend so much. There are always exceptions, but this is the trend.
Fourthly, this game conflates abundance with spending.
So here’s one of the most important questions you could answer for yourself: what is abundance, to you?
If it’s the ability to spend as much as possible and have all the latest gadgets, then I’m sorry to say your likelihood of becoming rich, or even doing more than living paycheck-to-paycheck, is infinitesimally small.
But when most people hear “abundance”, that’s exactly what they think of. They think of buying the biggest houses, the nicest cars, etc.
Am I saying that’s not available to you? No, of course not. What I’m saying is that these things don’t mean abundance. And I’d suggest asking yourself whether these things really bring happiness.
To me, true wealth is the freedom to work or not work, to never fear there being a lack of money, for there always to be plenty to cover those things that allow me to live a happy life.
You have to define what happiness is to you. But the only guidance I’d offer here is to say, happiness doesn’t come from things. Things can sometimes augment happiness, but happiness is an inside out job. You have to be happy, and the things you have will support that happiness. But spending in order to find happiness is a fool’s errand.
Therefore, in brief, I’d say that abundance, or wealth, is the ability to live a happy life.
The Responsibility Lies with You
Wealth is simple. Don’t believe me?
There’s a great financial blogger I came across recently called JL Collins, and I love the way he describes this:
Spend less than you earn – invest the surplus – avoid debt
Do simply this and you’ll wind up rich. Not just in money.
If your lifestyle matches or, god forbid exceeds, your income you are no more than a gilded slave.
So let’s cover some of the objections you might have:
1. It’s Not an Income Problem, It’s a Spending Problem
You might complain, “That’s great, but I just don’t make enough money.”
This might be true for some, but odds are that if you live in a first world country, you do make enough to dig yourself out of the hole.
Yes, even if you are making minimum wage, you can still work towards financial freedom. Lots of hard truths in that post I just linked, but if you can take it, then you’re well on your way to success.
Yes, if you make minimum wage, you might have to (temporarily) make some sacrifices, but if that’s the cost of freedom, then surely it’s worth it?
And again, if you can apply the LOA, then you probably don’t even have to do that for very long. Just the willingness to do what it takes is often enough to cause the Universe to send you along an opportunity to improve your situation.
But as the heading says, it’s not an income problem, it’s a spending problem.
JL Collins talks about a friend of his who once complained that his year-end bonus of $800,000 wasn’t enough to live on. And yes, he was serious. The truth was, he was spending over $175,000 every three months.
I’ve heard of many employers who say that often, no matter how much they pay their employees, those employees are often still just as broke at the end of each month.
I’ve discussed in the past how my own mother demonstrated this behavior, and it was part of what motivated me to learn about how to do better myself financially.
If you spend all of your income now, you’ll spend all of it even if your income is doubled. Don’t believe me? Look at your own past and see whether you haven’t experienced this for yourself already.
So here’s my suggestion: find a way to live on 55% of your take-home pay to cover necessities. If you can’t, rearrange your life until you can. Check out that minimum wage article above for ideas, even if you make more than minimum wage.
Then, feel free to take 5-10% for fun money. You should still be able to have a bit of fun, too. Or, at the very least, set aside $50-$100 every month that you can do anything with, guilt-free.
Note: if you’re in a bind, this is the first thing to go. The next item is more important than having a particular amount of fun money.
Lastly, with the remaining 35-40%, save and/or invest it. If you can get that up to 50%, then that’s even better. The more income you make, the more this should be possible.
Always use at least 10% to save until you have an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses. Always invest at least 10%, always, no excuses. If you have consumer or student loan debt, use the remaining 15-20% or more to pay that down, starting with whatever has the highest interest.
Once debt is paid down, sink the rest of that into investments. Once you have the emergency fund, reallocate that 10% into investments. In the end, you should be investing 35-50% of your take home pay once you have 0 debt and a suitable emergency fund.
2. The Power of Investing
Why invest? Because this is the most reliable way to build wealth. Letting money sit in a savings account will actually let it lose value over time due to inflation. On the other hand, putting that money into an index fund like VTSAX or VTI (the equivalent ETF), that money should grow between 8-12% on average each year.
Note: This does not guarantee it will go up every year. Some years it may go down. But over time, the market always goes up.
If you invested only $106.03 each month, in 40 years that could easily turn into a million dollars.
If you follow my advice and invest 50%, then it would turn into much more.
Let’s say as an example you make $40,000 per year. Half of that is $20,000, or $1,666 per month.
If you invested that $1,666 every month for 40 years, it could easily become $9 million. But that’s assuming no raises, which is insanely unlikely.
This assumes that you never sell off your stocks, and always reinvest your dividends, which you should be doing if you’re building wealth.
So, you see, investing is the single greatest tool we have to become financially free. When you have money sitting in an index fund, not only is money easy to earn, it is constantly growing without you having to put forth any effort at all. So much for the belief that money is hard.
3. Yes, Some People Want to Take Advantage of You, But Not Everyone
I’ve often found that people who are in a financial bind want to blame everyone else except themselves. It’s the rich, the government, businesses, the economy, the job market, etc.
And yes, there are those who would love nothing more than for you to hand over your money. Namely, advertisers, credit card companies, banks offering loans, etc.
This is why you must (1) get rid of all consumer and student loan debt as quickly as possible, and (2) realize the inherent lie of marketers.
To the first point, debt is actively sucking away your wealth. It’s not unusual for credit cards to have interest rates of 18% or even much higher. You literally can’t afford to keep a balance on it. Yes, student loans usually have lower interest, but you can never get rid of them except by paying them off. They aren’t affected by bankruptcy. Plus, it’s not unusual for people to have 50-100K of student loan debt.
How can you expect to get ahead if so much of your money is going towards even just minimum payments, most of which is only paying off interest?
To the second point, this speaks to what I was discussing earlier. Marketers want you to spend your money. They know how to use human psychology against you, to make you think you need this item.
Realize firstly their inherent lie, that buying this thing can bring you happiness. Happiness never comes from things.
Ask yourself, is this thing adding real value to your life? Is it adding real happiness, or will you just forget about it in a couple days?
Before making any major purchase, I suggest stepping away for a few days to get away from the allure of the advertising. If you’ve stepped away for a few days and you still want to buy it, then go ahead.
But, not everyone is trying to take your money away, and those who are you can actively avoid through the methods discussed above.
The truth is, a large part of the economy is built to help you make money.
Specifically, when you’re invested in the stock market, you literally own small percentages of various companies.
What is the aim of these companies? Simply, it is to make money for their shareholders. Who are their shareholders? You are.
That means, these companies’ primary aim is to literally make you money. They know that if they don’t, you won’t buy their stock, and they need you to buy their stock. Therefore, they want to make you money. All of their decisions are geared towards making you money, or making your share in them more valuable.
Isn’t that awesome? Not only is money easy to make, companies are tripping over themselves to help you make more of it.
Of course, you should never invest in single stocks. It’s far better, and more profitable, to invest in an index that tracks the market as a whole, such as VTSAX/VTI as mentioned above. This index tracks virtually all of the publicly-traded companies in the US. If you’re outside the US, there are equivalent index funds for your country, or even the world as a whole.
The details of all this is beyond this rather lengthy post, but I plan on writing more about this in the future, but also feel free to ask questions in the comments.
It’s Your Decision
So in virtually any situation you might be in, you can cut your expenses. If you can’t do 55% right now, get as close as possible and put the rest to work as I discussed above.
If you’re not doing this, you are quite literally throwing away money: perhaps not present money, but potential future money. Every dollar not invested now is potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars lost in the future.
If you are spending every dollar of what you earn, the law of attraction can’t fix that for you. Even if you suddenly get some sort of windfall, or start making more money, chances are that you’ll still spend all of it. I’ve seen that happen again and again.
Yes, you may have to make some sacrifices in the short-term. Yes, it may be uncomfortable. But if you can do that and really find what brings you value in life, I will bet that you’ll feel happier and more abundant than you did spending twice that amount.
The role of the law of attraction is not to fix your poor money habits by making money show up out of thin air. The role of the law of attraction is to smooth out your journey—to add a bit of spiritual help to the good decisions you’re already making. But if you don’t have that foundation of good, responsible financial decisions, why should the Universe add to that? After all, poor financial decisions do not come from a vibration of abundance, but nearly always from one of lack, and so the Universe will reflect that back to you.
It’s down to you. If you choose to spend what you earn and save next to nothing, then chances are you will remain where you are for the foreseeable future. The LOA won’t bring a lottery win to magically make everything better. But if you choose to change your life, to save more and spend less, the Universe will support these good decisions and you’ll move quickly towards your goals.
I know you may not want to do some of this. Do it anyway. It will pay off. Then the Universe will add to your momentum and it’ll go even faster.
The thing about money is that it is at the core of our society. If you don’t have it, you definitely know it. If you do have it, so much more is possible.
Even if you don’t aspire to millions of dollars, why would you not aspire to financial freedom, or wealth as I defined it above? The ability to live a happy life sounds pretty good to me.
How About You?
Now it’s your turn. What’s your current money situation like? How can you make better decisions to move closer to where you want to be? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.