Episode #117 Make Less Money

What would it look like if every time we were offered a job, we posed the question, “Are you willing to pay me less?” This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Justin Brown consider the surprising benefits of a lower income.

Show Notes

I don’t feel like I want that much money, and I definitely don’t need that much money. But something that I do want is more margin. I want more time.
Dr. Justin Brown

Seven Problems

  • So many people are struggling to get by as a result of income inequality.
  • Money may make us more comfortable and secure, but infinitely more wealth does not inevitably lead to the same measure of happiness.
  • We often invest so much of our energy into the professional and financial dimensions of life at the expense of the other ten dimensions.
  • Pursuing our passions often requires us to make less money, as our critics are so quick to point out.
  • We often accept a new job or promotion as the natural next step without first considering whether it will help us to achieve our most important goals.
  • We are not a slave to our schedule, but sometimes we sign contracts that bind us to a schedule we subsequently cannot control.
  • The choice to make more money comes at great cost, and the decision to accumulate one thing always requires us to give up something else.

Five Principles

  • For those of us who are financially secure, we have the power to work fewer hours by choosing to make less money.
  • There is nothing more valuable than our time.
  • There are other (and more important) ways to provide for our families than through finances alone.
  • Regardless of our income, we can always make choices that will make us healthier.
  • Even if our profession or specific role in our workplace is incredibly important, we can still create boundaries that prioritize a healthy work-life balance.

Seven Practices

  • Advocate for tax reform, higher wages, and other policies that aim to address the unequal and unjust distribution of wealth.
  • When negotiating your next contract, prioritize margin over money.
  • Be very cautious that a season of increased work hours doesn’t inadvertently become multiple seasons of increased work hours.
  • Choose to pursue a degree or career that you are passionate about, without regard to income potential.
  • Ask yourself, “Would I rather have a vacation home for my kids when they are grown up, or would I rather be home as they are growing up?”
  • Re-evaluate regularly, “Is this a season where I can scale up my hours and paycheck, or is this a season where I can afford to scale back my hours and paycheck?”
  • If you find yourself repeatedly saying, “I don’t have enough time,” make an intentional decision to create more time.