Why Do You Earn Extra Money?

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Earn Extra MoneyHere at Sprout Wealth we talk about a lot of different ways to earn extra money. We talk about investing in the stock market, how to maximize your side hustle and pretty much everything in between. We do that because we want to show you that it’s not always difficult to find ways to earn more money. There might be some growing pains and challenges, but it’s certainly not impossible.

However, we don’t talk much about why we want to make extra money. I know it’s sort of easy to think that money alone is going to drive us when the going gets tough. But, I’ve got news for you…money isn’t everything. I know, I said it. How can a site that promotes finding ways to grow your wealth say that money isn’t everything? It’s quite simple really. Hear me out and see if you agree.

Trying to Earn Extra Money Will Only Take You So Far

Extra money is great. It can be used for different things from paying off debt to travel. However, in my opinion at least, simply earning extra money will prove to be old at some point…unless you have a purpose behind it. A purpose I can get behind, just cash for cash sake is going to be harder to stay true to when you’re tired or when you’re tempted to go elsewhere.

Simply put, that extra money is going to mean less and less until you tie it back to something that matters to you. That timeline is going to be different for each of us. What may seem long for me may be just getting started for you and vice versa. If you’re in the beginning of finding ways to make extra money but struggling as to how to tie a purpose to it, consider some of these common reasons for earning extra money:

To Pay off Debt

This is somewhat of a no-brainer. If you’re mired in debt then earning extra money on the side is likely going to be one of the best ways to kill that debt once and for all. I know I did that, as many others do today. Being debt free is something that is easy to get behind.

To Travel

Until I discovered credit card churning this was one of the things that drove me to make more money. I would envision where the hard work was going to take us as a couple or family. When I wanted to give up or got tired of working on the side, the upcoming travel drove me to keep going.

To Save for Retirement

This is one I use to drive myself at times. We funnel a certain area of our business directly into our retirement accounts at Scottrade. It works basically as a mental accounting. I see the potential to earn more and that drives me as I know the ultimate destination of those funds is our retirement accounts.

To Save for Your Children

This is sort of a catch-all as it can be anything from saving for their college needs to saving for them in general. As a parent this is one of the biggest ways we show our love to our children, which is the ultimate driver.

To Provide for Your Family

This is another no-brainer in my opinion. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is for my wife and children not to have a roof over their heads. That alone is a pretty good driver to earn extra money.

To Start a New Business

My wife and I really didn’t need any extra funds to start our business, save for a few office supplies, business cards and fliers. That was something we could easily cover. However, we have friends wanting to start their own business and are trying to earn extra money on the side to get enough to fund it. As a business owner myself, I can definitely see how that would drive you.

To Provide Opportunity

Honestly speaking, this is what drives me to earn extra money. I want the opportunity to make choices for my family that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This really isn’t geared towards early retirement or anything like that, but to have the freedom to do what we want, when we want. We want to be able to pick up and travel to places we want to see. We want to be able to take advantage of a business opportunity if we see potential. We want to be able to join and support organizations that are important to us. Those are all things born out of being able to take advantage of opportunity and what drives us to earn more money.

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to you and your preferences. In many cases, it might be a combination of factors that drive you and that is just fine. The beauty is you get to decide and I can pretty much guarantee that once you do find those driving factors to earning extra money you’re more likely to succeed in the long run than if you were just doing it for money’s sake.


What drives you to earn extra money? What areas did I leave out? How do you motivate yourself to make more money when you want to give up?



Photo courtesy of: 401k calculator



*This post was featured on Frugal Students.
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  1. For me, my first reason is to provide for my family. I want my daughter to have a bright future and also, I don’t really mind giving back to my mom especially that my father already passed away. And also, I’m starting saving a lot because me and my sister is planning to treat our whole family a quick vacation by next year! 🙂

  2. Opportunity! When I had one job that took all my time, I felt so stuck. Even when I put in more work, it didn’t always equate to more money. Debt kept me tied to a one way street, and it sucked. Making extra money not only allowed us to get out of debt, but it gave us so many directions we could choose.

    Choice is so powerful. I have a good friend who is kind of going through the same thing I went through a couple of years ago about feeling stuck and undervalued. We sat down and talked about what options she had with her training and skills. I’m not sure she will change careers, but just knowing she has a choice has made her feel tremendously better. Her quote I remember most was “My job has made me forget how to think outside the box.” How true is that?

    I would encourage anyone who isn’t 100% happy with their career or life path to evaluate what needs to happen so that they do have options outside of what is considered normal. Extra money doesn’t guarantee this, but it makes it much easier.
    Kim recently posted…Cool, Cheap Christmas Gifts for Teachers and SuchMy Profile

    • I love that quote Kim! I can definitely relate to it as I felt somewhat similar when I was in my last job. I knew I wanted something different. Something that would allow more opportunity for my family and I. It wasn’t until I stepped out and put myself out there, as well as my wife doing the same thing, that we really began to see some traction take place. That feeling of being stuck absolutely sucks, but stepping out to make that extra income can make things simpler.
      John recently posted…Online Brokerages I Use: OptionsHouse ReviewMy Profile

  3. All my extra money goes towards saving for financial independence/early retirement.

    It’s a long term goal that is doable without the side hustles but WITH the side hustles, the goal may come a little quicker!
    weenie recently posted…Doing a Proper JobMy Profile

  4. Awesome post!! I’ve never really thought about that before, actually, but I would have to say all of the above. I want to save more, invest more, save for a down payment on a house, buy rental properties, travel, be able to go back home whenever we please, help my daughters through college, etc. I’ll also admit that I wouldn’t mind being able to afford nicer things hahaha!
    Sarah recently posted…7 Things I won’t give up to save more moneyMy Profile

  5. We have been fortunate to have things going well for a while, but still look for opportunities. We have money going in to many retirement and investment accounts and so the extra now is going toward the house. We were already paying it down faster but not we’ll just accelerate it even more. When people ask what they should do pay off the house or invest I just say yes. You will never regret being proactive with your money.
    Lance recently posted…Money Advice From the Future: “What Are You Waiting For?”My Profile


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