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Reduce Expenses or Increase Production?

By Garrett Gunderson

Most accumulation-based books and advisors teach you to decrease your expenses as much as possible in order to save more money for retirement.

There is definitely merit to decreasing expenses, especially in a consumption-driven culture where most people are borrowing to consume.

But I generally take issue with how this is applied so dogmatically. The problem is that it takes people’s focus, effort, and energy away from the bigger picture.

Living within your means is great advice, as long as you also look at increasing your means by applying your human life value.

Instead of merely decreasing expenses, one can invest money into education or even spend time reading and engaging in powerful conversations.

For example, suppose a couple sat down to review their finances and determined that they weren’t saving enough. The traditional solution would be for them to comb through their budget and find things they could cut out of their life.

Let’s say that by doing so they are able to decrease their expenses by $200 per month, but it takes them four hours over two days to figure this out.

What could happen in their life if they spent those four hours on finding ways to increase their production and cash flow instead? How different would that conversation be? What epiphanies would they experience?

Is it possible that in the same time they could increase their monthly income by $400?

Furthermore, assuming they actually implemented strategies to increase their production, what are the quantum, long-term affects of that decision?

What if they focused the time on starting a business? Then, because they start a business, they drastically increase their knowledge of marketing strategies, accounting practices, customer relations, etc.

Their human life value is exponentially worth more now because they spent more time increasing production instead of reducing expenses.

While reducing expenses can be an important part of a whole plan, ultimately a person’s macro plan should be based on spending time and effort figuring out how they can increase their production.


Garrett Gunderson is an entrepreneur, financial coach, the founder of Freedom FastTrack, and the primary author of the New York Times bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity.

Garrett loves inspiring others to turn their potential into production. He has dedicated his life to living and teaching a unique concept known as Soul Purpose that reveals how anyone can live a more prosperous and rewarding life.

As a finance and business productivity coach, Garrett instructs both large and small groups of business owners and financial service professionals nationwide.

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