7 Reasons You Should Pretend to Earn Less than You do ...

Do you know someone who brags about his income and the things he's able to buy? Some people are so proud of their financial success and they want everyone to know what they've accomplished. But even if you're doing well financially, there are good reasons why you should pretend to earn less.

1. You'll Live beneath Your Means

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After getting a pay raise or finding a job that pays more than your last one, you might feel tempted to upgrade your lifestyle – bigger home, new car, better wardrobe. But if you start spending your new salary and acquire bigger debts, you could find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Obviously, you have to acknowledge a higher salary. But if you pretend to earn less than you do, you'll keep your monthly expenses to a minimum and live beneath your means. When you live beneath your means, you'll have more disposable income.

2. You Can Pay off Debt

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Getting a salary increase might be the answer to your debt problems. If you were unable to pay off credit cards or loans before, pretending to earn less can provide the cash flow you need to finally get rid of debt.

3. You'll Avoid Debt

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Not only do you want to pay off debt, you should limit new debt to avoid increasing your monthly expenses. If you pretend to earn less, you won't be tempted to start financing items. Money experts recommend living off half your income. This is challenging, but doable.

4. You'll Look for Deals and Discounts

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Since retail stores always have items on sale, there's really no reason to ever pay full price for anything. And if you pretend to earn less than you do, you're more likely to shop sales, clearances, and look for other discounts to score the best deals on clothes, household items, food and even vacations. You'll learn how to stretch your pennies, making your income go further.

5. No One Will Ask for a Handout

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If you're bragging about your salary and flaunting your cash, you risk others asking for a handout or a loan. Even if these people are committed to repaying what they borrow, constantly getting money requests can be frustrating and annoying. Also, it can put you in an awkward position. You might feel obligated to lend money, and if a friend or relative doesn't repay what they borrow, this can drive a wedge in the relationship. If you prefer keeping personal relationships and money separate, pretend you earn less and no one will ask for money.

6. You Can Grow Your Savings Account

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Whether you're increasing your emergency fund or planning for retirement, pretending to earn less increases disposable income, and you can put this cash toward saving. Everyone should have at least a 3 to 6-month cash reserve. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more cash you'll have later in life.

7. Freedom and Options

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If you pretend to earn less than you do, you'll have more freedom than the average person. Since you'll have lower monthly expenses, technically, you don't have to earn as much to get by. You can start your own business, work fewer hours or retire early.

Pretending to earn less than you do isn't a strange concept -- it's a concept that helps you reach financial freedom quicker. What are other reasons to pretend to earn less?

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