I’m going to let you in on a secret: no one thinks they earn enough money. That’s why people I would consider rich still use credit cards and haven’t paid off their mortgage. It’s not because they don’t make enough money – it’s because they don’t consider saving money to be an issue. They assume it’ll always keep coming in regularly, and they may be right. Most of us just aren’t that lucky though.
but I can’t afford to start saving money…
For those of us on a low income though, it can often seem like though we want to save money, we simply can’t spare anything from our budget. Here’s the thing though: there is no amount too small. Even if you can only spare £2 a week, it’s something. If you play the lottery every week, consider putting the money in a piggy bank. At the end of a year you’ll have £104 extra without even noticing. The only down side is, of course, that you won’t win the lottery, but I’m pretty sure that’s a risk worth taking 😉
My parents paid off their mortgage on a three bedroom house by scrimping and saving so they could make extra payments. Their income was small, but they were savvy, and now they don’t have to worry about it. If someone has a secure job and a high income, they run the risk of being lulled into a false sense of security. What if they were made redundant? Or had a life-changing accident?
We poor people need to save, in a way richer people may not need to. If I lost my job tomorrow, there’s only me that can help me. If I didn’t have some money saved, I’d have to take whatever job was available – money gives us choices. Cliched but true. Suppose I had six months worth of money saved up, I could start my own business, maybe get a novel published, start a blog…all whilst casually looking for a job too. There’s less pressure.
Making more money is not necessarily imperative…
There are plenty of people out there doing their dream job, but not making a lot of money. Think of charity workers, teachers and zookeepers – these are holy grail jobs for a lot of people, but they don’t want to take them because they have low salaries. If you get into the habit of saving a little bit of what you earn, you won’t need a big fat pay packet.
It’s almost a given that people in low-skilled jobs like cleaning, waitressing and shop assistants hate their jobs and are just holding out for something better. But what if you love that work? If you saved £100 from every pay check (it sounds impossible but just read this post for some tips on cutting your spending quickly, and adapt depending on how desperate you are), and then you get laid off. You could have enough money for a deposit on an office space or some stock and you could start your own business. If you’re happy where you are you could seek some financial advice and invest your money – there’s nothing like passive income!
Saving money is more about mindset than maths. I earn just over minimum wage (although I work a lot of hours – what a winning combo) and always assumed I’d need to be making a lot of money in side hustles before I could even think about buying a house. However, once I put my mind to it, I could save nearly half of my income every week. Granted we don’t eat out as much as we used to, and sometimes I make sure I work the shifts that include a free meal, but after six months it’s become second nature.
My blog has started to gain a little traction, and I really needed to replace my elderly, battery-less laptop. I made the very hard decision to spend a third of the money I’ve saved up on a MacBook Pro. It was like cutting off a limb (a tad overdramatic maybe, but who cares?). I’ve gotten used to having a certain amount in my savings account and now it’s gone. However, my laptop was dying. The other night it crashed whilst I was writing an article for textbroker and I had to rewrite the article. If it had crashed whilst writing a blog post I probably would have cried. It was time for a new laptop, and having the money in my savings allowed me to spend the money on a good laptop that should (hopefully, pretty please) last a long time.
Actually, let me just go off on a tangent for second – remember when it used to take forever to set up a new computer? My Macbook was set up in a matter of moments because it uses my Apple id AND when I downloaded Chrome it still had all my bookmarked pages and stuff. Magical.
So, what’s my conclusion? Basically I’m saying that one can moan about being paid a pittance all one wants (as long as one is paid legal minimum wage or above, obvs). That doesn’t mean one can’t save a couple of quid. I could end on something spiritual and ethereal like ‘we make our own destiny’ or suchlike, but it’s not really me. I tend to say things like ‘just man up and buy a piggy bank, bitch’. Still, the message is the same: GET SAVING, POOR PEOPLE (or the more politically correct version: get saving, those of you on low incomes/those of you in debt up to your eyeballs.