Are You Stopping Yourself From Saving Money?
Here is a radical idea – Money made should not equal money spent.
It is possible to actually make money without spending any of it at all.
Somewhere between this extreme and where you’re now is where you need to be.
However, what’s stopping this from happening?
The debt you’ve taken on? A car you’re paying for? Expensive home/city you live in? Expenses you can’t seem to track?
It’s easy to say that saving money is hard and that you’re trying each month.
However, the one word that’s common in the above reasons is you.
Ever considered that you might actually be the problem? Not your partner and not your credit cards.
I know… It’s difficult to accept, but if you got out of the way, you’d likely have a ton of money left in your bank account.
Maybe take a minute to think about it.
There is a big conspiracy out there. A bunch of people came together and agreed to take your money away each month.
These people include advertisers, lazy family members, non-value adding friends who want to “hang out”, the tax man etc.
Some you have to grudgingly give your money to…. Or at least make moves to minimise e.g. Tax.
Others should be a categorical NO! Or even “No, thank you!”.
But here is the thing, can you say No? Do you have what it takes?
The ability to say no takes some practice to master… I know… I never used to say no myself.
Last weekend, I spoke to a friend, and I was reminded that I once wasted alot of money on Cartier jewelry and status symbols like that.
That friend then asked me, what on earth happened to you? You’ve completely gone the other way!
Well, my friends, let’s just say that I was still on milk and not solid food.
Saying no (when you get round to learning how to) is therapeutic. In fact, you’ll feel like you’ve won a small battle each time you say no.
Here’s a practical example. I am off to buy ice-cream with my sons. Before we go in, I remind them that we are there to buy one item – Ice cream.
When we get into the shops ofcourse, they suddenly remember that they also want M&Ms and Crisps and even football cards.
The old me would say, but it’s only £5. Give it to them…
The thing is, the old me would never break free living like that. Passively that is. Lukewarm even and with no conviction!
My decision to say No to my sons and focus their attention on the ice cream is not only a test but a big life lesson.
They learn about delayed gratification and that they can’t ask and get all the time. Sometimes, life says no, and we should really learn a lesson from life.
So, let me ask you again, can you say No?
Here are some examples of what happens when you say Yes or No.
If You Say No To Spending
The direct consequence of saying no to the advertisers (and such) demands is game-changing.
It is even more so if you earn an income once a month, and have to rely on that possible one source of income for your savings.
If you can win the daily mini battles and say no most of the time, then:
In time, you’ll start to notice that you have more money left over than usual.
This extra cash should be protected as it starts to build some protection for emergencies.
Gradually, this emergency fund will grow into excess funds that you can invest for some financial security.
Notice as you do this, the power is shifting over to you and with the added protection against the loss of your job etc.
6 – 12 months passes and this new lifestyle begins to stick as your new thought process starts to shape your behaviour.
Saying No to the advertisers becomes who you and with greater clarity (and less stress), you can begin to invest in things that matter.
For example – Self-development, income generating assets, Financial Independence, generosity etc.
If You Say Yes To Spending
Saying yes to spending is usually a passive thing, and once you’re down this road, it’s hard to turn back.
What’s worse is, some feel that as they’ve already started spending, there is no point stopping now. They’re in effect too deep in spending.
These are the people who go to the shops, flash their cards and secretly pray that their payments don’t get declined.
If you’re in this position right now, I can assure you, there is another way, and you can change.
The direct consequences of saying Yes most of the time are that:
You’ll inevitably take on more debt to fund your lifestyle. More debt means more slavery for more time.
The poor life is the destination for such a path. Years will pass and you might appear successful on the outside with all your stuff. But you’re really poor.
You remain prisoner to the pattern of the world. The machine and system that feeds the advertisers, Black Friday etc.
Sadly, anyone who says yes to spending most of the time can never be generous irrespective of their intentions.
Simply put, you have no money left over to be generous with.
This in itself is costly because generous people get richer is life partly because they’re more likely to build better relationships.
In fact, generosity in indirectly about you because it’s always more rewarding to give than to receive. See it as a deposit.
INTERLUDE: In my effort to show my work, I am taking a lead from Austin Kleon’s must-read book Show Your Work by telling you abit about my blogging process:
Music whilst writing – Our Corner Of The Universe by K.S.Rhoads. Different… but great for just being still!
Blog idea – Inspired by the need to force our bank accounts to grow monthly.
Transformation sought – To keep saving money top of the agenda.
Post Structure – Storytelling + keeping it real
Post Strategy – Reflective + Reader in the frame
Current state of mind – Hopeful
Why You Must Prioritise Savings
In addition to all the above, I think this next bit is worth its own section.
You’re it! By this I mean, it helps to assume that there is no knight in shining armour coming to rescue you.
It helps to also give up on playing the lottery. These are pipe dreams!
Oh, and stop waiting for an inheritance. Let that be a surprise.
Instead, focus on what is under your control. Master the little you have in your hands because no one will ever trust you with more if you can’t even do that.
And let’s not forget, apparently we’re living longer on average. As such, you’ll likely be around for quite some time.
Now (not tomorrow) is the time to start making a change and asking yourself some difficult questions.
E.g. Why do I have that flashy car sitting on the driveway? Or Why do my credit card balance rise last month?
When you make saving money a life-threatening priority, alot of your problems will drop off.
How Can You Prioritise Saving Money?
There is no point reinventing the wheel here. I’d recommend starting with what works.
1. Use A Budget
This should be done each month in ink. Write that stuff down and commit to it.
I know that life happens so quickly and it’s hard to just sit down and write.
Guess what? You have no choice! Do it and start taking control. Think of the budget as your map to sanity.
Read: How To Create A Budget That Works For You
2. Sell Your Stuff
This is a hard one, but one that is really about choosing a minimalist path.
If you own a flashy car that you’re feeding each month, get rid of it.
Yup! Sell it. You don’t need and won’t miss it.
Don’t worry about what anyone will think. Just do it! Take back the power!
Buy a cheaper car, and thank me later for that decision. You’ll not only free up some cash flow, but you will also free up monthly savings.
Same goes for all your other status symbols. If you have an Apple Watch and no money saved this month, sell it immediately.
3. Choose Freedom
This is all about a mindset shift and is an active choice.
There is a direct link between your ability to save (and hence your Savings Rate) and your future retirement.
The more you save (or less you spend), the higher your savings rate and freedom fund.
If you maintain your lifestyle at a particular level of costs whilst saving more, it means you’ll:
a. Have the option to retire earlier one-day
b. Get accustomed to living at a particular level and therefore not spend more money in the future.
c. Finally become financially independent one day.
Read more and explore How To Choose True Freedom.
All forms of change begin from where you are right now. Therefore, you can absolutely change and become who you want to be, and this includes a responsible manager of money.
It’s really only when you can prove that you can manage the little that comes into your hands, that you begin to see more money flow in and stay.
Above all, as you start to see changes in your approach to money saving, celebrate your wins along the way.
- 7 Steps To Designing Your Financial Life
- My Philosophy On Saving Money
- How To Budget And Save On A Low Income
- 50+ Ways To Save Over £10,000 Every Year
- How Much Money You Should Have Saved By Age
What has so far been your biggest challenge to saving money? Please comment below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.