I saw a question asked the other day that really got my interest! The question was around how much “should” someone be saving based on their income. The person asking was worried that she wasn’t saving enough despite actually having saved quite a good amount in the space of one year!
In all honesty, saving any kind of money in this day and age is a rarity, so is absolutely AMAZING!!
But saving money for no reason is dangeous; it should always come with a purpose otherwise the tempation to fritter it away is high.
If you give the money a direction, then you are much more likely to keep it around and be successful.
It doesn’t actually come down to how much you earn.
Your Money Compass
We often get told by our parents that we should “save for a rainy day”, but what does that mean? And how much?
Think of all the things that people traditionally save for, such as saving for a wedding, or for a house deposit, but what if none of this applies to you? How do you know if you’re saving “enough”?
Well until you have a DESTINATION, you can’t know if you’re on track.
It’s like trying navigate to a new destination without a map. I know some people like to wing it, but if you want to get there efficiently and sometime in this century, then having some way of knowing where you’re going is ESSENTIAL.
The same goes for money. Giving your money a compass to direct it where to go is like using a map. Give yourself points on the map and you’ll reach where you want to go. In otherwords, you need a savings goal.
It really is that simple!
The first savings goal and first point on your money map absolutely must be an emergency fund. This is a sum of money that will cover you in the case of not being able to work. I see this ALL THE TIME. In fact, last week, I had a patient come to me who had injured his knee. He was unable to work as normal and he was seriously panicking about losing his business.
I really felt for him, but there was nothing I could do to help.
Having money sat aside for emergencies is an essential and is definitely the first port of call on any savings goal.
All work and no play makes Jill a dull woman! A lot of people think that when trying to pay off debt or saving money, they have to be extremely frugal. This is evident by the popularity of blogs around being frugal and “good” with your money.
But the reality is, WE’RE ALL HUMAN!!
If you want to go on holiday while saving, then bloody do it. We only get one life and it is for living. Clearly there is a time for being frugal (when income drops drastically for example), but while you have money coming in, don’t put all your spare cash towards the cause. Put some aside for fun and for ticking off the bucket list.
A fun fund is like the road-trip snacks you take with you to keep you going on your journey.
The money map is a long one, and at some point you’ll want to hit retirement. At this point, you’ll like want to go on nice holidays and make the most of your free time. Retirement is the ULTIMATE savings goal, but it isn’t really “saving” money. To really have enough for retirement you need to learn how to INVEST.
Our work place pensions just aren’t enough anymore, and with the government moving the goalposts all the time, it’s better that YOU take control rather than leave it to chance.
What if I’m earning well but have nothing to show for it?
Well, if you are earning a lot of money and not saving or investing any, then you have to ask yourself why. What is going on in your money story? The key to saving money is to spend less than you earn, but if you are always buying new things, upgrading to bigger houses or spending money putting your children through private school, then you will be no better off than a person on benefits.
Why are you not saving? What is holding you back?
Sometimes it helps to talk it through, so if you’d like to talk it through with me in a free 1:1 together to work out your next steps, then feel free to get in touch using this link.
Until next time,