A lesson I have learnt about money from the NHS

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#last1000days – a Gift from the NHS

So last week I had my induction for the start of GP training. Every year the induction process gets more and more tedious – the same “fire-safety” information, how to lift boxes, microbiology, pharmacy…the list goes on. Usually I’m bored out of my brain listening to it all, but this time was different.

I learnt about an important concept that we so easily take for granted – time.

During the induction, I listened to a talk about the #last1000days campaign. I have to say, it brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Its an initiative run by the hospital I work at, that aims to get elderly people home as quickly as possible, who could be in their last 1000 days of life. Every day, the patient has to have certain things done for them that moves the progress of their discharge closer to becoming a reality, so they are not wasting their last 1000 days in hospital. Its an amazing concept, and made me really think.

“How do we know when we’re in our last 1000 days?”

Bucket Lists

I know this is morbid, but hear me out.

Are you working hard and earning money to pay off bills and save, so that “one day” you will get to live out your dreams?

Are you putting off doing the things on your bucket list because of lack of time, money or resources? Do you even have a bucket list?? (if you don’t know what this is, basically it is a list of all the things you want to have/be/do in your life before you die)

It reminded me of the day I met a 60-something year old farmer who was a patient of mine in A&E. It broke my heart when he told me that he had never taken a day off work in over 20 years. 20 YEARS?? That’s 7,300 days without any kind of break, even to be ill. It makes me feel sick thinking about it. Yes, he may love his work, and yes, he may value what he does to support his family, but is this a full-rounded life?

He is now in his 60s, and he has basically robbed himself of so many opportunities. Who knows what he could have done with his life. Maybe its not too late.

Generation Matters

I suspect this is a generational mindset shift. With social media, we are exposed to the world more and more, and quite rightly, expect more out of life. I just know that I AM NOT prepared to work for the next 30-40 years without having some serious fun in between!

Of course, not everyone is an adventurous “go-getter”, and the thought of curling up with a film, a duvet and the cat appeals so much more – it does to me too sometimes. But I still have dreams, ambitions and a massive bug to go out and travel – to see the world, eat new types of food, speak to different people and see amazing things. I don’t know if I’m in my last 1000 days. And neither do you. So why not do the things you want to do now?

Are you blaming lack of money for this?

I used to think that this was a license to spend money “willy-nilly” and get into debt for the sake of YOLO (you only live once). This has caused drama in my life that I could have done without, but it led me to want to become awesome with my money, so I could properly pay for the things I wanted, and then to want to show you how to be awesome with it too (because its too damn exciting to keep to myself!)

There is a way that you can have the things you want AND get your savings/debt in order. It’s called the money-pie method (so named by one of my readers!) and involves actively allocating your money to 7 specific jobs. It takes some getting used to (and trust me, you don’t get it perfect all the time), but when you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it like that before!

The Money Pie Method

Here’s how it works:

Your salary comes in…. lets say its £2000 per month.

You then allocate that money to different areas:

10% goes to investments£200

10% goes to play-money that you can blow on WHATEVER you want GUILT FREE – £200

5% goes on your education£100. Even if you’re not someone who likes to study, or has to study for work like I have to, your education is still important. What if you want to change career one day, and the money is sitting there for you to go on that IT or events planning course? You’ll thank yourself for it, I promise!

10% goes to building up emergency (£1000) and buffer funds (3-9 months of savings to cover your basic living expenses in the event of you losing your job or going off sick) as well as pay extra towards debt. Split it into half if you have debt to pay off so that you contribute to both things – £200

5% for charity/giving (Christmas presents, charity fundraisers, monthly direct debits etc) – £100

10% for events such as holidays/weddings/new babies etc – you’ll always need big chunks of cash for this – £200

50% goes towards all your living costs and essentials – £1000

Can you see that in an ideal world, every bit of money is allocated for? This is how you would aim to do it EVERY SINGLE MONTH. I know that living off of 50% of your income may be near enough impossible right now (especially with rent and bills so high), but I promise you it is do-able. Take it in baby steps, and make small adjustments to your spending every month. I’m not going to lie – you might have to make some significant sacrifices, like moving out of expensive areas and only having one car, or not having a take-away coffee every day (noooooooooooooooo!!)

Be Inspired

If you spend 110%+ every month like I used to, then you have a serious problem that needs addressing fast!! This method allows you to pay off debt AND save AND do the things you want to do RIGHT NOW.

Live every day like you’re in your #last1000days. Money is only a tool to help you do this. No need to be pissed off with it anymore. Don’t be that farmer and live your life to only ever work, putting off your dreams for “one day”.

So what are you going to do? Continue to ignore the debt piling up and never pay it off, never save or invest for your retirement and always live paycheck to paycheck, or are you going to get off your butt, learn some good money habits, get your money sorted AND do all the things on your bucket list? I sincerely hope the response was the latter. If you need more persuading, watch this video. Warning – you might need a tissue.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Don’t continue to ignore your money, otherwise it will leave your life as fast as you make it (and there will be no point in earning more until you sort out the basics).

If you would like to know more, I have a supportive, *free* and private Facebook group that you can join to help keep you motivated and ask for help in.

Plus, I have more blog posts on this subject. Try this one first – “Charity Begins at Home”.

That’s it! I’m done! Thank you for reading and supporting me – I will keep on writing for as long as people want to read and listen. I massively appreciate you for this opportunity to make a difference to your life in my own way.

Much love,

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3 thoughts on “A lesson I have learnt about money from the NHS”

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