Monday, October 23, 2017

101 Ways To Live Better: Save Money

Welcome to my 101 series, which explores 101 little things you can do to improve your day to day life, and the world, just a little bit.

Our eighth post is: SAVE MONEY
For my mother’s birthday this year, I brought her seven books.

Six of them, related to her passions and hobbies—things she loves, things she enjoys, things she wants to learn more about or books that are focused around her goals. She loved them of course, but the seventh book was the most important.

I brought her ‘The Barefoot Investor’ by Scott Pape. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. It is focused on Australians, so it might not be as useful for everyone. However regardless of where you are, you can still apply the principles, even if you have to do a little research to find comparable bank accounts and superannuation funds.

My mother has never been fantastic with money. Oddly, she’s great at making money for the companies she’s worked for. However her personal finances have always been a bit of a mess. I don’t think she’s ever had savings in her life.

Personally, if I didn’t have savings, I don’t think I could sleep at night. And that stems largely from every unexpected bill being a disaster when I was younger. Having a safety net to cover unexpected expenses can work miracles in making you feel safer and more in control.

And while this was never a problem for me or my mother, did you know the number one thing keeping women from leaving abusive relationships is money? Keeping people financially dependent is often a key tactic in abuse. Someone who can’t rent, can’t pay for food, can’t afford gas, can’t very well leave, can they? Savings, for many women, would be the key element necessary to escape abuse.

As I have said, I highly recommend ‘The Barefoot Investor’ as a simple, step by step guide for ANYONE, regardless of income level, to get out of debt, become financially secure and learn how to save. It really could be the best investment you ever make.

But the basic principles are simple. Downsize if you have to, pay off your debts as quickly as you can, increase your income and put a portion of your income aside in savings every month. It's not going to make you rich overnight, but in a year or two, you will be much better off. And if that seems like a long time, remember the time is going to pass anyway.

Would you rather be debt free with savings in two years or be in exactly the same financial situation as you are now? Imagine if you had started saving 20% of your income five years ago, how much money would you have today? How happy are you going to be in five years, that you finally got on top of your finances this year?

Life happens. You have to be prepared for it. If only for your own peace of mind.

You can find Scott Pape’s book here.

And just like Scott, I get no kickbacks for promoting anything on this blog. This isn’t an affiliate link, this is, very literally, the same advice I would give my own mother.

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