From my experience, saving money is very much like losing weight. There’s no point going on a diet and depriving yourself of everything you love for 6 weeks if you’re only going to go on a massive binge afterwards, undoing all your hard work. If you want to stop living pay cheque to pay cheque, get out of debt, save a deposit, or prepare for retirement, you need to transform your attitude towards money and change your lifestyle. Otherwise it’s going to be a case of one step forward, two steps back.
How often do you run out of money before payday? I’ve been there. You probably start the month with good intentions. Perhaps you’re planning to give up takeaways, buy fewer clothes or drink a bit less on nights out. Maybe you’re vowing to put money in a savings account or a Help to Buy ISA at the end of the month. But before you know it, you’ve got a week until payday and you’re wondering if the money left in your account will even stretch to cover your bus pass and a loaf of Warburtons Toastie. You’re still no closer to building up an emergency fund or buying that beautiful two bedroom house in Brighton.
In what can only be described as a moment of madness, in October last year I subjected myself to a gruelling 7 days of using the popular survey website Swagbucks. I kept a diary over the course of the week and when it finally went live, Becky from Scunthorpe told me the post was ‘the funniest thing on the internet’ and Keith from Slough called it ‘the most accurate review of Swagbucks ever’.
I recently read a Huffington Post article on the importance of being optimistic when it comes to climate change.
Solitaire Townsend, founder of Futerra argues that in order to save the planet, we need to think positively rather than assuming the end of the world is nigh.
She says: “It seems that human beings have an uncanny habit of making true what we believe. Whether that’s a belief in economic crashes, our own career trajectories or global climate meltdowns.
“If we believe the worst will happen then we are subconsciously demotivated to prevent it. Whereas, if we hope for the best, then we’ll work, invest, convince others and, in preparing for victory, we’ll create it.”
“If we believe the worst will happen then we are subconsciously demotivated to prevent it.”
I think the same can be said for saving money. Not a day goes by without the internet telling us we’ll never be able to save money, buy our own homes or even retire. Look at this quote from Cosmopolitan earlier this year…
Don’t get me wrong, the housing crisis is bad, but when websites like Cosmopolitan are telling us to give up on our dreams of home ownership and kiss goodbye to financial security, is it any wonder why so many young people don’t bother saving for the future?
Young people are constantly bombarded with scary facts and figures that make it seem like the odds are stacked against us. We’re so often told that we’ll never be able to buy our own homes so we don’t even try. It’s not helping.
We need to be encouraged and nurtured and hugged all the way to the bank. Instead of being bombarded with tales of woe, we need to be pointed in the direction of thrifty recipes, profitable side hustles, and high interest current accounts. We need to be given more success stories showing that people – from a multitude of backgrounds – can and do buy their own homes every day.
Dya know what? Even if some of us can’t save enough to buy our own homes, saving at least something can tremendously transform our lives.
Having a healthy savings account can enable us to quit jobs that make us unhappy, travel the world, invest in education, protect ourselves from unexpected financial emergencies and retire at a reasonable age. Savings are fun and empowering and life-changing! But we don’t hear much about this side of things because the media’s too busy scaring us.
Instead of telling us how bad the situation is, tell us what we can do to fix it and how these changes can transform our lives.
I’m definitely guilty of being a little negative on this blog from time to time, so I’m determined to change my ways and be more lovely and encouraging. I’ll probably still swear a lot though.
What do you think? Are you tired of being bombarded with scary money stories or do you think these sobering stats are important? Let me know in the comments.
Starting a business has long been an attractive concept. In fact, around 600,000 new businesses are launched in the UK each year. With self-employment offering a whole host of benefits from flexible working hours to a real sense of ownership and achievement, it’s easy to see why entrepreneurship is such a popular venture. However, despite the countless rewards that can come with running your own business, many people struggle to get their ideas off the ground due to these common obstacles.