Saving money. The topic that causes every young person to break into a visible sweat. I want to know why?! Why have we been taught to fear saving money? Who in their right mind decided that it would be a good idea to get us young and dumb souls to do something by scaring the shit out of us with stories of getting old and suffering and eventually dying. This my friends is where the word YOLO originated from, I can tell you that for free.
It’s a common trend in the marketing world to use fear as a catalyst but I honestly believe its counterproductive and unnecessary. I have been told to “save my money for my old age” more times than I can count and each time I want to retch, dig a hole and hide.
Yes, I am young now and yes I am eventually ( and somewhat swiftly ) going to get old and by God YES I do need to save money, but grudgingly putting away money in the spirit of fear and dread just doesn’t seem to work for me. I could NEVER get the saving thing right when I tried because “I have to” and ” if I don’t I will suffer”. It felt like a constant battle to stash something while life reached over and tried to snatch it from my hands.
I remember calling my dad in my first year of working and our conversation went like this:
Claire: Dad, I have all these costs I have to cover and I just got paid and I have so little left and, well I just feel like I’m not earning enough!
Dad: Welcome to life my darling. You will NEVER earn enough money. What will make you have more money is cutting down your costs and living within your means. You will always be able to spend more than you earn.
Dad, you could not have been more right. There you have it in writing now.
However, saving money as a young person ( read: we have less responsibilities now than we ever will have ) does not have to be a laborious task. It’s really basic actually and super empowering to get your shit together. No matter what people have told you, you can own this aspect of adulting and own it well.
I had been labelled as someone who ” struggles to save” by my family because I didn’t just wake up and be good at saving like it was a built in function and have felt shame and frustration for many years because I could never get it right. The truth is saving money is something you have to work on. Firstly you need to better understand money and then it’s good to practice saving to get better at it but as said before, it’s simple. Here are a few ways I have managed to finally get it right as best I can.
We own too much stuff and spend too much money. We live in a consumerist society and we are exposed to thousands upon thousands of adverts each day. We know very well that we do not need as much as we have yet we keep buying them in 3 colors. Stop. The more you buy the more you need to earn the more you have to work. Simple math. The money you have in your account is directly equal to your actual time spent doing a task, unless of course you are a Trustafarian, but no judgement there either. It’s still someone’s time. Time is worth more than anything on this earth and I certainly want mine freed up so I can do cool shit. So just get it in one color for now babes.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT’S FOR FREE
As of late we have been indulging in nature more, and guess what, It’s FREE! Instead of going for a Knead brekkie after a surf, we buy some loose fruit and a takeaway coffee and go home and make a smoothie or a snack platter. Treats are great every now and then but using your initiative and creativity to spend as little as you can and still have an epic time is becoming a fun and rewarding ( literally ) task. The treasure trove of free activities I have stumbled upon has exponentially enriched my life and my experiences. Blog post coming on this soon!
BRUSH UP ON YOUR FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE
Nobody is expecting you to be Warren Buffet babes, but knowing what’s potting will serve you well going forward. You have no idea what you are capable of and maybe if you allowed yourself to read up or listen in, you might actually be really good at reading the market and knowing where to invest. We are all aware of pensions, RA’s, TSA’s, Unit trusts etc, but take a step further and learn how to actually make money with your money that you’re saving from having one less Vida each day. Honestly, you might be hiding inside of you the next Wolf of Wallstreet!
Why do we need, whatever we need, brand new? Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Voom Voom vintage on the corner in Obs, there is a whole network of perfectly good stuff for half the price. You know full well that you have bought many things in your life that you never used and then tried to get rid of. There is zero shame in picking up someone else’s bad impulse buy, for something you actually need and will make better use of. Every time I buy second hand I feel like the cat that got the cream. Who doesn’t love a good deal? Waste not, want not.
MONEY IS AN ENERGY
The more you are terrified of it or feel you don’t have it, the more that will persist. Money is an energy. Time = Moola, so if you spend all of your time energetically repelling it, the struggle will be real, for a longer time than it should. Let that shit go! Let it flow in, let it flow out. It will always come back in. If you are saving what you need to be saving then you will not stress about letting it slip through your fingers like sand ( I see you Januworry ) because you know what goes out will come back in like the sea. A sea of money. Yes please!
The fact that I am writing this post blows my mind because I had, for so many years, berated myself for being careless with money and believed I would never get it right. Look at me now. Dispensing advice, all because I took some time to understand and to own my OWN way of doing things and you can too. Do it you own way and do it the way that works for you. Most importantly, don’t let yourself not grow because you have decided to listen to everyone else and label yourself incorrectly. As you know, I’m not a fan of that!