You Don’t Have To Be Rich

This post is inspired by the fact that sometimes people ask me ‘how the hell did you afford to spend all that?’ with a look that suggests I must be doing something illegal on the side. They don’t rate. Or like what they see when they look at me is this:
Monay
Bruh!

Disclaimer
I am by no means a professional financial advisor, I’m just sharing some of the things that have helped me. So don’t go and make drastic decisions and say I told you to. I didn’t tell you to do jack diddly doo da mate.

Now on to the main to stuff…

My initial 3 key tips when you’re thinking of spending or managing your money are these

1. Don’t watch what other people are spending
2. Don’t watch what other people are spending.
3. DO NOT WATCH WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SPENDING.

You don’t know how they got that money. How hard they had to work for it, if they inherited it, if they got it by dubious means, etc. It doesn’t even matter. It’s not your business. Don’t get caught up in a hype.

If you spend your life trying to keep up with the Jones when you don’t have the financial resources of the Jones, you will find bailiffs knocking at your door and taking it all. And I know you like to ignore the hefty student debt hanging over your life like it’s not really there but merely a figment of the Student Loan Company’s imagination, but the fact of the matter is you will have to pay it back. Yes, you, will. And I hope so too. YES hope. I hope that you will be earning enough to be able to pay it back in full. Emancipation. In the next bit I’ll be sharing some of the ways you could manage your money and hopefully do that sooner rather than later, whilst still living a balanced life. Hooray!
Happy Meme

 

Way back when
I feel like I grew up in a household where it felt like every question after ‘Did you read your Bible and pray?’ was ‘Are you saving your money?!’. My parents were on it from day dot. Pretty much every penny (literally penny) I was given was expected to be saved. I did not grow up with pocket money and if I ever did get money it was literally a couple of pounds and it was the expectation that it would be saved. I grew up getting excited about getting pound coins and 50ps. That’s real life. Even spending that would be frowned upon (sweets were unfortunately not considered viable expenditure. Sigh). At the time I didn’t really mind that aspect of it, I just wanted more tangible money than what I was getting lol. I’ve never really been a big spender (but discount and sales Queen, yasss), so saving didn’t feel like chore to me. I just wanted bags of money yo…like my friends were getting. You know them ones when your friends would tell you they got 200 squid for their birthday plus a b c d e presents, the kind of money & gifts you knew you weren’t gonna see from your parents in the next 10 years? That. Even £50. Real.

A-Penny
Now fast forward and those principles have kept me in times when my incomings were virtually nothing.

SavingsCurrent Accounts and ISAs
As someone who works I know what my monthly income is. Before that money has even hit the bank I’ve already calculated how it will be spent. After tithes, offerings, donations, and rent or house contributions, the next split I do is savings, needs and wants. I pre-commit to an amount I want to save and never waver from it. Ever. Except for exceptional circumstances. The needs get addressed, and the wants do too…but only if there is the disposable income for that. If not, they roll over till the next paycheck and I see if I have the money then. If not, rollover again and so on and so forth. For me, sometimes it has helped actually having a tick box list of all these outgoings so even before my pay has landed, I know how much I’ll be left with and how much I can put away to address the wants at a present or later date.

With regards to savings this is my advice: don’t ever let stacks of money just chill in a current account. Let me say that again. Do not, let bills bills bills, CHILL, in a current account. Not when you could be earning interest on that in a standard savings account, or, if you don’t need to touch that money soon, in an ISA. An ISA, is a savings account everyone should explore as it gives you the most interest for the money you save. It’s not the kind of savings you dip into now and again, it’s that even-death-could-not-hold-me-captive account for your money. Put it in there, leave it and let the yearly interest roll in. It’s such a beneficial account that you are limited to the amount you can put in in one year. Or people would be getting mad interest on hundreds of thousands yo.

Next up, don’t just choose any savings account or ISA. Shop around. Find the best interest rates or deals for you. You don’t even have to save your money in the same banks or building societies. Spread them out to get the best deals. I know it all sounds long, and it was long when I did it, I wanted to smash walls, but, when you realise you’re not ending up dead broke by the end of the month (your current account might be, but theoretically you aren’t really) you will feel the benefit. And furthermore, your money doesn’t have to stay in those places forever. Read those bank letters. When they send you a letter telling you they’re halving your interest rate, (like one I got recently, can you imagine?!) move yo money. Don’t let them take you for a jam tart. Your money and where you keep it talks. When banks see you’re moving to their competitors, they start acting right and becoming competitive again.

Investing –  Shares and Premium Bond
If you’re finna to not just save money but make some too, buying Premium Bonds and shares are ways to do this. Shares involve risk (the more you buy the greater the risk, but also potentially, the greater the return), but premium bonds don’t (not on what you put in, just in terms of the potential return). Yes. You could be earning money on your money for no risk. Like I said, I’m no financial advisor so I’ve hyperlinked the above for you to do your own research into them and decide what’s best for you. Also see the links below. They involve you investing some of your money, of course, but let me tell you how sweet it is when in a moment of current account I-need-a-dollar-dollar-a-dollar-is-all-I-need poverty, you receive an unexpected dividend in the post that will just cover you till the next paycheck. G L O R I O U S.

happyguydance

I like what you’ve said but how do I actually do this?

Panic

 

If you’ve got no-one you can speak to about these kind of things, go to your bank and get some advice. You know those people that sit in the booths? They’re not just chilling there for bants, they actually do stuff. Make an appointment, find out what options are available to you, but bear in mind they’re representing the bank they’re working in and will try desperately to get you to keep it inhouse. Don’t fall for that trap. Get the information you need from them and YOU make a decision, not them. Do the same with other banks or building societies. Or if you’re more Internet savvy, check it all out online. Or grab some leaflets from different places and go through them with someone you trust who knows what they’re talking about.

And if you’re sitting here reading this thinking, I can only afford to save £2 a week, then do exactly that. Something as little as that, £5/£10 week, helped me pay off my student overdraft. Yes it took about 2 grinding years, but it’s paid. It’s done. That bank doesn’t own me and that last payment felt so good.

And trust me. Sometimes it can feel like your savings are crawling along like a snail and it can be quite frustrating, but it really can be a safety net in times of need. The way I combat this frustration is by not checking the balance very often at all. I just put in the money, and then when I actually look at the balance every few months, it feels like I’m DJ Khaled (bar all that cringe say my name nonsense)

Conclusion
All these tips are well and good, but to be honest if you have a compulsive spending habit, the above means diddly squat. Self control is the key to this and then comes the discipline. Furthermore, I have not even touched on topics such as credit cards, American Express and more. This post is already quite long and is more about savvy saving rather than spending, and I can’t do all the groundwork. Sometimes do your own research too.

I don’t know it all, neither can I write it all, so if any of you have more suggestions on how to make money travel further, comment below.

Some useful links:
Premium Bonds
http://www.nsandi.com/premium-bonds

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/premium-bonds

 

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4 thoughts on “You Don’t Have To Be Rich

  1. Yes. Plenty of wisdom in there. I don’t check my savings either I like the element of surprise Lol. Really wish I could save twice as much as I currently am though. Something always comes up that requires spending -_-
    Gonna look into bonds and stuff. Thanks!

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