If you’re fed up of getting to the end of every month with no money less (or worse, getting to the end of your money with several days of the month left), it’s time to do something about it.
Recent research found 4 in 10 working age adults in the UK have less than £100 in savings to cover an emergency. But the thing is, 25% of adults with an income of less than £13,500 have £1,000 in savings, and 40% of adults earning less than £13,500 do manage to save something every month. So actually, it’s the people with who earn more that have less in savings. Although it’s a common problem, most of us can do something about it. If we want to.
Does this sound like you?
He’s a few examples of things I’ve heard from people who regularly find themselves skint, in spite of having disposable income (i.e. Money left after all their essential bills have been paid).
“Everything’s so expensive, you get to the end of the month and there’s nothing left”, a work colleague once said to me, as her professionally manicured hands rattled across the keyboard.
“I’m just always skint and I’m fed up of it”, a comment from a friend, before going on to tell me about a great deal she got on Ipad 2. She already had an I pad.
“I’m completely brassic mate” (This one I had to look up, ‘brassic’ is apparently cockney rhyming slang for having no money). The guy in question was another colleague, holding onto a paper lunch bag from eat, which isn’t known for bargain lunch options.
Come January, there will be a chorus of voices, stronger than the church choir on the Christmas edition of songs of praise, singing their money woes. As though it was a surprise to have Christmas in December.
Newsflash: If you spend all your money, you won’t have any left!
Can’t help treating yourself?
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having my nails manicured now and then, would get loads of use out of an Ipad, and struggle to resist a delicious ham and jarlsberg baguette from eat. But even more, I love the peace of mind having emergency savings and building up my spare cash to visit amazing places.
If you want to break out of the cycle of being skint you need to do something about it.
If I kept jumping off a wall and breaking my leg, would you give me sympathy each time I broke my leg? Or would you think I was insane?
To spend money in the same way month in, month out, and to be surprised when there’s none left is the perfect of example of how Albert Einstein described insanity.
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
You CAN change your situation
I’m not going to show sympathy because that doesn’t help you. It might make you feel momentarily better, but it doesn’t stop you being skint.
Instead, I’m going to show you faith. Because I know, that if you WANT to, you have the power to change your life, to control your spending, to take responsibility. You can move from a place where you’re disposing of all your disposable income, to one where you feel in control. And that is an incredible place to be.
To be successful and summon the strength to make a change, you need to know what you want from life.
What is your motivation?
When you’re lying on your death bed, looking back over your life, what memories will you cherish?
This can be a powerful question to help you work out what’s important to you. I’m betting it’s not manicures, I pads and baguettes.
When you know what you want, it’s easier to see what’s not important. And when you know what’s not important, it starts to become easier to stop spending money on those things. I won’t say it’s easy, because a lot of what you are paying for is likely to be convenience or has an immediate feel good factor. But gradually, you can peel away the layers, giving yourself both the time and money to pursue what is important.
There’s another benefit to reducing some of your spending that you might not expect of appreciate until you do it. By reducing treats like eating out, going to the cinema or having a massage, each time you do indulge in those treats in future will feel ultra luxurious and you can enjoy that luxury for everything it is, safe in the knowledge that you won’t end the month skint.
Here’s another thing. If you find that you don’t enjoy having more control and less stress that comes with spare money, you can always revert back to your previous spending habits and enjoy being skint again.
What do you think- do people have the power to not be skint any more?
If you’re ready to take the next step, check out my post ‘Where does all my money go?’