Payday is here. Spend spend spend …. Or think a little harder before you pass across that cash or credit card?

 In Growth Strategies

It’s the end of August. Another month almost coming to a close. Yes, it’s a Saturday morning and you may be hitting the shops today.

Why do I write about saving? I like to write about it as it seems everywhere else I look we are faced with BUY BUY BUY messages. All day, every day. Advertising and what we ‘have to have’ in our faces constantly. Through social media it’s now a constant stream of promotions and advertising where in the past we were exposed to a lot less media. I’m glad I grew up in a time without insta ‘influencers’ sharing their latest fashion buy or must have products, making me feel all kinds of inadequate. I’m just guessing I would have felt this way (but it’s a fair conclusion knowing what I know about myself!).

There are some seriously shocking statistics around how much advertising we are exposed to every day.

We work all month and yes, it’s nice to treat ourselves to something that we want to buy, but the statistics around the lack of savings people have is also pretty shocking.

I don’t believe in saving every penny and I’m not suggesting we should all save everything we earn. I believe it’s good to budget though. Maybe I shouldn’t use the word ‘budget’ as you’re probably just about to tune out.… let’s work with ‘increase our saving’ a.k.a. put some money aside for the future.

What are we saving for? How much are we saving? Is it all just short term or have you a medium or longer term plan for your savings?

What does ‘financially free’ look like to you? What would you do if you knew you had money set aside to do what you wanted for the next few years and didn’t have to work?

Take some time to think that one over for a little bit. For a lot of people they might react instantly with ‘I’d give up work immediately’ but would you really? We all need a purpose to our lives and if you’re working for yourself (or someone else), it is really important that we’re happy in our professional lives as well as our personal lives for our own sanity, health and well-being.  Getting slightly off topic here!

If you did answer ‘give up work’, how much have you set aside for that coming year. How much would you live on per month? How much are your bills and what type of lifestyle would you like to have if you ‘retired’ tomorrow? Talking about retirement and pensions tends to put people to sleep (no offence to any of my financial advisor colleagues) but when something feels like years into the future, it’s hard to see how relevant it is to how they behave today or to ‘sell’ them on why it’s important to put money aside for retirement.  Yet there are more and more stories about retiring young and having a different lifestyle than our parents may have had. Those stories do grab my interest (constantly!)

I’ll compare saving to wanting to lose weight or become more active, fit or healthy. What works? Small changes and consistent steps towards your goal will always work. Whatever you do consistently is what you become. Saving a small amount each month grows. That growth comes with giving us a feeling of control and confidence around saving. Over time we become better at what we practice.

Life is short though. Very short for some unfortunately. So yes, if you feel like a treat, go buy that ______ (insert whatever it is you’ve been checking out lately). All I’m suggesting is to think a little more before we buy. Do we need one more ______ (pair of shoes / handbag – insert as you see fit) or could we hold out for another month and put by that extra, hard earned cash towards our future or financial freedom?

I’d love for any reader to take time out to answer the following question:

What would ‘financially free’ look like to me? It’s not an easy question and definitely requires thought but most definitely one worth thinking about.

I love talking through financial plans, budgets, goals, setting targets and much more with clients. Whether you’re a director of a company or self-employed or an employee looking to take charge of your finances. If you’d like to chat about how you start looking after your financial future, please feel free to give me a call or email. [P.S. feel free to share this if you feel someone you know might benefit from it]

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