I’m hearing you, you know?
You are there saying “How can I put away 10% of my salary if I can’t save money? I don’t even make it to the end of the month with what I earn!”
DISCLAIMER: The advice I will give you refers to general situations. Obviously, in the case of extremely precarious and underpaid jobs, this information matters little: you have to find a way to increase your income.
But in explaining the things that follow, I will assume that you have a normal salary, as a worker or employee.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
The Excuses You Tell Yourself
“Money is never enough for me! The rent, the bills, the shopping, and I’ve already finished them!” Ah, the excuses our mind manages to justify our actions are incredible!
In fact, you must know that we human beings ALWAYS act guided by emotions and THEN we justify everything we do with logic. Obviously, this also applies to the way we manage and spend money (yes, also about how and how much we earn it, but I will talk about this later on in other dedicated posts).
When we find ourselves in the “I can’t save money” situation the two main causes are:
- We are living too far beyond our means, and in this case, it is advisable to seriously evaluate whether the car was better to take it used and the apartment a little smaller and further from the city center, because our salary alone is not enough for THAT standard of living.
- We spend a lot of useless money that we could save on things that would give us more satisfaction in the future. Obviously, this is the most common case we have all found ourselves in!
After all, Oscar Wilde also said “Nothing is really beautiful unless it is useless”.
The next time you want to do or buy something that you think is important and you feel like “you don’t have the money” think carefully about how you spend it every day!
Now Sit There, And Write…
I really mean you make a written list of how you spent the money this month! From the extra sandwich to that latest gadget you just couldn’t say no to.
For example, I am a compulsive buyer of books: when I say compulsive, I really mean that I buy them for the pure pleasure of doing so. Then maybe I read them after months.
Do you know how much money I could use for other things if I stopped playing “the little librarian”?
We all have something we can’t resist and into which we (literally) throw loads of money.
Money that we could save each month to dedicate to things we really love, but for which … we never have the money!
As you can well understand, the problem is not that you are unable to save, but that you spend money incorrectly, indulging the emotions of the moment and unconscious needs, while careful management of your money requires strategic planning. Emotions must be known to dominate in order to achieve one’s goals.
Do The Homework! (Then You Will Thank Me)
Now comes the part that everyone always wants to avoid, but if you really want to learn how to manage your money and save, since over time I will teach you the really difficult things, it is right that you put yourself in the order of ideas that all things beautiful require constant effort to bear fruit. So get there with your excel sheet and make it short! 🙂
Take a spreadsheet and create the columns:
- The income you have every month (salary, pension, various jobs, consultancy … you name it.)
- The expenses you have every month (the necessary and fixed ones)
- All other expenses
This third column will be the most interesting because it will show you in black on white what you have spent the money on in the last month, and how much exactly you have spent that you could have saved.
The first time I did this exercise, many years ago, it turned out that I could easily have put away the tenth part of my salary at the beginning of the month because I certainly wouldn’t lack the money for the important things …
Be Careful Of The Tricks Of Your Mind
One important thing you should learn from now on is that our mind is constantly seeking pleasure. This is also why many of us compulsively check social notifications or eat too many snacks and sweet drinks.
If over time we have associated pleasure with what we can buy with money, no matter how much we have, we can also become millionaires and we will be penniless because we have to spend it. At the same time, if we have bad ideas about money, we will tend to give it away as soon as possible to get rid of it.
These are unconscious programming that we often don’t know existed until we sit down to try to understand why we can’t save anything. Until you take control of your emotions about money, the risk you run is that of having to keep increasing the amount of money you get each month, to always find yourself at the starting point: the more you have, the more you spend, and the circle never seems to close.
So be patient with yourself and don’t blame yourself for being a spendthrift, we pretty much all are! With time and goodwill, you’ll learn to organize yourself better, it doesn’t happen overnight!
The idea of not having enough money or not being able to save is an excuse that our mind tells us, to justify the fact that it pushes us, due to its internal programming, to spend badly the money we have.
To regain control of the situation, start by filling out a spreadsheet each month with your income, necessary expenses, and extra ones: you will begin to realize that in many cases you are not short of money, but you spend it incorrectly.
Write me in the comments the result of the analysis of your expenses!