It’s a sin to pay others your hard-earned money

There are many simple methods to save cash that you may not be utilising. Kusal Ariyawansa outlines some easy ways to get a handle on your spending.

Dollars

Turn on the news and you can’t help but consider Prozac. Whether it’s austerity, PPI misselling, misbehaviour, spying, lack of privacy… it’s enough to make a homoeopath consider the drug.

Invisible costs

In the midst of all of this there are many who enjoy the finer things in life: HD TV, 4G mobile, Tablet PCs on 3G etc. The monthly subscriptions for these tend to become unnoticeable after the sixth month as it is how our minds work. This can also explain why many are oblivious to how much they pay others (credit card companies and banks) in order to enjoy these privileges.

“You have a choice: either court disaster by paying interest and charges to others or break the cycle and start building your own financial foundations”

Think long term

Take, for example, a £5,000 balance on a credit card which attracts annual interest at 20 per cent. By opting to pay a minimum payment of, say, £100 a month, it will take around eight years to pay this off. More importantly it will cost you around £4,500 for the privilege. And in the meantime, people want to “make money” by considering the “quick” get rich schemes. This approach is a classic example of a critical, yet frequent error on a fundamental level of prioritising immediate enrichment though a short-sighted focus on capital gain, without the secure foundation of a coherent long-term view.

The pivotal step

Normally I meet two types of people describing themselves as either “good with money” (the hoarders) or as “doing well out of their money” (the excessive spenders). Neither of these achieve long-term prosperity. Instead a sustainable balance is needed. Getting a grip on reality by prioritising the all-important monthly subscription into your savings (approximately 10 per cent recommended) is the pivotal step. If this means you have to sacrifice some of the finer things in life, that’s tough, because you have a choice: either court disaster by paying interest and charges to others or break the cycle and start building your own financial foundations. After the sixth month you won’t even notice the money going into savings. What you will notice is that after a few years you have a lump sum of your own money.  The key is to maintain this discipline.

Change your habits, boost your bank balance

If you are seeking a quick way of making money, start by taking a hard look at your interest payments and charges discussed above. Consider how much it costs to have a mortgage over 25 years and that nice car. Is it really worth paying others most of your hard-earned money? Those who do well with money will agree that by changing two habits (the disastrous focus of paying others, and moving from spending first to saving first) you can begin the journey to a financial high.

For more ways to get a grip on your finances, find a financial adviser in your area to discuss clever ways to save you money long term.