Hard work should bring rewards, right? But many of us can get stuck on the circular consumer train that is a fasttrack to nowhere. We are bought and sold like mindless slaves to debt, bills and organisations who allow us to exchange our future resources for what we want now.
We find ourselves working for everyone else but ourselves. Before we are even paid, our pay is portioned off to every 'supporting organisation' we depend on to exercise the fundamentals of life; food, shelter, warmth, safety. The next slices go to those helping us maintain who we are or how we like to define ourselves as being.
We are encouraged to have what we want and pay for it in 'bite size portions'. You bake the pie, slice it up and everyone comes to take a bite from their slice of YOUR cake once a month. While this is a great way to control and manage a budget, it also may leave many of us feeling that we are on a treadmill or even an exercise bike that leads to nowhere without even seeing a great view.
When you stop or retire, if you or the company you've worked for has not invested wisely and profitably, then as those organisation come for a bite of your shrunken pie, you are left with none for yourself. In fact, you may find yourself deficient.
So what is the key to having enough money leftover for yourself at the end of the month, year or your working life?
Well, any good cook may advice you that it takes almost the same amount of effort to bake two cakes as it does to make one. My own mother, who had to feed seven children, would make a larger batch than she needed and put one or aside for later or for someone else. You use the skills of anticipation, the law of economies of scale (cost the same amount of fuel and time to cook two or three in an oven as it does one) and the social capital of reciprocity (those who give get or feeling obliged to give something back, when you have recieved a gift/favour).
Time and Space: Nature Abhors a Vacuum
Putting aside for later becomes easier when you have a suitable storage container, be it a savings account, annuity or a secure means of capital investment. You need time and space to grow your money. Time to understand what your doing in a way that makes you feel confident about what you are doing and any level of risk that may be involved. Confidence also bring speed of decision and execution.
To use the cooking analogy again, the advent of Tupperware, home freezers and microwaves, found many people finding that they had ability to store food for longer, but they would then actively go out and learn what else they could store and how to store it more effectively.
When my mother invested in a chest freezer, not only did she store food and freeze her pies, but she learnt how to blanche vegetables, grow, store and preserve fruits, she stocked upon so much food, we not only forgot what we had and couldn't reach it, but it probably exceeded it's best before dates. But she gradually learnt more skills from books or TV, and later learnt about pickling, jam making, beer and wine making, all from questioning what she could do with the produce she was SAVING, STORING and PRESERVING FOR THE FUTURE. The point is, when you have a storage facility, you consciously and unconsciously find ways to fill it, often to the point where you begin to hoard.
I mention hoarding, as the freezer took pride of place where the kitchen dining table used to be. Beware that if you're a social person, storing money doesn't remove time and space for important beneficial relationships.
Create Money Storage Accounts
So I suggest you open a few saving accounts specifically for saving a portion of your money: your own bite of your pie. Then, set about thinking how you can produce more with what you have, even without putting it at risk. Perhaps the most important resources to examine first are any of the assets you already own/pay for; for example the use of your time and space. Could you use what you have more 1) efficiently and 2) effectively? This should be a persistent question, which will challenge your conscious and unconscious mind to find or search for better solutions.
Your longterm goal should be to OWN as much of your MONEY, INCOME or ASSETS as you can, as quickly as you can. To OWN YOUR OWN MONEY, instead of paying banks, mortgages and creditors in regular, monthly, never-ending chunks.
For me, there are many unused, useful resources on my shelves which deserve my time and attention, and like learning to make wine and pickle, may very well in the future, prevent me from whining while in a pickle!
Until the next time....