A few years ago I had just come back from travelling and I got myself into a bit of a mess with my credit card. Nothing unsolvable, but a bit of a stressful experience none the less. It culminated in few lean months and a few chopped up credit cards. Since then I’ve had to have a real think about money and an ‘affordable life’.
Growing up, my dad always said to me:
never spend more than you earn.
This golden piece of advice sort of washed over me until now, when, like I said, I’ve been rethinking how I spend and save and it’s become very clear to me how right he is!
So, it’s in honour of my dear old dad and his sage (and sometimes not quite so sage) advice that I’m writing this post in order to share a few of his best gems with you.
1. Never lend what you can’t afford to be without
This is so true I can’t share it enough. If someone asks to borrow money from you, be it a fiver or 5k, only lend them what you can afford to never have paid back. Chances are if you lend something to a friend or associate they will get it back to you, but there’s no guarantee. If you give someone your last tenner, whilst it’s commendable – what do you do when it comes to topping up your oyster, paying your car parking, or buying yourself lunch? If you lend someone something you should be prepared to be able to sustain yourself and your future plans without it.
2. Always save 10% of your income
Not always possible, and a bit idealistic from dad here, but still good advice nonetheless. Last September the BBC reported that 16 million people in Britain had less than £100 in savings. I understand there’re so many reasons for why this is the case, but if you try and save a % of your income every month you create a safety buffer between you and any unexpected costs that may arise.
3. Always reuse the teabag
Like I told you, not ALL his advice is sage advice. However, this one is a bit deceptive. Part of it is dad being a bit stingy on the old teabags and only using one for every 2 cups of tea, but another part of it is; look at ways to stop your unnecessary waste. Now, I’m not saying settle for terrible tea, because that’s just a disgrace to the island, but have a think about where you can save waste in your everyday life, and this will in turn save you pennies!
So there you have it, home grown English Dad saving wisdom that’s stood the test of time!