Mary King's Blog
Saving Your Self
The current turmoil in the financial markets is causing concern to many. The investment clock is constantly moving and at this time with shares dropping and property stagnating, cash is king. I think the best thing to do is to reduce your debt as much as possible and save your money. Then when shares bottom and property becomes more affordable you will be in a better position to buy.
Many years ago I learned the importance of managing my income by building good habits to handle my money wisely. I started a little 'Jam Jar Bank' in my kitchen. I set up three jam jars and labeled them 'Saving', 'Investing' & 'Giving Away to Charity'. I took 30% off the top of my after-tax income. Because I had a valuable plan to follow I no longer had to 'worry' about my finances. I actioned the strategy and discovered there was always 'enough' for my needs. This saved me unnecessary stress and anxiety. (We demonstrate the Jam Jar Bank in the Rich is Better- Wealth for Women Workshop.)
I started to religiously put money into jam jars; no matter how little I had, I built the habit. I love my Jam Jar Bank and find it compelling fun to put money into my 'Freedom Fund' (Investing) Jam Jar every day. Occasionally it's a coin and usually it's a note. I happily go without a cappuccino so I can save the money. I'd rather buy another property, or travel overseas, with the money I save. When you build the habit, you too will love to put money away so that money can grow for you.
The memory that comes back to me as I write occurred a few years ago. I went to visit my daughter in another state at the Easter break. I was gone for a week. When I returned, I discovered a man had found my vacant apartment and moved in. He broke in by removing the louvre glass panes from a bathroom window. He said he was my brother. A tenant in a neighbouring apartment became suspicious and, when he saw my antique dining-room chairs being carried out, called the police. The police apprehended the suspect the next day and my chairs were returned to me. After getting over the shock of knowing a strange man had been in my bed, I went to the kitchen cupboard to check on my jam jars. They were still there and the money was intact. I took this to be a message from the universe that I was on track.
If someone wants to steal from you, I think it's important to know that you are not really losing anything. I believe everything in on loan to us anyway. We have the use of it for a while, and then it may be somebody else's turn. I think the main thing is to be grateful for what you have when you have it, and if someone takes it from you, something new and fresh can come in to occupy the space.
Instead of using Jam Jars you can use envelopes, plastic containers, moneyboxes or bank accounts. These days with Internet banking it is easy to transfer money between bank accounts. The principles remain the same. I personally feel that building the habit by using cash is a practical way to start. When you are in the habit of dividing your income in this way, you can move on to bank accounts. The important thing is to build the habit. Money will no longer be an issue that plays on your mind, causing you concern. Not only will you be saving money for your future you will also be saving yourself!
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