What Happened to All the Money from Your Raise?
You’re not alone if you’re thinking about your last raise and wondering where the money went. Despite your best intentions, that savings account just isn’t growing. Why is this happening?
The good life. We hear about it, read about it, and watch it as entertainment. As your salary grows, and you have access to ample credit, your lifestyle can gradually creep up to meet these messages.
Many don’t see the danger as their money drains away and their debts increase. All that lavish living can lead to nothing saved for retirement.
You can prevent this from happening by planning your spending. It’s a healthy discipline, and critical to your future.
Begin with a clearly defined, monthly budget.
Nail down your fixed expenses, food, housing, transportation, then take a look at the remainder. How have you been using it?
Here’s your first point of control: planning how that discretionary money will be spent. You don’t have to live like a miser. You need to enjoy your life. But you can also siphon off some cash into your savings.
You get to decide how much. Remove the temptation to spend with technology. Most online banking services allow you to automatically divert cash into your savings. Aim for this to occur as soon as your paycheque clears.
Make it a positive choice for your financial health, not a punishment. Increase the satisfaction you receive by spending your money on simple experiences instead of fancy restaurants and retail therapy.
Plan that richer paycheque in advance.
Here’s your second point of control: limit the growth of your expenses with a good plan.
If, for example, your take-home pay goes from $65,000 to $80,000, you need to be prepared for that 23% increase. Don’t just leave it sitting in your bank account.
You could aim to save 75% of every raise you get. Then carefully expand your lifestyle with the remainder.
Take an honest look at your lifestyle and your financial goals.
Is there a disconnect between them? That unused gym membership, lavish car, or too-big house. These can be your third point of control. Either develop a side hustle until your salary catches up; or consider some crucial downsizing.
Protect your financial future. Ask your Financial Advisor to help you develop a thorough plan of action.