I’ve spoken to thousands of men and women in Australia, UK and USA over the last 12 months about their money, savings and debt. Most people are struggling to get by, even if their definition of struggling seems outrageous to others.
Helen, a well-paid public servant and her construction worker husband have never paid rent or had a mortgage – he inherited a house soon after graduating from university – and they can’t afford to pay their electricity bill or their council rates. They do however love indulging in month long overseas holidays, new cars, multiple take away coffees each day and a monthly weekend away. They’re not alone. Damien, a government worker told me he’s constantly worried about money and always anxious when utility bills arrive.
I suspect, from what I’ve heard, that most people, even the well-educated middle classes, are just one pay day away from disaster. So, what are the 10 signs you’re Overspent not Underspent?
- You don’t save 20% of what you earn. You probably don’t save any money. For me, saving 20% – 25% of every cent I earn is a non-negotiable. Why? Because the world is changing. Governments are receiving less tax and 49% of jobs are at risk of digital disruption. No one really knows what the future holds. There’s never been a more important time to start saving money.
- You don’t have a budget. I’m never ever overspent because I have a monthly budget and 11 bank accounts at the HSBC. One account for the mortgage, one for food shopping, one for utility bills, one for car expenses… you get the picture! I call it the electronic jam jar system. It works.
- You love credit cards, store cards, interest-free shopping and easy credit. Did you know that 60% of Aussies, Americans and Brits can’t afford to pay their credit card bills?
- You’ve not yet done my FREE Underspent Reality Check. Perhaps you are too scared to check your financial reality? If not, please email me for your free checklist.
- You’ve got lots of personal debt. The average Australian adult has $32,000 in personal debt: $16,000 in car loans, $12,000 in personal or pay day loans and $4,000 in credit card debt. It may shock you that the average Aussie earns around $67,000 which means the debt to earnings ratio is REALLY out of balance.
- You borrow from friends and family. 40% of adults borrow from friends, family and pay day loans each and every month just to ’get by’. By ‘getting by’ I mean food shopping and utility bills.
- You love shopping. You don’t use up the ‘stuff’ you’ve already got, you just buy more. You don’t wear the clothes you already have, you go and buy more.
- Everything you own is getting bigger and better. You’ve just bought the all singing all dancing LED, LCD, OLED, 3D, high definition pixel, super powered, extreme colour, snow traction system, stability control, ultra-thin giant sized smart TV. You can’t afford it. You don’t need it. But… it is bigger, better and shiner than the next door neighbours TV!
- You love to gloat. Let face it, there’s no point in buying that brand new sports car, the designer handbag or the expensive boat you don’t even know how to sail if you’re not going to share it on Gloatbook…
- You’ve not yet read my book Underspent. I didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand during 2014 and saved 38% of my take-home salary (yes that was a lot of money saved). I changed my spending and transformed my savings without dramatically changing my life. I now help men and women change their spending to transform their savings. Join one of my 21, 60 or 90 day Underspent programs and you can too.
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BUY THE BOOK. You can buy a signed paperback copy of Underspent direct from me (RRP $12.99 plus P&P) or in e-book or Kindle formats priced $2.99 or £1.92. I’ve intentionally made the e-book inexpensive, so that even the people with the smallest budgets can afford to buy it. Amazon http://amzn.to/1E1ifp0 Barnes & Noblehttp://bit.ly/1A1NbKPKobo http://bit.ly/1bR9uHF Goodreads http://bit.ly/1KLRPNaCopia http://bit.ly/1RHaMpL iTunes http://apple.co/1V6OXE5
Underspent: Changing Spending, Transforming Savings.