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Smart Money: Things Worth Saving For

by InvisiblyMe
A woman in a yellow top is putting a note into a piggy bank on the table in front of her. Overlaid is the title: Smart Money - Things Worth Saving For.

Today I’m sharing a post written collaboratively with Emily Taylor. Money can be a difficult topic for many of us, so making it stretch further is important. Instead of just looking at how to save money, let’s look at what it is we’re saving for. There are a few things we can benefit from saving for, so if you’re able to put a little cash aside then here are the top things worth putting those pennies towards. Enjoy!

After the age of becoming independent from your parents or guardians, you can expect about 60 summers. That’s all. 720 months to live your life. Then, you’ll be around 80 years old and would probably quite like to sit down and catch your breath for a while, while probably dipping heavily into your personal pension. There’s a lot to fit into that time, and saving now can mean you’re prepared to handle anything that comes your way. Here’s some of the things you need to save for, now and in the long-term.

First Get Out Of Debt

Debt will follow you around like a weight strapped to your back that you can’t take off. The expense of mere living coupled with the allure of credit cards and loans means that many of us succumb to the percentage rates on offer so that we can ‘have now’ and ‘pay later’. The only problem is that when later comes, you want more stuff, meaning more expense and even more to pay back.

For some people, this next part is going to be heart-breaking, and it’s going to take a strong disposition to handle the reality of getting out of debt. However, what you must do before you can hope to save money is ideally get out of debt by calculating what you owe and dedicating your disposable income towards paying it all off as soon as possible. This may mean years. But a plan like this will get you out of debt and ready to save much faster than if you were to pay the minimum amount on your monthly repayments.

Saving Money For Potential Unemployment

Positions get stripped back to part time roles. Some positions are made redundant entirely. Other times, companies go bust, or perhaps they undergo mergers and restructure their staff, meaning your role may change to something you don’t find acceptable (or you could even be asked to move your family to a new work location). This upheaval in the job market has been amplified during the pandemic, with many people out of work, experiencing a loss of income or the loss of their jobs altogether. The point is that if you are not the CEO of your workplace, you aren’t in control of anything. Sure, you may have a contract, but that contract will probably include a clause relating to a redundancy payout to terminate said contract via an outlined process. The upshot is that you will end up without income.

There’s also the possibility of sickness and needing time off work, or furlough because of the pandemic. Any spate of time without your full income could have ramifications, so having a financial buffer can take away some of the worry should it happen.

Rainy Day Savings & Unexpected Expenses

Houses and cars need maintenance. Boilers break. Engines fail. Pipes burst. The list goes on, and sometimes these expenses can pose serious financial considerations – anyone who has ever experienced home subsidence or the need for a clutch assembly replacement will know that your savings pot is about to have an unexpected and sizeable hole blown in its side.

Costs involved for healthcare and medical insurance in the US, or blood tests and treatments not available on the NHS in the UK, can also leave a dent. That’s before factoring in routine dental and optical care, or veterinary bills for the furry friends in the households.

Even the smaller things in your home may pack up at the most inconvenient of times. Your kettle, TV, washing machine or printer may go kaput, so a rainy day pot will hopefully save you from too much extra stress or from using credit and getting into more debt.

Saving Money For Life’s Luxuries

After the necessities and the financial buffers are dealt with, we all hope for a few little luxuries in life and yet we don’t often save for them. For smaller budgets, maybe the luxuries are fancier food, a month’s streaming subscription, new clothes or some home furnishings. Mid-budget perhaps you’re hoping to save for a new fridge or range cooker. If you’ve got more cash to splash then maybe you’re eying up a luxury home sauna or whirlpool, or even a post-Covid cruise.

If you can, start saving little bits towards the big or small luxuries to make those dreams a reality.

A black scroll divider.

Not everyone is in the position to save money, but every little helps, even if it’s an odd bit here & there. What are you saving for?

[ This is a collaborative post & as such the ideas expressed here are those of the author ]

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18 comments

thedailytrotter September 29, 2020 - 3:37 pm

Fab post as always. Debt is horrible but we don’t always have a way to pay for things up front. I’m lucky to say I have very little debt now and trying to save as much as I can. The pandemic did help me save as can’t go out for meals. Saving to do up rooms in my house, already completed one recently.

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ashleyleia September 29, 2020 - 3:51 pm

My parents emphasized saving from very early on in my life, and it’s served me very well as an adult.

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Sandee September 29, 2020 - 4:11 pm

You nailed this, Caz. Getting out of debt is key. I’ve a friend that had high interest credit cards and she would rack up the charges until she was unable to pay them off. She was paying huge amount of interest. She would go to her inlaws and they would pay them off and she’d go right back to racking up the charges. Always had no money. Budgets aren’t that hard to put together.

Have a fabulous day, my friend. ♥

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Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) September 29, 2020 - 4:24 pm

These are all excellent points. Getting out of debt gives you so much freedom for other things. Glad to see it first on your list!

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johnrieber September 29, 2020 - 5:42 pm

Really terrific advice! You make 25% or more on your money – just by not paying that interest rate on debt! I know it’s easier said than done, but you are so right with these ideas!

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Masha September 29, 2020 - 6:05 pm

Great post Caz, having savings for a rainy day is the best advise, I can’t remember how many times I had to spend all my savings, which wasn’t much, but was a lot for me, either I lost my job, my car broke, or some other big expense came up and thanks to having a few dollars saved I was able to whether the storm. Really great advise xoxo

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violaetcetera September 30, 2020 - 10:42 am

I use a service my bank provides. For every payment I make with my credit card, a small amount is transferred from my checking account to my savings account. These little payments help me adding to my savings and make me think if I really want to use my credit card. I also agree, getting out of debt is key.
Have a nice day, Caz xo

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InspiresN September 29, 2020 - 6:52 pm

Great tips and advice Caz which is so important in these times .The earlier one knows , learns and works on maintaining it , the better.

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Carolyn Page September 29, 2020 - 8:07 pm

I may be the only dinosaur alive, Caz; however, I’ve never owned a credit card. Call me a scrooge, but, I don’t like paying interest. I’ve always had the opinion that if I didn’t have the cash I couldn’t afford it.
That, of course, hasn’t included the big ticket items like a car or my home. But, in the main, cash is king. Savings, and the principle of saving has been a lifetime experience. It does take discipline. But, the rewards are fab!
xoxoxo

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Anjali September 30, 2020 - 12:27 am

Great advice, I don’t use credit cards but I feel we should have enough money at the time of need. Thank you for this post, I will definitely like to follow these steps.

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Michelle Curtis September 29, 2020 - 9:42 pm

Such great advice, so hard for many of us on tiny, fixed budgets. This is where I always wish we had socialized medicine in the US, despite its problems. Many years we accrue more debt due to medical bills than we actually make in a year while we can barelycover basic living necessities. David’s employer is restructuring their management right now. If he manages to land one of the new positions he’ll see a nice raise which could help significantly. If he doesn’t, he’ll lose considerable pay after the first year. Bit of a nailbiter.

It is really great advice, though and I wish we’d saved more back when we were healthier and had two paychecks. We’ll definitely do better with saving if we ever get out of this hole!

Hugs,
Mykie

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Blogging_with_Bojana September 30, 2020 - 7:33 am

Saving for your kids, then they’ll pick up where you’ve left off.

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Rosie October 2, 2020 - 7:30 am

Great tips, Caz! Like Carolyn, I’ve always felt that if I don’t have the money, I shouldn’t be spending it – something my parents instilled in me when I was younger, and which has stood me in good stead ???? I set myself a rough savings target for the year, and transfer money into my savings account just after payday each month, so there’s less chance of me dipping into it. I’m saving for a deposit on a house, which is taking a fair while but will be worth it in the end!

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Holly October 2, 2020 - 2:56 pm

Ah yes….the crushing weight of debt. It really can feel like a suffocating force in life that you can’t escape from. It affects every aspect of our lives. Financial stress is still one of the number 1 reasons for divorce. That should never be. (sigh)

It may be just my humble opinion, but I believe we develop our character when we must step back, pause, and ask ourselves, “Do I really *need* that or am I just falling victim to the latest marketing tactic?” Wants vs needs is a big question to ask ourselves. Spoiling ourselves now and again with a want isn’t a bad thing, but if it comes with a financial burden attached to it that we can’t pay, it does become toxic.

These tips are right on the money! (no pun intended, hah!) In all seriousness though, we have no idea what is coming today or tomorrow. We have been through 3 government furloughs here and each time was a bit scary financially. It’s also sad though that so many people are living on next to nothing because the cost of living, medical care, and daily expenses keep rising, while incomes do anything but rise!

Excellent post, Caz. These reminders could help keep someone from financial ruin. ????

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Christy B October 2, 2020 - 9:32 pm

Saving money is absolutely a must. You just never know when the job might not be there or the hot water tank might break… So it’s always good to have that fund. These tips are so helpful!

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The Oceanside Animals October 3, 2020 - 10:23 pm

Charlee: “Let’s not forget catnip. Got to save up for that.”
Chaplin: “And toy mice.”
Lulu: “Stuffies!”
Charlee: “Oh and those little pingpong ball things.”
Chaplin: “And fish!”
Charlee: “Maybe an entire TANK of fish.”
Lulu: “But we already have an entire tank of fish in the living room.”
Chaplin: “Yes, but we’re not allowed to catch those and eat them.”

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Michele Anderson October 4, 2020 - 1:34 am

Great advice!

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Stacey Chapman October 6, 2020 - 2:29 pm

Great post, Caz (and Emily). You highlighted some great points. It’s incredibly tough to save and live, but necessary. I’ve been really rock bottom broke twice and it’s terrifying….Now that my Husband is approaching 50 and the kids are all moved out, we’re scrambling to make up for the lost years of saving.
We’ve tried to pound it into the kids brains to save now, while they’re young, even if they think they can’t afford to. Thankfully, they have us to fall back on in emergencies (even though they never ask).
They know that illness can upend your life in a heartbeat. I’m grateful that at least our losses and struggles have taught the kids to save for the unexpected!.
Loved it, as always!!
❤️Stace❤️
(fightingwithfibro.com)

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