Saving While Broke

Let’s face it all the articles about getting rich and starting your own business make a lot more sense when you already have some amount of money; not 20 bucks in your debit account. To have any reasonable amount of money, you’re going to need to save first. That’s how things work in the real world. Unless one day you find out that your grandfather left you a hefty inheritance or you win the lottery.

However, being that the chances of either of those things happening are – slim, to say the least, let’s try to take this one step at a time. The things you’ll read here are not fantastic innovations that you’ve never heard of before. You’ve read it in Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich dad, Poor dad’ and on Flipboard’s entrepreneurship section but if they weren’t so difficult to implement, everyone would be as wealthy as they wanted to be.

The first rule is probably the oldest rule in the book: “If you want to build wealth, don’t spend,” and the reason it’s been around since Confucian scholars is that it’s true. Take for example, a student who comes from a working class family and gets an allowance of about 50 bucks every now and then. Well, in most developed cities, it’s tough to live on that amount of money per week, so the student is likely to breeze through it or in any case, spend as little as possible till they’re left with nothing. Many millennials who still depend on their parents have formed the idea that it is impossible to save while studying. You have no source of steady income, you have needs that spring out of nowhere ranging from photocopying to pot noodles, and you don’t want to bother your parents too often with your mundane necessities.

The real question is ‘what do you want?’ and ‘how badly do you want it?’ Anything else is just an excuse. A good excuse, but still – an excuse. It’s in human nature to not try to see beyond the near future. You can’t predict what would happen anyway so since YOLO, you might as well just do whatever you like and the hell with it, accepting to deal with the consequences much later, nearly every time regretting not taking any action  prior to the tornado.

In the end, it all comes down to discipline.

Discipline is not a trait you are born with, it’s that action taken frequently to overcome the hurdles on your path with a clear goal in mind. If what you want is to join a 500 euro judo course, what you’ll need is 500 euros. You can’t make that money by reading articles about how you can be a millionaire by the time you’re 30. That’s a completely different story – one that even the writers of many such posts, still haven’t figured out.

When I wanted to start blogging, I really had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a domain, I needed to share ideas and learn from people, and I needed a nice and welcoming webmosphere. To achieve that, I needed money. I was just a student with about 50 euros to her name and a part-time job that paid a pittance. I knew I would need a camera to get my own images for my blog, so I started saving for that. It took me three months to clock the money I needed, and one sunny afternoon I ran to the store and purchased the Canon. I finally got what I wanted, so I could start eating 3 meals a day again. After those three months, I’d gotten so used to eating twice a day that I had to train myself to return to my normal habits.

Being hungry isn’t fun, but when I think back, was it worth it? Hell, yeah! Would I do it again if I had the chance? Absolutely. Being able to delay gratification is the only thing you need to learn in other to save right. It’s a necessary sacrifice you have to make because nothing can be ‘earned’ over night. The Jack Mas and John Maxwells we all know did not get where they are today simply by throwing some wild ideas around. While it’s nice to read about them and draw inspiration from their trials and tribulations, it’s essential to understand that if their fortune is  great as it seems then so was their sacrifice.

 

TO BE CONTINUED

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