Hello. While we are on the subject of money and budgeting, I'll continue along these lines. A question from one of our readers on yesterdays post.......
Sorry if this question is being nosey but I will be going into retirement with just the basic state pension and I was wondering how you have managed to build up savings to replace large items such as your car. I would like to have some savings as back up in case anything major needs replacing.
Hi, not nosey at all, it's a question everyone will be asking at some point in their lives. What happens when the wages stop and the pension starts? How will I manage? What I can't do is to advise on pensions. I happen to have a small private pension because the company I worked for at the time, around the mid 1980's, advised us all to pay into the company pension. I did so along with everyone else. I worked there for five years, and promptly forgot about it after I left, until about twenty odd years later. Luckily It was a large national transport company which was still in business, albeit under a different name. I must say, it was a nice surprise to find that out.
It's inevitable that a persons income will be reduced on retirement, except for the very rich of course, but I am talking about ordinary working folk here. I don't know how far off your retirement is, but something you can do is to find out exactly how much pension you are likely to receive, and use that figure as a base line, and start living on that amount before you retire. Anything left over can be put away into a separate account to start your emergency fund. This will give you a head start and be a good challenge to prepare yourself for any changes you need to make.
It would be a good idea to go through all your wants and needs, and to weed out anything that is in the wrong category. As I said before, wants and needs are subjective and exclusive to you. It stands to reason that you might have to modify your needs and shift some of them over to wants, because you will not be getting as much money coming into your bank account.
Some of the things you have been used to buying might have to be dropped. Your lifestyle expectations, may have to be modified, you might have to lower your sights. Getting into a routine where you unconsciously open your purse, or click on an item that you want to buy from a web site, will be a hard habit to break. What you can do is delay buying something that you want, for 24 hours, then think again, and ask yourself do I really need it.
I have collected a lot of stuff throughout my life, and I now find I don't need any more. What I already have will hopefully last me. There may be an instant where something packs up and will need replacing, but if it only looks a bit dated and it aint broke, I don't need a new one.
Anyone who is coming up to retirement age needs to take stock of their lives. There will have to be some tightening of the belt, some deliberation on what they can do without. It's a bit like de cluttering, sorting out a cupboard or drawer.
My goodness it sounds like a lot of doom and gloom, doesn't it. Can't afford this, can't afford that, have to stop going to dancing or gym, have to give up the weekly meal out, no more shopping trips to town. If you are in the mindset that you get pleasure out of spending money, you will struggle. You will be miserable, you will sit at home and feel sorry for yourself, skint, no money to spend.
When you retire you will have less money, but you will be gaining a lot more time. Time is more precious, more valuable than money. Time lost will never be replaced. Look at this new chapter in your life as the time you start living, and a good life is not about how much money you have. You will have to modify your lifestyle choices, but you will have more time to enjoy life.
Ooops, going away from the question here. How have I managed to build up savings to replace large items like a car? I keep a car for about 3 - 4 years. I will need to have around £6,000 saved to buy the car I want. Over 3 - 4 years, that's doable.
My thrifty and frugal living ensures that money builds up in the bank, because I don't spend it. Simple as that, I DON'T SPEND IT. I work out what I absolutely must pay for, then I work out if I can afford some treats, and what is left only gets spent when something needs replacing. I don't call it savings, it's an emergency fund. I don't have any long term savings. A year ago I needed a fridge freezer, I had the cash to pay for it. Coming up I have my car road tax and insurance to pay, the money is there waiting.
Someone asked a question once on MSE, what do you do with any spare money? The answer is, no money is spare, it is all earmarked for something.
I am disciplined enough to NOT SPEND any money left over. Another way of doing it would be to put aside money for emergencies as soon as it has been paid into your account. Squirrel it away somewhere, it is not for spending, save it for emergencies.
I hope that has given you food for thought. Thanks for asking. Don't worry, you will manage.
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.