1. Salary is key.
Don’t try to convince yourself that making more money than you do is not worth the hassle because it means paying a lot more tax. It’s true that UK workers who are paid the London Living Wage rate, though take home approximately eighteen-hundred odd quid more per year than those on the National Living Wage, do pay as much as £860 more to the tax man. However, though a grand from a tax avoidance view point is not a big difference over the course of the year, those on the London Living Wage rate of pay, regardless of how much they are taxed, can potentially borrow between £8,800 and £12,000 more from the bank than can National Living Wage workers.
Don’t concern yourself with how many hours and/or days you have to work per year to get your salary nor even how much overtime, bonus and commission you receive, if any, because these things have less influence on your borrowing than your ‘bread and butter’. What you do for a living, however physically taxing or time-consuming, is the difference between getting your salary and not getting it. What’s more, if you are fortunate enough to receive an annual pay rise, it will be a percentage of your current salary which will ever widen the gap between your inaugural wage to a greater degree with each year that passes.
If you own your own business or are self-employed, start paying yourself a higher wage than you do at present, or if you are contracted to a company and underpaid, look for another job in which the salary is specified as greater. It is also worth bearing in mind that degree holders earn more on average than non-degree holders, so if you are uneducated, go to university and learn some useful skills. The student loan, which you will pay back only if you earn over 21k, will cost you a mere 9% of your salary per month. And if you are headhunted, on a high salary you will be in a better position with your prospective employer to negotiate an even higher one.
2. Have your cake and eat it.
Though making a living and not spending a single penny is almost impossible, once your money leaves your bank account it should take on a new form so it’s never really gone. For example, if you pay rent, then all you will have to show for your money is someone else’s roof over your head. If instead you get a mortgage, the bank loan’s you the money that you don’t have at present to buy a property, meaning you subsequently get ‘free’ cash and your own home. The loan repayments are for what is already yours and no money is really lost.
Using what you have already paid for to the max is just as profitable. For example, having a place of work some miles from your home means you have an expense that you wouldn’t have if you were unemployed, namely travel fare, so you should not be in a position to resent the level of cost. It’s worth investing in an annual season ticket because it is cheaper than buying 12 monthly tickets. If over-time is available on your rest days, then do as much as possible, and if in your spare time you need to travel elsewhere such as a shopping mall or cinema, go to one on the way to your office as you will not have to pay out more money for an alternative mode of travel in an opposite direction. Applying this principle to all your purchases will give you the best benefit-cost ratio.
You should avoid putting your money into a pension as you cannot withdraw it, at the time of this post, until you are 55, given that you don’t know that you will live to see the day and the idea is to get rich now. Keep your money in your bank account and make all your purchases with your debit card, as opposed to paying with cash, as you will be charged the exact amount only. Doing this means you will less likely pay a withdrawal fee and run no risk of spending or losing any loose change. The more cash in your account, the more interest you are likely to make. Though at present, because interest rates are so low, putting your money in an NS&I account is the more lucrative option as you will be placed in a monthly raffle and, according to your balance, win some money.