Should we stop trying to save money? Let’s chat some stats from Starling’s #MakeMoneyEqual campaign and research into how women and men are taught differently about money, and how I started investing, and what we think the barriers are that we don’t need to worry about.Listen to “STOP TRYING TO SAVE MONEY” on Spreaker.
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Transcript: Stop Trying To Save Money
Bear: [00:00:00] Previously on Save Like A Bear
I got really f**king bored of sharing the same savings tips as everyone else about how, if you shop in the world foods aisle, you can find the exact same product cheaper than on another shelf in the same supermarket.
Bear: Hi, Bears. It’s Bear. We need to talk because there is a problem with money content like mine.
And while we talk about it, I’m going to see how many tries it takes to flip a water bottle onto carpet. There will be a point I promise, wish me luck. Or start counting.
The thing is, it’s really easy for me to talk about savings. And luckily that’s because I find it fairly easy to do, but I also think it’s one of those things that for a lot of people can also be really easy to talk about. And there’s a lot of talking and not a lot of doing.
And I just keep going back to it as a topic for all of your benefit, I guess, all two of you.
So I’ve recently done instalments on grocery shopping, and apps will save you a few quid here and there month to month. And the problem with all of this relates to a campaign or Starling Bank’s called Make Money Equal.
So, the campaign came about because [00:01:00] of research done at Brunel university where they analysed over 600 photographs used in articles about money and finance.
And what they found was that men were shown as being in control of money. Whereas in pictures, women were usually like clutching their piggy banks or the writing would be all about sort of scraping pennies together.
So they created some stock photography that bloggers like myself could use instead. That would also take diversity into account
but the stats are pretty worrying, when you look at what the actual percentages were that they found because it’s really like looking in the mirror.
65% of articles defined women as excessive spenders and advised them to limit shopping splurges, save small sums or depend on financial support. 90% of female targeted articles told women to cut back or look for vouchers and bargains.
70% of articles in women’s magazines in particular, encourage women to look for vouchers, discounts, bargains, coupons as the main way to save. 70% of the article’s aimed at [00:02:00] men said that money makes you more of a man.
50% of the articles aimed at men also used fear as a technique against them. So relying on masculine stereotypes and codes of combat, power, competition, some of my favorite things.
And 60% of financial articles recommended investment apps to men. Financial articles in men’s magazines tend to talk to men as if they are already investors and would offer advice on the best technology to use to enhance their investments because of course, they’re already investing. They’re men.
No cash. We die like men.
I’ve said several times before that I’m going to do a bit about investing. And then I would just record more things about saving money, sometimes making money too,
but I, I don’t know if it is a gender thing that is so ingrained that I just keep getting drawn back to chatting about saving money.
I did wait for the washing machine to stop before we recording this. Sorry, if you can hear my central heating in the background instead, but everyone has to do laundry, right? That’s not a gendered thing. Is it?
Investing really has been a journey that I’ve been revisiting lately. So I’m finally [00:03:00] buying shares on a monthly basis. And feel like I’ve got over the hurdles that stopped me starting or meant that I would start and then stop.
I think a lot of the reasons that stop us investing are exactly the same excuses that would stop us saving any money at all. And when you realize that,
that’s when you start thinking, oh, well, I probably should just be investing then.
The first one I think is really simple, not having enough money, but things have changed a lot. So for instance, when I left school, we didn’t have things like Freetrade and these platforms where you can start investing with only a pound,~ I think the barrier to entry was high.~
So when someone says I can’t save any cash, probably all of us have got at least one pound, or we can find a way to get hold of at least one pound to get started.
And if you can start investing with only one pound
then the barrier to entry is so much lower than it once was. Although I think the first share that I ever bought, I was like, okay, let’s go and buy something for a pound. And then I, I ended up spending like 14 pounds, but, you know, whatever.
The second barrier I think is just feeling like you don’t know enough. So obviously there is a bit of a learning curve,[00:04:00] but I think that’s true of almost anything in life. So you have to just do a bit of research for
as much as you’re comfortable with to invest that first one pound;
obviously the bigger, the sum of money you’ll investing, the more research someone’s probably going to want to do.
I think the third thing that might stop you is thinking that it’s time consuming. But I spend very little time on my investments now that I’ve actually got going. So most of the research was just at the start to learn the minimum that I needed in order to feel like it was something I could get going.
And then beyond that, it’s like anything in life. How long is a piece of string? If you’re autistic, is it going to be a special interest for you? If you’re not autistic like me, is it going to be a special interest for you? Or just something that you have a casual interest in enough to maintain your investments without feeling like you have to actually go and work for an investment fund in order to be qualified to manage your own.
I think the fourth concern is that it will cost you money
and that’s because prices go up and down on the stock market. So if any of us as beginners have a limited understanding of the stock market, it’s [00:05:00] this idea that the value of a portfolio can go up, but it can also go down. And one of the things that I didn’t understand when I was younger was like, okay, but how do you.
How do you, how would you actually lose the money in that scenario?
And basically if you’re selling shares when they’re below what you paid for them, you’re losing out.
But the solution that seems very obvious to me, which is ~that don’t shell ~don’t sell things when the value is down.
And there’s a few reasons why people do. One might be that they actually need that money. They don’t have any other cash in their lives, perhaps something else has gone wrong somewhere else. So they didn’t have an emergency fund. So they’re trying to withdraw money at a bad time in the stock market.
I’m not a financial advisor, but you will see a consensus that you want to have some emergency savings so that you’re not trying to withdraw investments to live off
as a last minute resort kind of thing, because you don’t want to be in a position where you’re selling stuff off when the value is down. But the other reason that people sell things is because the value goes down and they’re like, oh, I have to get rid of this thing. And it’s like, [00:06:00] no, you don’t, you could also just leave it.
And historically, if you look at this graph, it shows that the value went back up again. It’s not guaranteed, but I know what I would rather choose over selling something for less than it’s worth.
So that whole thought process and decision process there, I know, would stop some people in their tracks.
And I can’t say exactly what to do in those situations.
But just understanding in the first place, how it is that people lose money in those knee jerk reactions
was really crucial to me getting comfortable with the idea of investing like, oh, that’s how they’re losing money. Oh, well maybe don’t like excessively overtrade and go in there every single day. I’m panicking over something being five P down.
And then the fifth thing that I think stops a lot of us is just the idea that something is too risky, where risk is, you know, that the outcome is going to be different from what we expect.
Inherently in that we assume that when someone says, well, you know, there’s a chance, risk means there’s a chance. The outcome will be different from what you expected. And immediately we think, oh, what you’re saying is something terrible is [00:07:00] going to happen.
But we also cross the road, we get in cars. I don’t drive very often. Does that make me more or less likely to get in an accident? We risk diabetes or a heart attack quite regularly. Every day, I feel. Anyone else like chocolate, plenty of chocolate?
Does your dentist say that you like chocolate too much?
I’m going to leave my money in cash savings accounts, where inflation means that that money will probably buy less things in 20 years time than it would today. And yet we view that as somehow less risky, I think just because when something’s tangible, that’s so powerful. The idea that you can take that out of the account and physically hold that cash in your hands for a lot of us,
that’s such a powerful concept. ~Whereas inflation, ~Inflation’s a bit like investing you kind of, you hear about it, but you, you can’t kind of hold it in your hands in the same way. So it doesn’t feel like a real thing.
Apparently Barclays did some research going back to the 1800s
and where people were investing for around about the 20 pound, 20 pound? 20 year mark [00:08:00] was a, there was a 99% chance that investments would outperform cash.
Having said all that I get, if someone still isn’t ready to invest, if they all still at that stage of like, well, I’ve got to go away and do the preliminary reading or, or YouTube watching or whatever it is. But if you’re still at that research stage, I also think that there are still other things that you can do to invest.
I did an installment, I think it’s called what Spider-Man is really about
and Spider-Man’s about who we are without money and connections. ~I go into more detail about that, but ~Really what I wanted to get across was how many things we can start for free and how it’s possible to invest in yourself.
You are an asset in your own life.
So there’s always that in the meantime.
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If you’re a chameleon like me, then there’s a range of designs to choose from to suit your personality (and your printer ink levels – let’s be practical now). Choose your own spending categories to write in the blank label space and match whichever design you prefer to your priorities.
About The Show: How You Can Make More Money
How To Save Like A Bear helps first-time buyers and savers with big goals make the changes they need to succeed by learning what makes someone exceptional. Use these strategies to spend better on essentials, make more money, and think outside the box so that you can improve your future rocket fast.
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