Spend less, not make more

The more you make, the more you’re likely to save…true or false?



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I’ve worked with people who make bag-loads of money and can’t save a cent. I’ve worked with people who have a modest income and find a way to put aside a little sumthin’ for the future.

Savings, it turns out, isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about how much money you keep. (This is one of the more obvious “realizations” I help people to arrive at.) And while this has been a truth since Dickens was a lad, people still seem to miss the obviousness of this truth. As Dickens wrote in David Copperfield:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

So why is this truth still eluding so many people? Why do folks continue to hold on to the idea that if they just made more money, then they could save?

Could it be that people are so unconscious about how they’re using their money that they’re missing the things that seem so obvious to the frugally minded? Could even small changes mean money in the bank?

If you’ve got money stashed away in a run-of-the-mill bank account and you’re paying fees or earning a pittance in interest, you’ve passing up on money you could be saving. Wipe out that $19.99 in chequing fees and up your savings return from 0.25% to 1.5% and you’re well on your way.

Taxing yourself for your small indulgences is another nifty way to not only become conscious of your spending, but to build savings. If you spend $1.65 on coffee at the drive-thru, then add $1.65 to your savings tin.

Swap what you can do for something someone else can do and save the money you would have spent. Like pulling weeds? Swap your gardening skills for an oil change and put the money you would have spent into your savings.

It is small changes that lead to big savings. If you’re waiting for the right time to save, it’ll never come. You’ve got to make it be the right time. Today!

5 comments on “Spend less, not make more

  1. But Gail, once I buy the coffee, there's no money left for saving!

    Just kidding, I have no problems at all spending below my means, that 100% saving tax on luxuries is really clever, I like that idea a lot.


  2. Good advice Gail! It shouldn’t matter how much you earn, it’s about getting a percentage of those earnings tucked away for when you really need them!

    As well as everyday savings, it’s a good idea to save extra money you receive – for example when you get a tax rebate, throw it straight into your savings! This way you’ll increase savings without affecting your cash flow.


  3. My word this woman is a fun anchor. I happen to be in fine financial shape, and toast the fact all the time. Loosen up, Gail


  4. Re: Wipe out that $19.99 in chequing fees and up your savings return from 0.25% to 1.5% and you’re well on your way.

    I am with ING TFSA… does anyone know of another banking institution and/or account that they could recommend?



  5. Wells-Fargo Or Sun-Trust, Perhaps?


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