Before I look at ways to reach this subjective state we call financial independence, I want to explain why I’ve given my present state such a derogatory label.
What I’m calling payslip slavery is a personal economic state which the majority of us naturally reach and where we spend the majority of our lives, from moving out of the family home through our working years up until we retire (you know – that part where the best stuff in our life tends to happen)
Best Case Scenario for a Payslip Slave
It’s an economic state where the largest asset owned is the personal residence, career progression is steady, debts are manageable and material goods which impress our friends (and subordinates) are reasonably achievable.
Tax is deducted on a Pay As You Earn basis so we can get through life without the need for any real financial aptitude – Key Facts are the only financial advice we can be bothered to consult. Our savings are sitting dormant in a 0.25% interest savings account and the interest means nothing to us, other than perhaps a few cold ones in The Dog & Duck.
As we advance our careers and increase our take-home pay, the money we spend on our lifestyle increases too. The majority of us see that extra cash each month as a good reason to buy more expensive clothes that we had previously desired, eat at more expensive restaurants as previously desired, buy a new car, stay in more expensive hotels – and why the heck not? After all we worked so hard to earn it, and “hey you’re a big shot manager now – you deserve better than you did before!”
I have no overdraft, my only debt is a shared mortgage, I’ve got couple of month’s income worth of savings and a clear financial past. I know so many people who would love to be in my position, but I just feel like I’ve been foolish. All my working life I’ve already known what I would buy with the extra cash before I could even smell a pay rise. This is the rat race and it’s fucking addictive.
When it comes to retirement age, we’ve probably got a decent pension and we’ve paid off our mortgage thanks to an inheritance or two. We consider downsizing to free up some more of that cash to help our kids, spend the remaining healthy years of our life scared of technology and thinking “if only I had…”
Isn’t There Something Else?
This to me is the best case scenario for a payslip slave – somebody oblivious to the potential gains managing their money can bring, how much investing it could change their situation, what a difference compounding can make to their future. But blessed with good health, simple circumstances and simple expectations for their life.
This has been my situation for all 8 working years of my life.
I refuse to accept that my future looks like that.
I will not waste my life working for an employer until I’m 70.
I’m nearly 27 years old and I feel like I’m already many years too late. Like I’m starting later than I really needed to be. But I am where I am and I hear a lot of advice from people who are now in their 40’s and wish they did this at my age.
In the next post I’ll explain the Day 1 changes I made after realising how badly I’ve neglected the (yet to be proved!) earning power of my very own money.
– The Payslip Pauper
Please remember that none of my material should be taken as advice, points are my own personal opinion and you should always be aware of the risks when investing your money because your investments can go down as well as up.