Are you a low-income earner like me? Congrats. I salute all low-income earners out there because life is never easy for us. We have a lot to do from our meager salaries, ranging from buying food, finding good health coverage (look here), to paying school fees for our kids and everything in between. In fact, some of us borrow so much that by the time the salaries hit our accounts, we are already heavily indebted. So where do we go wrong? Of course, we also have big dreams despite our low income. We want to own palatial homes, drive affluent cars, run big business empires, and so forth. But with the financial mistakes we tend to make, these dreams remain a mirage for most of us, and unless we change the way we do things, we are at least guaranteed to continue suffering financially till our last day on the earth. So, what mistakes should we avoid in order to save money? Well, it all revolves around living above our means.

Taking Our Children to Expensive Schools

Our kids don’t have to learn in high-end educational institutions for them to excel in academics. And while there are those people who will say that education is free, that is not the case in most developing countries. With educational institutions available to accommodate learners of all financial backgrounds, it is imperative for us to steer clear of those expensive schools, as school fees tend to milk our pockets like no other. After all, how many times have we heard that learners from small, remote schools in the upcountry have passed exams with flying colors?

Now my colleagues (low income earners) should not be up in arms with me for being realistic here. It is a mistake we make, and we need to avoid it as much as possible if we are to get some savings out of our small salaries. However, I don’t mean that we should compromise on the quality of education our children get. Let us research the cheapest learning institutions with the best education and take our kids there. We don’t have to enroll our kids in just any school.

Living in Expensive Houses

Yes, I mentioned it. Most low-income earners out there still don’t have a home of their own (thank God I’m now building mine) and live in rented apartments instead. Unfortunately, most of these houses we rent tend to be expensive, especially if they are located in urban areas. This is something we must avoid if we want to save money. Looking for a house we can comfortably afford is crucial. I would recommend renting a house that sets us back not more than 20% of what we earn per month. I believe that is something that most financial experts would recommend. If you already own a house and do need some extra money coming in, you could look at adding on an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) and renting it out to tenants to help you pay the mortgage, this will also add value to the property if you ever need to sell. Win-win.

Owning a Car

Yes, owning four wheels can be a dream come true for most of us, but only when it happens at the right time. While a car has its own benefits, it can be expensive to fuel and maintain, especially if our income is low. So, why should we want to go to work daily with a personal car when in fact we are straining financially? It beats logic. My advice to low-income earners is that public transport is cheaper than a personal car. There is no point in trying to look like other people around us. After all, we don’t know what it has taken them to own what they have.

Gambling

The elephant in the room? Betting can make us millionaires in no time, but only if we have luck. Besides, it is not easy to become a big winner, and I’m not trying to assassinate the character of casino operators and bookmakers out there. I’m only being realistic. Betting can siphon our little income, leaving us poor and frustrated. And with uncountable casinos and betting sites having conquered the online world, it is easy to be tempted. Let’s not deceive ourselves that we can win every wager. It is simply not possible. If we have to gamble, then we must first put ourselves in a financial position where we can comfortably deal with the basics of life, and we should be ready to lose wagers without contemplating committing suicide. That takes hard work and patience though.