Your Salary Is Not Pocket Money


YOUR salary is not pocket money so you shouldn’t treat it as such. I honestly think most people forget this simple fact when it comes to spending. That’s why they buy so much useless stuff.

When their monthly wage hits their bank account, they seem to regress to their childhood. To the golden days when Mummy and Daddy would put shiny pennies in their little hands for being such good boys and girls. Then they would rush off to the shops and blow the whole lot on sweets that would by eaten in five minutes, and toys that would become boring after ten minutes.

Once all the cash was spent, then there was the long wait counting the days until the next pocket money payment.

Does any of this seem familiar?

When you get your salary, do you immediately start spending, buying little gifts and treats for yourself in the first week? After all, you deserve them for being so good and doing all your chores at work. Besides, that’s a lot of money in your account, look at all those shiny pennies.

Maybe you’ll go out for an expensive meal, or splash out on the latest must-have gadget. Trouble is, the nice meal was over in an hour. I don’t want to get too gross here, but you’ll be flushing it away in 24 hours. And the gadget — once you’ve played with it for a while wasn’t really as cool as you thought.

Plus, your bank account isn’t looking quite so healthy. In fact, once you’ve paid your bills and bought the really important stuff (like groceries) you’ve hardly any cash left. Now you’re scraping by for the next three weeks, stressing about money and praying for payday.

Time to grow up

So what’s the solution? Well, quite simply we all need to start acting like adults. Treating salary like pocket money is a psychological thing from our upbringing. It’s something we learned, so we can unlearn it.

Children overindulge and only live for today. They want to buy all the sweets in the shop and eat them at once. Grown-ups can show restraint. They’ve learned that too many sweets will make you sick. They’ll buy some, eat a couple and save the rest for later. They plan for the future.

If only most adults were as sensible when it came to their finances. It’s important we resist that childlike urge to spend money as soon as we get it, and instead act our age and save for tomorrow.

If we do that then life will always be sweet. We won’t squander our hard-earned salaries on things that don’t truly bring us happiness and will have less stress in our lives.

Trust me, you’ll sleep easier if you’ve got money left over from your wages at the end of every month and have a well-stocked emergency fund.

So do me one favour the next time you get paid…

Keep that money in your pocket where it belongs.


Are you still a child at heart when it comes to your salary or are your pocket money days behind you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you found this article helpful, please share it using the Twitter icon. Thanks for reading.

Simon Saves

I'm a national newspaper journalist for hire who has a passion for personal finance. Currently saving and investing towards my first million. All comments welcome. Follow me on Twitter: @MyRichFuturecom

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