Managing a salary cut

In Latest, Money cents by Donna Willan

Help! My take home salary has just been cut by 10% – we have less money! This is not a completely terrible thing. Some of you may recall my dilemma a few columns back where I was pondering whether I should join our company pension scheme or purchase monthly EFTs. Well the discussion became moot with a new company decision that we all had to join the scheme, so I did. Now I take home less money – gulp!

My rational brain says this is fine, less money now equals forced savings for the “golden years”. Again, some readers may remember way back when I was bemoaning my pretty useless RA and related retirement blues.

BUT… now we have less money every month! This is not a good economic climate to be budgeting with less money! What will I do?

Sadly, it’s back to seriously tightening our belts. The first casualty is the extra money I was putting into the bond every month; I will still do the extra 10% every month (I will try to keep this as an essential expense as long as I can), but my great plan of an extra 20% is now gone! Less money also means we are back to cutting the food and fun bills! Back to cheap peanut butter, less good wine, and ‘coffee with friends’ instead of ‘lunch with friends’.

As I write this column I have just had one of those moments, where I realised how incredibly lucky my children and I are. For many people in our country losing the equivalent monthly income would lead to a push into poverty (probably irreversibly). We are not there, so I will not complain; I will accept that we have less money, but are still doing OK. We are still lucky!

This realisation gave me the idea for my next column, I want to talk about what we could all be doing to ‘give back a little’, ‘help our communities’ and ‘make a difference’.

Donna


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