Save, Spend and Invest

Mary Buffett

I was lucky enough to spend three days with Mary Buffett and I must admit I found it life changing.

I have to be honest, I didn’t really know how her ex father in law, Warren Buffet, became one of the world’s richest men. I didn’t know anything about investing and certainly didn’t think I would be able to do it.

I met Mary because we were both speakers on the Wealth Summit tour in Vietnam. We shared a poster in fact!

We had an instant connection and I felt like I had known her for years. I am a new speaker on the international circuit, so I couldn’t wait to hear Mary’s travel stories.

What I loved most was her view of money.

She is so smart and values every penny she has. I have listened to many speakers in the past who advise you to take out loans and borrow to then double your money. Mary is against this.

The first thing she told me was never to get in debt. The money you actually have is the money you actually have.

It sounds simple, but almost everyone today lives on loans and credit cards and it’s the cause of a lot of misery. This is something my generation should change.

Mary shared this great formula which I now use:

Divide your pocket money or earnings in to three pots:

1)    Spend – this is money you need to cover the things you want and the things you have to pay for, such as bills

What’s left can be split in to two piles:

2)    Save – money you are going to need later for college, to buy a car or pay for somewhere to live

3)    Invest – money that you can invest for the future. I will do a bigger blog on investing, but basically you can buy tiny pieces of a company such as Apple, Disney and McDonalds and as they get more and more successful, your money goes up.

You also need to remember that investing is like betting. You don’t always win. Your money can go down and you could even lose it all, so you should only invest with money you don’t need to pay your bills!  You can buy shares for any amount depending on the company. I have bought some for £10 and some for more. I am now a proud investor in five companies and love looking at my portfolio and how each company is doing (a portfolio is where your investments live – basically it means “folder”).

I am lucky as I don’t have many bills, just my iPhone, so this is how much money I put in each pot:

Spend – 45%

Save –  35%

Invest – 20%

So if I got £100 I would put £45 in my wallet to spend on whatever I wanted, I would put £35 in my savings account and I would buy some shares for £20.

Just in case you are interested in investing, I set up an account with http://www.hl.co.uk

It is in my mother’s name as I am too young but I have the login details and can see everything that is happening.

It is free to set up and is a great way to learn more about business.

What I learnt from Mary:

  • Don’t borrow money – just spend what you actually have
  • The spend, save and invest formula
  • To put your shirts in plastic carriers before packing them and they won’t crease (I feel the need to do a separate blog on this actually!)

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