A common excuse I hear from people that are not saving at all is that they cannot afford saving. It is also usually people that are spending quite some money on their hobbies, going to cinema, eating out, drinking coffee out, smoking and so forth. The amazing thing is that they find themselves not spending too much. Thus they do not have to change their habits because there is anyway nothing to save (?). Here one has to change the mind set.
There are also these worse case scenarios that I have met. Women living in relations that are not always the way European people imagine relationships. Women in these relationships hardly have anything to say and are literally ruled by their husbands. They have no income and the husbands are very strict about the money. Their husbands know that their power lies in the economy and they won’t give it up easily. These women we need to reach.
If you think you do not have enough to save you should seriously take a moment and go through your private economy (in Europe, especially in the western world most of us have a relative good living and we should be able to save).
If you are a woman and think so. Think twice! Get a grasp of your economy!
If you are married woman (or in a relationship), without your own savings then think three times before spending. Especially, if you are in a relationship where only the husband / partner is working. You never know what the future brings and it is up to you to take care of yourself.
If you truly believe you have nothing to save than it is even more important to save as much as possible as it will have a greater impact on your life than if you are a millioner and save another million. The less you have the greater importance of savings!!
So if you are in Europe and you want to start saving..the first thing is to open an bank account.
There are different banks for that. To mention some:
In Germany: Sparkasse, Commerzbank, Ing-diba, Deutsche Bank
Be careful with the monthly fee in Germany. For example in Sparkasse, unless you earn more than 1200 euro/ month, you pay almost 8 Euro in fees per Month. That is almost 100 Euro per year where you just give away money to the bank. Don’t do it. Find another bank without these fees.
Ingdiba and Commerzbank for example do not have it.
Important to understand is that in Germany as well as in Sweden if you are permanent resident you do NOT need your husband or any other male to join you to open up an account. You can (and you should) open up an account only for yourself…and to be honest, be quiet about it. At least for a time before you have enough to brag about.
In Sweden there are banks like Swedbank, SEB, Nordnet, Avanza, Nordea to mention.
As far as I know there are no monthly fees in these banks.
When you open an account you usually first open a giro-account. Most banks do not have any interest here which makes a giro account very bad as a saving account.
From the giro account you transfer the money to your saving account. Here in Germany, you have different sorts of accounts.
You have the ones called Tagesgeldkonto- (day money account) which have some interest that is changing every couple of months. However, your money is not locked and you can access it any time. At www.check24.de you can check what the best account for now is.
If you do not need the money for couple of months or even years than you can “lock” them in the bank and for that you get higher interest. The longer you lock them the higher interest you get.
In Sweden there are mostly 3 months, 6 months and more time limits where you lock the money. The concept is the same here. The longer time your money is unused (by you) in the bank the higher interest you have.
Once you have opened up an account you have taken a first step to your higher peace of mind.
Now next step is to start saving. Go through what you need and what is your worse case scenario. How much cash do you need?
In Europe, different economist say you need a buffer of which one you can live and pay bills for 2- 3 months without any additional salary. I prefer cash covering our bills for a year.
One should not forget that we live in a different world than many other nations do.
If you come from countries where it is possible that when visiting you are kept in a country against your consent, you should think very careful about what sum you would need in worse case to be able to get free. What would a last minute flight ticket cost, papers, lawyers and so on. Does cash work or do you need small gold bullions that you can carry with you.
I know it sounds extreme but that is how many people live today, and it is better to accept it and do something against it than ignore it.
When you have decided a sum then start saving on all you can until you reach it.