Okay, hear me out for a second, but I am about to rant off about the current trend of saving money.
I’m in no way looking to belittle the act of saving money, of taking the steps to ensure you live within your means, these are valuable, honourable pursuits, whether you are cutting back just to have money “just in case” or if you want to save money for a specific event, you will not hear a disparaging word from me on that.
What I want to rant about is a blog post I read about two weeks ago and I apologise but I didn’t have the foresight to save the link, I didn’t know it would continue to irritate me so much further down the line.
The blog post had the clickbait title of “increase your pay 100%!” or something and of course, not believing it I had to check the damn thing to see if I was mistaken or maybe they had some amazing money saving ideas.
What I ended up reading, was essentially a piece of fluff that advocated cutting your outgoing money to the point of almost nothing.
How the blog did it was this, it described two coworkers up for an increase in wage, but only one can get it.
Lets imagine for a second that they both earn and spend $2000 per month (a nice and easy number to work with, not meant to be realistic), the supposition is that if Coworker One gets a 3% pay rise (approximately $60 per month) and Coworker Two manages to scale back their expenses to $1000 per month, although Coworker One receives more pay, Coworker Two ends up being “paid more”.
I shit you not, that was the actual result of the blogpost.
This reasoning is undermined when you consider that there is nothing stopping Coworker One from also scaling their expenses back to $1000 per month, increasing their net profit to $1060.
This irritated me because it’s not that Coworker Two is receiving more, they’re saving money but the site was purposefully phrasing it as getting paid more.
Then when I got to thinking about it, it kind of struck me.
Why would anyone promote such rhetoric? Maybe it comes down to people promoting the idea in order to find excuses not to have to give anyone a raise?
I know it is kind of a conspiracy theory going on in my head at the moment, but as we know the use of language is important, the right words by the right people can make a tragedy into a triumph, so when a blog filled with frugal ideals, money saving tips comes up with the idea that you don’t need a raise since you can increase your pay, well that just strikes me as something vile.
Society can document the flow of money from the population to a group of the super rich, as prices for damn near everything increases in greater volume than the pay we receive, the solution can not be to tighten our belts, austerity has a negative long term effect (a thriving economy needs money to circulate, but even longer term it would get to a point that no amount of frugality saves us money).
As I said, I think saving money is a great plan, do it for vacations, for treats, when saving up for that new toy you wanted, but when the language changes so saving money becomes considered making money that is when it starts to look a little untrustworthy to me.
We save money, not because it is a luxury, but a necessity in a modern and unjust world.
I guess what I am trying to say is, don’t tell me to save money and claim you’re giving me a gift.