We have lived our lives on a relatively low salary. We’ve not had the advantage, if you wish to consider it an advantage, of buying a home in our early years and seeing that asset appreciate over time.
When we were first married, we began saving for a down payment on a home. It was of course part of the historic normality of the family home across the country. And of course we wanted to be part of that normal existence. Housing prices seemed very high to us – we were making around $25K each per year and the houses we were looking at, were new communities and selling for around $100K.
The challenge was not so much the price of a house but the interest rates. They were around 10.75% so payments were high. Our little apartment rented at about $300/month and while that wasn’t hard to pay with car payments and buying furniture we didn’t have a lot of money left over. So imaging carrying a mortgage seemed impossible.
But of course we didn’t buy a house – we used the money to fund our training as Salvation Army officers and set about to save for the day we would buy a house. And low and behold almost 40 years later here we are – home owners!
What is amazing is the power of money earning money but it only happens by the discipline of saving, even small amounts, week after week and leaving it to accumulate and multiply. At one time we had about $40 a month to save, but over time we grew that amount and eventually as our investments brought some respectable returns we found ourselves in a more secure position.
We live in a world of instant feedback, of the expectations of winning the lottery. We live in a world where we have, for the most part, only seen times of prosperity. That is not the history of most civilizations or economies.
I am not an economist, but I know enough about history and current economic structures to know that the likelihood of increased interest rates and some slow down in economic performance is likely if not predictable.
All this to say putting a portion of your income away, even small amounts if your income is low, is the way to discover that your money can make money! You don’t have to work to make money. The money you have or will receive can generate income.
Now I suppose you think that I think you are unaware of this – I know you know. But the amazing thing is that many people do not seem to grasp this truth and spend anything they have… the proverbial “money burning a hole in your pocket” will indeed burn a hole in your pocket and in your future.
We’ve had a relative low income but here we are buying a house for our retirement. Admittedly not in downtown Toronto or on the waterfront of Vancouver, but only because we saved small amounts over a very long time, tried to be wise in our investment strategy and took hold of a good opportunity can we achieve this.