This month marked a great milestone for me. Nine months after starting on the moonstruck journey that is financial independence, my investment passive income now brings in over £365 per year – that’s £1 a day! A small amount, but one that I am incredibly happy to have reached nonetheless. To achieve such a milestone is an amazing feat, but it got me thinking about how fortunate I am to even have the opportunity to do this.
You see saving money is a privilege. One that many people on this planet cannot afford. If you have the ability to save any extra money – even if you have had to cut back spending to do it – you are in a far better position than those that cannot. The world Bank reports that one in ten people in the world live on or below this amount of £1 per day, and I have the luxury of saying that I can earn this passively!
I know many people do not like the word ‘privilege’, least of all being told that’s what they are. It is a word may be perceived as a disregard on the value of the hard work that was done to get to their position. So let me be very clear; I am not saying people who save money do not have financial issues or face difficult decisions. Nor am I doubting the hard work that probably went in to getting to where you are/where you want to be. But the decision to buy Sainsburys salmon vs Tesco tuna is a comfort many of those living on less than £1 per day would love to face. Even simply having internet access and the ability to read this post puts you in the top 40% of the world’s population!
As people with the ability to have ‘any extra cash’ we have a responsibility to help those who do not have this burden. Too often I hear suggestions that the poor are poor because they are lazy or because of bad decisions. But when 80% of your income goes on food for your family, the idea of not being poor is as fantastical as my dreams of becoming a Jedi! It’s therefore our duty to dispel such ideas and support those less fortunate where we can.
As such I have decided that when I become financially independent, I will dedicate a day a week to helping people less fortunate than I. I already so a bit of charity work in my job and the freedom that financial independence can give me will allow me to do more. I don’t know exactly what I will do, all I know is that the fact I was born where I was, was able to go to school where I did, and get the job where I am is largely down to a dumb luck of the draw.
As always, I’d really love to hear your thoughts.