Riding the subway or the ‘tube’ in London is the most efficient way to get around. Everyone rides it. And on the platform there is a loudspeaker voice that reminds you to “mind the gap” between the platform and the train. It literally repeats every few seconds! It becomes ingrained in your psyche.
Mind the gap. Mind the gap.
I loved hearing that over and over again while I was visiting London. Because to me, the phrase had a different meaning altogether.
‘Minding the gap’ in the money world means paying close attention to the ‘gap’ between your income and expenses.
So to me, the finance nerd, it sounded like the Londoners were being brainwashed into managing their money better!
Mind the gap. Mind the gap.
Cracked me up every time.
You can improve your gap by increasing your income or decreasing expenses. Or both. There is some magic that happens when you can find small ways to increase income and decrease expenses at the same time. Your gap starts to grow faster, and you can see how the power of small changes do accumulate over time.
Let’s say you have a tight budget and are running about break even every month. You don’t have a gap. But you’re ready to turn this around and make some changes and harness your hustle.
You call and renegotiate your cable bill, saving $50 per month. Awesome! You cancel your Netflix, $10 saved there too.
Total saved per month $60.
But then you get a raise, $100 per month. You start up an Etsy shop to sell your creations and make $60 per month.
Income increased by $160 per month.
Between the increased income and the decreased expenses you have just created a gap of $220 per month.
When you are focused on your gap…
- You can avoid lifestyle inflation. Don’t let your expenses balloon just because your income is increasing. You know the people that seem to spend the money as fast as they make it? They are likely not minding the gap. Don’t be this person.
- You are less likely to incur debt. When you are able to save your gap money you start to build a cash reserve that you can use for the unexpected expenses life brings, instead of relying on a credit card.
- Money becomes a game. When it starts becoming fun to see where you can increase your gap $50 more dollars, then $100 more dollars, etc. you know you are on the right track. Because you are seeing how the small changes matter and you know there is always another creative way to increase your gap.
- You build wealth. Ultimately, if you can consistently increase your gap, you will build the savings accounts that you need for your future. Remember, it’s more likely that a millionaire is driving a Honda than a Bentley.
So the next time you’re in London riding the tube, I hope you chuckle to yourself when you hear the pretty British accent remind you to ‘mind the gap.’ Because you will know that you are, in fact, minding your gap well and the peace of mind and security that comes with that is priceless.