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  • Writer's pictureKel Galavan

The Gap Factor: Redefining Wealth in the Modern Age

In the multiverse of personal finance, a concept known as "The Gap" exists —a crucial space between income and expenses where true wealth is born. The wider that gap, the faster and more abundantly wealth can flourish.

A green leaf on a wooden bench
Photo by Hao Dong on Unsplash

Understanding and harnessing the potential of this gap can be game-changing for your money. It is the most certain starting point of any journey towards financial independence and real freedom over time and money. 

Why the gap is important

Life is busy, noisy and moves fast. It has never been easier to flit through month after month, promising ourselves that we will save the next payday or crush that loan next time there is a bonus. 

But we are only fooling ourselves. 

"The art is not in making money, but in keeping it." - Proverb

Here is the secret: If you don't mind the gap and don't save each and every time money comes into your life, you are essentially working that month for free. Ouch!

Your hard-earned money comes in, and if it goes back out the door again, it goes into other people's pockets, leaving your bank account empty yet again. If you have nothing to show for your time and energy, then all you have done is service a lifestyle. You have done nothing for your future or to make future months easier. 

Servicing a lifestyle is fine when things are good. But things rarely stay consistently good for any length of time. Things inevitably go wrong when you are least ready for or expecting them.  

Life happens when you least expect it. 

When a recession hits approximately every 8-10 years, we can experience job losses or life-altering events. Even changes in normal living, such as growing your family, buying a home, or shoring up that pension, can be impacted without managing the Gap. But one thing that is for sure is that life can blindside you when you least expect it. So get prepared because if you are always prepared, you never have to get prepared, and that starts with minding the Gap. 

"So if you stay ready, you ain't gotta get ready" - Will Smith

If you are serious about being in control of your future, delve into what the gap entails, explore it, understand it and embrace it for all its awesomeness

Understanding "The Gap"

At its core, the gap is the difference between what you earn and what you spend. The gap is what remains after covering all your expenses—the space where savings accumulate and real wealth takes root. The wider this gap, the greater your capacity to build wealth and achieve your financial goals.

9 Strategies to Widen the Gap:

1. Budget with Precision: Start by meticulously tracking your income and expenses. Identify areas where you can trim unnecessary spending and allocate those funds towards savings and investments.

2. Prioritise Needs over wants: Cultivate a mindset of prioritising needs over wants and seeking value-based, cost-effective alternatives for everyday expenses. Small adjustments can yield big savings over time.

3. Automate Savings: Set up direct debits from your bank account to your savings or investment accounts. Treat savings like a non-negotiable expense to ensure consistent contributions.

4. Negotiate Expenses: Don't hesitate to negotiate recurring expenses such as insurance premiums, utility bills, or subscription services. You'd be surprised how often companies are willing to offer discounts or lower rates to retain customers.

5. Cut Discretionary Spending: Evaluate discretionary spending on non-essential items like dining out, entertainment, or impulse purchases. Implement a "wait-and-see" rule for significant purchases to avoid impulse buying.

6. Increase Income Streams: Explore opportunities to boost your income through side hustles, freelancing gigs, or investing in income-generating assets. Diversifying your income streams can significantly widen the financial gap.

7. Optimise Tax Credits: Take advantage of tax-saving opportunities such as contributing to your pension, maximising deductions/credits, or exploring tax-efficient investments. 

8. Practice Mindful Spending: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it aligns with your long-term financial goals and values. Mindful spending ensures that your money is directed towards activities and purchases that enrich your life.

9. Invest Wisely: Allocate a portion of your savings towards investments that offer the potential for long-term growth, such as stocks, bonds, property, or retirement accounts. Educate yourself and invest strategically to leverage the power of compounding and accelerate wealth accumulation.

Final Thoughts

By widening the financial gap through diligent budgeting, savvy expense management, and strategic saving and investing, you pave the way for lasting financial security and prosperity. Remember, the journey towards wealth-building is not about deprivation or sacrifice but about making intentional choices that align with your financial goals and aspirations. Start small, stay consistent, and watch as your wealth grows steadily over time, fuelled by the power of "The Gap."

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