To address the concern of your bad saving habits, you need to figure out first if you’re really bad at saving, or if other issues come into play. If you answer yes to the following questions, then there’s a high possibility that you are:
- Have you ever experienced the feeling of guilt when you spend money for something that isn’t considered a necessity?
- Does the statement of account of your savings or checking account include frequent withdrawals and debits?
- Do you think that your wallet is a perpetual black hole that magically absorbs your money and leaves you with nothing behind?
If you nodded your head and said yes to all of these, then you might be bad at saving.
As the saying goes, though: “You’re not alone!” Plenty of people are admittedly lax with their finances. Most aren’t that concerned about money management yet. No one wants to hear about investments or the stock market. Everyone wants to work hard and party hard, not knowing that saving hard and investing hard are actually the keys to attaining financial freedom.
As a result, you end up broke, weak-bodied and bitter when you get older. You simply couldn’t set aside money to be invested for your retirement fund because you weren’t able to adopt the habit of saving regularly when you were younger.
Why, exactly, are you mishandling your hard-earned money? Here are four reasons to help shed light on this issue:
1. You’re the victim of lifestyle inflation.
As you grow older, gain more experiences, and get more chances to work at your job-related skills, you’re also more likely to earn more income. But, instead of saving more because of the increased inflow of cash, you tend to spend more. Thus, you think of yourself as being bad at saving.
Most of us think that an increase in cash automatically means an increase in expenses. While this may be true in some cases where we get more responsibilities, all that extra doesn’t need to be spent recklessly.
If you got a sudden tax refund, a bonus, or a raise, don’t spend everything. Instead, save at least 20% and then allow yourself to spend the rest as you’d like.
2. You’re attracted to that sense that money = power.
Soap operas, fantasy movies, and even real-life celebrities and politicians perpetuate the notion that having money means having the power to control the situations and the people around you.
You know this isn’t necessarily true. But, whenever people admire your branded clothes and whenever people treat you nicely as you flaunt your luxury bag, you can’t help but believe the idea that money is power.
Money does seem to demand respect from others. But think of it this way: would you want to be admired because of your money, or would you rather be respected because of who you are as a person?
3. You procrastinate.
Why should you save up an emergency fund? You haven’t experienced an emergency yet.
Why should you invest for your retirement? You’re not going to retire yet.
Why should you get life insurance? You’re still alive.
You’re bad at saving money because you love to wait and wait and wait. Just because something hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen tomorrow. You can either start now while everything’s still manageable, or you can start tomorrow when everything’s already a mess: it’s your call.
4. You think of saving as a chore; you don’t consider it a priority.
Saving is usually associated with being cheap or miserable, so most people don’t appreciate its importance. Instead, they choose to “live in the now” and prioritize automatic gratification.
Every life goal has a price tag associated with it. Do you have dreams that you’d like to achieve in the future? Home ownership, college, buying a car, going on vacation–all of these have a corresponding financial value!
Yes, it makes sense to spend for now. But it also makes greater sense to spend in the future.
Now, how can you find money to spend in the future?
You save and subsequently invest for it.
Yes, you can move from being bad at saving money, to being awesome at saving money. All it takes is a small start, and a lot of commitment.
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