It’s hard to realize that there will ever be a time when we stop saving. For me it is like the moment when I stopped playing college soccer. Suddenly, I had to start working out and doing things on my own, when before I was forced to be at practice. I’m constantly trying to find motivation to stay fit and make sure I don’t become physically lazy because once I fall into the trap of skipping workouts I quickly start to lose my physique. The other day I thought to myself “am I really going to have to workout like this for the rest of my life?” The answer of course is yes, if that is the shape I desire to be in. I can’t just stop or think that in 5 years I will not need to exercise. There will be no magic pill or food that will make me skinnier. It has to become lifestyle and it has to become a habit.
It’s just like our finances. We must incorporate saving to become a habit. This doesn’t come easy, because just like with working out, American consumer mentality engulfs us and pushes us to never be satisfied with what we have.
This may be why we as average Americans save less than 10% of our income. (according to tradingeconomics.com) The average is 6.5%.
So how can you learn to save and why should you save?
Saving is not a phase that we go through. It is something that we must condition our attitudes towards, because without saving we can never achieve financial freedom. Ever wonder what it would be like to inherit a couple million dollars? That’s financial freedom. Having the liberty to do and accomplish things that are important to you.
You can’t physically work your entire life. Someday you will have to retire and maybe travel the world or want to spend time with grandchildren.
In order to do all those things you have to save. Just like people who have faster metabolism, saving comes natural to some of us. To others not so much.
I like to define people into two camps, savers and spenders. If you have never thought about which type you are, now is a good time. One of the most important things in your financial life is realizing your money mindset. Are you a saver or are you a spender? Opposites generally attract so if you are in a relationship and you think you are the saver, then you are the spender. Most savers know they are the savers. Do you constantly hoard money or are you so eager to spend that you have only saved maybe a couple thousand dollars in your entire life?
Find ways to build your lifestyle around saving. Be around others who feel the same way, find someone to hold you accountable. These are ways to make savings become a habit. Saving shouldn’t be a burden. If it is you might be saving too much or hanging around the wrong people. Instead, saving allows you to accomplish those things, financially, that you wish to do. And that ultimately is financial freedom and the way to live.
What kind of money habits have you developed? Are you a saver or spender? You might want to think about how it has impacted your financial life thus far, how you can make it a habit to save…