The Importance of Savings
Posted by Gail | Filed under Saving
It’s an age-old story: People who save know how important it is to put away a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for the future. People who don’t save can come up with dozens of reasons why they can’t find the money. In the end, the savers plod along to a future brighter than being old and poor while those who don’t save constantly whine about their lot.
For those who are predisposed to saving – watching the money pile up is far more satisfying than buying another DVD or a 32nd pair of shoes – it’s easy to set aside money in their budgets for the future. But what if you’re a spender? What if the idea of saving money is so foreign that you sweep it away with another swipe of the debit card? You barely make enough to live. You’re in debt. You work hard and deserve nice things. There will be plenty of time to save in the future. Saving is what rich people do.
Consider this your swift kick in the butt: If you don’t start to save you’re headed for disaster. While you may want to spend every cent you make on stuff that makes you feel good, only irresponsible dopes actually act this way.
Saving is a habit and anyone can establish it. If you’re determined to be strong and take control of your financial future, you can take advantage of the habitual nature of saving and make it work for you. Commit to saving $20 a week and have the money automatically transferred to your RRSP, a TFSA an RESP or a high interest savings account. You can afford $20 a week, can’t you? Sure you can.
Don’t give up coffee completely. Just decide that you’re going to trim back your coffee habit by 25%, 30% or 50% a week and send all the money you’re not spending to your savings. If you’re serious about becoming a saver, it’s time to focus on making small, manageable changes that will stick.
Don’t say you’re not going to buy clothes; find a way to shop for way less, like hitting the second-hand store and becoming a bargain-hunter. Don’t give up reading, just give up buying books: head to the library for magazines, books, audiobooks, movies. Don’t give up eating out. Have a salad and dessert with your friends and skip the glass of wine.
Becoming financial responsible should not doom you to a life of boredom and denial. Small luxuries will still have their place. You’re just going to trim back and really appreciate them when they come along.
Money is an exhaustible resource. It runs out. If you want to have some for later, you’ve got to Not Spend some now. This is not about hoarding all your money and having no fun. It’s about taking small steps along the right path and setting a pace you can maintain. Most of all, it’s about getting started. It doesn’t matter how small your first step is. As long as you begin developing the saving habit, you’re heading in the right direction and momentum will carry you along.