Saving Money: Are You Taking Money Away From Your Future Self?
Saving money is not the way to get rich, but it is the first step in a process. If you're spending more than you earn like so many others, this article can help you get back on track with a mindset change.
Everyone knows they 'should' save their money, especially in this
uncertain economy. Your parents probably told you to save your money
from the first time you had a job, but unless they demonstrated that
very habit, it's unlikely you listened. Today, the evidence is clear
that most people spend more than they make, and the fall-out from this
massive problem is everywhere to be seen. The situation is verging on catastrophic, and rather than willpower being the solution, I submit that a change in perspective is needed.
To begin with, it's important to note that saving money is not the same as investing money, and this article is about saving. If you don't first save money, you'll have nothing to invest, leaving you with a stressful financial situation you'd rather not deal with. Perhaps you're already there. Saving means creating a new habit, and that takes conscious intention. Wanting to is one thing, but you must train your brain to think in new thought patterns, and only then can you begin this healthy new habit. We are creatures of habit, and the reasons you've been spending your money rather than saving it go deep. Media bombards us with compelling reasons to spend; we do it to impress others, to make ourselves feel worthy, to distract ourselves from painful thoughts or situations, and to feel hope, among many other reasons conscious and subconscious. The truth is, however, we are hurting ourselves and taking from our future selves with little regard.
One estimate has it that unwisely or impulsively spending a dollar today effectively takes FIVE dollars out of the pocket of the person we will be 20 years from now. How scary is that? It is this sort of wake-up call we need in order to rein in and prioritize our spending habits. Willpower alone never works; we need to invest some time in thinking about why we behave the way we do, and truly see the potential repercussions of our current actions. What will happen to your financial future if you continue down your current path?...You can begin by being aware of the problem and remembering to ask yourself if it's worth robbing your future self to enjoy whatever it is you are about to purchase. Every purchase has a dual price: the price you pay in today's dollars and the lack of investment you will make because you don't have those dollars to invest or save. Now that you know, make it your mission to do better - for that future you who is counting on you!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shauna writes about a variety of topics for her online publishing business, including many finance articles. Other subjects include ice buckets, utility sinks and submersible pumps.