Saving money and functioning in the modern world seem to be more and more at odds every year. It’s true that with factors like inflation and an uncertain job market, the intent of saving appears to be less of a possibility than ever before. The key to building a personal savings, even when everything seems to be working against it, is attitude.
A correct attitude toward money is what allows a person to see the cracks and fissures in life allowing opportunities to work together for savings goals. The vast majority of people consider money to be a way to enjoy impulsive pursuits. It is, but it is also much more. Whether people want to believe it or not, the fundamentals of saving money remain powerful even in troubling times.
The first death knell of a savings-minded attitude is not having a concrete series of short-term goals, and a few long-terms goals. The miserly attitude toward money teaches that hoarding is always the best policy. Hoarding money walls money away from its true potential, and keeps people from living their lives. The objective of saving is to have funds in the future that are sufficient to make life more interesting, vital, and worth planning. It isn’t to keep people pinned down forever in a constant worry over financial matters.
Here are a few tips to adopting the correct attitude toward money, which fosters a strong savings plan and a path to reaching important goals.
1. Earn, Spend, Save
The money allotted for savings should be treated like any other expense. There is one caveat. Consider the money set aside for savings as an essential expenditure. This means it cannot be touched, but must be stored away each paycheck cycle. Emergencies are the only reason why savings funds should be touched.
2. Forget the Cookie Jar
Money that sits idle loses value because of inflation. Savings put into a jar, mattress, or non-interest account becomes worthless after time. Try contributing to a mutual fund, money market account, or high-interest credit union cooperative. Interest is the key to meeting savings goals in a lackluster economy that is dead set against the little guy becoming successful.
3. Self Denial
Whether people like to admit it or not, controlling spending impulses are extremely important for meeting savings goals. It is very easy to consider savings as “free money” that can be used for anything. Exercise restraint when feeling the urge to follow what everyone else is doing. Drop the insanity of keeping up with the Joneses. Find entertainment “on the cheap,” and funnel the excess into a savings account.
Along with the old saying for staying out of debt that goes, “Spend less than you earn,” it’s helpful to go even further when zeroing-in on savings goals. Make savings a non-optional category in a budget. Deny the impulse of doing things the mainstream way (it’s the mainstream which creates the need for savings in the first place). Make sure all savings funds do not remain idle by funneling them into a high interest, long-term account. Savings goals really are just a matter of time, patience, planning, and regular fiduciary contributions.