The minute that you get out of college, you will either seek employment or start your own business. During the first few years that you are establishing yourself financially, it is important to learn how to save.
Why should money saving be part of your lifestyle? There are many reasons, which will learn more about in the next sections.
Where Your Money Goes
First, let’s take a look at exactly where the money that you are earning goes. According to the 2009 survey by the US Department of Labor’s Consumer Unit, this is how most Americans spend their annual paycheck:
- Shelter = $10,023 (20.2%)
- Pensions, Social Security = $5,027 (10.1%)
- Utilities, fuels, public services = $3,477 (7%)
- Food at home = $3,465 (7%)
- Vehicle purchases = $3,244 (6.5%)
- Expenses, other transportation = $3,130 (6.3%)
- Food away from home = $2,668 (5.4%)
- Household furnishings, equipment = $1,797 (3.6%)
- Household operations = $984 (2%)
- Housekeeping supplies = $639 (1.3%)
- Life, other personal insurance = $309 (0.6%)
Is there a category which is specifically for setting aside funds for the rainy days in the chart? Not necessarily. It’s the basic living necessities which always get prioritized, and saving money has become almost an afterthought. In order to change this mindset, it does pay to know exactly what the reasons are for turning money-saving into a part of your daily lifestyle.
Top 15 Reasons Why Saving Money Should Be a Lifestyle
Take a look at the top fifteen reasons why saving money should be part of your lifestyle:
1. Saving money helps you prepare for the future.
What better reason is there to save money than to prepare for the future? For your kids’ college education, for your own retirement and other future expenses, saving money will provide you with the funds that you need.
2. Saving money helps you prepare for emergencies.
If you’re living on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis, you might find yourself in debt if you have to deal with family medical emergencies, plumbing or other house maintenance expenses that cannot be put off since you do not have the extra funds to spend. By setting aside money for such eventualities, you can enjoy utmost peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for future emergencies.
3. Saving money satisfies an emotional need.
Working hard to play hard is a maxim that a lot of people live by. If you turn saving money into a habit, you will have the means to play hard. When you have enough money saved up, it also satisfies an emotional need because you know that you can pay the bills and live in a comfortable manner. A similar motto or financial rule that you can follow is to pay yourself first. As long as you have a goal of what you’re saving for, you should be well on your way towards enjoying money as it satisfies that emotional need of being able to pay for the necessities – and enjoying everything that life has to offer.
4. Saving money gives you personal and financial freedom.
Instead of focusing on what money allows you to buy, why not associate it with having personal and financial freedom? Unless they’re very resourceful, people who do not have funds saved up usually do not have the means to buy what they want, visit the places that they wish to go or experience things which do cost a lot of money. When you have enough funds saved up, it can give you that personal and financial freedom.
5. Saving money lets you take full advantage of opportunities that will come along.
If you know how to manage your funds properly, you can take full advantage of opportunities that will come along. If you’re in between jobs, for example, you can afford to wait for a better offer without having to scrimp on the necessities. If you’re currently employed and you do a bit of research about the industry, you can work as a consultant and earn a lot of extra cash on the side, which you can save and spend at the same time.
6. Saving money will help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
When you’re on a budget so that you can save more, you will practically be forced to lead a healthier lifestyle. Instead of wasting money on junk food or wasted food items, planning your meals will let you see what healthier, cheaper alternatives are out there. This saves you money doubly hard because you are taking preventative steps to care for your health. Instead of paying a huge amount on possible chronic diseases that you might acquire later on in life, you can keep illness at bay by living a healthier lifestyle in the first place.
7. Saving money helps you learn about new things.
If you have money saved up, you can take on new hobbies, enroll in classes, take on self-improvement activities, etc. When you’re down and out, it will be pretty difficult to have the means to improve yourself because you do not have any funds saved up.
8. Saving money helps you manage risks.
Saving money should be part of your lifestyle because it allows you to manage risks. The more funds you have saved up, the more capable you will be of paying for insurance plans that will allow you to manage risks and transfer such risks to your insurance provider.
9. Saving money helps you get rid of debt.
If you’re in debt, should you use your money to pay off the debt or save it? The answer is actually both. There are instances when it makes more sense to pay off everything that you owe, then start saving up. But there are also times when you do both the saving up and paying of your debts at the same time.
10. Saving money allows you to set clear financial goals.
As mentioned earlier, it makes no sense to save money if you have no idea about what you’re saving it up for. Is it a trip to an exotic beach destination somewhere in Asia? Or maybe a new car or a new house? You could also be vague and simply label your savings fund as for emergencies or for the future. No matter which one you end up doing, what’s important is that you get to be clear on exactly what your goal is when saving money.
11. Saving money makes you happier and more comfortable.
In an online survey from Ally Bank, it indicated that saving money is one of the best habits that people can have in order to boost their happiness. For people who have a savings account, 38% said that they felt extremely or very happy. For those who do not have savings accounts, only 29% felt the same way. Interestingly enough, it’s not the amount of money that you earn which will give you that sense of happiness – but the amount that you are actually saving.
12. Saving money helps you go after your dreams.
This applies to individuals who are near retirement age, or are already retired. The more money you have saved up for your retirement years, the more comfortable your lifestyle will be once you are officially out of work. If you’d like to travel the world during your retirement years, you can do so easily by saving up for it as early as possible.
13. Saving money lets you look forward to that big vacation.
For those who have decades ahead before they can look forward to retirement, saving money will allow them to look forward to that big vacation. If you’ve been slaving away behind the desk for years without taking a break, you definitely deserve to pamper yourself with a much-needed vacation.
14. Saving money gives you funds for luxury purchases or big items.
When you’re saving up for a luxury car, a bigger home or something else that is nothing but simply extravagant, you can get exactly what you want by working hard for it. By turning saving money into a lifestyle, you can fund those luxury items or wants which you might never have even thought of buying while you were still living from one paycheck to the next.
15. Saving money is a way to counteract sinking funds.
Finally, you can save money as a way to counteract sinking funds. Sinking funds are set aside for future repairs or improvements – be it for the car, lifestyle, home or other possessions. Instead of paying for a huge home repair outright and possibly being in debt, you can simply dip into your savings funds if you already have money set aside for such purposes.
As you can see, there are a multitude of reasons why it pays to turn saving money into a part of your everyday lifestyle. Starting from retirement to luxury purchases, emergencies and future expenses, saving money will give you utmost peace of mind knowing that you have something to sink your teeth into when your regular income simply would not do.