What is this blog about?

A BIG hello from The Little Girl! This blog is about my tips on saving money. I'm one of the stingiest persons I've ever known. So if you feel that your piggy bank doesn't seem to stop losing weight, you're in the right place!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to have the Willpower to Save Money

Money Hand Holding Bankroll Girls February 08, 20117

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a chance to enjoy the luxuries that most of my classmates had enjoyed. I went to a school with lots of rich kids, and I never felt that I belonged there.  My family had financial problems, and our earnings were hardly enough to cover the bills. As a result, I was deprived of a lot of things during my childhood and adolescence years. Years passed and things had tremendously improved. My family now earns more. We’re not rich, but life has become much easier.

In my opinion, when a poor person becomes rich, two things happen:
  1. He becomes ridiculously stingy
  2. He becomes a BIG spender

I know someone who has been thrown out to the streets for failing to pay the rent. Now, she is very rich and has this irrational fear of losing her wealth. She becomes very thrifty. I’m also very thrifty despite my having “extra” money to spend on luxuries. Why? Because I worry about the future. Prices continue to rise, and at this rate, things that I can afford now would probably become unaffordable years from now.

On the other hand, some people become extremely extravagant after becoming rich. They are those enjoy-now-and-worry-about-tomorrow type of people. When told not to spend too much, they would reason, “I have been deprived of these luxuries for so long. If I save, it might be too late for me to enjoy my wealth. Life is too short.” Their argument sounds very reasonable. Life is indeed short. We never know when we’ll die. So, since we’re only mortals and it will be sad if we leave the earth without enjoying our life, how do we motivate ourselves to save? Anyway, deep down, we still know that we have to save. Here are my suggestions:
  1. Make a goal. If you have no goals, there is no reason for you to set aside money. I don’t know about you, so I can’t suggest what kind of goals would motivate you. In my case, just thinking about buying my own house is enough to motivate me to save like crazy. Before I buy something that I don’t really need, I would visualize my dream home and decide which of the two I prefer: the item I’m holding or the dream home that I couldn’t afford yet. Sometimes, I choose the former, especially if it’s on sale. I have to enjoy my life, too, you know. But most of the time, I choose my dream home.
  2. All riches have limits. A lot of times, I hear people say, “If I won the lottery, I will quit my job and enjoy my life. I will not try to earn more money because my riches are already enough for me to enjoy a lifetime. I’m not greedy. Rich people who make themselves richer are greedy.” I call their attitude laziness. They’re the #2 type of people that I’ve described above and they will surely run out of money. Not long ago, a poor man had won the lottery. He quit his job and “enjoyed” his life. Soon after, he lost all his money and went back to being poor. If only he knew that riches have limits, he would probably modify his spending habits and set aside some money.
  3. Think of your family. In relation to the previous tip, some people don’t want to be greedy, but being extravagant and spending frivolously is selfishness. Maybe you have enough to enjoy a lifetime, but would it be enough for your children? If you’re single with no dependents, go ahead and spend since you have no one to take care of except yourself. Single people who are capable of earning ample salary have every right to spend. On the other hand, if you have a family, it is your responsibility to take care of them. Why would you live luxuriously and leave nothing for your children when you can live a simpler (but comfortable) life and leave some inheritance to your children? If you’re really worried about having too much (because you don’t want to be greedy), you can always give it to charity.

It takes time and effort to change from being a spender to being a saver. If it’s too difficult for you, take baby steps. Save a small percentage of your earning. No matter how small you save each month, it still adds up. The important thing is you’re saving. Of course, you can still spend a bit to enjoy your life. Life is too short.