Why Saving Money Feels as Good as Spending Does

 

Why Saving Money Feels as Good as SpendingI truly believe that some people are born “savers” while others are born “spenders.” For lots of people, saving money goes against every instinct in their body. They just love to spend. It feels so good to them. Some of them even report getting a sort of high off of it. However, that is not to say that there is no hope for those born spenders to become financially responsible savers. It just takes some work.

 

Natural spenders can learn all about saving money. They can be taught how to budget. They may want with all of their heart to become a saver. They may learn the “ins” and “outs” of retirement planning and make sure to have the proper income protection coverage. They may even learn why they need to think “long term” instead of just focusing on how they feel in the present. Yet, they still have a very difficult time becoming a saver. Why? Because of the way that saving money makes them feel.

 

Today, I am going to make a very bold statement. It is super bold.  So bold, I’ll even put it in boldface type below…I hope you used the extra hold hair spray this morning because I’m about to blow your hair back. Are you ready for it? This is your last warning. OK, here goes:

 

Saving money can feel just as good as spending it does.

 

OH NO I DIDN’T!

 

Yep, I just did.

 

How to Become a Saver

To me, the most important aspect of evolving from a spender into a saver is learning that saving money can feel as good as spending it. Not only can it feel as good. It can feel better!

 

Before one can get comfortable changing their habits or their lifestyle, they must first feel good about what they are doing. Why do you think so many people have trouble going to the gym on a regular basis? Because, for most people, working out sucks…that’s why. It is painful, time consuming, and boring. Since it isn’t bringing them pleasure, people usually give up after a few months. They get burnt out and tired of going to the gym. Many times, they’ll revert to seeking pleasure from other vices – like, in my case, junk food.

 

Whether it is getting in shape or learning how to save, changing your habits has to feel good if you are to succeed. At times that can be easier said than done. So, what are some ways that a natural spender can find bliss in saving money? I’m glad you asked!

 

 

Saving Money = Less Stress

Remember all those bills that you have to pay each month? Remember how stressful it was to not know where you were going to find the money to pay your rent? Have you ever been without work and had no way to pay for your food due to your lack of savings? Do you remember how it felt to look at your bank account and realize that you were spending more money than you were taking in each month?

 

I do…and I’m glad I’ll never have to go back to that place again. While I was enjoying my weekends eating out and partying, I was hating the fact that I had to stress out about my bills each month. At the time, I had both a spending and an income problem. At a certain point, I finally decided that enough was enough. I enrolled in school to increase my income, and my future wife helped teach me that my “feelgood” impulse spending was actually making me feel worse in the long run.

 

Stuff Won’t Make You Happy

When you are a spender, it always seems like the next new thing is going to bring you happiness. The marketing geniuses on Madison Avenue play to that instinct as well, making you believe it even more. Unfortunately, no matter how much crap you buy, somebody is always going to have more. Buying those 6 blouses may give you a temporary feeling of joy, but after you’ve worn them a few times the high is gone. Buying that new gadget may make you feel cool. Unfortunately, it will be out of date next month.

 

This is gonna make me sound like a total goober, but trust me, it is true. No matter how it may seem, stuff will never make you happy. Happiness can only come from within you.

 

Saving Money = Freedom

Saving money gives you the freedom to do so many things that you may never have even thought possible. Maybe you can save enough for that “trip of a lifetime” you’ve always dreamed about. Maybe you can quit your job and retire early. Perhaps you’d like to start your own business. Or, maybe you want to follow your favorite band on a world tour. By saving your money now instead of buying frivolous things, you can have the financial freedom to do whatever it is that really excites you. Go ahead! Check EVERY item off of your bucket list…then start a new one! Now that is something that feels better than good…it feels great!

 

 

So, what are you waiting for? Saving money can feel great! Give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose…but your stress and worries.

 

 

About Greg

Greg Johnson is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who believes in living life now while saving for the future. He is the co-founder of the personal finance website Club Thrifty, where he brings the awesome sauce each and every day.

Comments

  1. Saving money definitely makes me happy. Makes me happier than when I buy material things!

  2. Great post! I could not agree more. I learned my lesson years ago that saving is the way to go. Sure, I might be happy for a few minutes or days because of the shiny new whatever I bought, that high, just like you said, diminishes quickly. I think a big key is having motivation to save. Whether it be for retirement or a vacation I find having that incentive makes the saving just a little more easier.

    • I would agree that having motivation is a big key. It always makes it easier to achieve a goal if you have a clear understanding of what you are working towards.

  3. I thoroughly enjoy saving money and it has been a great blessing in our life. Not having the financial worries that we once had allows us to focus our energy and concerns on more important matters.

    Redefining how you view happiness was a big part for us. We quickly learned that material things and money isn’t what really makes you happy.

  4. I think I’ve always had that savers mentality, but I got away from it when my income prospects were looking very promising. For a while I just didn’t think I had to make the effort to save money. Now I’m back in saver mode and it is incredibly rewarding to see my savings building up.

    • I think that I’m in the same boat Jeremy. I think what I said in the article may have been a bit misleading, albeit unintentionally. I have never been one to spend a lot of money on material things. However, I did have a problem with impulse spending on food/booze/sports gear/etc. Now, I’m back to my roots as a stingy ‘ole curmudgeon.

  5. I definitely feel at least 2X more joy saving than spending. I get MORE joy watching others spend, like on a trip to a mall, and I don’t spend for some reason. Kinda addicting saving! Things add up over time!

  6. I have always been a big saver. Like you said it puts me at ease. While I might splurge every now and then (mostly on Birthday and Christmas gifts for my wife) I enjoy seeing my net worth rise.

  7. Saving really does give you a sweet endorphin hit! I remember, as a kid, I would cash all my check from my first job and put the cash in a box. At one point, I had over $1,000 in there, and man, it felt awesome every time I opened that box. A great psychological lesson for my 16-year-old brain. Though, I wasn’t as motivated once I put all that cash in the bank and started spending on credit cards.

    I hope to get in the saving game again someday. For now, I need to make some more cash!

    • You’ll get there man! You’re doing great so far.

      There is a definite disconnect when you spend using a card. It is almost like it isn’t real money. You get to keep the card, so the purchases are just numbers. There is no exchange physical currency, so there is no pain. I think that is where a lot of people can get into trouble with cards.

  8. Even if it doesn’t feel that way at first, you can train yourself to like different things (up to a point), and I think saving is one of them. Imagine saving as buying your freedom – so it hits the “spend” pleasure center in your brain!

  9. I only recently jumped on the savings bandwagon. Until now it hasn’t been a main concern for me but the recent unemployment of my bf has proved to me why it’s important to save.

    • Savings can really increase that feeling of security…and when you feel secure you’re less stressed, you can live off of your EF for a while, and you don’t have to take that first job offer that comes along. There is a lot of freedom with saved money.

  10. I love saving money, too, but for me, the best is making money!

  11. Definitely love to save. When I do spend, I like to spend money on things that have potential to help me make more money, like investing money into my blog, house (this one can be tricky as there are so many gray areas!), or skills (such as a book about using visual basic with excel.

    • Well, according to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” you’re doing the right thing. Invest in things that make you money, not in things that are liabilities.

  12. What a great post. I am well and truly a born saver.

    It is possible to change – My wife was born a chronic spender and when we first got together she didn’t understand the high I got from saving.

    However, after seeing how much money we are saving on our mortgage each month, she has become the biggest savings convert.

  13. I think I’m a natural saver. Sure, when I go on a big shopping trip to the states I definitely get a bit of a spending high, but I always get buyers remorse the next day. I love to save, it definitely does feel just as good as spending.

    • So, I assume that when you go shopping here it is difficult to return things to the stores, right? That would make for even worse buyers remorse, I would think.

  14. Greg, totally agree on 2 of your points above. (not that I don’t agree on the others).. Some people are born “savers” and some are born “spenders”, and that savings = freedom. My dad is a perfect example of this. He is a big time saver, but is also living his dream in retirement.

    There is also huge benefits of being a son of a saver, you also get to enjoy the wisdom of your parents. Next week I go on an all expenses paid trip to Colorado, just me and my dad hanging out in the mountains. Why? Because he saved for 35 years and now has more money than he knows what to do with and essentially lives free to do whatever he wants.

    When we make wise decisions with our money, not only do we benefit, but those around us do also. I think this is great, and look forward to doing more of the same with those around me.

    • Thanks Jason! I hope to be just like your dad someday:) In fact, we’d love to take my adult children on trips around the country/world with us. Hopefully, our plan will work and we’ll be able to do that in our debt-free future!

  15. I learned how to save through my mom. She told be when I was still a teen ;) that if I want something, I can buy it as long as I have the money. But if I don’t, I got to save for it. No matter how expensive it is. And she emphasized that I should never borrow money from anyone. I grew up remembering her words. And every time I buy something after saving money for it, it just feels oh so good.

  16. Jason Roland says:

    I agree with this article. I have a friend that gets a savings account for her kids when they are born and they have to put at least 20-40% of all the money they get in it. The kids like to see the balance go up and when they are older will get everything out of their account that is mentioned in the article. Start the habits early!

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