I 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. 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.