Saving with a Purpose…Understanding the “why” behind your savings
Do you ever think about why you should save? Or have you asked yourself; what exactly is the point of saving money? I remember growing up, my mom used to buy my siblings and I this local piggy bank made of clay, it was round with a little opening on top where you could slide the note or coin through. Whenever we got money as gifts, we happily put it through that hole with the hope of opening it someday (mostly Christmas) to enjoy the fruits of our labor but really we never made it past 3 months before we smashed it open and spent the savings.
Fast forward into my adult years, I grew to dislike the idea of savings. I thought it was lame and felt no one should tell me how to use my money (I’m sure you can relate).
My savings goals, like many others, have always been rather vague. The whole talk to save for a “rainy day” have no real definition. I mean c’mon, when exactly is this “rainy day”?
Just think of all the advice we hear from financial gurus:
“Save 20% of your income for retirement.”
“Put 3–6 months of expenses aside for emergencies.”
The list goes on. But none of these instructions come with a “why.” Why are we saving 20% of our income towards retirement? What are we going to do when we get there? Why not more…or less?
Take some time to reflect on why you are saving money. Your list should be comprised of both short-term and long-term goals, from saving for next year’s rent, to funding a retirement still 20 or 30 years away.
I finally became more aware of the reasons I’ve been struggling financially, even after paying off debt, was because I never actually sat down and identified my savings goals. I had set up several savings account in the past but quickly dipped my hands into it for trivial reasons.
You have to attach purpose to your savings.
I call it “thinking far” - thinking ahead, having that big goal, and then recognizing that it’s the small decisions that you’re making daily, like right now, today, maybe tomorrow, but right now, that accomplish this big goal.
You’re making daily decisions that will affect that long-term goal. And when you have a specific long-term goal in mind, then suddenly you have context and can make those small decisions better. Better decision-making in that small decision moment over a long period of time guides you toward reaching a bigger goal — specifically, exactly what you’re saving for.
When you set a goal for your savings, the goal itself encourages you to continue managing your money prudently, whether it is by saving more money or earning more money. You’ll be surprised what a huge difference the right motivation can make towards your financial independence efforts.
This strong driving force for an increase in savings and income can remove the reluctance that is often associated with changing your lifestyle to cut unnecessary expenses and prevent financial burn out.
I would rather you be totally honest with yourself about what you WANT. Define it with super-clarity, on your own terms, then those small decisions start to really line up and all point toward reaching those very, very specific goals.
Saving is good. Saving with a purpose is great.
Save with purpose and stick to it no matter what. You will be glad you did.
Do you save with a purpose? Share your tips with us.
To your wealth & success
Certified Life Coach, Student of human potential/personal development. Helping you develop tools to create lasting success in Life.