Mar 2, 2010

Why Live Frugally Now? Reason #5 (Janssen)

I am willing to live frugally now because I have learned to love the feeling of saving money.

This might sound silly to some of you - it's like saying "I have really learned to love taking out the trash." You might do it, sure. You might think you ought to do it. But to enjoy it? To look forward to it? That's just bizarre!

The rule in my house growing up was that we had to save at least 50% of the money we earned. Each of us children had a bank account and every few weeks, my parents would help us fill out deposit slips and we would take our money to the bank. By the time I went off to college, I had a pretty sizeable sum sitting there untouched.

The larger it grew, the less willing I was to spend it on something frivilous. I remember that my college boyfriend once asked me, "Why don't you BUY something with all that money?" It was pretty clear to me that he had no idea how much satisfaction you could get from saving money - far more than I might get from buying a car or some other high-priced item.

When Bart and I got married, he had not had much practice in saving money, but once we moved to Texas and were both working full-time, we were saving quite a lot of money each month. After six months or so, he said to me, "I never had any idea that saving could be even more satisfying than spending money. I get more pleasure from putting that money in the bank than I would from buying a TV projector or a fancy new bike."

If you don't live frugally enough to save at least some money, you'll never get to experience that rush that comes from saving. You'll miss the chance to see that saving can be its own reward.

4 comments:

Melanie said...

I heartily agree with this. Sometimes I feel like such a killjoy when people will suggest going out to a movie or to eat and my response is "No thanks, it's not in my budget." And then I proceed to give a very enthusiastic five minute speech about saving and budgets and Dave Ramsey and mint.com - and get a lot of puzzled looks in return. I do give myself some money each month for fun, but I'd rather be deliberate with it than just spend on whatever expenses pop up. Priorities, priorities.

Packrat said...

My parents had us save 40 percent of all monetary gifts and earned money. In my case, that didn't start until I was 16 (and I didn't ever have a paying job in high school), but it was still enough to pay for two and a half years of board and room at college. I had my kids save almost all of their money. I would chip in if they wanted to spend some - which wasn't often.

Nathan Pralle said...

I don't know if I can agree with this; I've saved before and while it gives me happiness to know that I'm in a financial position to save the money and I don't HAVE to spend it on something, I cannot say that having money sitting in the bank, doing nothing, is pleasurable. It can relieve a lot of stress to have an amount in savings, but I can't say it *pleases* me to do so -- I'd much rather my money was doing something like buying me things or taking me new places! :)

That is -- if I have something that I want or need. If I had everything I ever want or ever need, then it probably WOULD be a pleasurable thing, perhaps. But while there are still bills to be paid, items for projects (personal or otherwise) to obtain, etc -- I don't think I'll get pleasure out of saving money.

That doesn't mean I shouldn't do it -- I should. But I equate saving money with things like paying for insurance and having yearly physicals. They're not fun things, but smart people do them.

The Petersons said...

That saving feeling is right up there with that, "Hey cute shirt!" "Oh thanks, I got it for $2.00." feeling!