The main reason you lack money in your bank account, you’re still living with your parents, and your post box is swarmed with letters of overdue. The primary reason the online course for budgeting, which you bought with your last savings is not working for you. It’s because you don’t fully understand the problem.
We can compare the act of staying out of debt with having fun, or not having fun in our case. There is nothing fun in saving money. Usually, when you are in a money-saving regime you do dull things. Or you don’t do anything, which by itself is considered as something retarded.
Spending money, on the other hand, is the bright side. It’s fun. Preferable and it’s hard to resist. Especially nowadays, where you’re surrounded by all kind of activities that promise endless pleasures and on top of that are backed by money-back-guarantee warranties in case you’re not having the best time of your life.
While your social media feed grows with places you haven’t visited, and the banks are advertising “free money.” Relying solely on your senses is not going to cut it if you want to stop feeling like a total failure when it’s time to pay the bills. You need a backup plan. Something more than a promise from the friendly internet stranger who assures you that his money-saving course is bulletproof.
You need an alternative plan, which you’ll probably don’t quite enjoy.
Why Save Money?
The first question is rather obvious, but required if you want to get a full grasp of the situation. You don’t start saving money just because you overheard people talking on the street about it. You do it for a reason.
There are several fundamental reasons to start stashing some money under the mattress:
Security:Things go wrong all the time. Your car needs repairs. Your spouse is ill and you need to buy expensive medicine. A friend is getting married and you need to throw a massive bachelor party.
When you have money stashed away. You feel more secured. You can say, and even do things that otherwise will be forbidden for you.
For instance, if you’re in constant debt and your boss is swarming you with work you’ll obey his every command because you’ll have a lot to lose. You’ll be weak. Dependent. Unresisting.
On the contrary, if you have some savings on the side you’ll have the guts to oppose the amount of work thrown at you. You’ll confront your manager and tell him to piss off. Explain that he’ll either need to pay you more or hire an additional person. If he is unwilling to do neither of the two, you can excuse yourself and find another place to work. Or in other words, give him the finger.
It’s basically a feeling of security and inner confidence. Having some cash stashed away feels like having a car insurance. You know that you’ll be safe no matter what.
You’ll need them: As mentioned, things go wrong all the time. You can’t expect a life without problems. There is surely something that will go wrong and this something will most certainly cost you money.
Money, which if you don’t have, you’ll have to take from someone. Institution or a friend. In most of the cases, however, you’ll rely on the banks. The latter leads to the third reason:
Bank sucks: Do you love standing in line so you can pay your bills? Even though you can manage your bank account online nowadays, it totally sucks to deal with a bank.
They don’t care about you. They won’t understand when you have troubles with the payment this month or when the boss is delaying your salary. When the due date is at the end of the month, the bank will expect the money by that time. Not later.
The rules you sign when you get a loan are basically more stringent than when judges condemn people on a death penalty.
Don’t let these institutions shatter your life and make you sign contracts you can’t complete and don’t fully understand.
The above 3 are the main reasons. But before I show you my money-saving tips, let’s observe for a moment the reason we constantly lack this resource:
Why You Never Have Enough Money?
The two main reasons you run to the bank for a loan so you can survive till the next paycheck are the following:
You don’t make enough money;
You don’t save enough money;
Even though I’ll primarily talk about the second reason, let’s take a quick look at reason number 1:
1. You Don’t Make Enough Money
No matter what the local priest tells you, you’ll need money to live. Here I’m not talking about survival. You can survive with one-tenth of what you’re receiving as a salary. For instance: You can live in an 8 square feet condo if your primary objective is just to survive. Have only one pair of socks, shoes, pants, trousers and eat the same cheap meal every-single-day. Go to work by foot and don’t have any friends. You can surely survive this way.
But modern life is not about survival. It’s not about wearing the same clothes and eating the same meal neither. It’s much more complexed and a lot more expensive. It’s measured by the number of experiences you have. The number of places you’ve visited. The size of your house and the count of the followers inside your social media profile.
When people meet you, they’ll subconsciously judge you. Evaluate you.
What type of shoes you have?
Where do you work?
What car you drive?
Do you own a house or you’re renting?
How much tip you give to the waiter?
If you don’t earn a lot of money people will notice it.
Not that you should care. But most people do care.
They care about what others think about them. They want to experience what other people experience. Visit a faraway island. Eat ice-cream, pizza and paste in Rome. Ride camels in Cairo. Take a photo with the Eiffel tower in Paris.
When you’re not making enough money you’ll juggle between loans and debts so you can fulfill your desires and please your online audience. When you don’t earn a lot of money, quite normally, you won’t have much to save.
2. You Don’t Save Enough Money
We adapt very easily to the outside world. We can laugh and smile when we’re around people who do the same and cry and weep when someone is sharing his pain with us.
Similarly, we adapt to the amount of money we receive.
If our salary increases, our expenses grow proportionally.
If yesterday we were happy with eating frozen pizza. Today, if our salary is increased, we settle only for a sophisticated plate made by a chef. Our taste receptors are becoming more pretentious with the growth of our paycheck.
This, of course, interferes with the amount of money left inside our bank account. Quite simply, you don’t save enough money because you spend them on things.
Scientists, or the people who write stuff online, call this hedonic adaptation. Basically, when a person makes more money, expectations, and desires rise in tandem, which doesn’t translate in permanent gain in happiness. You get a huge raise, you start spending and you fool yourself that you’re becoming happier. But in reality, you’re just digging your own grave.
So, Why We Spend So Much Money?
Here we go again, “there are several main reasons:”
We want others to like us: We are doing our best to present the best possible front of the world. This can be easily seen in our social media profiles. Everyone is sharing his best moments with the world.
We want to feel happy: Obviously. No one wakes up with thoughts about pain and sadness. Everyone anticipates for more pleasant moments. More laughter. More love and excitement.
There are so many things out there and it’s hard to resist the temptation: As the world evolves, our expectations and desires grow. Technology and hardware gets daily updated. What was new yesterday is old today. This trend pushes us to constantly want more so we can be up to date with the world.
All of the above reasons prompt you to spend more money. People won’t like your Instagram photos if you’re wearing the same clothes, right? Therefore, a monthly trip to the local mall is required. It becomes part of your default being.
Let’s see what are our options:
How To Start Saving More Money
By spending less money, obviously. But that’s easier said than done.
When your social media feed is swarmed by beautiful beaches and designer clothes you can’t help thinking about getting your hands on all of these fancy things.
So, here’s what you can do.
Track Your Spendings
You don’t need a complicated app to track how much money you’re spending. You need a journal and a pen.
When I get my paycheck I do the following:
I write the total amount on the top of a new list and below I put every single expense. Prior to that, I declare how much money I’m going to save this month. This amount won’t be used. You can also transfer this sum to another bank account if you have one. Just to be sure that your quick fingers won’t buy a vacation to Cabo when you’re feeling blue.
Everytime you spend money on something, you write it down in the column. Your goal is to fit inside the predefined budget.
The idea of the sheet is to give you a visual of your money. Plus, every time you write your expenses you’ll see how much you have left, which will hopefully restrict you from buying things you don’t actually need.
Disengage From Most Of The Social Media Feeds
Desire and temptation are basic human behaviors. The eye sees food, the brain desires it. The more you expose yourself to certain things, the more you’ll want them. That’s why self-help authors prompt you to read positive things. Think positive thoughts. So you can rewire your brain to think positively. That’s the whole concept of positive thinking. When you think of good things it’s much more likely to feel good and satisfied with your life.
However, the same applies to everything else.
If you constantly see people traveling, your mind can’t help but think about going places.
It’s again the same simple process mentioned above: You constantly expose yourself to something, your mind wants it.
It’s a primitive instinct.
I can also describe it differently. If you’re a man, and you’re constantly surrounded by beautiful women, the chance of cheating on your wife will be higher. It’s in our nature. Not that you won’t be able to resist the temptation. It’s simply going to be harder and not all man have the inner strength.
So, exposing yourself to fewer temptation is the path to salvation.
The fewer things you see, the fewer things you’ll want. It’s that simple.
Find some sort of a hobby. Something that will keep your monkey mind busy.
That’s my hobby.
Previously my diversions were drinking and going out. Both highly expensive and self-destructing.
What can I tell you, I was young and stupid.
Besides going to work and earning money, you should also have some sort of a hobby that will keep you busy. Something you enjoy.
Here I’m not talking about shopping, listening to music, or chatting with friends. These “hobbies” are passive and don’t mean anything.
Think about activities like: playing football, mountain climbing, running, exercising, writing, some sort of craftsmanship.
A common hobby people choose is traveling, which is also OK. If this is what makes you tick, go ahead. Travel the world. It’s not that expensive as most people argue.
Even though it’s totally cool to have a couple of things you really enjoy. Do take note that the more activities you participate in, the more money you’ll need.
If you can afford it, that’s also cool. If it’s going to cost you a kidney to go skiing in the winter, or surfing in the summer, you might reconsider and devote only on one thing.
Learn To Enjoy Your Own Company
If you do love to travel. If you can’t take your head off the mindblowing pictures of the fellow travellers shared on social media. You’ll certainly need cash.
And we all know that going to an exotic island come at a certain cost. Whatever the price is, it will probably take you a couple of months to have it in cash.
A couple of months without doing your favorite thing?
Well that’s a bummer.
For some this inactivity equals torment. That’s why they seek the company of others. Standing alone in the quite room is burdensome for a lot of people. But that’s mainly because such people can’t stand their own company.
They consider the alone time with depression and suicidal thoughts. They can’t imagine that someone can be alone, yet happy. That’s why they go out and spend money on things they don’t need. Even meet people they can’t actually stand, but do it anyway for a lack of other options.
This is the only way a person who is not content with himself to survive till the next flight, or the till the next big event. He needs entertainment of some sort.
On the other hand, if you learn to feel good when you’re alone. Actually anticipate this time of the day. You’ll be much better at saving money.
In my twenties. I felt obnoxious when I was sitting alone in my room. When I didn’t have enough cash to go out I felt depressed and miserable. I occupied my time with dull activities like watching television and chatting online.
Later, I learned to use this time. To enjoy it. To look forward to it.
Now, as anti-social as it might sound, I sometimes prefer it. I spend my alone time reading and writing. Both hobbies which require simple things. Minimum investment.
Some Closing Thoughts
The point here is the following: If you want to save money, you will most certainly have to say “No” to a lot of things. To a lot of people as well, which leaves you were?
Alone in your dorm room, or in your apartment. Since you’re already there, staring at the ceiling, you might as well use this time for doing something productive. Something that will make you better. Basically, help you level up your skills. This way, you will not only save money, but you’ll also increase your chances of earning more money.