Having a savings cushion is much more than simply having money in the bank. There is a sense of relief (not having to worry day to day how your going to pay for the next necessity) and empowerment (you have options when you have savings that you don’t when you’re in debt). I was having a difficult time formulating these all into a post when I ran across this piece:
The author is unknown, but it reportedly originated in a memo from the World Financial Group:
Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice. In short, your physical well-being and self-confidence. A man without savings is always running. He must. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him into the hands of others.
Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place in which to live. A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.
A man with savings can afford to resign from his job if his principles so dictate. And for this reason he’ll never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to his company, and therefore more readily promoted. He can afford to give his company the benefit of his most candid judgments.
A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. He can take the level stare of any man … friend, stranger or enemy. That ability shapes his personality and character.
The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people spend it all. They are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.
The dean of American bankers, J.P. Morgan, once advised a young broker: “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive the haste out of your life.”
If you don’t need money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.
It does a good job laying out the fundamentals that I also believe to be true with getting ones finances in order and the benefits beyond the money itself that result.
Now if only I could have written it…