I completely agree with you. The problem with learning to save money is that it usually just isn’t much fun. Not to mention that many attempts to save money really don’t save any money at all, proven by your envelope example and the numerous studies that show the people who clip coupons normally spend more money while shopping.
There you have it. Straight and simple. For most people, saving money “just isn’t much fun.” People don’t like it. When they hear the words, all systems shut down from anxiety overexposure and the only thing that can relax them is spending some money to calm their nerves. Okay, it probably isn’t quite that extreme, but I do think there is a perception that permeates our society that saving money “just isn’t much fun.” So the question becomes, why do people feel this way?
I can come up with a few hypotheses off the top of my head:
** The time that most people save money is when their finances are tight, thus there is a connection between and unpleasant and stressful time and saving money.
** Commercial emphasize that spending money is fun and thus the opposite (saving money) must not be fun.
** Saving money is often associated with having to give something up.
** The saving reward is limited.
** There is immediate pressure for results.
I’m sure I could come up with more, but these flew off the top of my head. What I get from most of these is that due to the circumstances under which most people save money are less than ideal, the process of saving money takes on a feeling of not being fun. It is something that has to be done rather than something that one chooses to do at their own free will, and usually exposes itself during times of high stress and limited flexibility.
It’s an interesting dilemma, especially for someone like me that runs a money saving website that aims to be focused at individuals who are in the mainstream – how do you make such a site popular when the topic for most people just isn’t much fun?