The problem that most people have with saving money is that the go about it all wrong and because they do so, their attempts are bound to fail. This in turn places the image that saving money is not fun and the circle continues without any progress being made.
While I’ve stated that saving money is the best investment that you can make, most people don’t initially save money for the investment return. Most people begin to save money because they are in debt or don’t have enough for some other reason . Basically, they can’t afford to spend. It isn’t a conscious choice, but one that is forced on them due to other factors. This usually means that the person saving isn’t approaching the task of saving money with 100% enthusiasm to say the least.
The main problem when people begin to save from this perspective is that they make the following conclusion without critically thinking through all the issues: saving money = not spending money. For those that want to successfully save money, this is one of the the worst assumptions that they can make. While it’s true that not spending money can save money, it’s an extreme reaction that often means much less money is saved than can be. In some cases, it can me losing money. Either way, the person taking this approach will be miserable having to stop spending money on all but the essential costs. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two and if you can do so, you’ll go a long way to getting your personal finances in order.
For the vast majority of people, learning how to spend money wisely is a much more effective approach to saving money than simply not spending . Alas, the art of spending wisely has been lost by a lot of people. Many now take their cues of what is necessary and what is not from the advertisers all around them. Many others have never thought about spending money beyond exchanging cash for the item or service they want. In truth, spending money wisely is as much of an art as saving money. Combined together and your have the makings of someone who will be financial secure their entire life.
It’s important to know when it makes financial sense to spend. Basic maintenance is a good example. In the short run you can save money is you don’t maintain your car, your teeth or any number of other things, but by not maintaining them, you’ll likely pay much more money in the long run. You can save to cost of toothpaste, dental floss and regular check ups, but when your teeth go bad because of poor maintenance, it will cost you a lot more in the end. The same can be said with your car if you don’t spend money to do basic repairs and maintenance.
Stockpiling items that will not expire or go bad and that you know you will eventually use is another way to save money in the long run. If you see something that you use on a regular basis that is priced far below what you usually pay, spending the money for multiples of that item makes good financial sense. In a sense, you’re getting automatic, instant returns.
When you can move beyond the “I must save money” mind set to one of “I need to use my money wisely,” you have placed yourself in the position where your truly can begin to get your finances in order and reach toward your financial goals.