We love excitement and variety, new experiences, feelings etc. Anytime money comes into our hands, we have two options. Save and invest or spend. Saving money seems so boring while spending seems so exciting. Since we tend to move toward activities that give us pleasure and move away from activities we associate with pain, we tend to spend more than save.
Below are seven common reasons why we find saving money so boring:
- We do not see the end result of our saving efforts in the short term. The future seems so far away. We don’t receive instant gratification, whereas that of spending is instant. If you save, you need time for it to build up to a reasonable amount of money, enough to motivate you to keep saving. With spending, you can immediately start enjoying what you paid for the moment money changes hands.
- Savings looks like self denial or self deprivation. While you put your money away and console yourself with what you already have, your friends are having fun with their new acquisitions and toys. Sometimes they make you feel un-cool and miserly. When non savers are having so much fun, you begin to wonder if it is worth the trouble saving, especially when they start looking better off financially than you. The spending arena seems to be where the fun is.
- Saving does not boost your image or make you look affluent. You may not see, feel or touch the money you are saving or investing. There is nothing to show for your efforts. Others may be wondering what is going on, why you have not traded in your car for a new model or travel abroad for that vacation etc. Nothing much seems to be happening around you while you are saving. The grass looks greener across the fence
- People tend to like you more when you spend freely, especially if you are a man. You become more popular and make more friends. Cutting back may lose you some friends and may make you fall out from some social circles.
- Inflation can reduce the value of your savings or a market downturn can reduce the value of your investment portfolio. This makes you feel it is better to spend your money and see what you spent it on (regardless of the fact that it will end in the thrash a few years down the road) than try to build a secure financial future you are not sure of.
- When you cannot keep your hands away from your savings, it gets boring having to start all over again and again. Sometimes you give a loan to a friend who never pays back, and you begin to wonder if you wouldn’t have been better off spending the money on yourself in the first place rather than save and give it away.
- Access to easy credit makes savings boring. Why deny yourself and save now when you can have fun with your money and borrow for emergencies and investment?
Cultivating a savings habit requires a huge dose of personal discipline and delayed gratification which comes with personal growth and development. Cash flow is the life blood of any business and personal finance. If you are asset rich and cash poor, a financial setback or crisis can cause you to sell your assets at give away prices. Having cash puts you in a position of strength, and acts as a buffer in the event of a financial emergency which includes job layoffs etc. Saving might be as boring as foods that are good for you but may not taste so good initially. If you cultivate the savings habit, it soon becomes fun while giving your money away for stuff that will soon end up in the thrash becomes a painful exercise.