Do you struggle saving money? Have you ever tried budgeting in the past and it hasn’t worked? Have you successfully saved some money in the past but eventually used it all when the need arose?
If you said yes to some of the above questions, congratulations, you’re not alone. You’re part of the 90% of people out there in the world who struggle to save money.
Whenever I’m training an audience and I’m discussing the topic of personal finances, I always ask the audience who here is good at saving money. Without fail, I always receive approximately 10% of the audience who raises their hands.
So why is it that 90% of the population struggle with saving money? Could it be poor parenting, the high appeal of new products out there (think of the iphone, ipads, clothing designs), poor knowledge in this area?
I personally believe that the main reason why many people struggle to save money is that they were never taught in schools the essence and power of saving money. Borrowing from Rich Dad Poor Dad Philosophy, schools are corrupt, they teach you everything you need to know to pass the tests but nothing that will actually help you in real life.
As you leave high school and graduate from college, you’ll enter life and realize that money isn’t everything but it really does affect everything. It affects your relationships, it affects your health and it affects your well being.
However, one must question why don’t schools teach kids about money? There are no classes on money 101. There are no classes on wealth 101.
Instead we learn Algebra, Trigonometry, Human Biology, History and Advanced English. Till this day, I’ve never used or even met anyone using any of those courses that we studied hard for in high school. Maybe we use some of them but I definitely haven’t used Trigonometry and most of the stuff I learnt in college.
Instead we walk away with a huge college debt and end up working hard to paying it off which ironically requires knowledge of money which we were never taught.
Think about it, did school really prepare us for life?
Common Money Beliefs
When we think of saving money, we normally think of being extremely frugal, not enjoying life, eating peanuts and drinking water for dinner.
We normally think that by saving money, you’ll become a boring person, you’ll not live life and just won’t have any zest for anything.
This is where the problem begins.
Our perspective on saving money is a distorted. People who struggle to save money also don’t believe they can save money therefore they spend all they earn. Their beliefs and values of saving money is different to the saver.
The problem with being broke is that it sends signals to your brain and affects your self esteem. If you have tons of debt, it really affects you. I’ve seen people in tears when they begin to talk about how much money they owe and how they are trying their best to pay it back by working long hours.
I’ve seen people change over not having enough, people go through all sorts of extremes to counter act the lack of money. All it takes is a trigger.
People with huge amounts of credit card debt are carrying a burden and have trouble sleeping at night, well some of them.
How I Saved Over $30,000 Cash In My Early 20s
Several years ago when I was completely broke and had nothing in the bank, I realized the importance of saving money and having a buffer of cash.
I remember not having enough money to buy lunch, not enough money to pay for my girlfriend, not enough money to support myself, not enough money to buy the things I wanted.
Being broke really sucked. When you walking around knowing you got nothing in your wallet and you’re hungry, that’s when you’re hitting rock bottom.
When I experienced all of this, it was then I decided to change and recognize the importance of saving money. I remember the day when I became so frustrated and angry at myself for not having any money left over at the end of the week, all my money would just vanish and I would have to live from pay cheque to pay cheque.
It was that day when I decided to force myself to save just $20 per week and not touch it. I didn’t care about whether I would be starving or needed to spend the money, my challenge was to save $20 per week and to live comfortably on the remaining amount. I promised myself to NEVER touch that $20 no matter how badly I needed it.
I remember the first week when I saved that $20, it was great, I placed that $20 in an envelope and never touched it. Looking at the $20 at the end of the week and expecting more cash the next week from my pay was a very exciting experience.
After several weeks of saving $20, the day came and I managed to save a total of $100. To me, saving $100 was a huge deal, I actually for the first time felt rich. Most people I was hanging out with didn’t have that kind of money saved up. To me, I actually felt rich.
One thing I also realized is that my life style really didn’t change that much from saving $20 per week. There was no huge changes, I was still comfortable. I then found that by saving regularly $20 per week and a total of $100, perhaps I could increase my regular savings to $50 per week.
Several weeks later, my life style didn’t change, nothing changed, except for my bank account, I saved approximately $500 total which was a huge accomplishment!
This is when I realized that saving money is very powerful. I then got really excited and decided to challenge myself by saving a bigger number. I made it a goal to live comfortably while saving $100 per week!
Did I achieve it? You bet I did. Years later, I saved up to $34,000 and travelled the world and bought my first house.
I then discovered the golden rule of saving.
“It’s Not The Amount You Save, It’s The Habit That’s Most Important”
That’s the power of saving money, it accumulates and attracts more wealth.
However you must get started today, just start with $1 and when you’re comfortable saving $1, move onto $2 and then $3 and so forth.
It’s not the amount that matters, it’s the habit, the master habit of saving for the rest of your life.