If we could visualize our tomorrows, we would be able to save more and save better.
Our previous generations have a great track record of saving. Our story is quite different, we find it super difficult to save. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Our parents or grandparents did not have many options to spend on- we do, we have access to the best brands in the word at our finger tips- literally. We don’t even need to step out to shop, we don’t need to take out time to do it. We don’t need to grapple with the weather or the traffic conditions to go spend our money. If spending took time and effort, we might have spent less.
The other reason why spending comes so naturally to us is that it feels so good! If we’re feeling happy, we spend to celebrate. If we’re feeling sad we spend to cheer ourselves up. We aren’t taught how to manage money, so the obvious thing to do when we start making money is to spend it. Saving is an after- thought and we don’t even know why we need to save. We are a generation of YOLO- you only live once. So, we live for the moment. We live in the Today. But, life isn’t all roses and hence, we do need to plan for the rainy days, for times when we cannot earn, for times when we might not be working for whatever reason. Having a Plan B is something which each one of us must have.
And the excuse we tell ourselves for not saving up is that our lifestyles are expensive and when there’s not enough to spend, how will we save. Begin with baby steps- start with Rs. 1000 a month. Start small and when you see that growing you’ll be encouraged to start saving more. Saving is a habit and hence needs to start off when you start earning. Don’t give yourself this excuse that you’ll manage money when you have more money. If you don’t manage it when you have little, big chances are that you may not be able to manage it well when you have lots of it. Habits go a long way when it comes to health and wealth.
We are also influenced by people around us and if everyone is spending, we want to spend too. Find what works for you and work for that.
One of the reasons we find it so difficult to save is because we cannot see what we are saving for. If we could visualize our tomorrows, we would be able to save more and save better. Create a vision board for yourself- what would your tomorrows look like. Where do you want to go for a vacation after 5 years. What kind of a house you’d like to buy. What would you like to do if you didn’t depend on your monthly income- what would your days look like? Would you be photographing, creating music, what would you be doing. Create these images and put these on your vision board. Against that if you started putting a number in your “Money Book” this would be say the vacation after five years would cost you Rs 3 lakh. How much would you need to start saving today. This is your starting point. Don’t hesitate if you cannot take the full step, take the baby steps- momentum is important, the amount isn’t.
This will help you save and it will help you understand what you are saving for. This will help you lead a richer life! A richer life which does not mean you lead a financially richer life, but a life which you want to lead. A life that is uniquely yours! Let your money help you create that and that is what you are saving for.
The writer is COO of International Money Matters