The Gift of Saving
By Rebecca Sahr
The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
When it comes to money principles, saving is sometimes considered unexciting and unessential. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Saving is the one aspect of financial management that can empower and enable us to achieve our life goals. Saving is a gift to each one of us. But it does require discipline to integrate saving into your life. You must decide. Is the gift worth it?
Research indicates that many Americans are a mere 3 weeks from bankruptcy. Why? Because many of us like to spend more than we like to save. Savings in this country was at a negative rate for many years. A trend is to focus on instant gratification versus long term victory. The discipline of saving is keeping our eyes focused on our goals instead of being distracted by the desire to spend. How do we insert saving into our financial lives?
Step 1: Pay off your consumer debt by setting an amount aside each month to pay these bills. This may require sacrifice in your spending habits in other areas of your budget. Once you’ve accomplished this, then set your saving plan in place.
Step 2: Review your budget and set aside one month of living expenses. This should not be too hard since the money you were using to pay off your debt can now be re-routed into savings.
Step 3: Increase your saving amount to 3 to 6 month’s living expenses. At this point you may want to talk to a financial counselor or do your own research about where you should invest this money to earn interest while still being liquid enough to use it in case you need it.
Step 4: Identify any major purchases you will need in the near future. Develop a saving plan to save for these, so when you purchase them it will be a cash purchase. Set up a separate account for this money to limit the temptation to spend it unwisely.
Step 5: Set up an investment plan to provide for your long-term goals. Retirement can sneak up on us!
Saving is a way for us to gain control of our lives and use money as the tool for healthy living as God intended it to be. It empowers us to have the financial resources when we decide to spend on what we need.