“Dad, convince me to save money!” Now that’s throwing down the gauntlet. You’ve upped the ante from asking me why you should save money to outright challenging me to convince you to save money. Here’s the answer that should convince anybody who thinks it through. Imagine losing everything and having to live on the street. It happens to people like us all the time! Life often throws unexpected curve balls. If you’re not prepared, it can be awful.
Beware. It is our natural human tendency to indulge ourselves. We want something and we want it now. It’s not that you’re a bad person if you want instant gratification – in fact, you’re quite normal. Although most of us quickly learn that we aren’t the centre of the universe, that desire is still there, lurking just below the surface.
So, if it’s natural for me to want things that make me happy, what’s wrong with buying them if I can afford them?
So, let me try to convince you why you should save.
Every human being has basic needs. You need food, shelter and clothing. If you have those, you’re better of than a lot of people on this planet! Anything above your basic needs are luxuries, even though they may seem like necessities where you live.
Think about this. How many things do you have, right now, that you really could live without? Why do you have them? Do you really need them? Or would you be embarrassed if you didn’t have them?
Ego plays a big part of what many people buy. Everybody on your street has a new car except you. You have a reliable car, but it’s very obviously an older model. You plan to buy a new car, even though you don’t need it.
Your next-door neighbour just got a new 50 inch flat screen TV and can’t stop talking about how great it is. You have a 27 inch TV that is in great condition, but you can’t wait to get one like the neighbour (or better).
Your buddy goes fishing every chance he gets. He just bought a brand new fiberglass sport fishing boat, trailer and pickup to haul it. Every time you see him, he regales you with stories of his fishing adventures. You can’t stand it…
The reality is, a lot of the places where you see boats, trailers, motor homes, and what-have-you are working class neighbourhoods where everybody lives paycheck to paycheck. Most of those people bought their boats, trailers, motor homes and big screen TVs as soon as their income rose enough to qualify for the “easy monthly payments.”
Unfortunately, almost none of those people are prepared for an emergency if something goes wrong, like losing their job, or their car breaking down. Not only would all the luxury items quickly disappear, but more essential things like the house would soon go, too.
You can save, even on a smaller income, simply by saying “no” to the things you don’t need and deciding to save instead. If you save just ten percent of your income every month, no matter what your income is, you would be amazed at how quickly your real wealth would build.
If you promised yourself, today, that you would put ten percent of your income in the bank every month for the rest of your life, it’s very likely that your would become wealthy.
When you save now, rather than satisfy all your urges (often ego driven), you can reward yourself later when you have both the money and the time to enjoy them.
Remember! You don’t need to save up for a particular goal. You simply need to save. Remember that when life throws a curve ball, as it often does, if you’re prepared, you can simply stay calm and carry on. If not, you could be out in the cold.