|Photo by Damir Spanic from Unsplash|
Money can mean differently to lots of people. Some consider money as the determinant of success or the end goal of hard work. Some consider money as merely one of the benefits of success, and that monetary incentives shouldn’t be your only motivation. Some might see money as something important, but not as important as time and energy (in other words, they’re willing to overspend to take advantage of the luxury of time they have).
Some also see money as a symbol of financial independence and freedom, and they think of it as something to be grown and invested in like the mindset of an entrepreneur. Regardless of what others interpret as the value of money, we can’t deny its importance to our life. We can’t ignore the fact that money, along with fame and attention, is passing. It’s temporary and highly dependent on a lot of factors (most of which are out of your control).
You win some, you lose some. In your twenties, it’s significant that you know how to value money according to your needs and learn how to budget it wisely. It should be one of your topmost priorities to save money and spend only when necessary. It’s a skill most fail in, and it’s one of many reasons why they’re living paycheck after paycheck.
You can read all the books and watch all the Youtube videos on the secrets and tips to save money fast but unless you abandon these enemies of frugality, you’ll never save money. Financial literacy is a pool of knowledge and skill to understand and apply situations that involve the use of money, including personal financial management, budgeting, saving, spending, and investing.
TWO PRIMARY ENEMIES OF FRUGALITY:
Almost a majority of the people on the face of the earth are materialistic. You can tell by the way they flaunt their lifestyle, and although that may be working out for them, let not that be you (especially if you’re broke). Keep in mind that you’re not handed down with a trust fund. You don’t belong in a super-rich family and spending even half of what they spend will lead you to poor choices and even total abandonment of your family.
Materialism not only takes away your money but also alienates you from real human connection. Being materialistic means favoring a brand new pair of shoes over years of friendship and justifying it as both give you the same level of happiness. If you’re materialistic, you think abstract, special interactions can be easily compensated by material things.
People-pleasing can get so tiring. It’s the main reason why you’re struggling to live another day without messing up your finances. You forget your values and beliefs for the sake of satisfaction from other people. Even if you can’t afford to buy that bag, you convince yourself you can because you want people to think you’re wealthy enough to buy it. You want people to assume you’re doing well (thinking the quality of life is measured by earthly possessions). For that, you’re willing to skip two meals a day to “save” enough money for something that can’t physically nourish you.
On social media, you see people getting new stuff every week and for some reason, you want to buy more of what they have so you could have something to brag about. You feel the desperate need to jeopardize your financial obligations to cover up your insecurities through material objects. When the competition rises, the stakes rise too; and you’re likely to lose because you were never born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Now, you don’t have enough money to back up your desires.
6 WAYS TO SAVE YOUR MONEY:
CHANGE YOUR JUDGMENT
Like my father would always tell me, never spend more than what you earn. You need to figure out why you feel the urge to buy things you don’t even need. Is it to show off? Is it to put on a fake status? Is it to prove you’re doing well in life even though obviously you’re not? You need to change that kind of thinking because it wouldn’t do any good to you at all.
Accept that you don’t have money. Your actions should coincide with your circumstance. You need to be smart enough to decipher a want from a need. If you keep fueling your wants, you wouldn’t have enough money to buy your actual needs. You’ll be drowning in debt for the next five years and still, your first priority is to fit into the trends.
STOP IMPRESSING PEOPLE
You may not want to admit it but often you buy things you don’t need to impress people whom you don’t like. You keep showing off those new heels even if you groan in pain every minute you wear them. You take the whole day doing nothing but taking pictures of your newly renovated room, but everybody knows even when you emptied your wallet for it (unless you turn your room into an art gallery).
The point is, if you squander all your hard-earned money for the praises of others, you’re teaching yourself to be a slave to their opinions. You’re making it a goal to please them in any way you can because that’s how much you value their approval. That’s one of the saddest things to happen to you. Eventually, that chasing will burn you out.
Before you purchase anything, think about its use and its longevity. If it’s not as important as you know you should have, it’s only a matter of time until you replace it with a newer (but still the same) version of that material. You’ll be spending twice on something temporary and useless. Is the item durable enough to last for more than three years? How often will you have to replace this? Will this matter in the next ten years?
OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Opening a savings account will not only safeguard your money, it will also accrue interest over time. Your money will be placed far away from you, out of your reach. That is if you’re disciplined enough not to grab it at your convenience. Also, you can form a habit where you’ll deposit money to your savings account immediately upon receipt. Opening a savings account is a smart way to save money, and it doesn’t cost much depending on the bank where you decide to open it.
EAT AT HOME
Food is a necessity for each and every one of us, but you don’t have to eat at the most expensive restaurants. You know for a fact majority of your payment is for the place and not for the food. A simple, effective way to save money is to eat in the comfort of your home with unlimited water and food. If food is the only necessary element in this equation, then why not opt for something cheap and comfortable? Someday, you’ll realize you’ve saved up more than what you spend in a year.
This doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of eating at a fast-food chain or a restaurant on special occasions or after achieving an important mark. But if you do, be sure to order food that will be consumed by all (not that the majority of what you ordered will go to the dogs, or worse, to the trash).
DON’T JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON OF ONLINE SHOPPING
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, online shopping has skyrocketed up to the hierarchy of shopping. Although online shopping has a number of benefits for shoppers all around the world, like being able to manage your budget, not having to go to a physical store to shop (you can do so at the comfort of your bed), fewer prices, and more discounts. These benefits can also turn into disadvantages when used irresponsibly. It can tempt you to keep spending your money because it’s so easy and convenient to take money from your wallet. For some, they can say it can become addicting.
If you do need to buy stuff online, make sure your preferences are clearly mentioned. Buy from trustworthy shops. If you only want to buy a single item, ask your family and friends if they’re planning to buy too so you can share the shipping fee. Although money is meant to be spent, you wouldn’t have much to spend if you don’t save enough.
If you continue to live that toxic lifestyle, you’ll develop an impractical sense of spending and lose in the game you started with yourself. In the long run, you won’t be satisfied with your poor financial choices. because you’ll realize you’ve been pretending to be somebody you’re not. When you finally come to a point of introspection, regrets will overwhelm you. You’re going to have to learn the hard way while you’re broke.
“If you wish to get rich, save what you get. A fool can earn money, but it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage.” – Brigham Young
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