People spend money because it feels good, right? I think that’s why I used to buy all kinds of “things”. It felt good to drive around in the car I had in college with its professionally tinted windows, 17 inch chrome wheels, expensive stereo system and remote starter. From the time I started making my own money mowing lawns in my neighborhood at 12 or 13 until a couple years ago, I spent everything I made on “cool” things that made me feel good. I took pride in my stuff.
What I learned after years of this was that it didn’t feel very good to see your nice things get old and worn out and eventually become worthless. My nice car eventually crapped out on me in the middle of California and I pretty much gave it away. All of my awesome toys, eventually became worthless. The fun was gone, no one was impressed anymore. And today, what do I have to show for those things I worked so hard for? Nothing.
You know, I think saving money feels just as good as spending money. I think it took me a while to feel this way about saving because the first few months were really hard. But today, seeing my bank account balance go up every single month is an awesome feeling. I’m spending money on myself in a not-so-normal way. I’m investing in my future. I’m giving myself options. I’m buying years of lowered anxiety and peace of mind.
When I hear people say, “If I had the money, I would buy the new such and such,” I mentally roll my eyes. The mindset of always waiting to buy the next cool new car or furniture or TV or vacation when you “have the money” will cause you to continue to be broke until you change your lifestyle. That could be years, decades or even an entire lifetime. Ouch, I feel sorry for those people.
Take it from me, when you save money, it feels as good as spending money. I’m not talking about saving $25 a month either. I’m talking about 20, 30, 40 or even 50% of your income. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right. It’s like working out, it makes you feel better by releasing endorphins. I think saving money does the same thing. I wonder if any research has been done on that….