How Saving Money Is Not Hoarding
Do you read the news frequently? Have you ever heard of any cases whereby the local police follow up on a complaint of bad stench? What’s unusual is the discovery of a corpse which is not only the source of the odour, but also the neighbourhood bum. Better yet, he died a rich man, but the riches are all unspent and kept hidden. In the end, he died with a net worth of half a million but failed to enjoy life. Strange isn’t it?
The poor victim and many others like him are known as hoarders. They are basically people who hang on so tightly to their money, so obsessed with accumulating wealth that they never really get to spend it. In fact, they are probably too frightened to do so, fearing that the money will never be replaced. The real problem arises when they get into major quibbles with their loved ones over money, or are unable to identify the real value behind expensive goods, like computers or medical treatments.
It is important to clear the misconception that people who are concerned with reducing their expenses are mistaken as hoard-rats. Unless you are saving up for something that means a lot to you, there is no point living a life whereby there is only ‘taking’ but no ‘giving’. You will be no different from a miser and his pot of gold.
Ever heard of the paradox of thrift? Basically, it states that if everyone in a country is too obsessed with saving money for themselves and not spending enough dough, the whole population of hoard-rats will cause the downfall of the country’s economy. Without the people to support it, the economy will not thrive and in the end, the dropping prices will cause companies to go out of business and monopolies of industries will inhibit further growth. Who suffers? The country, followed by the government and finally the burden rest on its citizens. So please, do pamper yourself once in a while, and consider it as charity to your economy.
Here are some situations whereby the act of saving money cannot be obsessive.
1. Medical treatment – Life is priceless, never risk your life using a substandard service.
2. Education – The most expensive thing in life is ignorance, never compromise on this.
3. Food – Never ever buy from a stall, no matter how cheap, if they don’t practise hygiene.
4. Buying in bulk, as in too much – It will create the illusion of abundance and you will end up
using up more space than you normally need to.
5. Taxes – All of us hate this necessary evil, but unless we can find strictly legitimate ways to manage / minimize our taxes (please get professional legal counsel), you seriously don’t want to play foul with the law.
6. Clothes – Always ensure that you and your family have proper clothes to wear, be it shirts, pants, blouses, skirts, or even an abaya dress. Better still, get them at cheaper prices on sites such as Shopee, Amazon or HijabDressUp.com.
7. Anything that involves the safety and security of you and your family should never be compromised, just because you wish to save an extra few dollars and cents.
Now that you are aware of the difference between hoarding and saving money, let’s delve into how you can actually save your money.
How Do I Save My Money?
We have always been told since we were young kids to save our money and not spend on unnecessary things. The problem though, is we were never actually taught how to do so effectively in any part of our education system, be it during our preschool, formative, secondary or tertiary years. Then we are suddenly thrust into our adult working life, and we realise that we do not know how to save our money properly, and start getting into loads of debts.
So let’s look at how you can be frugal and start saving your money efficiently. Since nothing beats using the momentum of having an inspiration to complete a task, without further ado, let’s get right into it.
How To Start You On The Frugal Life Right Away
Save Your Money in Separate Bank Account
The first logical thing you can do is to immediately set up a separate bank account from the one you use for your monthly expenditure. Then arrange for about ten to twenty percent of your paycheck to be banked in automatically each and every month. In this way, you reduce the hassle of having to painstakingly set aside part of your earnings into savings, since the process is already automated for you. Convince yourself that the money saved over a year will make your efforts worthwhile.
Avoid Spending Unnecessarily
Next, avoid spending unnecessarily by first reducing the frequency of patronizing fast-food outlets till it hits zero counts. Always go shopping with a companion; they are there to keep your spending in check. When meeting with friends, meet them after meals or after a movie.
Minimise Spending on Transport
Choose walking, if possible, over taking public transport. If compelled, take the cheapest form of public transport, without compromising on time – which is another thing besides money that we want to save as much as possible.
Reduce your Utility Bills
When you are at home, limit showering time to strictly 7 minutes, and use the shower water for your laundry followed by cleaning your floor. In addition, use the fan instead of the air conditioner, and turn off the lights and heater when not in use, so as to reduce the electricity bills.
The most important step is to educate yourself constantly about how to be frugal and save money. There are sufficient books in your local library on frugality that you can borrow and read about. Or just go to video sites, and view videos about saving and being frugal.