When we choose to save, we’re paying a cost today with the hope of a future reward later. Many of us choose not to save thinking we can’t bear that present cost. Other’s may overemphasize the future reward and save without purpose or limit. Both of these perspectives can be misleading. As you think about your own saving, take some time to think about what you’re saving for. Having a clear purpose for your savings will help you make the hard decisions about when and how much to save, and let you know when you’ve saved enough.
What are you saving for?
Having a clear purpose for your savings will help you prioritize it over other distractions that are sure to happen each month. Years ago I tried to start a savings account, but never decided what I was saving for. Unsurprisingly, each month something would come up that would distract me from saving. One month my car needed to be repaired, another month my friends would want to go on a road trip. Without a purpose for my savings account, it was hard to ever say no to these things and my savings account remained empty.
Recently, however, I decided to start saving up for a move to a new home. With a clear goal and cost in mind, it’s been much easier to actually save each month. When opportunities to send arise, I can say “no” to them, and know exactly why I’m doing it.
What to do when you’ve saved enough
Though it may seem far away, stick to your budget and a day will come when you’ve accomplished your savings goal. When that day comes, take the time to reflect on what you were saving for. You may find that your needs have changed, and there are new goals you want to save for, that’s great! However, you should also consider the possibility that perhaps you’ve saved enough and that now you are more able to give and be generous with what you make. Having a clear purpose for your savings will help you know when you’ve saved enough.