When someone tells you to “live below your means” does it sound like you’re about to take a trip down the boring road to Frugalville?
If so, I get it. That was me just a few years ago.
I thought living below my means meant saving all of my money and giving up going out to eat, traveling, and buying new clothes.
The idea of saving money and spending less than I earn was of no interest to me. And since I didn’t think it was important to saving money, I carried on with my spending ways. As long as I wasn’t going into debt, I was happy with my financial situation.
But it turns out that spending all of my money wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Here are all of the reasons I save money. And I hope they inspire you to start saving.
Benefits of Saving Money
Benefit 1: A Warm Fuzzy Sense of Security
One thing we all know is true (even if we don’t want to believe it), is that nothing is ever certain.
Health issues pop up, jobs are lost and companies go under or downsize. Even though I have a steady income today, that does not guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. Shit happens.
This is probably the most important reason to save money.
By living below your means and stashing some cash, you can create a safety net to fall back on, including an emergency fund and investment accounts.
And this is a huge benefit of saving money.
If, on the other hand, you spend all of your earnings and an emergency arose, you could easily find yourself in financial turmoil.
This was exactly the position I was in only a few years ago before I began my journey. And the crazy thing is, I had no idea the risk I was taking.
It feels great knowing that by saving money I have created some financial stability to fall back on if life gets messy.
Benefit 2: Genuine Appreciation for the Things You Buy
I knew when I started this journey that I didn’t want to live an extremely frugal life. I wanted to enjoy my life now, but still figure out a way to start building that nest egg.
As a result of trying to find this balance, I started to purchase fewer things. But the kicker was, I didn’t feel deprived.
In the past, I would see something I wanted, buy it, use it for a while and then forget about it. This resulted in a house full of stuff that I didn’t appreciate. Sure, some of these things ended up to be favorites, but most of them gave me no fulfillment.
Now, since I make an effort to save up for something useful and meaningful, I find that I enjoy these items so much more. I’ve also realized that the less I have, the more I appreciate the things I choose to surround myself with.
Paula Pant at Afford Anything calls this idea “Curating Your Life”.
“Owning less isn’t deprivation. It’s curation. The less we own, the more space in our lives for things that matter.” –Paula Pant
I absolutely love this way of thinking. Extreme frugality was never part of my plan.
You still buy a cute shirt from Stitch Fix that you know is overpriced. But when you do, you know you are getting a quality item that you’ll wear for years.
And with that said when you truly appreciate the things you buy you aren’t going to buy a bunch of throw-away shirts just because they’re on sale. If it’s not going to be useful to you or you don’t love it, you are not spending your money on it.
Benefit 3: It’s Good for the Planet
Another benefit of saving money is how it will reduce the stuff you consume as a temporary inhabitant of planet Earth.
By only surrounding yourself with things that you love, you will likely consume fewer goods. Fewer goods means less trash, less raw materials, less impact on the earth, etc.
Even when I throw something away I often find myself thinking about whether there is a more sustainable option that would both help my pocket book and Mother Nature. With sustainability in mind, I ended up purchasing washable “cotton” pads, low flow plumbing fixtures and a compost bin, to name a few.
Now I realize I’m not going to be saving a ton of money with these items. But what I love is that working towards financial independence has me thinking about how all of my decisions affect the world around me, including the things I consume.
Benefit 4: Freedom to Pursue Your Dreams
While providing a sense of security is probably the most practical benefit of saving money, the fact that it can open up a world of possibilities is probably the most exciting.
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas that have caught my attention and have been circling around in my head:
- Take a part-time job and enjoy the extra time by doing other things that bring you joy
- Accept a lower-paying job, but one that provides more personal job satisfaction and work/life balance
- Take a year-long sabbatical to travel
- Quit corporate work and start a business
- Leave a job that is no longer serving you to take the time to think about what you want next
Now, these opportunities don’t pop up as soon as you start saving money. It takes time to build a nest egg to open up these options. But the good news is that the longer you live below your means, the more opportunities will arise.
We Got This
Saving money used to feel like a wet blanket that was going to steal all of my fun. Now I feel like it’s a lifestyle that will protect me, help me live intentionally, and open up doors I never knew existed.
These are just a few benefits of saving money. There are so many more.
But I hope this post gets you thinking about how money can work for you, instead of you always working for your money. By cutting out unnecessary expenses and saving some of that hard-earned cash, you can improve your financial stability and start living the life that you want.
It’s a liberating feeling knowing that I’m creating alternative options for my life, and I want others to feel this way too.
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