Why Saving Money Is Bad
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Sound like a bait and switch title? Maybe it is a little. But, we are writing this because so many have the wrong mentality surrounding saving money. Here are a few types of savers we see:
The Every Penny Saver
This is someone who saves pretty much everything they receive. Every penny counts, right? And we agree…but, to an extent. Are you saving for something? Or are you saving solely out of fear. We always recommend having a savings account of at least 6 months of living expenses saved.
So, why is saving bad? For the every penny saver, some affectionately may refer to them as Scrooge. Now, we won’t go that far, but if this mentality is keeping you from doing the things you love, or causing unnecessary arguments with your spouse, then it might be time to build some guidelines for your saving and splurging abilities. Being willing to dip into a small portion of savings to do something spontaneous, go on a short vacation, etc, can be good for the soul.
The Saving Debtor
Do you have the mentality that there is no hope for you to save because you’re in debt? Debt can be a real mood killer. You may have medical debt, college debt, credit card debt, home loan…and the list can go on. But, that doesn’t have to keep you from being a stable investment.
Why is saving bad? For the Saving Debtor, saving money only appears to be a bad thing. But, it’s actually a very, very good thing. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University suggests you need to start by prioritizing your savings account over paying off your debts. Build up at least a $1,000 savings account as quickly as you can without missing any of your loan payments. This actually helps you stay out of more debt. When an unexpected medical test, car repair or home appliance purchase comes up, you’ve put yourself into the position to pay and not accrue more debt.
The Saving Adventurer
Life is an adventure…and this mentality is all for saving for the next vacation, next ATV, next boat, etc. You might live in the moment and are excited to know the money you’ve saved is going to good use.
Why is saving bad? When you ONLY see your savings account as a pool of money to have fun with, you’re neglecting security. This means you aren’t ensuring there’s enough to pay for living expenses if you or a spouse loses a job. This means you aren’t thinking about the unexpected expenses you could see over the next year. Continue saving for the fun stuff, but make sure you’re also setting money aside to take care of the big expenses that might pop up.
Saving will never truly be a bad thing. But, you need to have the right mindset concerning it. Here are some questions to help you determine how your savings will be spent as an individual or as a family:
- Do you have enough saved to give you six months of living expenses if you lose a job or need to take medical leave?
- What would you like to do in the next 6 months? Year? 5 years? 30 years?
- What are the top three things that are most important to you or to your family? How do those priorities translate to your savings account?
Remember that with every paycheck you have a choice to make. Look at every dollar you receive as if it has a question mark after it.
As it comes into your account, decide right there what that dollar will be used for. This is your money. This is your future. This is your savings account, but use it wisely: pay for necessities, plan for the future AND splurge on occasion.