Updated: September 5, 2020
It’s hard to change from being a reckless spender to a practical saver. I’ve been there before, and I can honestly say that it is a struggle.
It’s not easy to live every day when you’re always torn between enjoying the present and preparing for the future; to choose between spending your money today, and saving it for tomorrow.
Fortunately, after several years of living a life of frugality, I can say that saving money eventually becomes easier. Moreover, life seems to become less complicated, and surprisingly more enjoyable. Here are some other things that will happen when you’ve been a money-saver for a long time.
You learn to be patient.
Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam? Some people I know stress themselves unnecessarily whenever this happens. They curse the pedestrians, they blame the government, they fault public utility vehicles, and they sulk in self-pity.
Whenever I’m in a similar situation, I just listen to music and sing along. Sometimes, I observe the people around and think of stories about them.
I learned this kind of patience from waiting for my piggy bank to become full as I feed it with coins every day for several months.
You can afford better things.
I love gadgets, and most of the tech stuff I own are premium brands. While they’re more expensive than the lower-end models, I choose to buy them because I can afford them. I can afford them because I know how to save for the things I truly want.
I don’t buy them on credit and go into debt. As with all luxury expenses, I just patiently save money every month until I have enough. And from experience, premium brands have better quality and longer durability, which saves me more money in the long run.
You can keep your calm when unpredictable expenses occur.
If you own a car, then you know it’s almost impossible to say when something needs repair or replacement. A worn-out battery, a busted light, a broken fan belt, a flat tire, and many other things can happen at any time.
Unlike some people I know who would worry when such things happen, I am able to avoid unnecessary stress because I have an emergency fund. Additionally, there’s no need for me to scrimp on low-quality brands or second-hand parts.
You’re not burdened by debt.
In 2010, I wrote an article here entitled, “What Happens If I Don’t Pay My Credit Card Debts?” That post has more than 500 comments, and it’s still going up until today.
Check out the responses and you’ll see a steady stream of people sharing their debt stories, feeling lost, and sick of worrying about what they’ll do.
It’s really stressful just to read them, and it’s a powerful motivation to become a saver because I don’t want to live a life like that.
You’re better at taking financial risks.
A lot of people are afraid to invest because they don’t want to lose money. Fear prevents them from taking the necessary steps to grow their wealth fast.
While it’s a fact that all investments have risks, I have fewer concerns about losing money because I know that I can always just save more.
When the money you’re investing came from a sudden windfall or your salary bonus, you’re afraid to lose it because it’s not often that you receive those.
But if the money you’re investing comes from patiently saving every month, you’re more confident about taking financial risks because you know your money-saving habit will again produce surplus funds next month.
You become less attached to material stuff.
Keeping up with fads and trends is an expensive hobby. Fortunately, this becomes less important when you have a frugal mindset. You feel less envious when others have more than you, and people who own expensive things don’t impress you anymore.
When you live simply, and spend less on stuff, you’ll begin to appreciate and treasure more the few luxuries that you choose to have.
You don’t feel stressed anymore about missing out, and more importantly, you lose the need to impress others with material things.
You value people more.
I used to go bar hopping with my friends every weekend. Sure, we’d have a good time, but at the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that the best part of the night was our conversations and not the alcohol, nor the food, nor the ambiance of the club. We had fun because we were together.
We still go out today, but only if there’s an occasion. Most of the time, we just go to someone’s house and talk over coffee and cake, or beer and chips.
We’ve learned to value each other’s presence more than being seen in the latest hotspots in the metro.
How about you, how long have you had the habit of saving? What other things have changed in your perspective about life ever since you started? Please share them below in the comments section.