We need to reframe the way that we think about saving money.
I have a small knick-knack in my office with a picture of a bear and a tent. It says, “Note to self: campers in sleeping bags are like soft tacos.” Mmmm, I love tacos. Tacos are my comfort food. I could eat tacos every single day of the week. I like tacos as much as a bear likes campers in sleeping bags. Tacos just make me feel good. Saving for a specific goal is like a financial taco. It just feels good to invest. It’s comforting.
Unfortunately, saving money does not feel like a comfort food for everyone. Some of us worry about the “lost” cash flow related to investing part of our income. We need to reframe the way that we think about saving money. For many of us, putting away money is arduous. It feels like an uphill battle. If you are saving for retirement, setting aside money you won’t use for decades is challenging. Because of this, many of us tend to procrastinate our savings which can lead to severe financial anxiety later in life. We need to change our mindsets and look at saving differently.
Saving money is not just beneficial in the long term; it is instrumental to our financial happiness now. Putting aside money is one of the simple economic principles that can alleviate the most financial stress.
Instead of looking at our savings as lost income, we can reframe our mindset by telling ourselves things like:
- Fortunately, I’m in a position to invest; only some have the right financial circumstances to save money.
- This will help me become more financially independent down the road.
- I am creating financial freedom in the future by putting aside part of my income today.
- I am taking a step closer to my goal every time I invest.
We should focus on the positive results we can achieve by investing part of our income instead of the loss of purchasing power that saving will create in the short term. We can practice good behavioral finance and feel less financial stress by starting to save now. Eventually, saving will become a comfort experience like eating a taco is for me, or eating a camper in a sleeping bag is for a bear.