When I started saving, I wasn’t saving much. However, I developed an important habit. Whether you’ve wisely saved money or received a good tax return, don’t go out and blow it on more stuff. You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want. A.F. Bannerman once shared wise advice worth mentioning here that I’ve come to agree with and respect:
“Your savings affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice. In short, your physical well being and self confidence. A person without savings is always running. You must take the first job offer. You sit nervously on life’s chairs because any of life’s emergencies throws you into the hands of others. Without savings, a person is often fearful of the present and the future. Being in a state of constant fear is a horrible place to live. A person with savings can walk tall. You can appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and decisions. You need not be rushed by life’s problems or economic necessity. The person with savings can resign from his work if his principles tell him this is not the place to be. "
The person who is always worried about rent, food, bills, etc. can’t concentrate on long-range career goals. The person with savings can focus on family and service to shape personality and develop character.
2 practical tips to get started:
Track everything you spend. When you keep a log of everything you spend (gum, gas, latte, groceries, everything), you can’t help but see patterns in your spending. You’ll think twice before buying that next Starbucks. If you live on a budget for every category of expenses you have, you’ll be amazed at the control you gain over spending.
Savings is actually delayed spending. I didn’t understand the expression “pay yourself first,” until my mid-30s. It means you should set aside a portion of everything you make, save it, then invest it. You should do this regardless of whether or not you have your own business (hopefully you do).