Saving: An activity that should become a habit

Elaine King

Most adults know that saving is important. We know the difficulties that can arise when an unforeseen event leaves us without resources to cope, and understand that we can achieve major goals by saving. However, not all of us have the habit of saving. We save only small amounts, in a disorderly manner, and always wait for "the next opportunity," making excuses as to how difficult the economic situation is, and the increase on prices of basic products.

If you look carefully and honestly at your own consumption habits, it’s very likely you’ll discover that several of your monthly expenses are not necessary or basic. You will also understand how the lack of organization ends up forcing you to spend more, and the way in which you respond to advertising by buying things that you cannot pay for. Not only we have stopped saving, but we accumulate debts for products or services that we do not need.

This pattern of expenditure not only affects our family economy immediately: it damages our credit record, does not allow us to face true emergencies and becomes a pattern that children learn and will likely repeat when they are adults.

While it is true that there are certain aspects of our temperament that are determined by genetics and biology, what we can control is always more important. Human beings have an impressive ability to learn, and it is scientifically proven that through discipline and goals, we can change our habits permanently.

Saving is one of those activities that should be done routinely. No matter the size of your salary, or if the amount you can save monthly is small; the important thing is to do it in a systematic and orderly manner so that it becomes a true habit.  Thus, not only you'll be imposing a healthy discipline on a personal level, but you'll be setting an important example so that children can acquire this habit at an early age and find it much easier to keep it when they become adults.

The amount to save is a decision that should be made within the family, as well as the discussion about the timing and destination of those savings.  In this way, not only you’ll think about the difficult part saving, but in the huge benefits for all family members.

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Elaine King - Family and Money Matters™ 2021