The Satisfaction of Saving
It doesn't get you any immediate satisfaction, which - let's face it - is what it seems to be all about right now. There's no new car in your driveway. No new dress in your closet. Those dishes you want to replace? That kitchen remodel you want to do? That trip you want to take? Nope. Not now. Not if you're saving.
Personally, I seem to move in and out of two personas when it comes to money.
The first: A budget-minding, spreadsheet-creating woman wise beyond her years that knows how to delay satisfaction because she has her eye on the big picture. She is happy with what she has and she gets rid of all of her shopping jitters by dream boarding, Pinning and some serious magazine ogling.
The second: A carefree, happy and go-lucky girl who wants to live in the moment. No rules. No limits. Think big and think abundantly! She has lost all fear when it comes to spending money - she knows there is always more. She shops freely for what she needs and she indulges in what she wants. She avoids looking at her bank accounts at all costs.
The first persona has her moments and she'll go on some awesome streaks. But then the second one takes over, usually after a glass of wine or two, and she'll quickly undo all of the work that has been done.
Spreadsheets out the window as the Potterybarn sheets she bought arrive at her doorstep.
For a long time this seemed pretty harmless. Indulgences are healthy, right? And, in a way, that's true. You can't be so intensely focused on money that it becomes something that scares or controls you. It's good to give yourself a taste of success every once in awhile so that your brain understands that all of those dreams and goals you have are possible.
In my mind, this was what the "Add to Cart" trigger-happy persona was doing - she was bringing balance to my life.
But, as I've recently discovered, she wasn't doing anything productive.
And I have just now come to really understand the difference.
Mindless spending leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It fills you with regret and makes you want to avoid your bank account. In the moment, you feel desperate. Afterwards, you feel desperate to undo what you've done. Guilt lurks in the corners of mindless spending and it makes the things you spend your money on less likely to be enjoyed.
Mindful spending, on the other hand, is planned. There is money set aside specifically for splurging. You know exactly how much that is because you are friends with your bank account. When you spend that money you feel like you should - not like you shouldn't. Mindful spending is enjoyable and you come to love everything you've spent your money on because you gave it thought. While it can be impulsive - it's pre-calculated. Mindful spending feels good.
The beauty of mindful spending is that it has a wonderful side-effect:
When done right, mindful spending means that you've calculated how much you can spend - based on how much you want to save.
And there is something so satisfying about seeing your bank account grow.
As Brian Tracy says, "Would you rather look rich or be rich?"
When you choose being rich, you understand that this is a slow process. And you're willing to wait (because how good will it feel to buy that Land Rover in cash?)
About The Author
Julie Schoen is an internationally acclaimed yoga teacher, retreat coordinator, writer, and branding expert. She is also the founder of Yoginiology.com, Little Pearl Publishing, and Buzzy Blogs, where she is the head writer and editor. She is a leading female social entrepreneur in the United States, author of over twenty best-selling books, mom of three, wife of one, and an expert at putting her foot in her mouth, figuratively and literally.
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