Are You Depriving Yourself by Saving Money?

Lack of proper perspective can often lead people to overspend. I often hear people say that they feel "deprived" whenever they don't buy something. Just a few days ago, I heard a co-worker say that she is finding it so hard to save money and that she feels so "deprived" whenever she doesn't go on her weekend shopping sprees. Another co-worker told me that whenever you wanted to buy something, you should just do it and that you should never "deprive" yourself of anything. Does that sound familiar to you? I'm sure it does because chances are you have heard the same thing from other people already.

But do you see what is wrong with all these statements? Here are people who have good jobs, have a home, can eat three times a day and snack in between, and yet can feel "deprived" if they forego certain luxuries in life! This is an extreme case of people lacking in proper perspective! These are people who think that simply not going out to eat or to watch a movie is so painful that they think they are depriving themselves of happiness if they don't do those things. Yet, in the same country, you will find people who don't have much money, who don't even eat out or go to the cinemas but are quite content with their lives!

Please! Choosing not to buy something in favor of saving money for the future does not make you "deprived". If there is anything that you are depriving yourself of, it is only immediate gratification!

Remember that the only things that you need to live are food, water, shelter, and clothing. As long as you have these, there is absolutely no reason for you to feel "deprived". Remember as well that real long-term happiness is a state of mind wherein the individual is content and free of worry. Genuine happiness will never come from the brand of the clothes that you wear, or the model of the car that you drive.

So the next time that you want to head to the nearest Starbucks to "reward" yourself, and you start to have second thoughts because you know that you're supposed to save money for your future, but you say to yourself that you shouldn't be depriving yourself of anything, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Is my belly full?
2. Is there a roof over my head?
3. Are there people who care about me?

If you answer 'YES' to all the questions listed above, then congratulations, you have absolutely no reason to feel that you are "depriving" yourself of anything if you don't buy coffee from Starbucks!

A mid-level manager at the office once asked me: but what about leisure? Leisure is all well and good and is something that is in fact recommended. However, I ask you to be mindful of your budget. Do it only if your budget permits it. A good practice is to save money that is solely intended for leisure. For example, save 100 pesos every payday in for you to eat out once every end of the month or save 200 pesos every payday for you to travel once every end of the year. And believe me, whenever you delay gratification to achieve something, it will feel more special!

Finally, here are some quotes for you to ponder upon:

"One definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good." -Dave Ramsey

“Affluence brings with it boredom. Of itself, it offers little but the ability to consume, and a life centered on consumption will appear, and be, devoid of meaning. Persons so afflicted will seek sensation as a palliative, and that today’s culture offers in abundance.” -Robert Bork

Disclaimer: I don't recommend just saving money in the bank especially if your investment time frame is more than 20 years. Learn More.

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