You have heard it much of your life. Save, save, save. You can never save enough. A penny saved is a penny earned. Save for a rainy day. It would seem there is something to this saving thing.
Yet why do so few save? All it takes is a quick google search, and you will be drowning in statistics. The numbers clearly show too many people save too little money, a retirement crisis is looming, and how too many have too much debt. All of this negative reporting does not paint a pretty picture for the future for many people.
What do you think the main culprit is behind this lack of money in most people's savings accounts and for their future? Let's examine some possibilities and what to do to rectify them.
The importance of learning to save
Unfortunately, little or no teaching is done in most schools and colleges to rectify the issues caused by a lack of saving. There is also virtually no teaching about the skills, traits, and habits needed to develop the ability to save. Saving takes more than learning about saving; it takes learning a great deal about life, how to live, and how to be. Fortunately, it is never too late to begin to learn what it takes to save.
"The habit of saving is itself an education; if fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind." Thornton T. Munger (1883–1975)
As Munger states in the above quote, saving is a habit created in our life. In developing the habit of saving, we gain some extraordinary abilities. Look at the benefits Munger lists:
- Fostering every virtue creating high moral standards
- Self-denial, leading to delayed gratification
- Developing a sense of order in life
- Being able to think and plan ahead
- Broadening our mind to see more than what exists
Those are some profound benefits that come simply from learning to save. Or does learning to save come from them? Either way, by developing the habit of saving, you certainly learn a great deal, and it is an education in itself!
I love that Munger starts his list of benefits with the words "fosters every virtue." One of the greatest virtues a person can develop in their life is that of responsibility. Learning to save begins and ends with becoming mature by taking responsibility for yourself and your spending and saving habits. Yes, responsibility and maturity are directly connected, as the more personal responsibility you accept, the more mature you become.
Since little education exists in school or academia about saving, much less the traits one needs to develop, we must take the initiative to learn how to save. Fortunately, there are some great courses available in many communities and churches based around programs such as Financial Peace University. In these programs, you learn to save, budget, and develop the skills required to become mature and succeed. The great thing about such programs is they are open to people of all ages. You are never too old to learn such valuable skills, and there is no time like the present to start!
"It's simple arithmetic: Your [savings] can grow only to the extent that you do." T. Harv Eker (1954-present)
Give some thought to the wonderful benefits of developing the habit of saving. This habit will affect every part of your life in a good way, helping you develop some tremendous life skills and abilities. The primary benefit to many of us is how it will foster our ability to mature, to take responsibility for ourselves, and the outcome of our lives.
What's not to like about that!