Budgeting

4 Things That Can Motivate You to Save Money Other Than Buying Expensive Things

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Joanne Poh

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If the main reason you bother to save money is so that you have more to spend during your delirious sprees on Orchard Road, you need a new source of motivation. Sadly, it seems that to many Singaporeans, the value of money lies in the amount of shiny things it can buy, which explains why money flows out of their wallets the moment their bosses hand it to them. Also explains why overspending is such a serious problem here.

If the only reason you drag yourself out of bed to go to work every morning is so you can upkeep your glamorous lifestyle, you need to wake up. Here are some huge motivations to save money that won’t result in your spending even more.

 

Early retirement

You might be working so hard to pay for your fancy car or handbags that you’ve forgotten what it feels like not to have to work. Well, imagine how you’ll feel if in 30 years’ time all your friends are busy playing mahjong or walking their dogs in the afternoon while you are still forced to go to the office.

Not sure about you, but I’d pick not being forced to work over living the high life any day. Doesn’t mean you have to immediately start dedicating your life to mahjong once you hit retirement age, of course. But there’s something liberating about working or setting up a business for fun, rather than slaving away because you have no choice.

 

Not being a slave to your job

If you hate your job or don’t think your boss treats you like a fellow human being, you have all the more reason to save up as much money as you can. If you’ve got a healthy nest egg hidden away and investments that generate a bit of extra income, you’re that much more empowered, because you’re in the position where you can afford to leave your job if it becomes absolutely unbearable, or if you are consistently ill-treated.

That doesn’t mean you should immediately fling your resignation letter in your boss’s face if he points out you did a crappy job on your last assignment. But simply knowing that you can goes a long way towards helping you to feel less trapped in and more grateful for the job you have.

 

Being able to invest

If you’ve never invested a single cent in your life, you have no idea how awesome it is to discover that that money you painstakingly saved up over the last 5 years has now increased to the point where you get an entire year’s worth of salary free.

Good things happen to your financial state when you start accumulating enough cash to invest. Of course, your investment strategy will differ depending on your goals and risk appetite. You might be keen to save up for a property and then rent out the rooms for additional income, or you might be more focused on studying the stock market. Whatever it is, money gained through investments feels even better than money earned through salary.

 

Being able to spend on others

The feeling of treating a dear friend to a good meal or donating money to a good cause isn’t usually accompanied by guilt. On the other hand, when you realise you spent $500 at the club last night or came back with ten shopping bags on a recent trip to Orchard Road, you don’t feel so good. If you control your spending on yourself, you have a lot more room to treat the people in your life.

That doesn’t mean you should start opening bottles at clubs every night or buying women for your bros at KTV parlours. But it does mean that when a friend is down, it’s in your power to buy her some ice cream, and when your kid brother does well in the PSLE you can afford to take him to Universal Studios.

What’s your motivation for saving money? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.

  • Wing Yew

    Sadly financial literacy is not a core subject that is taught in school, else we would have many more people like you.