Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is Saving Boring?

With my recent "Should I spend the money on a new computer?" stress, I've been thinking a lot more about saving money vs. spending money on things that you want/need.

When we were saving to quit our jobs, it was very easy to save money. We had a big goal that we were working towards and the end was in site.

But now that that goal has been completed, and we're pretty much doing what we want to be doing, I'm finding that it's a lot harder to save.

Our next savings goal is for a house (or possibly a new car if our current one dies). But of course, it takes a lot more money to save up for a house than it does to save up a year's salary. At least, when you're looking at real estate in Hawaii and assuming that you want to pick the house that you'll live in for your whole life.

It's like suddenly, $30 here and there doesn't seem like that much money. I mean, it's just a drop in the bucket.

Of course I believe it's important to save, but where do you draw the line between the good feeling of building your savings and the bad feeling that comes with completely going without.

There are always little things that you may want to buy. When you are being extremely frugal, building your savings towards a goal, you start to forgo those little things. But sometimes you just really want it.

Frankly, sometimes saving IS boring.

Now, I'm not talking about going shopping for Chanel or Louis Vuitton...things that I feel are completely unnecessary. But things like a new dress to wear to my husbands annual work retreat (for me not him). Or a gym membership.

My family frequently gives money for birthday or Christmas gifts. That money has often just gone "into our savings", which in a sense feels like it's going towards paying the bills. Which kind of sucks because I know that when people are giving me money, they're giving it so that I can "get something nice for [myself]." My mom expressed a lot of frustration over this when I was talking to her about the computer.

It's good to save your money, especially when you're working on a goal. But sometimes I just want to spend.

How do you deal with this?


Chief Family Officer said...

When this happens to me, I create new goals for myself. Right now we are saving so we can pay cash for a new car. Other goals that can really help put the focus on saving instead of spending are maxing out retirement contributions, hitting a special number (like $100,000 with a specific company to get preferred customer treatment), saving for a dream vacation, etc. Good luck!

shannon said...

Great idea! I've done that in the past, but definitely needed the reminder. :-)