The concept first occurred to me a couple of years ago when a friend and I were discussing the struggles of savings as students. I think that a lot of us could use a change in mindset where savings are concerned. It’s hard to be conservative when there is so much to see and do especially when someone is juggling school, work and a social life. Perhaps looking at the issue from a different perspective will help shake things up.
We have so much a head of us and sometimes it’s tough to buckle down and plan for financial security. Changing the conversation and viewing saving as a current benefit as opposed to a long term one is a key factor. What we choose to save our money for will vary from person to person but the why is something that isn’t really discussed – and no, the what for and the why are not the same. Let’s talk about paying yourself first.
Paying yourself first means taking some of your income and deciding not to use it. It’s deciding that some of your hard earned money is going to savings to help sustain yourself, to act as safety on a rainy day, to help curb debt, to help wade off monetary stress. Paying yourself means choosing your future over mindlessly investing in short term liabilities. Sure using your money for fun is well fun but there needs to be a limit. Draw the line for where you want your time to go, because after all, time is money.
This brings us to our next point- Value your time – you worked those hours, don’t give them away for free. Next time you question where you’re putting your money, divide the cost by your hourly salary (for those of you paid on an hourly basis) and evaluate how many hours of work those shoes will cost you.
Thirdly, try not to view savings as a drag but rather as a source of freedom. Financial freedom is something most of us want as a result of our jobs. Being able to live beyond a pay-cheque to pay-cheque lifestyle puts your mind at ease. You won’t have to scramble when rent is due or when it’s time for groceries.
The stresses that come with school are undeniable. Pay yourself first to alleviate some of the other stressors that life presents us with. Take charge of your finances, you’ll be proud of yourself in the now.