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Saving is (not) hard

Pandu W. Soeprapto
Pandu W. Soeprapto

Banker, part-time teacher, and at-any-other-time writer

Jakarta | Tue, July 26, 2016 | 08:36 am
Saving is (not) hard

Many of us struggle to save. Saving is hard. (Shutterstock/*)

Many of us are hard workers. We depart for work, we travel through hellish traffic, we put up with crazy working hours and crazy bosses and we arrive home late. We rejoice when it is time for pay day, feeling like the richest person in the world for a brief moment in time. Before long, all the money slips through our fingers and disappears; nothing left but regret. 

Many of us struggle to save. Saving is hard. Here are a few popular excuses that people make about their inability to save:

I do not know how to save:
Not one person knows how to save at first. During our school years, saving is not offered as a subject. However, if you want to be financially well off, saving is a requirement. With a strong resolve it can be done. 

Do not worry about how much you can save; just save. Start with 10 percent of your monthly salary, then 20 percent, and then 30 percent. If you experience a downturn, save 5 percent. It is not too late. Start now.

(Read also: Save or splurge - how to determine your clothing budget)

I do not earn enough:
Despite inflation, the rising cost of living, and bills that are increasingly overwhelming, monthly salaries appear to be set in stone. They don’t rise. It may seem impossible to save but your capability to save has little to do with how much you earn. It is relative to your lifestyle. 

Perhaps you live beyond your means or buy things that are beyond your financial capacity? Remember that income does not follow lifestyle; your lifestyle needs to be adjusted to your income.

I have a lot of expenses:
We all have expenses. Some of us more than others. Is each one of those expenses necessary? To know the answer you need to sit down and undertake a financial checkup: List up all your expenses, separate needs from wants, organize your priorities, make a budget, and stick to it. After that, avoid impulsive buying. Think twice before spending money on anything. By doing this, you will cut back on your day-to-day expenses. 

I have a lot of debt:
It is hard to save when you have considerable debt. Stop borrowing and start to trim your debt. Begin with debt that has the highest interest rate. Once you are debt free, start to save. Revise your financial habits; use cash.

(Read also: Good things about a money-conscious concept)

I still have a long way to go:
Saving is the foundation for sound financial conditions; to have productive assets, to prepare for our children’s education, to cover health services, to ensure a comfortable retirement, and to be financially independent. Many people think that there is plenty of time before they need to start saving. This means that long term objectives are forgotten.

We never run out of excuses. We convince ourselves that saving is hard and we postpone it over and over again. Due to this, we miss out on the benefits that savings offer. 

Commitment:
Bury all your excuses and start saving. The commitment to save is more than just a habit. Get ready to learn and unlearn.

 

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Pandu W Soeprapto earned his bachelor in Institut Teknologi Bandung and master from Monash University. Currently works as an Assistant Vice President in corporate banking and has handled many financing projects in various sectors. He has passion in teaching and love to write about people and finance inbukanpohonuang.wordpress.com.

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