I was in a restaurant over the weekend and a man seated near me was handed his bill. He pulled out his wallet, kissed it, and said, “I’m so thankful to have a wallet with money in it. I’m so blessed to have this money.”
As someone who studies behavioral finance, you can imagine how this caught my attention. I told him I’ve never seen someone be so thankful for the money they have in their possession. Most people are looking at the cash they have in their possession and in their accounts, for that matter, and focus on what it’s lacking.
This man went on to tell me how he never understood why people bought into the “money is the root of all evil” translation, when money is a gift that not only allows us to buy what we want, and achieve our goals, but it also provides a window into our psychological and emotional lives.
Nicole Lapin, New York Times best-selling author of Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together…Finally, says challenges around saving money are not all about the amount of money we have, but also largely about how we feel about it, and ourselves.
“It’s about changing your mindset from a place of deprivation to a place of aspiration,” says Lapin. “We need to focus more on the power of money and building it instead of nickel and diming,” she adds.
Lapin says many people suffer from the belief that you have to save a lot, but that’s incorrect. Even if it’s $100, $50, $20, everything is important to your budget and our psyche,” adds Lapin.
A survey by Capital One called “Challenge Your Savings,” found that 53% of respondents say that saving brings them peace of mind.
Lapin says in order to eliminate stress around savings make it personal, “it’s time to put the ‘personal’ in personal finance,” she says.
In order to do that, she actually names her savings accounts. Lapin admitted to having a tendency to break or damage her Iphone, and it was costing her. She actually opened an account and named it “Nicole’s Iphone” and saves $20 a month. “It keeps me motivated, it keeps me connected to what I’m saving for. If you’re saving for a vacation, a down payment, or even for your ‘latte’ account, naming the account makes the saving feel more connected to my life, versus some kind of external deprivation,” she adds.
Lapin says in addition to figuring out what you’re saving for, it’s important to calculate the cost of your goal so that you can keep that in your vision and thinking and to track your journey.
Making it all personal may make you as grateful for the money as the man who was seated next to me at the restaurant who said when you give your money a little “TLC, it pays you back in stereo.”
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