The truth about Saving

I sent out a survey a few months ago and one of the questions I asked – what is your number 1 financial priority this year? Most of the readers answered savings.

That made me think actually. I thought the majority would like to own a business but I reckon it’s not the case because they don’t have the capital required and they believe it’s a deterrent. 

How can you start a business with no money, right?

I understand where the desire to save is coming from. Of course, what we want is financial security and we somehow feel safe knowing that we have money in the bank (or under our mattress). It’s comforting to know that there’s money saved for any kind of emergency. It’s liberating to think that we have enough savings to retire early.

But how much do we need to save to accomplish all these? Would 100k enough? Would having 1million sufficient?

And how the hell can we even save that amount? It would take more than 41 years to save 500,000 pesos if you’re only keeping 1,000 a month. You can make it in 8 years though if you save 5000 a month. Pero kaya ba? 

I’m an advocate of saving – keep a (big) portion of your earning so you have the money in case you need it.

However, it’s equally important to figure out different ways to earn an income because you can only save so much. Scrimping (to the point of deprivation) is not my definition of living a life. Wag ka magtipid!

If we want financial independence, let’s not just rely on saving. Saving is safe. It is convenient. Just set aside a portion of our salary and we already feel good.

Earning more is always a challenge for many. You know why? To generate more income,  it requires us to think outside the box and step out of our comfort zone. Generating more income also unleashes a handful of money blocks such as:

“I don’t think I can earn more than what I’m currently earning.” (Limiting belief)
“Grabe na kapag humiling pa ko ng mas malaki pa dito. (Money is evil)
“I can’t work harder than this. Mamamatay na ko.” (Equating money to working hard)

Most people consider lack of savings as why they can’t pursue business.
“Wala ako pang puhunan.”
“Kulang pa yung pera ko para pang start ng negosyo.”

But let’s be real, can’t you start a business with whatever you have right now? If you have P5,000 extra money now, what can you do to grow it?

Pero Lyn Joy, yung dream business ko requires 800k pesos.”

Then, my friend, I want you to know that this your money block. You are giving yourself reasons why you can’t do it. It’s the same line as “I need to go into training first.”, “I don’t have time!”, “I’m so busy.”

They are all just REASONS…

But wait, let’s go back to savings. As I said, having money stash somewhere gives us peace of mind and I want you to feel that peace so you can focus on other creative things.

Saving money, for me, is psychological. Just like anything that requires will power (diet, exercise), we start full of hope and determination. We then realized it’s not that easy. We then skip doing it once, twice until we give up.

The more we understand our money blocks, the better our chance of releasing them, and the faster we can achieve our goal.

Here are some psychological reasons why some people save successfully and others struggle.

  • Family we grew up with influences our current attitude

If your parents are frugal, it’s likely that you’ll save better than those people who grew up in an environment where excessive spending is common. If your family is living paycheck to paycheck when you were growing up, and your parents were in debt, you’ll most likely consider it as normal and might struggle with saving and debt too.

Similarly, if you’ve been brought up in a frugal household and when buying expensive things are not common, you’re more likely to save than those who have been raised in raised where excessive spending is common.

  • Our past failures affect our present decisions

Most people who made a few attempts to start saving but been failing because of unexpected expenses and emergencies tend to build up the mentality that saving is unachievable, difficult and impossible.

It’s normal to feel ‘traumatized’ and ‘defeated’ that even after all the efforts we still fail.

  • Associating saving to ‘sacrifice’ and ‘loss’

Saving evokes a positive emotion. However, for some, saving that 5000 pesos mean giving up something valuable hence it feels like becoming a loss. This is especially true if they keep on saying ‘no’ to themselves whenever they want to make a purchase.

If saving feels like sacrificing fun and joy, overtime, we would give up because unless you’re masochistic, no one wants to feel bad constantly.

How can we ‘unlearn’ all these?

First, you have to recognize why are you having difficulty saving. Wag gawin dahilan na maliit ang sweldo or madaming gastos. These are all bullshit reasonings.

“Kung gusto may paraan. Kung ayaw madaming dahilan.”

Understanding the root cause of why saving becomes an afterthought is the first and most powerful way to start the habit of saving. What’s your money story?

  1. What did you learn about money from your parents?
  2. How does this impact your current decisions?
  3. What would you do differently if you rewrite your money story?
  4. Create a money story you’d want your children to hear and learn.

You see, answering all these questions might be easy, but unlearning all them is not that straight forward. You’ve believed these money stories for decades and they become your ‘normal’.

Good news though! It’s never too late. As long as you’re aware of your own money blocks, and have the desire to change your story, we can always do it. I know because I did. (This is one of the things we’re learning in Zero to CEO. If you’re ready to make a huge shift with your money story, I highly recommend joining this programme).

I would never, even in a million years, thought my husband and I would retire working for a company. My dad was an employee. My father-in-law was an employee. All the successful people I know are all employees. In my mind, I’ll become rich by being an employee. It would be difficult to be a stay-at-home mom and have money. That was my money story.

Until the term ‘financial freedom’ came to my consciousness in 2015. In less than 4 years, I have re-written and unlearned all the things I was telling myself. Slowly, I took the decisions necessary to alter the course of my journey.

This May 30, 2019, my husband and I are going back to the Philippines after 14 years of being an OFW. I can’t explain my feeling right now, it’s a gamut of emotions – joy, gratitude, excitement, awe.

If you want to pay off your debt and start saving, believe in your heart it’s possible, and then take actions. You can do it. ❤️

Live The Life and Business You Have Imagined!

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