We all grew up with reminders from our parents and elders to save for rainy days. So much so that, most of us are used to checking the price tag before we purchase something, and even go through the lengths of visiting several stores to compare prices. Despite saving being hailed as a virtuous and desirable behavior, it is still tough to practice.
This could be due to several reasons, such as the high cost of living, underemployment, multiple debts from a legal money lender in SG, and of course, the allure of instant gratification. As we work hard daily, it becomes natural to expect some sort of reward, and this often comes with a hefty price tag. It’s become easy to mindlessly shop at the mall at the end of a work day. It’s easy to splurge on lunch to manage stress.
If you save your money, it will mean saying no to leisure and pleasure. And unfortunately, temptation is everywhere in a society that values material things. And with the advent of social media, where people post where they eat, travel to, and buy, it’s become difficult to say no and choose the harder path. Aside from the level of difficulty, saving is also often seen as boring.
Why is it a Struggle to Save When You are Young?
Aside from the usual resistance to delayed gratification, which is usually a requirement when you want to save, young people encounter additional challenges that keep them from prioritizing savings and investments. Here are some common reasons why being young also means struggling with setting aside money for savings and investments:
- Plenty of energy for social activities
When you are young, you have a lot of energy and are excited about life. You dream of going to places you have never been before. You make a list of new foods you want to try. You have time to go on adventures with friends and you pack your schedule with parties, dates, get-togethers, trips, hikes, and all sorts of activities.
Every new day is a chance to explore and discover things that make your heart race. The catch? You have a lot of energy but you have a limited income. Naturally, you will choose excitement and adventure, even if it means not being able to set aside funds for savings.
- Peer pressure
Part of being young is being exposed to peer pressure. Since you are still trying to find your place in the world and building your identity, you find comfort in looking for other individuals with the same interests as you. Spending time with them usually means spending money. If you do not want to spend money, you must opt out of activities and risk becoming a social pariah.
Young people are often faced with the fear of not being accepted in the group if they are too serious about things or if they act too grown-up. If you are mindful of your money you can be easily branded as a killjoy or too strict. Eventually, people would not want to hang out with you since you remind them too much of the rules and the realities of life.
- Lack of purpose and discipline
Being young comes with the perk of not having many responsibilities in life. If you are not yet married and do not have children, you can live alone and for yourself. Aside from basic bills such as rent, utilities bills, and groceries, you can choose how to spend your money. Presuming you have not yet incurred debts, it will feel like you have a surplus of funds not yet allocated to anything.
You only live once, so why save? You do not know what the future holds so why should you invest? If you do not have a clear picture of your goals in life, it would seem like you are free to spend your resources as you please. Without financial goals, fun and pleasure will come first. Chasing the next shiny thing, buying the latest phone or the trendiest shoes would be deemed more important since there is nothing to strive for.
- Lack of financial awareness and knowledge
Cultivating the habit of saving from an early age is not unusual. Parents often stress this with their children and highlight its benefits. However, achieving complete and lasting financial wellness and security requires more than saving. It also entails learning how money can work for you and strategically investing money so it can grow. Prosperity is hard to achieve if one will rely on savings alone.
Investing wisely can unlock the potential to multiply wealth. Although it comes with its risks, it can also come with higher returns. It can be a good way to combat the effects of inflation and build wealth. Unfortunately, unlike traditional savings, investments are not usually encouraged. In fact, one has to go out of their own way to learn. Nevertheless, it’s very much worth it.
The key to making investments work is learning about available investment products before committing to one. Look for reputable financial institutions and ask them for information on their products. Chances are, they will be willing to explain its features to a potential client. Another way to manage the risk is by diversifying your investment portfolio. Since learning will take time, one can also seek professional financial advice.
For young professionals, now is the perfect time to take control of your financial future. Do not heed the siren call of financial temptations. You do not need a new bag or a new pair of shoes. Choose what will benefit you in the long term. Open a savings account and ask your bank if you can have an auto debit feature to save every time you earn income. Think of it as paying yourself first and paving the way to a better life.
Kickstart your journey towards prosperity and let your money work for you. Learn more about investing and before you know it, you will be making strides toward your ideal life. Start small but start now.