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Why saving money will make you live better

Why saving money will make you live better (Thinkstock)
Saving money and living well aren't mutually exclusive. Oh no! I'm daring to say that you can save money without living like a monk.

That's true. It's a matter of budgeting better and setting priorities. Simple really. Just take the bull by the horns and figure out where the line between needs and wants is. While you're at it, swallow an anti-venom potion for "excusitis" — that's the excuses you make when it comes to your money.

There's hardly a person alive who couldn't both save more and live better by getting a grip on his or her finances. Try:

  • Having a written budget — with built in treats that stop you spending money every time you feel you simply "deserve it"

  • Realising that going on a spending bender doesn't make you happy

  • Learning to say "no" to children's demands

  • Organising your clutter so you don't double up on spending

  • Quitting smoking or drinking

  • Learning to reject the urge to buy

Yes. You can do it. Start looking for reasons to learn to budget and live within your means. Believe it or not, there are even people on benefits who manage to stay in the black. It may be worth brushing up on some good old-fashioned savings methods that don't involve credit cards, personal loans and wants dressed up as "needs".

Here are 10 reasons why saving money will make you live better:

  • Learning to live within your means gives you the ability to build up an emergency fund — which gives you great peace of mind.

  • You won't be broke all the time. Imagine that?

  • You will be able to afford to make choices in life — such as stopping work to have children, starting a business, or sticking two fingers up to your boss and taking the time to find a new job.

  • You're protecting the environment, by buying fewer consumer goods. Hopefully you'll also learn to waste less — especially food.

  • Money saved into your savings account, KiwiSaver, or elsewhere is money you're not spending now. Over time it should grow in value to much more than you sacrificed in the first place.

  • Learning to save can give you an awful lot of peace of mind.

  • You can say good bye to the stress of red bills, late fees, honour and dishonour fees, the embarrassment of having transactions declined, and more.

  • Banish the debt collectors forever. Lots of low and high income earners alike have never had the dreaded knock from a debt collector.

  • When you retire — and trust me you get older faster than you expect — you'll have money to spend on those things you've always dreamed of — like travelling or buying a boat. That is providing you've saved a modest amount all your life, such as 10 percent of your weekly pay packet.

  • If you can overcome indulgence and consumerism, you should find more meaning in your life. The more we have doesn't necessarily equate with living better.

Finally, I discovered when I went to write this blog that the saying: "Save Money, Live Better" is a strapline used by Wal*Mart in the United States. Whilst I agree that buying better value goods and services allows you to save, cheap isn't always good. I'm a great fan of fewer and better quality items that last.

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