It is rarely one reason alone of why we are unable to save and it is more likely smaller expenses occurring often that is the problem. They are hidden like ninjas in our daily life and strike the second we look away. Buying a coffee on Monday to wake up before getting to work, a new cup on Tuesday because the design was just so nice, a ticket to the cinema on Wednesday because it would be nice to see a movie, eating lunch out on Thursday because there was no time to prepare a lunch box, four beers on Friday while meeting some friends, a pizza on Saturday because the fridge felt so empty and a chocolate bar on Sunday because you went to the store with an empty stomach. Do we need all of that? No. Do we enjoy all of that? Yes. How much do we enjoy all of that? That is the question we need to ask. You can’t have the cookie and eat it, just like that you can’t enjoy all these small things and keep your savings. If all those small expenses mentioned were saved it would accumulate to roughly 2500 € in one year, would we still prefer to spend all those small expenses?
Don’t get me wrong, you can save a lot more than 2500€ per year, in this example I’m just talking about the small more “shallow” expenses.
Saving is all about perspective. In that exact moment the small expense that might be a coffee or a cinema ticket it seems like the best idea possible but putting it in the big picture of what that money could potentially do in long term gives it another light. It is important to be aware of what we are sacrificing when we are buying all these additionals in life. We are not just getting a new cute cup, we are also passing on the option to let the money accumulate to something greater.
If you haven’t already, make an estimation of your expenses and see where you can cut waste expenses (read about waste expenses here and feel free to use the free printable template for expenses estimation). Be harsh while you determine which expenses are waste and which ones are not. Then run the numbers, how much would you save in one month if you cut all the waste expenses? How much would you save in one year? Is it worth the effort?
Do you have a leak in your great ship? If so, how can you repair it?