If you were eating a nice dinner, and somebody said to you that you can’t have dessert, you might get quite ticked off. You’d probably react the same way when that same person tells you that you can only have half portions so you can lose weight. You’d probably hem and haw if you were told that you need to exercise at least 30 minutes every day so you can lose weight.
The truth is, denying our impulses feels foreign. It is almost offensive. Why? Every product ad you see on TV or in magazines always tell you to ‘Buy Now’, ‘Enjoy Now,’ and ‘Act Now.’ In other words, every messaging signal you get, whether it involves food, buying stuff, or going on vacation, involves enjoying the benefits now instead of tomorrow. In other words, the whole world, it seems, is telling us to eat dessert now.
Sadly, when it comes to saving money, we can’t have this mentality. Saving money involves a mindset that is the opposite of the ‘live for now’ thinking that is so prevalent. Saving money involves discipline. Read the guide below to find out what discipline is, why you need it, and the basic steps you need to take in order to save up for a rainy day.
The Lost Virtue of Discipline
We get so many messages telling us not to hold off until tomorrow but enjoy the good things in life now. Now, don’t get me wrong-there is some value to the message of living for today. Nothing sucks the joy out of life more than severely restricting your enjoyment now in favor of rewards tomorrow. Knowing how random life can sometimes be, tomorrow might not come.
With that said, some balance is needed. People have to rediscover the virtue of discipline because it truly impacts not just how much money they have in the bank but also how they look and how long they live. That’s right-discipline impacts both your finances and your health. Sadly, it is largely lost now, and people think that successful people became successful because they were just lucky. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most successful self-made people got to their current station in life by simply sacrificing for the future while enjoying enough of the present. There is a balance-they have found it. So should you.
Why Discipline Matters
As mentioned above, discipline impacts not just your bank and investment statements but your health as well. Discipline is all about doing things that may seem like a drag or downright unpleasant now so you can reap the rewards in the future. In other words, discipline involves doing things that are the opposite of what media and advertising tell us. Discipline is the cornerstone of living healthier because you don’t consume fatty foods and exercise now instead of putting it off.
The same process of delayed gratification is also in play when it comes to implementing a successful saving and investing strategy. It’s all about not spending as much money now so you can save and invest it later. You don’t have to start with a huge amount of money. In fact, even if you put away just a few bucks daily, as long as you do it consistently, you may end up with a nice big nest egg when you’re done. Train yourself to put away a little something everyday. Do it even if it is inconvenient. Do it even if it sometimes feels like it hurts. Keep your eyes on the future prize of financial stability and a measure of financial independence.
Discipline is also the secret to successful investing. You have to exercise a lot of self-control in constantly looking for the right investment opportunities. It takes willpower to keep from jumping on the first seemingly good investment that comes along. People with no self-control quickly lose their savings due to scam investments.
More often, people with little discipline get lazy and just park their money in the bank. That’s a surefire way for inflation to eat up your savings. Instead, take the sometimes inconvenient route of reading up on various investment opportunities and doing the necessary research. You will eventually find something that matches your risk appetite and your return on investment requirements.