5 Quotes to Help You Save up for Your Next Adventure
"Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don't want to impress people they don't like."— Will Rogers
Money is difficult to save, especially as people always try to keep up with the trends, the times, and the Joneses. Even if we don't want to admit it, it's human nature to see and want things. Social media has done much to influence our financial behaviors simply because we are consistently exposed to what our "friends" are doing, getting, seeing, and experiencing. We want it, too, and are willing to part with our hard-earned money.
Retailers, in particular, don't make saving any easier. Every holiday seems to be getting more commercialized, whether it's a typical winter holiday season or something as specific as National Taco Day. The exposure to what everyone else does influences how we perceive our lives should be.
These social influencers, coupled with changes in the markets and investments, can derail the best-laid plans we all have to save money. Unexpected expenses always arise, so it's no wonder everyone is experiencing some form of financial crunch.
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."— Epictetus
Avoiding Missed Opportunities
One of the greatest freedoms money offers is the ability to partake in experiences. Unfortunately, if you don't have the reserves, you’re probably going to miss out. Imagine you have the opportunity to attend a once-in-a-lifetime event like seeing your favorite team playing in the Super Bowl or Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Now think about missing out because you spent $100 every week for lunch, coffee, and drinks with colleagues. You might want to pause and think about whether you really need that gourmet coffee.
Perhaps a destination vacation doesn’t motivate you, but a new car does. I’ve been eyeing a certain new-model sports car for about a year now, but I can’t bring myself to make the purchase when I know I have business-related expenses due soon. My current priority is to pay those; however, having goals can offer you the incentive to keep working and earning money. When controlling our finances, we gain control of many other aspects of life, so show discipline about saving and tracking expenses.
"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver."— Ayn Rand
Taking That Last-Minute Trip
It was a last-minute, "you have got to be kidding me" kind of decision made during a family getaway to a vacation rental in the mountains of northern Georgia. There, in the middle of shooting off Fourth of July fireworks, I got a notification from American Express about my acquired points expiring soon. Within the hour, my wife and my cousin’s wife were analyzing how we could get from Atlanta to Oahu.
The next day, with nothing packed for a beach vacation, we cashed in all my points and took two toddlers on a cross-country first-class flight. It was crazy, it was fun, it was spontaneous, and it wouldn't have been possible without saving the points for that very type of moment. Of course, there were times I thought of cashing in for gift cards, statement credits, or other offers; but nothing topped the memories we made on that trip.
With the money we saved on the travel and accommodation costs, we bought clothes and bathing suits, paid for meals at nice restaurants, and rented a car. This gave us the freedom to explore and see parts of the island we would have never visited otherwise: Turtles at the North Shore, shaved ice at the roadside stands, and a visit to the Dole Plantation all made for amazing memories.
Getting Motivated and Saving
It’s time to start saving that pocket change and planning your next great adventure. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Keep Focused
Stay focused on your goals, and be careful not to get caught up in the money trap. Be humble, visit your roots, and remember where you came from. I sometimes drive past my childhood home just to remember all the times I imagined what I would do in my adult life. “Going home" helps me find inner balance and peace with all that’s going on around me. It’s crazy how time goes by so quickly but so little can change.
"It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy."— George Horace Lorimer
2. Tell Your Story
If my business success were removed, what would my story be? Personally, my legacy would be represented in my kids. I have two beautiful children, and they are the best things I’ve accomplished thus far.
I have worked tirelessly to provide them the life I never had the luxury of living as a child. It was important to me that they be able to play a sport without worrying about equipment or money. I wanted them confident as they stepped on the field in new uniforms and new cleats. I hope someday for both of my kids to have the opportunity to attend an upper-level college without having to struggle like my wife and I did. These are the things I want my story to reveal.
"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."— Anonymous
3. See Money as the Catalyst
Money does not mean freedom; money means opportunity. Money provides me with the ability to do what I love, travel with my family to places we would have never otherwise visited, and enjoy the thrill of challenging myself with new business adventures. I have never seen money as the end goal. Money is the catalyst between reading about the experiences everyone else is having and being able to have those experiences.
"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life."— Henry David Thoreau
4. Stay Disciplined
You have to be diligent in saving and be disciplined in how you spend your money. If you fail to balance the two, you’ll find yourself with nothing in the bank. Put together a realistic budget, and stick to it. Find ways to cut expenses. Decide what you’re willing to part with now in order to save for those experiences.
"You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you."— Dave Ramsey
5. Save Before You Spend
It’s nice to dream about buying new things. It’s even more fun to think about the things you’d buy if you won the lottery. Unfortunately, money spends quicker than it is earned, and it takes actually experiencing this phenomenon to completely appreciate the truth behind it. Do yourself a favor and earn the money before you spend it. Don’t get caught up in paying off credit cards. Work to save money instead.
"Never spend your money before you have earned it."— Thomas Jefferson
The struggle to save money is real, but it shouldn't be a deterrent. Look at all there is to do in the world, and let that be the incentive to start stashing cash away. It'll be tough, but it'll ultimately be worth it when that incredible view, moment, or feeling reveals itself.