As a yoga teacher, I work with people from a health and wellness perspective. However, in that context, I learn what their challenges are to staying well, feeling good in their bodies and living with less stress and more happiness.
While many people struggle with finding time to exercise, finding something they can do consistently, working with injuries or work-related stress, many times people also experience stress due to financial issues. Although dealing with lower paychecks, the fear of lay-offs or being out of work can be incredibly stressful and once you have a job, the last thing you may do is save money.
However, one of the best ways to decrease stress around money and help you feel more in control is to save. I like to use a general figure of 10 percent of every paycheck as a baseline. I’m not talking about savings related to retirement; I’m talking about saving money in a savings account. This is money that’s liquid, that’s not tied up in investments or any other financial vehicle. This is money that, if you needed to, you could get to quickly by simply going to the bank.
Here are ten reasons why saving ten percent of each paycheck (twice a month minimum) makes good sense:
- It can be used for unexpected emergencies, like car or home repair.
- It can be used in lieu of a credit card for intentional purchases. Or, if you’re looking to establish good credit, purchase the item on a credit card and pay it off right away with the money from the account.
- You will feel wonderful knowing you are paying yourself for the hard work you do.
- You will feel more in control, especially if you work in an unstable industry or workplace.
- If you have a job where there is a seasonal change that impacts your pay, you’ll have some money readily available to help cover those leaner months.
- As you see this fund grow, you will be developing discipline around money, spending and savings.
- It will give you some peace of mind around your financial situation, which will decrease your stress, thus improving your health.
- If you have a desire to travel or do something nice for yourself, money in this fund can contribute to that goal.
- If you receive any unexpected money in the form of gifts, rebates, winnings or taking on extra work, you have a separate account into which to deposit this unexpected money rather than depositing it into your regular account and absorbing it into your daily spending.
- It allows you to present a stronger personal financial picture should you apply for a mortgage, refinance or loan.
Saving money is a discipline, just like eating well, meditating, developing a personal exercise habit and living an overall healthy life. When we ignore our finances, our stress levels grow, we put our present and future at risk and we live under constant pressure to make ends meet. Even if your savings is $25 per week, do it. It’s more about building the discipline more than the actual number.
Start saving today. It’s the best way to acknowledge yourself for the hard work you do.