Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Balancing Act: Saving VS Spending

Is there such a perfect balance when it comes to saving and spending?  
This may sound like a silly question but really do you think you have a good balancing act at this point in life?

Spending is so easy especially this day, age and society where the marketers and retailers become super genius about finding ways to get money out of the consumers' wallets. Everything just looks so tempting although we don't  have the need to buy when we left the house. All of sudden you have a very strong urge as you spot a super cute packaging/product on that attractive display. You feel an Adrenaline rushing through your body and before we know it we come home with stuff we don't truly need. Does that sound too familiar?

 photo sv1_zpsf62105e1.jpg
On the contrary, saving is not fun. Saving means putting aside money which we can use on fun stuff in an unseen location. It is for the future use, not now but much later in life. Thus that makes the idea of saving not too appealing. Most of us think more about "now" moment and would rather spend money in the present tense.

At times I am wondering "saving is a great and secured financial decision but what if I saved all my life but die prematurely?". That means I don't get to enjoy the hard earned money I have saved up all my life. Circumstances like that do happen in real life to many people.  I am asking this question not because I think saving sucks or screw that 401(k) now.

Sometimes I feel that I stress myself out due to saving because I have yet to be able to find a balance between the two. I am more into saving than spending because I am "too" worried about the future. I rarely splurge on myself since the day I start living the "real" life (when you know there are things called "bills", "car mortgage", "30 year home mortgage" - depressing much?). My husband did a happy dance when i finally bought a Chanel purse and a Dior tote 3 years ago (my last splurge).  He said it was about time to give myself something.

Ever since I started my career in the U.S., I signed up for a 401(k) right away at the age of 25 years old which I am so glad I did. There is no way I could save up on my own or rely on the super low interest rate from the bank to get to where I am now. Every time I log in to check on my retirement saving plan,  I feel a sense of glory like wow cant believe I have that kind of money probably took me a lifetime to save on my own. I totally agree with the concept of "paying(saving) yourself first" every time you get paid. If you wait to see how much money you have left after all the expenses you will never be able to save. It will end up in someone else pocket. It has proven to be so true. My mother has always told me that when I was young.

Saving becomes a real challenge when there is a child in tow. Now with same amount of dual incomes, you also look at splitting the money into more savings: 401(k),  Emergency saving (in case of unexpected employment), child's saving account and Miscellaneous saving (vacation, unexpected bills or home maintenance). My husband said i set up too many savings accounts (haha...but i find it works better that way to have money allocated for different purposes).There are days I feel I just want to blow up my savings and go spend on things but in reality I don't think I will or can. It has taken years (plus sweats and tears) to save up I don't think I want to blow it in a matter of a day or two.

I will continue to save but I will and should take a different approach to lessen that stress in order to enjoy the now moment more. For years I really am struggle to find a balance and one day a reality hit when one of the coworkers passed away from a heart attack. She was in her mid's 40 and didn't have a child. She had a decent saving in her retirement plan that she didn't get to use even a cent but the money went to her siblings (who fought for the money) to enjoy. How sad is that. That really got me thinking and looking at the way I save differently. Life is too unpredictable.  
Lesson learned - it is equally important to live and enjoy your life now as much as the future.
So hopefully I will be able to balance things out sooner than later.

Do you think you have found your balance between saving and spending yet?


  1. Great post! Im still trying to get a handle on the balancing act, but i try not to stress out too much about saving compared to when I was younger. Im in my 40s and it took a death in the family to make me realize that it's okay to splurge once in a while and live in the moment because the moment is fleeting.

  2. Great motivation. We need to think about the future but we also do notforget that we are living in the present.
    Bonjourchiara Facebook Page

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Very interesting and balanced post - I should probably save a little more and spend a little (ok a lot) less!

    Emma | Fluff and Fripperies

  5. I'm trying very hard to spend less and save more at the moment! It is quite a balancing act, I must say.

  6. Yes finding that balance can be tough but a little perspective like what happened with you co-worker can help. In the end we can't take it with us. I find that investing in things that improve my well being is always worth spending $ on like good food, a good mattress, appliances etc.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  7. this is such a good post. we do a lot of saving - for our home, for vacations, etc. it's a little more tight because i don't work anymore but i'm ok with not being able to spend as much as we used to when we had two incomes coming in. but the saving part does worry me. i feel like we will never own a home and be able to build an asset and if we do become parents i want to make sure that our child has some money saved for college and their future. and while not working and taking time to myself and getting out of the stress felt so good, i do worry about retirement and social security. my husband has 401k but i don't anymore and i don't pay into ssi. it's kind of scary when i think about my future when i get older.. i wonder if i'm screwing myself over trying to enjoy the moment now. it's hard to balance between saving and enjoy and thinking about the future and living in the present. i wish i can strike a good balance and not be so carefree and then worry myself to death.

  8. saving is so important. a medical emergency etc can be so costly. i know i heavily invested in my 401K. it's also important to treat yourself to things you truly love from time to time. we all deserve a treat. i'm doing a much better job then when I was younger, but i still have a ways to go :) excellent post nelah.

  9. Ahhh the inner voice tug of war between saving vs spending, such a constant struggle I think everyone can relate to.

    xx Hélène

  10. me and my gf was just talking about spending and saving over the weekend. It's so easy to spend. going to target and leaving with a 100$ worth of purchase and you ask yourself..what the heck did I just buy!?! Balancing it out is always the key but I have to admit that it's really hard. It's so easy to spend then to save! Im still trying to save more and spend less lol

    I def miss the blogging community and hope to blog more! :)

  11. This is a great post and the information is relevant that's for sure. You're wise to not put all the eggs in one basket. Like you said, life is so unpredictable. All you can do is to make sure everything that you can think of are covered, the rest you just leave it to god and live a full life. Looking into a sound investment is also a great way to make some extras. Sometimes just saving it in the bank isn't sufficient for a promising future.


I love and appteciate your comment, thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to leave me your thoughts.

I enjoy exploring new blogs and connect with new people, but no "Follow me & i will follow you" kind of comment, please.