Saver’s Fatigue? Yeah, I made it up. But basically, I’m getting sick of saving money.
I started automating my savings, transferring money monthly from my checking account to my savings account, back since at least 2007. Possibly earlier than that. My bank doesn’t provide my records beyond 2009. And those were the days when savings accounts were making decent interest. Do you remember when ING Direct had ridiculously good interest rates? Man, those were the days.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I’m really glad I’ve been stashing away money in my savings account these past 4 or 5 years. I’ve been building up a pretty big emergency fund, and I don’t even miss the money.
Knowing I have money stashed away gives me peace of mind. And it’s fun logging in and seeing it go up, even if most of the increase in my balance is from my auto-transfers and not from interest earned.
But now what? I’ve got goals, sure. But they’re big goals. Buy a house. Get married. Have a few kids. And I’m going to need money for all of those. The only time I’ve taken money out of my savings account was when I decided to pay off my car loan 3 years early. But what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Just keep up with saving until I eventually have enough for each of these big events? That’s frustrating and not rewarding at all in the short-term.
I know there are other things I can do with my money. I could pay off my loans faster. Maybe that’s a good idea, since I’m paying more in interest than I’m earning in interest. The mathematical/logical part of me knows I should take a huge chunk of my savings and apply it to my loans. The emotional part of me just feels safer having more money around, even if it’s costing me something.
I could also put my money into investments with higher returns. I’m about halfway through “Get A Financial Life” (will have a review on that book soon!), and I now have started considering other ways to earn interest/dividends/etc. on the money I put into savings. Will have to think on that more.
I have a lot of options for earning more, if I’m willing to take the risk.
But what about spending?
I realized the other day that having savings for non-emergencies is still a valid use of money. I was getting anxious buying plane tickets and booking hotel rooms for my friends’ weddings. But then I realized that I’m not going to end up on the streets just for going to their weddings. My savings provides a cushion for the times when I’m going to spend a little extra.
It’s like AS Green said on her blog post: “if you are being smart financially (paying off debt, saving for retirement, having an emergency fund) then you should also enjoy your hard earned money.” She was also referring to Debt Ninja‘s post, where he asserted that “it’s important to enjoy our money”. I’m not saying you should go buy fancy stuff all the time, or go on 10 vacations a year. But the whole point of getting on a good financial track was so I wouldn’t have to worry about my future.
So. I’m going to keep on saving. I might actually create more “sub accounts” in my ING Direct account so I can assign goals or budgets to different pools of money. But I’m going to spend a little, too. I’m going to remind myself that I’m going to have to spend money sometimes. And I’m going to enjoy that bright blue KitchenAid Stand Mixer I bought for myself when it was on extreme sale 🙂
So, what are you doing with your money? Do you have specific goals in mind for that money? And how do you fight off Saver’s Fatigue?