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Why I Save

I’m not a throw caution to the wind kind of girl. Back in college, when a friend yanked off her shirt and hung her bra-less chest out the passenger side window, I stared ahead and focused on driving. I’m not a wet blanket. I never asked her to put her shirt back on and I honked my horn in response to the passing cars, but I also stayed the course and drove straight ahead.

I’ve planned for every minor and major event in my life. It’s as much a function of my shyness as it is a function of my pride. I’m independent and headstrong. I want to know that I can solve my own problems and take care of my own needs. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. It’s not something my parents instilled in me. It’s the very nature of my being. The way my cells divided and replicated to make the me that is me.

When I was struck with a very serious medical condition a few years ago I wondered if I this particular piece of my personality would change. After facing a major crisis would I become more carefree? Although, the experience changed my life in the most significant of ways it did not alter my desire to plan. If anything it spurs this component of my personality even farther.

Rather than letting the wind blow me where it may, I crave more now than ever to cross my ‘t’s and dot my ‘i”s. It is not an obsession or compulsion, but rather a disciplined desire to be prepared. Oddly enough, it is the only thing in life that I am disciplined about. Although I cannot dictate my fate or future, I know that preparation and planning can only increase my chances at achieving the life I long for. A life that is focused on health, happiness and the people I love.

I do not live by extremes. I am a moderate in the truest sense of the word. While I think it’s unhealthy to spend every dollar I earn, I think it’s just as unhealthy to hoard every penny. Life is about balancing the desires of today against the dreams of tomorrow. I save in preparation of tomorrow, but I do not cut every expense from my life today.

Tonight my husband reconciled our checking account and relayed the details of our bank accounts. Although these economic times have significantly decreased the value of our assets we still stand on extremely stable ground. Although my company is in turmoil I do not fear job loss. I am learning new skills and preparing for the possibility. Although, our net worth is shrinking, we are still on target to pay off our mortgage.

If we were not fiscally responsible I would certainly be afraid. I now realize that I save so that I do not worry.

Slinky

Thursday 20th of November 2008

You just summed up my own philosophy! I stumbled on this post from a carnival, but now I have to add you to my RSS. :)

"I do not live by extremes. I am a moderate in the truest sense of the word. While I think it's unhealthy to spend every dollar I earn, I think it's just as unhealthy to hoard every penny. Life is about balancing the desires of today against the dreams of tomorrow. I save in preparation of tomorrow, but I do not cut every expense from my life today."

retire-at-40

Monday 17th of November 2008

Excellent post and one that I can relate to quite a lot. I never used to be a short-term planner but have always been a long-term planner. No matter what I've done day to day, week to week, I've always known what I'll be doing in 2 or 3 years.

Now I know what I'll be doing in 7 years, and that is how going to semi-retire at age 40!

amy

Friday 14th of November 2008

I have many of the same feelings about saving, although I think I am becoming a hoarder. The only thing that makes me get off my wallet is our annual trip to Germany, which I hope to never give up. Although I worry about losing our jobs, my husband and I feel better about our situation because our condo is paid for, and we know as long as we pay our maintenance, we'll never be homeless. That is a huge comfort to me.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 14th of November 2008

I'm so happy to read these comments! It's good to know that other bloggers out there share my saving habits.

Revanche

Thursday 13th of November 2008

I love this; this is exactly how I feel/am about life and have frequently responded to questions about why I'm not more spontaneous or why I don't just "live a little" according to other people's definitions with the same line of reasoning.