What Motivates You To Save?

I'm not the only 30-something year old whose parents still worry about them.

For me, it's always been related to too much time and energy spent working, and perhaps, not enough for socializing and relaxing. I've been a hustler since my working life began around the age of fourteen, always looking for ways to work more.

On a recent drive home from work, as I unloaded my excitement for getting back on track financially (read: saving 40-50 percent of my income), my mother interrupted me to ask:

“What are you saving for, anyway?”

I was caught off guard and the conversation fell silent.

When I started this journey, my primary motivation for saving a large percent of my earnings was to successfully orchestrate a career change. Now that I had completed that goal, what was next?

I'm interested in financial independence, but I've realized it's not necessarily motivated by the lure of early retirement. I do enjoy working, after all.

I have several short-term goals: max out my Roth IRA, save for a trip to Iceland, sock away enough cash to cover all of this year's weddings, my annual car insurance bill, and a healthy amount for the holidays.

Long-term, I'd love to pay off my mortgage sooner than the twelve years I have left.

But these goals are not what motivates me to save, they're benefits of saving.

I think some people are natural born savers. My mother pointed out that even at a young age, I was caught accumulating random collections of objects, and toting them around throughout the house on my many adventures.

She dug further by asking why I was so afraid of financial instability. My parents had never been irresponsible with money and, in all honestly, neither had I.

It's less about fear and more about freedom. I've always been attracted to the security saving provides.

I hope to never choose a job based on financial compensation alone; I never want to feel dominated by an unnecessarily extravagant lifestyle. Plus, I anticipate my consistent saving will free up time for more creative endeavors in the future.

Even without a specific goal in mind, I feel more comfortable knowing that I have options. For those of us that choose to save aggressively, the reason why is less important than the act of doing it regularly.

Readers: What motivates you to save?

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Discussions — 13 Responses

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach February 2, 2015 on 8:42 am

    Peace of mind is the first thing that came to me. I just like the idea that I’m covered. I hate stress so I would do anything to avoid it.

  • C@thesingledollar February 2, 2015 on 9:39 am

    It’s definitely security. I’m tired of perpetually being one bad year (or one bad month) from disaster. I did ok with handling the stress of that throughout my freelancing, grad-studenting twenties and early 30s but I am D-O-N-E with it now. I particularly don’t want to worry about it when I’m older and less capable of hustling/adjusting. I want to get a couple year’s worth of basic expenses socked away before I calm down on the hoarding.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 2, 2015 on 10:28 am

    I save for a couple of reasons. I don’t want to be in debt again. I also like the security a nice savings account provides.

  • Debt Hater February 2, 2015 on 11:03 am

    Peace of mind is the main reason that I save, knowing that I can stay afloat on my finances if I had to deal with an extended emergency.

  • Lauren February 2, 2015 on 12:45 pm

    I’m definitely motivated by the desire for some sense of security, and wanting to make sure that my child is taken care of and happy. My family is my motivation.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 2, 2015 on 5:35 pm

    I am motivated to save so that I can continue to build my company and not worry about the long term affects on my finances. Ever since I decided to start this company about 2 years ago, it has been a great motivator for me to be smart about my saving and my spending. It really helps to have a goal to focus on when you need to save.

  • Brock @CleverDude February 2, 2015 on 10:07 pm

    The challenge of paying things off quickly is a big motivator for me. if I can make it a challenge, or competitive in any way, it wakes up something inside me that pushes me to do it. 🙂

  • Dividend Mantra February 2, 2015 on 11:25 pm


    Financial independence and working at a job are not mutually exclusive; you can do both at the same time.

    For me, it’s all about freedom and flexibility. You may have a job you enjoy now, but will you enjoy it 30 years from now? Will you be let go between now and then? Will your interests change?

    Money affords options. Not having money means you have no/limited options. It’s easy to see how one is better than the other.

    Best regards!

  • Kate @ Money Propeller February 4, 2015 on 2:40 am

    I’m motivated to save because of my daughter, I want to give her a bright future. I used to live paycheck to paycheck and it was really difficult!

  • Amos February 4, 2015 on 4:10 am

    It can be really hard to save when you’re starting out your life as an adult.There are so many one time “start up” expenses. I’m on the older end of the millennial spectrum and I can say that my friends who started saving early are so much further ahead when it comes to net worths than those who put it off.Thanks for sharing.

  • Frugal Articles of the Week - Frugaling February 7, 2015 on 6:45 am

    […] What Motivates You To Save? by Kate Dore Frugality is usually something that just happens. People tend to choose a more frugal lifestyle because of small incomes, to cut down on carbon emissions, and/or to have a less cluttered home. But to start saving, people need to ask an important motivational, intention question. Kate perfectly conveys it! […]

  • Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com February 10, 2015 on 6:57 am

    Early retirement, peace of mind, and flexibility are what motivate me to save. All of our hard work is paying off as we only have a couple more years until we are FI!

  • Janeen February 18, 2015 on 7:20 pm

    I’m motivated to save so that I can give generously. I’m confident that I won’t be taking any of this wealth with me when I die, so I’d love to create wealth and give it away to the glory of God. But, more day-to-day, just like others, I want to create wealth for my kids too, along with teaching them how to manage it wisely.


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