We can come up with dozens and dozens of reasons to save money. However, there are three major reasons that we should be saving. We need to save for emergencies, for major purchases (home, car, or other large-ticket item), and for retirement.
Saving does not have to equate with total sacrifice. Some of us think that saving for later means that we can not enjoy things now. We do not have to give up having fun in order to protect our future. It just means that we should make some changes.
The first step
First of all, we need to get away from spending more than we earn. No, this is not a typo. We have all done this. Once the cash is gone, we pull out our credit cards to buy the things we want but can not afford.
We tell ourselves that we will pay off the credit card when the bill comes, but by that time, we have made other plans for our cash. It becomes a never-ending cycle that spirals us downhill and away from any possibility of debt-free living and a comfortable retirement.
Rather than spending all of our paycheck, we should save some. The easiest way to do this is to put the money as soon as we get paid. At the same time that we write out our check for our tithe, we should write out a check to ourselves for saving.
We should aim for paying ourselves at least 10%. It may seem difficult at first, but we can ever get used to living on less, especially if we never touch it or see it.
Make it automatic
If at all possible, we should look for a way to have an automatic deduction dropped from our checking account each month or each pay period. This is the best way to be a disciplined and consistent saver because we do not have control over the money that is being deducted. Most savings vehicles have an automatic deduction feature that can be activated upon request.
We can always refer to the Bible for practical lessons on saving. As illustrated in Proverbs 6: 6-11 and Proverbs 30:25, we should try to save like the ant. They prepare during the summer for the unexpected events of the winter.
For us, we can consider the summer's preparation time as our working years. Winter would be our retirement years. We can also look at winter as those times when we have unexpected financial emergencies.
We can also look to Genesis 41: 34-36 for the story of Joseph. He knew of the upcoming years of famine that Egypt would be facing, and he encouraged everyone to save up during the years of prosperity so that they would not be without during the years of famine.
We can make the same connections with this illustration. The years of prosperity are our working years. The years of famine will be our retirement years.
These two biblical examples can help us at many different points in our lives. It is up to us to be good stewards of our finances so that we are able to handle our responsibilities at all times.