We often think of saving time and saving money as virtues to be proud of. Especially if we grow up in a culture or community that prizes frugality, it’s easy to think that saving resources is an end in itself.
But, while we all might have different approaches to our finances and our time, I think it’s important to have goals when it comes to saving. If our goal is to just have more, then I’m afraid we won’t actually experience the value of more. As someone who believes that having is not an end in itself, I find myself reassessing exactly why I want to keep what I keep– and save what I do save– for the future.
Let’s talk about saving time first. Why do we always feel short on time? I shared earlier this week about why it’s important to have unstructured free time, but I wrote less about the importance of actually using it well. Give me some “free time” in front of my computer, and I’ll be on Pinterest, surfing random websites and looking at gardening ideas. Fun, maybe, but probably not what I need.
So, when we save time— whether it’s simplifying our meal prep, putting together a capsule wardrobe, or choosing to be less busy– we also need to know what we actually want to do with that saved time.
It can be as simple as sleeping a little longer. It could mean going for a walk. We might even prefer to sit down to a real breakfast rather than stuffing a granola bar in our purses and hitting the drive-through.
But we need to know what we’d like our extra time to entail before we start “saving time”. And when we’ve identified those goals, then we’ll be less likely to squander the additional minutes we’ve gained.
So what about saving money? There are so many reasons that can motivate us to save money, and I’m unable to cover them all. But, I believe that saving money should not simply be for the sake of having more of it.
I was fortunate to grow up in a family that was not in constant financial struggle. But I do admit to witnessing family members who felt that just a little more money in the bank would provide more security, stability and freedom.
But guess what? It didn’t seem to. While earnings increased, insecurities remained. There was not a moment when I saw them say, “Now I have enough. Good. I can stop.”
So what do we save money for? I think it’s an excellent question to ask on a regular basis. Whether it helps you resist buying things you don’t need, or reminds you of what your highest priorities are, it’s good to know why you’re saving. It’s good to know what you hope it will do in the future.
Why I save time and money: 4 reasons
Quality time with friends and community. I love being able to stay late at our community group, or go out for the occasional coffee with a friend. Both my husband and I enjoy cooking and serving dinner.
Traveling to new places to sightsee or volunteer. This year’s travel line-up is an exciting one! We’ll be exploring gorgeous places, visiting new friends and hopefully snapping some great photographs.
Times of need in our family and community. I believe that generosity is a state of mind rather than a percentage or number, but I want to be able to be hugely generous. And it’s important to have an emergency fund, too!
Peace, health, and well-being of our bodies, our minds and our world. We care a lot about the food we eat and how we treat our own bodies as well as the bodies of others. This means we care deeply about how our purchases and consumption affect our community and our world.
What do you save time and money for? What are some ways you would like to use these resources in your life?