The Saving Grace

burning money

I’ve been watching a decent amount of Pawn Stars lately. I enjoy this show for two reasons: 1) I learn history about a lot of unique items 2) I see what type of valuation they place on these items. Whether these shows are staged or not is another question as I feel I was duped pretty good on Storage Wars. My theory is that the shows start off with a realistic vibe aka Jersey Shore, and as the characters grow into celebrities, the reality gets flushed down the toilet. All that being said there is still one thing that I notice on Pawn Stars which has to be reality, everyone who pawns an item already has the cash spent before it hits their wallet.

Whenever a person gets interviewed about what they are going to do with the money they earned from pawning their answers typically include “I’m going to have a nice meal,” “I’m going to help pay for a wedding,” or “I’m going to buy some new gear.” No one ever says I’m going to put this money into my Roth IRA. Now I have to assume that people in a Pawn shop generally will not be the type of people who are thinking about saving money but this is a universal problem with the United States. Where is this education growing up on how to prepare for your financial future?

In general, people are stupid. They acquire debt without understanding that you have to pay it back or else there is this naughty caveat called interest. I also get the feeling that most people who acquire money feel the need to spend it. It must be human nature. I graduated with a degree in Finance and I can’t think of one class I ever took that stressed the importance of saving and how to do it. It’s part of the reason our economy collapsed. Combine that with the greed of bankers who prey on people who don’t save and we find ourselves in 2008. I know how difficult saving can be because I can’t do it right myself.

I have a better than average job and I can’t save a penny. My expenses deteriorate my ability to save. Most of it is my fault. I have a decent apartment in the city and I drive around in a nice car. I don’t worry about bar tabs or eating out. I spend money on clothes when I feel like it. Sure I’ve saved some cash when I was younger and living at home to be in this position but it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier as I’ve gotten older. My troubles always begin with the thought that I’m not on this Earth to sit and accumulate money. I’m here to try to live and enjoy the time I have. Obviously there is a balance towards this idea but unless you practice the habit of saving, you’re going to lose.

Money is one of the hardest concepts to master while you live on this planet. Everybody around you is trying to figure out how to accumulate it just like you. Learning how to save is essential to a prosperous life. Pay off all debt and live within your means. Sounds boring but it speaks volumes of truth. I can’t advocate constantly saving and never doing because I think that might actually be worse. Finding the balance of being able to save while enjoying everything life has to offer is a goal to strive for. Shit I’m getting old if I’m posting about the importance of saving. A good guide on saving.