What prompts us to save?

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Saving is still a hot topic - on the one hand, it is an activity commonly considered a common sense and an enviable habit, on the other hand, putting aside capital is criticized due to inflation, political uncertainty, etc. Regardless of which of the extreme approaches to saving is more right, it cannot be denied that many more moderate-minded people are inclined to save savings. It is worth checking what motivates them to do so and whether they are right.

Saving - where did this idea come from?

Looking at the history of the modern world, it cannot be denied that it did not contribute to developing the habit of saving in people. Although the unstable economic and political situation does not cause such negative events as, for example, Black Thursday, conflicts, disagreements in the political and social arena or inflation strongly affect the strength of money, which may translate into reluctance to long-term capital investments.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that the ability to save is a skill that man has developed in the course of evolution. Several hundred years ago, when no one dreamed of modern technologies, the survival of the winter months depended on how much and how well a person saved in the summer months abundant in everything. Back then, saving was a way to survive. Today it took on a slightly different character, but the fact remains that we learned it for a good purpose. Perhaps, therefore, it is also worth using them now?

Saving today - what's our motive?

Since saving is currently not our "to be or not to be", and yet still a large number of people decide to put it off, it is worth considering what drives them. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes also thought about it.As part of his theories, he constructed a list of eight saving motives, which, in his opinion, are guided by the owners of deposits, savings accounts or socks with cash under the mattress.

The following can therefore be distinguished among Keynes' motives for saving:

  • a precautionary theme, characteristic of those who save on "rainy day" and unannounced expenses,

  • the motive of caution, occurring in those who assume or plan to spend greater in the future, which may significantly increase the difference between the amount of revenues and the level of needs,

  • the interest rate motive, i.e. saving in order to be able to afford pleasures without remorse, from the interest obtained,

  • the theme of increasing prosperity, i.e. postponing with a view to meeting greater needs at a later time,

  • the theme of independence, i.e. independence from the current work and allowing the use of a much wider range of possibilities,

  • entrepreneurial motive, assuming a transition from a continuous investment (e.g. saving part of your salary every month) to a more significant one-off investment (e.g. starting a business using savings),

  • inheritance theme, i.e. putting aside for children or grandchildren,

  • the motive of greed, i.e. enjoying the very fact of having funds (the best example: Dickensian Scrooge or Disney Scrooge).

Keynes was first and foremost a theorist, so the above list was not based on scientific research by him. Nevertheless, if you delve into the surveys and research conducted over the years by practitioners, it turns out that respondents' answers about saving motives can be classified according to the Keynesian pattern presented above.

Thus, you can save for many reasons. Interestingly, not all of them will have logical justifications (as in the case of the greediness motive). Additionally, one can easily refute the polemics of the opponents of saving, who proclaim the slogan of living in the moment and inflation - one can save even in this spirit. An example is the interest rate motive - that is, additional earnings spent on daily pleasures.

Saving - is it worth it or not?

Therefore, we already know what drives people who decide to save money. But does this mean that saving is really worthwhile?

Most specialists insist that saving is a valuable habit. No matter why we choose to save, the funds set aside give us some peace of mind. According to the indications, depending on the level of accumulated capital, savings can provide us with protection against unannounced expenses, give us a sense of financial security, and finally - financial freedom. This last stage, however, opens up new opportunities, such as taking up work for the job itself, and not because of the amount of salary. It is worth a try.