Let me confess: I'm not naturally a saver. I'm a spender. Learning to save was hard for me. I failed a lot trying to master it. I tried saving using spare change, one dollar bills, five dollar bills, unexpected income and automatic withdrawals, but eventually something would happen that would cause me to use my savings. It took a long time to understand that my inability to maintain savings was based more on my thinking than my circumstances.
The truth is that I didn't value savings. I knew that I should but whatever I wanted or thought I needed always won out. Then one day I read this scripture,
"Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren"
Proverbs 13:22a (NLT)
It wasn't the first time I read it, but it was the first time I fully understood it. Wise people leave something for the next generation. It was a lightbulb moment. I understood the money I was carelessly spending could be used to ensure that my children and grandchildren had an inheritance. I know the scripture doesn't just refer to money, but I thought about what it would be like if my grandchildren could go to college without loans or if I could provide the money for the down payment on their first home or to invest in their business. I realized that if I wanted to be wise according to the Word of God, I had to change my thinking and begin to value saving.
I wish I could tell you that once I made the decision I never again spent money I should have saved. It didn't quite work that way. However, the more I focus on the legacy I want to leave, the better I get at saving for the future. I'm growing and becoming.
Maybe you're like me and you've failed trying to save money. May I suggest that you find a compelling why. Find a reason that's bigger than your Starbucks' habit or a new purse every other month or eating out five days a week. You don't have to go cold turkey either. What if you just took two days of Starbucks or every other purse or one day of eating out and consistently saving what you would usually spend. Find a future goal that will give you so much satisfaction that you'll have the strength to say "no" to some things today.
I'm not where I'm going to be but I've come a long way, baby. I'm excited about the future. You can't change the past but you can change your future and the future of your grandchildren. Remember, it's not where you start but where you end up!