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Is The Miser Wiser?

We call them “cheapskate”, “Scrooge” or even “tight-arse”, but why does the “saver” get such a bad rap? “A penny saved is a penny earned” said all-round brainiac Benjamin Franklin way back in the 1700s. And he should know – it’s his mug that’s on the American $100 note. So, let’s look at some of the characteristics of smart savers and the techniques they use to get ahead of the game. Eyes on the prize… Smart Saver sets goals - it’s easier to save money if you have a strong sense of what it’s going towards, whether it’s a vacation, a home or retirement. Establishing specific objectives helps put you on the path to success and stay on track. Patience is a virtue… Smart Saver thinks “long term” to experience greater, longer lasting success. When the focus isn’t on immediate gratification, you can make smarter decisions. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever treat yourself, but saving up to buy something gives you time to consider whether you really need it and avoid impulse purchases. Know thy finances… Smart Saver understands this: the devil’s in the details. If you want complete control over your monetary circumstances, first you must understand them. Do your research - learn and monitor your personal finances closely. Less is more… Smart Saver lives on less than they earn. This allows you to put money aside and establish a financial independence that affords more options in the future. Fully automatic… Smart Saver takes themselves out of the equation. Organise — via online banking or your paymaster — to automatically deposit a nominated amount directly from your pay into a high interest savings account. Then, make it off limits - it’s a last resort for spending. This way, you don’t see the money, so you won't miss it. The folding stuff… Smart Saver understands the value of the dollar. It’s a whole lot easier to overspend using a credit card than it is using cash because you never see the actual money. By using cold, hard cash you’re less likely to make rash buys. Every little bit counts… Smart Saver is consistently saving — even small amounts — now in the name of financial freedom later. Voluntarily increase your superannuation payments; save additional earnings, like pay-rises and bonuses; even keep a piggybank for loose change and, when full, deposit it into a high interest savings account. I’m an individual... Smart Saver understands that happiness is not intrinsically linked to material possessions and doesn’t bow down to the social pressures of consumerist behaviours. Ultimately, so what if you’re not wearing designer clothes or driving a flashy car? If you’d rather save than be a slave (to the dollar), here’s some interesting reading on the topic: