It’s not often I write about saving money as a negative thing (it’s not at all…but bear with me!). I’m writing for the accumulators of you today (or those of you with accumulator in your top three archetype mix).
I was at a really interesting course last weekend for healthcare professionals interested in business. There was a statement that they said on day 1 that got me inspired me to write this piece:
“The NHS is the biggest buyer of fax machines in the world”
In all honesty, it’s not a surprise to me. Our surgery recently discussed getting rid of the fax machine, but they can’t because some departments at the hospital still insist on having things faxed over. The argument always boils down to the fact that replacement systems are costly and no one has the bloody time to implement it anyway!!
And as recently as 18 months ago, I had to fax ECGs over to a major hospital when I was sending someone having a heart attack over to them!! Annoyingly, this was changed to a system that was even more cumbersome than a fax machine.
But the NHS and it’s technology flaws is not what I wanted to talk about today. Nope….
Today I wanted to talk about where being frugal is actually holding you back.
Saving Is a Virtue
Saving money is an excellent skill to have. Some people are brilliant at it. If accumulator is your top archetype personality, then you are likely going to be the best at this. I met one lady recently who saved 10% of any money she was given since she was a child, and she’s now a millionaire in her 40s. I don’t know her full profile, but I bet you accumulator is in there somewhere!
So there is definitely a place for saving money. Having a decent cushion of cash gives you security and flexibility when bad things happen. Without savings, life can get very hard indeed.
For further evidence, if you look at a list of UK blogs on money, you’ll find that many of them refer to frugality and saving money on purchases. The money saving expert is focused on too. The emails are filled with ways to trim spending here and there. It’s all very useful stuff.
But When Does Having Become A Hindrance
Saving money becomes a problem when this is all you do. It’s the equivalent of hoarding newspapers or magazines.
You know… those things you keep “just in case”. My other half is a bit like this. I try and throw things away, and he’s there rifling through it to see if he can salvage anything. I’m like it with books and paperwork. I hate throwing away anything that might come in usefulness one day – like those payslips from 2008 are going to be of any use to me now?!!!
Signs That You Might Be An Accumulator
Here are some signs that you may well be an accumulator personality type:
- You get more excited by saving money that you do about pretty much anything else
- You break out in a cold sweat when someone suggests that you spend some of your savings
- You know how to save money on EVERYTHING and you’re not shy about asking for freebies and discounts wherever you go (you have a loyalty card for “all the things”)
- People might describe you as “tight” or “miserly”
- Lending people money is really not something you like doing, and you always get it back (because you ask)
- Investing sounds like the biggest risk to you EVER
- You think about purchases well before you go for it
- Lastminute.com is really not your style
- Debt makes you panic (so you avoid it wherever possible)
- You can be a big judgy of other people’s spending habits…..
But don’t worry if you think this might be you my lovely! Being an accumulator is awesome!! I have this in my top three blend, and I wish it was higher, because then I wouldn’t be in debt and still having to pay it off after all these years.
How Does Being Frugal Hold You Back (Sometimes)
While an excellent savings habit is essential to wealth building, reducing stress and having a decent retirement, having ALL your money saved in one place is RISKY!
WARNING: This is where I start getting a little bit technical (but not much, because that’s not my style).
Have you heard about inflation?
Inflation is a quantitative measure of the rate at which the average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy increases over a period of time. It is the constant rise in the general level of prices where a unit of currency buys less than it did in prior periods. Often expressed as a percentage, inflation indicates a decrease in the purchasing power of a nation’s currency. – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inflation.asp
Complicated definitions aside, it’s basically the reason why cost of living keeps getting more expensive, and is the reason why £100 today will just about buy you a fancy dinner, but in the early 1900s, it probably would have bought you a house.
If you leave all your money in a savings account (which doesn’t really benefit the money given how low interest rates are), then in 20 years, your money will be worth less than it is now. In other words, you’ll be able to buy much less with it that you can currently.
Why Is Saving Money Holding Me Back?
A lot of people prefer not to invest money because it is seen as too “risky”. But the people who invest money are more likely than a saver to have a decent amount squirrelled away for retirement, and that money will keep pace (and more) with inflation…. this means that their retirement fund will still be able to buy things as they were used to 20 years before.
Savers on the other hand will find that their money’s buying power dwindles with time.
So if you are a pure accumulator and like to hoard money in a savings account, this message is relevant to you.
Yes, have some money stored in an account ready for an emergency, or if you lose your job, but don’t ONLY rely on this to see you through to retirement. It’s the equivalent of storing money under your mattress.
What Can I Do About This?
So you’re sitting there reading this, and you have realised that you need to make some changes, then I firstly want to acknowledge you and congratulate you on this. It takes a lot of courage!
If you’re serious about this, I can help you as a financial coach to look at where this behaviour comes from and to do something about it. Go to this page to fill out the pre-coaching application form and I’ll be in touch to book a free, no-obligation pre-coaching session.
The other thing you can do is come into my private facebook group and ask me in there.
Until Next Time,