The Perks of Being a Saver

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The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Greg Johnson. Greg is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who is in the process of becoming debt free. Along with his wife, Greg co-founded the personal finance blog, Club Thrifty, where they encourage readers to “Stop Spending. Start Living.”

A few years ago, I read a great book called, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Recently, Hollywood released a film adaptation. Although I have yet to see it, my friends tell me that it is a pretty good movie. The plot is essentially a coming of age story about an introverted boy named Charlie. The book follows several different events throughout Charlie’s life as he slowly learns to be less of a wallflower and begins to participate in life.
As I look back on the story, I see some parallels with the journey that I took when becoming a saver. 

I used to wonder how people were able to afford the things that they had. I always thought that those who had nice things certainly had to have a lot of money. I realize now that some people actually can’t afford their lifestyle, using credit to build their castle full of belongings on a foundation of sand. Rather than follow my companions further down the road of debt, I have chosen to go the route of the savers – using solid savings techniques to enjoy my life to the fullest, both now and (I hope) in the future. I’ve found that I am now able to have the quality of life that I want simply by capitalizing on some of these perks of being a saver.


I’m sure that you know someone who panics every time the tiniest financial hiccup interrupts their life. You know, that person whose financial world is in shambles the second that an unexpected expense pops up? 

I used to be that person. The reason people panic isn’t because the hiccup is overly expensive. It is because they haven’t planned for anything to go wrong. Getting a flat tire shouldn’t cause somebody’s finances to spiral into a tail spin. However, if you haven’t saved enough money in an emergency fund, you don’t have that security to fall back on.
It took me some time to learn this lesson. Now that I have, my life is filled with a lot less stress. I rarely have to worry about something breaking. If it does, I simply get it fixed. I can do this because I finally learned how to save.

Do the Things You REALLY Want to Do

For years, I spent money frivolously on sports jerseys, music, movies, and nights out on the town. However, I never had enough money to actually do some of the really cool stuff that my friends were able to do. I was never able to go to a major Spring Break destination. I didn’t go and see any concerts. Why? I didn’t understand how to save my money.
Over the years, I’ve finally figured out what I really enjoy doing. Now that I’m a saver, I actually have the money to do them. Sure, I could go out to eat four nights a week, but I’d rather save my money so that I can travel. Being a saver has allowed me to take some really fun vacations with my family, and I can do it multiple times a year now. I can go and watch my favorite bands play live in concert. I can take my wife on a Mediterranean cruise if I wish. My new mindset has allowed me to do the things that I truly find enjoyable in life.


Saving money gives you a lot more flexibility in your life. Being a saver may mean that you are eventually able to open your own business. Don’t feel like being an entrepreneur? Cool. Maybe you can retire early. Perhaps you can eventually take a job that you find enjoyable for less money than you are making now. Maybe you would like to pack up all of your belongings and move to Belize. Being a saver gives you all of these options…and more.
For me, making the choice to become a saver really changed the way that I look at life. Like Charlie, I am now actually participating in life the way that I want to, instead of just being a spectator. I hope that you might make even a small change and begin saving money today. Find out what the perks of being a saver can mean to you!
How about you all? Are you a saver? If so, what has becoming a saver meant to the quality of your life?
Share your experiences by commenting below!

    ***Photo courtesy of


    1. A really thought provoking post Greg, thanks. I don’t why but I’ve always been a saver. Some people call me tight, but the way I see is that I’ve worked damn hard for my money and don’t like to give it away. Things that really annoy me is paying high interest rate, 20% on a credit card seems crazy to me. I’ve never had a credit card and never will, I totally refuse to give some 20% of my expenditure!

      • Yuck! I hate paying to use other people's money too! What a great scam they have going there. We do use credit cards, but we NEVER EVER EVER pay interest.
        My recent post Our Credit Card Churning Plans for 2013

    2. I used to be a spender, a massive spender, but then after getting my finances in order, I turned into a saver. I know get excited about the money piling up in my savings accounts and my retirement accounts. It feels good and it makes me happy.
      My recent post 7 Signs of a Qualified Structural Settlement Company

    3. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

      Good post Greg! I used to be a hard core spender and gave no thought to it, now I have swung to the other end and am a proud saver. I love the freedom it gives in that I can make decisions that I want and not have to freak out because something broke.
      My recent post Festival of Frugality #373

    4. I've always been motivated to save just for the sole reason that I could invest. There's nothing more motivating to me than watching the steady build up and accumulation of passive dividend income. My parents were really savvy savers who i learnt the basics of savings from at a young age. That's probably the thing in my life that I'm the most thankful for!

    5. Shannon-ReadyForZero says:

      Absolutely great post! Love these points! I am now a saver, but like you, didn't understand how that worked in my early 20s. The most interesting part of the journey for me was understanding that I could save without completing depriving myself, but that I ended up feeling more satisfied by a growing savings account than any purchase – which caused me to budget even leaner without even trying!
      My recent post Weekly Shout Outs: My Money Questions Edition

      • You know, I think that was the best part of the journey for me as well. I pretty much still get the things that I want, but now I am more conscious about what I'm spending.
        My recent post Our Credit Card Churning Plans for 2013

    6. I've been a saver all my student and professional life. Being a saver provides lots of peace of mind, frankly. Knowing that I've saved money for the emergencies, or kids' education, or the rainy day emergencies makes me sleep peacefully at night. Frankly, none of the modern day splurges will buy this peace of mind.
      My recent post College 529 Plan vs. Investing in Individual Account: Reader Question Series

      • I totally agree. Having that savings is such a secure feeling. I would never trade that to go back to the old way I did things.
        My recent post Our Credit Card Churning Plans for 2013

    7. I try to save as much money as I can, but somehow gas always seems to dip into my savings. What is a reasonable percent of money that should be saved out of each paycheck? I hear some people say 15% others 25% and even a few say 50%.

    8. The best part of being a saver is the peace of mind that comes when you do go on a vacation or go to a concert and know that it's all paid for. Not dreading the next month's credit card bill because you have control of your finances is a pretty rewarding feeling.
      My recent post Finding The True Value Of Free Time

    9. Great post, Greg! We too were just sloppy with money, never tracking spending, and of course, never saving. Reading all of the stories like yours, though, has given us a new perspective this year. We're off to a great start at eliminating our debt, and putting at least some money into savings every single paycheck. Thanks for the encouraging thoughts!
      My recent post Fire!

    10. Totally a saver over here! I think the best part about being one is that you know you always have a cushion when things get tough!
      My recent post Remember Those Resolutions? Two Are Complete!

    11. I've always been a saver, but my partner has taken a bit more convincing. I don't think his core money personality can change all that much, but he's definitely come to learn the power of restraint and holding back
      My recent post Guest post: How lump sum payments can get you out of debt fast

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