Does Saving Get Easier As You Get Older?
I read a report recently which said that in the US the old are getting richer and the young are getting poorer.
The statistics in the report compared the difference in wealth between people under 35 and those over 65. Back in 1984 the older people were 10 times better off than the young ones. However, the difference has now increased to an incredible 47 times.
Clearly there are a number of reasons for this difference but it got me thinking about whether or not saving gets easier as you get older.
Do You Now Want Less?
Let’s start off with a point you might not agree with. In my own experience, I can cast my mind back to the glorious days of the 1990s. Right Said Fred were, bizarrely, on top of the charts, Mr Blobby was omnipresent and a new World Cup disappointment was just around the corner. It was into this frankly confusing world that a younger version of me started work for the first time. Back then, I would eagerly wait for my humble monthly wage and agonise over what to spend it on. There were so many things I wanted because I owned very little. I wanted some new CDs, new baggy jeans, a new TV and so many other things. These days, I own more stuff so I want less. This might sound an overly simplistic way of seeing things but I would be interested to see if other people feel the same way.
You Probably Earn More
Of course, most of us earn more over time, which makes it easier to save as well. I still shake my head when I remember how I used to make something like £100 last me a month in my first job. I gave about half of it to my parents and in the first few months I had to invest in some work clothes from every salary, so that I could stop using my old school shirts and trousers to go to work in. This meant that my account was always empty each month long before the next wage came around. As we get older we have more commitments but I reckon that most of us have this compensated through a higher wage.
You Reap What You Sowed in the Past
The previous points don’t count for much if you haven’t made progress in your financial situation in the past. Ideally, you will start saving while you are young and make some smart investments which help you out in the future. However, there is also the possibility that you make bad decisions and don’t save as much as you should. If this is the case then you are probably going to find it harder to save as you get older, as you will be constantly try to make up for past mistakes.
Do You Have More Expensive Tastes?
Another point worth considering is how your taste evolves over the years. Maybe as a youngster you were happy eating chips out a bag but now you prefer to sit down in a classy restaurant for your meals. We all change in this respect over our lifetime but is it affecting your ability to save money? If it is then maybe it is time to consider whether going back to some of the simpler tastes of your youth could help your current financial situation. Doing this can help you feel better about your life as well as save more money.
What do you think? Is it now easier for you to save than it was a few years ago?