There may not be any other word in the English language that says such an obvious thing as the word “dissaving”. We all know what each part of that word means. “Dis-” means “not”, as in disrespect, meaning not to have respect for something like saving money. “Saving” is the thing we all want to do with our money whenever we buy something and try to put away the difference after we do it. Funny thing is when you combine those two parts together, it becomes a complete disaster! If you’re in “dissaving” mode, then you need a life saver.
The Definition of This “Dis”
Dissaving is an actual real word. I swear I’m not making it up! You can Google it if you have any doubt, but trust me, it’s real.
Dissaving is not just disrespecting savings and ignoring it, it also means spending money that is usually beyond one’s actual available income or means. This may be “accomplished”, if you want to call it that, by tapping into a savings account, running up or taking cash advances on a credit card, or borrowing against future income like from a crazy insane payday loan. So, yeah, dissaving is the total disrespect and the total opposite of saving.
To state it concisely, dissaving is living beyond one’s means and making for negative cash flow.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? If the practice is unchecked, dissaving results in a downward spiral until your savings and credit are completely exhausted. Another words, you’re financially screwed!
The Why of Dissaving
Dissaving is a bad habit and is primarily caused by poor judgment. But, it can sometimes be caused by an unavoidable response to a crisis like unemployment, an unexpected illness, and accidents that are all events outside of anyone’s control and can exhaust savings and cause a cash crunch. That can sometimes explain why when that unfortunate thing happens and you are not very prepared for it (by establishing an emergency fund first for it), you dissave. That contingency emergency plan of yours is really required even if it may never be needed, but ignoring the possibility of something bad ever happening is at best risky and at worst just plain stupid.
If you’re a smart cookie, you will prepare for it and any other disruptive thing with money by having an emergency plan. That’s why it’s called an “emergency plan” because when it happens, yeah it’s an emergency!
Ignorance Is Very Often Not Bliss
A bad habit of dissaving most often begins with a series of relatively small credit card expenditures. Over time, this can result in a building up of some pretty hefty credit card balances and having your income compromised by necessary regular payments at some very high rates of interest. That means if you had been making regular savings, it will slow down or stop as this activity builds and you juggle bigger and bigger debt payments. An unexpected event like losing your job after that will then trigger a personal financial disaster!
Look, if you are not trying to save on your shopping because (as some people I know think) it’s too complicated, silly to clip coupons, embarrassing to be so price conscious, and every other excuse you can think of, then you are asking for problems.
Even worse is just assuming that because you don’t have any issues right now with shopping and buying whatever you need and want, it can’t ever become an issue later on. Every person who has ever gone into debt and eventually fallen into the “dissaving” pit before retirement said the same thing.
One Acceptable Reason for Dissaving
It should be noted for the record that not all dissaving has a negative connotation. For example, a retired person who has saved over a lifetime of work may live comfortably while dissaving. The person has a certain fixed income, but spends more every month, dipping into savings to make up the difference. This is called “planned dissaving” and is fairly common and acceptable! That is a primary reason to save for your retirement in the first place!
Truth be told, most retirees still have money left after their passing even with the dissaving factored in. Not so true for you when you are still in pre-retirement and need to continue to work in order to survive.
The War is Raging
Think of things this way. There is a real money war going on out there and the enemy may seem like those retailers and credit card companies who are trying to get you to buy, buy, buy, and buy some more. More than just what you need. You are very tempted when that happens and if you have lots of credit, then you may really waver because that makes spending money you don’t have so easy. But are those retailers the real enemy? They have been acting like that since man first traded for anything of value or for something he wanted or needed. Like beads for corn or, well, you get the picture. So who is the real enemy?
Here It Is and You May Not Like It
The enemy is you! You know the old phrase: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This may be where it is derived from. You are the only one that can change your behavior when it comes to buying and saving. Dissaving is something you do to yourself, so don’t look at me or anyone else.
Resolve to Change and Actually Do It
Unlike those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or give up smoking which quickly fall to the wayside, start behaving differently…today! Pay attention to how you shop and what you do when you shop.
That means even if you don’t ever think something bad might happen and you aren’t abusing your credit and think you never will, think first. Part of good money management is to work with and within a budget and one part of your budget is savings.
I’m not kidding. Actually create a line in your personal budget for it. Call it savings or call it anything you like, but it’s money you have saved from your income and your smart shopping that you put away (hopefully in an interest bearing account to make it grow) that will be there when you really need it!
When Will You Need It?
As I said in the beginning here, you might need it for an emergency and then at least you have some kind of defense in place to help get you through it. But it’s not just for the unforeseen things. There is a little something called retirement and that is almost a certainty down the road, either through F.I.R.E. (financial independence, retire early) if that’s your plan, or just by aging into it. That money you saved from being a smart shopper for 20, 30, or 40 years and then putting some of it away into an individual or a participating company 401(k) IRA retirement program will be there when you need it, if you do it the way I’ve recommended here.
Then and only then, if anyone accuses you of dissaving after you retire, just tell them: “That’s exactly the way I planned it!”
Are you a smart shopper and are you saving money for emergencies and retirement as a basic part of your finances? If not, what would you do if an emergency comes along? You can’t just ignore them and you can’t prevent them, so what do you think is the smart thing to do?