Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Lost Art of Saving

I recall my growing up years, when if I needed a new gadget, I was encouraged to save for it. My father had 2 green wallets in which he would place any cash given to my brother and I. Each wallet had a slip of paper inside, on which was recorded all income and expenditure. Thus, we were taught to save. It just came naturally, and in the words of George Banks of Mary Poppins fame, I would feel a sense of conquest as my savings increased! If memory serves, we would spend most of the money at Christmas, then start again.

I miss that habit. As a society, we've strayed far from the savings culture and become creatures of credit. Rather than patiently waiting for things, we insist on instant gratification, relying on numerous lenders to help us satisfy our unquenchable thirst for human possessions. So, the vast majority of us live in debt, accepting this lifestyle as the status quo. Well, the global recession has burst our collective bubble and forced many to learn to save again. I welcome the news that increasing numbers of British families saved a high proportion of their income this year. Perhaps we're back on the right track. Or perhaps we're all just waiting for the all-clear before we resume spending with reckless abandon. Time alone will tell...

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