Shall We Save?


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Dear Maze,

My husband is a kind and generous person. On the flip side, he never bothers to save a penny. If there is any money left at the end of the month, he for sure will find a way to spend it. His philosophy is that you can only enjoy money by spending it. If he can buy something today, he won't wait for tomorrow. I managed to carve out some of my income for savings, but I'm not sure if that's enough. How can I persuade him to save? –Sandra

When we talk about savings, we normally speak in terms of benefits and gains. That's all good. However, for some people, that's not enough. They need some extra push. Psychologically, losses are twice as powerful as gains. It's better to not lose $5 than to gain $5. This tendency is called "Loss Aversion." In the savings scenario, you can consider stressing what he'll lose, i.e. the benefits and gains by not saving. To bring it further, imagine what those losses could have bought him. That's lost enjoyment. Worse yet, should some emergency happen, he might need to give up some of his beloved assets to meet the extra expenses due to a lack of savings. You can even help him to list out what he'll part with in that situation, making the losses more vivid. In short, if gain can't move them, think of loss.

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