July 14, 2024
freemixer / iStock.com

freemixer / iStock.com

Finding ways to save money is still vital, regardless of where you’re at in life or when you were born. After all, developing a saving mindset and living a little bit frugally can help you build long-term financial stability and minimize money-related stressors in life.

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Of course, there are other reasons why people prioritize saving money, too. GOBankingRates spoke with two people from the baby boomer generation — Tim Choate and Brenda Christensen — to find out whether they save money, how they do it and why.

A Lot of It Starts From Childhood

For some people, including Brenda Christensen, CEO of Stellar Public Relations, learning to prioritize saving money comes early — from childhood.

“I think a lot of this is learned and is a familial thing. I’m not a proponent of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad,’ but I can tell you that I grew up in a very frugal household and [was] taught the value of money and saving very early on — as young as 4 years old,” she said. “It wasn’t until much later, after I had graduated from college, that I realized that both sides of my family were old money — gas and oil wells, publishing and rum distillery.”

Sometimes, it’s second nature to save money. And as Christensen’s story indicates, even if you grow up in an affluent household, you can still learn the value of the dollar early on and carry those lessons with you throughout your life.

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It Leads to Financial Security and Opportunity

Tim Choate, the CEO of RedAwning, said he still prioritizes saving money for the sake of financial security and his own peace of mind. Knowing there’s money set aside for those “just in case” moments provides a much-needed safety net and lets him navigate through life without undue stress.

But it’s also about more than that.

“For me, saving money has always been about ensuring that I can enjoy my retirement years without financial worries,” he said. “It’s also about leaving a legacy for my family, giving them the support they might need in the future.”

Choate also believes that saving money is important for others as well — for similar reasons but also for other ones.

“Saving money empowers individuals to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, be it investing in a new business venture or making a significant life change,” he said. “It’s about having the freedom to make choices without being constrained by financial limitations.”

Saving Can Become a Lifestyle Choice

Saving money is often viewed as a habit — a good money habit, to be sure, but a habit nonetheless. It was this way for Christensen until it became something more.

“I do save money, and by living frugally, it’s become a habit that is now a lifestyle,” she said. “I found that the quick dopamine hits of buying that flash outfit or spending money here and there on things that will go out of style or easily break and/or devalue no longer are appealing.”

Living Frugally Is All About Living With Intention

Being frugal isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve never intentionally cut back on spending and prioritized saving more. But for Choate, it’s something he’s learned to do over the years and that continues to serve him well today.

“Living frugally is about making intentional choices that align with long-term goals,” he said. “For me, one of the most effective ways is embracing a minimalist lifestyle. By focusing on what truly adds value to my life, I avoid unnecessary expenses.”

He gave several examples of what he does to keep costs low so he can keep saving and building long-term financial stability.

“For instance, I prioritize spending on experiences over material possessions. This not only saves money but also enriches my life with memorable moments,” he said. “Additionally, I make it a point to cook at home, which is healthier and more cost-effective than dining out frequently. This practice has also allowed me to explore new culinary skills, turning a necessity into a hobby.”

Everyone Has Their Own Ways To Save

Not everyone follows the same methods when it comes to saving money. For Choate, there are quite a few strategies he’s implemented over the years.

“I leverage technology to track my expenses meticulously, using apps that categorize spending and highlight areas for potential savings,” he said. “One example is using automatic transfers to move a portion of my income directly into savings accounts. This way, I prioritize saving before spending.”

He also said he invests in index funds to grow his savings over time. This might not be a fast strategy, but it’s low cost, doesn’t require much effort and makes his money work for him.

“I also take advantage of loyalty programs and credit card rewards,” he added. These have allowed him to save money on everyday purchases, travel and the like while still saving money and enjoying life.

Christensen said she simply lives very frugally, which in turn has helped her save even more.

“I only spend money on items that I can either write off as an expense or are durable goods that will increase in value — exotic cars and real estate,” she said. “I am very frugal with my money, and you will never catch me at any kind of upscale coffee shop or hair salon. I make my own coffee at home and cut and style my own hair.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Frugal Baby Boomer: Here’s Why I Still Prioritize Saving Money

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