Doesn’t it seem as if spenders get a lot of good press? The woman with the flashy car, the guy with the obscene Rolex collection, the couple who leverage their McMansion to buy holiday gifts grab our attention and get the glossy spreads.
Savers, however, aren’t media darlings. We’re relegated to the back pages and labeled with less-than-flattering nouns, such as “tightwad,” “penny pincher” or “miser.”
And that sentiment carries over into everyday life. Savers are seldom seen as powerful, confident or sexy, and I think that’s a big mistake.
All things being equal, here are just six reasons why savers are more attractive than their spendthrift peers:
1. Savers can seize the moment … and the deal
Good deals come and go quickly. To take advantage of a red hot bargain, you’ve got to be ready and able. By living below their means, savers generate and bank a surplus each month. That capital can be used to seize and seal deals that might not be accessible to buyers with more sluggish personal economies.
Imagine hearing through the grapevine of a fixer-upper house in a prime location that’s being offered at a bargain-basement price. What buyer do you think an impatient and off-site seller would choose, the buyer with cash in hand who’s ready to sign right after the inspection, or the one who needs to make a few calls, talk to their banker, and call in a few financial favors from Mom and Dad?
Admit it, there are few things sexier than a man or woman of action, the one with the knowledge and the means to make those large and small deals happen.
2. Savers aren’t beholden to lenders
In some fashion, borrowers always answer to their lenders. And while there’s nothing particularly wrong with strategic borrowing for investment purposes, as a lifestyle choice, borrowing and chronic debt sap our wealth and energy, and can make life seem much more restricted.
Steering clear of huge debt loads and usurious interest rates, a saver is freer to make bold choices, reinvent a career, take some time off or follow a dream. That combination of flexibility and freedom is a rare quality these days, and it can be a potently attractive one.
3. Savers swim against the tide
Few can argue that we live in strange times. Consumption has gone from being a national pastime to a national sport, with the bowl game of Black Friday being bumped up a full day. Today, the economic challenges our nation faces aren’t won by encouraging citizens to buckle down and save more; they’re won by a collective effort to shop more, shop more often, and shop irresponsibly.
It’s no wonder that savers represent a new sort of pioneer, who ignores what the neighbors are doing and rejects the flawed logic that spending more is always better. If you’re a saver, you know what I mean: It takes a bit of confidence and comfort in your own skin to follow a different path.
4. Savers are strategic
Successful savers didn’t get that way by being indiscriminate with their money. They understand the innate and intimate connections between time, labor, money and things, and they apply that knowledge in tactical ways.
Savers know the secret: If a person can invest enough time and labor and be a shrewd steward of the money that results from each, he can gradually reduce or completely replace his own exertion with “working” assets. Isn’t being smart sexy?