Doesn’t it seem like 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 like “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 getting bumped up a full day this year. 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, then, 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?
5. Savers tend to be more self-reliant
Speaking broadly, saving and self-reliance tend to go hand in hand. Savers see the value in self-reliance and they build the skills that help them keep their expenses low. From gardening to simple construction and from basic car repair to sewing, savers quietly and confidently get it done — usually without taking out their wallets. What could be sexier?
Learn more about the self-reliant attitudes of the Greatest Generation — and how those attitudes have changed over time — here.
6. Savers have something to teach
Collectively, what these points show is that savers have something important to teach. Modern life has created a dearth of good examples of personal financial restraint — folks who can save and manage money wisely, exercise a basic level of self-reliance, and use their resources to build wealth slowly and strategically instead of rushing out to buy every new bauble and bangle the moment their neighbors do or the minute it’s suggested by a TV commercial.
Almost by default, savers are teachers — instructing others by what they reject as much as by what they embrace. And it’s not just the next generation that can benefit from these lessons.
Without overselling my point, it’s easy to see how our current limited resources, global economic uncertainty, and growing climate challenges all set the stage for a rediscovery of important truths about frugality and good stewardship, creative reuse, self-reliance, and smart money management. Savers, in their many shapes and sizes, are quietly leading the way — and leaders have a certain appeal.
So, savers, come out from the shadows and strut your stuff. If you didn’t know it before, you do now: Your frugality and your financial sensibility make you sexy after all. In a world filled with style over substance and flash over cash, you’re a rare bird indeed.
Do you think savers are sexier than big spenders? Why or why not? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.