Ever since I was little, my parents have drilled into my head the “Save Money” mantra. But it wasn’t until I was broke in my early 20s that I became fully aware of the power of money. I was living in Boston on a student stipend at the time, and man, was life hard! The worst part was worrying about covering the rent because I was living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, life was so miserable I became known as “the bag lady of _____” among my friends because I would find ways to cut corners and save a few bucks on just about everything.

The pain and suffering stemming from living paycheck to paycheck has been permanently etched into my mind. I still cringe every time I think back to that time and the hardship I endured, and I vowed never to do that again. It was also during this time that my perspective on money changed forever.

I used to think money buys things both tangible such as clothes and non-tangible such as a vacation. While it is true that I still actively participate in consumerism (as indicated in my posts about my iPod Touch here and here), I now see money as buying, first and foremost, peace of mind. Some people call it freedom but I like to think of it as inner peace and serenity.

People often ask me why I save money.  The simple answer is I don’t want to be broke and live the way I did when I am in my 60s or older.  It’s one thing to be broke when you are in your 20s when you are still young and physically and mentally capable to weather the storm; It’s quite another to be broke when you are in your 60s and possibly pass your prime in terms of earning abilities.

What do you think?  Please leave your thoughts below.