How to Lead a Richer Life by Not Saving

I’m not a saver. And if you are, then we can’t be friends.

No, no—don’t try to justify your frugality. I won’t be swayed.

I see you saving all kinds of things, and it makes me want grab you and shake you like how a Great White will chomp down on a baby seal and fling it around. Grrr!!! Can you tell I’ve been watching too much Shark Week?

Look, I’m not talking about saving your paychecks and lucky pennies. You go right ahead and do that.

I mean you’re saving things like your time, energy, and all those precious treasures you own that never see the light of day.

Why are you saving all this good stuff; the wonderful parts of you that should be shared with the world?

You gotta stop living a discounted life. From now on, you are no longer a saver!

Here’s how you can spend out and use up.

Good Savers vs Bad Savers

Not all savers are bad. In fact, there are some good types of saving you should be doing.

Save your money so you can pay your bills and take care of your family. Save the planet by purchasing used clothes from thrift shops and recycling and reusing as much as you can.

The bad type of saving I’m talking about is when you save yourself from failure or loss.

You might save your energy and not apply for a new job. You might leave that gorgeous dress hanging in your closet for a special occasion. You might never use the good china you inherited.

This saving is coming from a lack mindset. You think there might not be enough “whatever” to go around in the future, so you hold back. But if you believe in the law of attraction (like I do!), this way of saving will attract more lack in your life.

How Spending Can Make You Rich

In the popular book The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin shares a story about spending out that I’m always reminded of.

She explains that during one of her last visits with her ailing grandmother, she found a decades old bottle of perfume in her grandmother’s dresser. The bottle was filled to the top, completely unused.

Gretchen figured that her grandmother had been “saving it,” but for what? The bottle now sits in Gretchen’s office as a reminder for her to spend out.

I like to look around my own home and see if I’m saving anything for a special occasion. My entire life is special, and if I want to live a rich, abundant life, then I need to use and appreciate the beautiful things I have.

Give Everything You’ve Got

One of my favorite movies is the sci fi drama Gattaca. The story involves 2 brothers who are always competing with each other: Anton, the genetically superior one, and Vincent, the sickly wimp.

Throughout their lives, the brothers challenge each other to see who can swim out farthest into the ocean before getting scared and heading back to shore. Of course, athletic Anton always wins.

Finally, after growing up and working his entire life to become the best version of himself, Vincent challenges Anton to a final swim. The men swim out farther than either of them has ever gone. As a surprised Anton struggles to stay afloat, he asks, “How are you doing this, Vincent? How have you done any of this?”

“I never saved anything for the swim back,” he replies.

Love it! I should frame that and hang it on the wall of my office.

How often do we save things for rainy days, for “just in case,” or because we don’t want to feel a sense of lack?

If you want to reach your goals and be happier than you’ve ever thought possible, you must give everything you’ve got and SPEND OUT.

Give your time to those you love, give your money to causes you care about, and use the things you own and be grateful for them.

Giving up saving things has brought so much richness into my life.

It makes me feel like a million bucks.

This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Beth on August 15, 2014 at 3:59 am

    I agree so much with this. I live on a boat – it’s 30ft x 6ft and every single thing on it is either used every day or chucked overboard (not literally!)

    It means I don’t own much – but the little I do have is treasured, useful and in constant use. Nothing ‘saved’, nothing hoarded.

    I used to have boxes and boxes of letters, mixtapes, photos, ‘special things’. When I moved into my boat I took one favourite item from each person I love and made a small friendship ‘altar’ to really celebrate and display those things so I could enjoy them every day. The rest – I burned. Sounds drastic but it was an act of love to myself, to my friends who had made the things, and to the things themselves.

  2. Sarah @ Long Island Nerd on August 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    I love this post! You are so right, there is no reason at all to save these things for later. I’ve actually just done a major spring (end of summer?) cleaning and I got rid of tons of stuff that was just collecting dust in my room and it felt amazing! I also took a personal day for this Saturday so I can just relax and pamper myself and I can’t wait! I had decided that I didn’t need to save the day “just in case” and I’m really excited for my three day weekend! I’m definitely going to keep this idea in mind in the future as well 🙂

    Hope all is well!