One of my very first jobs was a bank teller. Although I didn’t make very much, I was required to dress my best – dress shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. I would end up spending most of what I made on new business attire just to fit in with the rest of the branch.
I spent the rest on going out for breakfast and lunch. At the time, everything seemed okay to me because everyone else was doing it. I didn’t have much money saved and I didn’t really care. I was 19, lived with mom and dad and most of my friends didn’t have jobs.
The longer I worked, the more I realized I didn’t belong there.
Sales targets would slowly move up to unrealistic amounts for all staff. Achieving sales targets were more important than customer experience. Branch staff were divided into teams to compete against each other. The worse performing staff have their names appear on the big internal bulletin board. There were questionable and borderline things being done to just drive more business and avoid being on the stink list.
I no longer wanted to be a part of it so I stopped working.
The decision was easy for me. I was free and had nothing holding me back – no bills, no rent, and no debt (aside from $15,000 worth of student loans that weren’t due until after graduation).
I knew I wasn’t always going to be this lucky. I told myself I am never going to put myself in a position where I am forced to work and do something I feel is wrong just to make ends meet.
My relationship with money had changed. I no longer saw making money as a reason to spend.
Money is made and saved to give me options in life – the freedom to choose when I work, where I work, and what I do.
What do you save for?