Why Some People Know They Saved As Much as They Possibly Can

by David Ning · 7 comments

Can you save more?

I often wondered about whether there’s more excess that could be cut out of my life, but I eventually realize that it was the wrong question to ask.

Here’s why.

The Sliding Bottle to the Limit Game

Have you been in a bar where people are trying to slide bottles on the bar table? The object of the game is to slide the bottles towards the edge without them falling over. The winner is the person who owns the bottle furthest from the contestants with the bottle still on the table.

What if you could place the bottle? If you wanted to win, you would place it very close to the edge and then push it a tiny bit repeatedly until it actually falls off to figure out where the limit was, correct? It would be impossible to find out the limit without the bottle actually tipping over, right?

This sounds intuitive. Yet, no one applies it to savings. I dare say that no one have reached their maximum savings potential if they have never felt that they saved too much.

When do you know it’s too much? When you stop buying clothes for five years and then found an occasion where you couldn’t find an appropriate clothing to wear, then you know.

If you are wondering too, stop questioning yourself and push your bottle a bit more until it falls off.

More about Limits

Actually, applying it to saving money is just the tip of the iceberg. Want to know whether you can get more done? Give yourself a little push until you are crying for help. I know it sounds inhumane, but how do you know whether you can finish 12 tasks today unless you find that you couldn’t get the 13th one completed?

  • If you want to save more, then try to do it until you fail.
  • If you want to get more done, do way too many things until you fail to get everything accomplished.
  • If you want to earn more, then tackle bigger and bigger projects until you actually fail.

Failing isn’t so bad. If you are always meeting your goals, then you never needed to make them in the first place.

Don’t limit yourself by setting soft goals. Think big, and go for it. Push that bottle, and push it until you hear it break. You will be happy you did.

Oh and the fun part? Finding out that the table actually changes, and the fact that edge is never in the same place.

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  • Moneyblogger1 says:

    I have a fail save on saving were I’m almost penny less on pay day. I have all my bills payed, use enough money for food for the week. Then all the rest of the money goes into my savings account which has a one day wait time to withdraw my money. So if I see something I want like the Twinkies in the gas station, I can’t get them. It works but my sweet tooth just hates me for it.

  • KateMTP says:

    Great post. One thing that I do to push the bottle is ever payday, I immediately transfer money into my savings. Some months, I don’t need the money, but there are other months I have to transfer back to my checking account. I also have another savings account at a credit union that I can’t easily access. This has helped me to build up a nest egg.

  • Cd Phi says:

    What a unique analogy. I never really thought of it this way. I mean it’s always good to be a little challenging with yourself but to set goals to where you might fail is something I’ve never heard before. I guess a lesson failed is a lesson learned.

  • Victor says:

    I make a mess all the time, no one ever understands. I totally agree that everyone should push their limit to be able to see where it actually is. Great post.

  • Susan says:

    Never meet your goals. That’s an interesting thought that I haven’t thought of. Maybe it’s time to fail once in a while.

  • John DeFlumeri Jr says:

    Trying to find all the edges in life will push us to our limits of accomplishment.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  • George says:

    Interesting analogy. I agree. I think it is so easy for us to just “give up” and say “I need to buy this.” We are so protected and pampered in this society. If someone says something we don’t like, then it can be a big deal. If someone does something we don’t like while driving, it is easy to get upset.

    But who cares? What difference does it make? That stuff is so tiny. We make a big deal about it because that is our habit.

    Maybe if we are a little tougher emotionally, then we can get better at saving and have more financial success.

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