160: Don’t Feel Guilty About Using Your Savings

If you’ve ever built up a savings account, you’ve probably been hit with guilt when you have to pull money out.  We put so much time and effort into this process of saving up money that when something comes up, like a medical bill or car expense, it feels very defeating to have to spend that money. Pedro Moura joins me to discuss how to deal with these feelings.

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Celebrate that you had money saved

I think celebrating small milestones goes a very long way. Even getting started can be really intimidating, right? So there’s a couple of reasons why you feel guilty during the process. First, it’s hard to get started with saving money. You needed to look at how much money’s coming in, how much is coming out, and how much you have to put aside. 

And then now you need to drain it. That can be defeating. But try to see the process differently, as if you’re being rewarded, or celebrated as you’re making progress along the way. And the moment that you have to take money out of savings, you also celebrate that you didn’t have to swipe the credit card. That’s pretty powerful.

Credit cards do a really good job at rewarding every time you swipe. You have an immediate gratification when you’re purchasing. So how can you build a little bit of that with savings?  Reward yourself for the small steps you take, and as you make progress. Ultimately, it’s not all about the final number in the account.

Don’t get stuck on a certain amount you need saved

It’s easy to think “If I haven’t reached my savings goal, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything.” But really, it’s more important to focus on the process of being prepared, and building money-saving habits to put yourself in a better situation. Your finances aren’t always going to be perfect. But it’s great to build up savings habits, even if you haven’t hit your goal yet. 

Years ago I had a car accident and I had to activate my insurance. If I didn’t have any sort of savings, I wouldn’t have been able to negotiate with insurance and pay in full for my car to be fixed. I would have been left without an option. 

Having money in savings gives you more options. Even as you’re paying off student loans, doing other things, you should be saving a certain amount of money, so it doesn’t force you to spiral back in debt when a little emergency comes up.

Meet Today’s Guest – Pedro Moura

Pedro Moura is the co-founder & CEO of Flourish, a mission-driven fintech that encourages people to establish savings habits and pay off debt, making savings feel like play. Inspired by prize-linked savings, Flourish provides a mobile-first engagement platform that rewards and engages users based on their savings transactions and debt payment.

Pedro has a unique range of financial services, retail management, technology and business development expertise. Prior to Flourish, he spent six years (from series D to pre-IPO) at Oportun, a Fintech company that provides responsible loans to help the Latino community establish credit. He led and expanded the retail operations and spearheaded implementation and growth of the mobile product. He was an important piece in scaling the organization from 250 to over 3500 employees.

Pedro is originally from Natal-Brazil but has lived in California for 15 years. He has a multicultural outlook, formed through personal experiences, including having lived and worked in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. He has a keen passion for helping others, and plans to dedicate his career and life to financial inclusion and empowerment.

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