Woman in a yoga pose

Behavior

Saving Is a Lot Like Yoga

Young people in the noon yoga classes here at Boston College bend, twist, or flatten themselves more easily than their much older classmates.

But older people are better savers – 50-year-olds save at more than double the rate of 40-year-olds – and perhaps yoga can explain how this happens.

In yoga, one doesn’t immediately balance into Warrior III without toppling over or find the upper-body strength for the Crow pose shown above. It takes practice to build the balance, strength, focus, or flexibility that each pose requires. Only with time do these pretzel-like configurations become less painful and more convincing. Poorly executed poses, practiced and repeatedly improved, are the only path to perfection.

Like yoga, saving is also a practice.

The more time and attention that is devoted to it, the easier it is to do what once seemed impossible. Mistakes are inevitable. The young, unfortunately, will procrastinate about contributing to their 401(k)s; spending splurges will drain their bank accounts; and invested savings will often grow slowly – or even shrink.

But it’s important to keep trying to save, because practice makes perfect.

Namaste.

3 Responses to Saving Is a Lot Like Yoga

  1. Sarah says:

    Your statement, “The young, unfortunately, will procrastinate about contributing to their 401(k)s; spending splurges will drain their bank accounts; and invested savings will often grow slowly – or even shrink,” is very frustrating. It portrays young people as irresponsible spendthrifts.

    You totally ignore that it’s simpler for older people to save because they have higher incomes, which means more disposable income to set aside in savings. Also, older people are not crushed under high student debt loans like the young.

  2. I fully agree with the author. Same goes in India as well (where the yoga is believed to be originated from). Young people spend lavishly on new gadget without thinking much about their retirement.