If you have a situation where the stock market earns 15% a year for three years running, you would have DOUBLED your money. As Ben Franklin wrote so long ago, “A Penny Saved IS a penny earned.” Actually he was mistaken, it is actually MORE than a penny earned. If you have a savings account, and take out a dollar, to replace that dollar in savings you need to make at least $1.20 because the taxman, IRS takes a big chunk of the money.
Save, Save, Save, for Equanimity and Peace. I cannot stress that enough. Even J.P. Morgan, the banker long ago, wrote that enough money in the bank gives a person a Buddha/ Zen like experience.
For myself, I saved a good deal of money. Always eating ramen noodles and using a box fan instead of air conditioning, buying everything from thrift and dollar stores, never going out to a restaurant to eat, etc. That allowed me to save enough that I can basically live off the dividends now. Some will say that this is “not living”, but I disagree. Equanimity and peace of mind are on the top of my agenda.
Those who spend their entire paychecks as most Americans do put themselves one paycheck from an emergency and a state of desperation. No matter who enlightened you are, if there is a sheriff knocking on your door telling you to get out because you are arrears in rent, or there is a bill collector screaming at you, you will feel unsettled.
The situation where you can live off the interest on your savings personally gives me tremendous peace of mind. Money is a reality. I wrote the obsession with material wealth and flaunting it is wrong. But one needs at least a little money to live. The main thing is to bring your money needs down to a minimum. Learn to save like a miser until your goal is reached, no matter what happens. Even if a best friend or family member begs you for it, no matter how much it hurts, refuse to lend. Explain what you are trying to do in a firm manner. Better yet, NEVER let anyone know how much money you have been saving.