Why Do We Avoid the Subject of Saving Money in Kuwait?

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As September is drawing to a close I sit back and wonder how fast will it feel before we celebrate 2014? I didn’t care much for how 2013 turned out so far but I suppose there is still hope that the last quarter would make up for it. Speaking of which, I came upon something, a discovery if you may, when I was talking to a “friend” a few weeks back that got me pondering the matter of trying to save a bit of money from your income and the response I got from the friend, as if I had grown two heads and began spitting fire like a dragon, left me dumbfounded to say the least. 

What is it about the word “saving” that makes people sit back in and stare at you, as if they’ve discovered they’ve been cheated by you all this time and only now did they realise you were broke? Why is it when someone says “I’m trying to save money” it’s considered a synonym for “I’m broke, I’m poor, I was begging on the corner of the street but I decided to pretend I was rich to befriend you and I now need more money so I can keep pretending for the sake of your approval but oops I just slipped and told you about my dark secret…” Is that the way it is only in Kuwait, or all around the world?

Perhaps I’ve been naive all this time but let me explain what “saving money” actually means. Say you have a dream, you want to invest in something, want to open a store, establish a restaurant, build a dream house, or purchase a pied-à-terre abroad. What financial options do you have? You can run to daddy for money, ask your rich husband, perhaps take a loan from the bank, or maybe you make enough money that can indeed help you in your quest but you just need to save for a while and not blow all your earnings on things you don’t really need. How is it OK to beg for money from your parents or husband, or live in an endless debt from a bank load with growing interest, yet not consider the option of “saving”? Because when you beg or take a loan, you can still pretend to have enough money to impress people while when you save money that money you are spending to blind others can actually stay hidden in the bank and come to use later on?

Sadly, people don’t care. They don’t want to hear that you have a better purpose in life than maxing out your credit card or spending mindlessly. The word “save” doesn’t only imply that you are poor but also your entire family and the friends you are hanging out with and are OK with your broke status, why of course because they themselves are broke themselves. There is no such thing as a grey area: either you are poor or you are rich, and rich people don’t think about things like saving money now, do they?

I for one am an independent person. I hate asking people for anything, especially money. I also fear the future and what surprises it may have in store for me. I cannot guarantee that one day I might need a major surgery or medical attention that needs a lot of money, money I’ve blown away trying to wow a “friend” with how much I can spend trying to prove something I don’t need to prove in the first place.

Saving money is not something to be ashamed of, as a matter of fact it’s something that should be encouraged in this day and age. What do you think, my good reader, are you actually saving money for any reason at all? And if you are, how do people around you react to it?

8 Responses to “Why Do We Avoid the Subject of Saving Money in Kuwait?”

  1. Agree so much with this post. People need to stop living in continuous debt and just save up money. Spend money you have, not the other way around. You will be so much happier in the long run.

    • danderma says:

      I doubt anyone would want to wait for the long run though but if anyone should opt to save they shouldn’t be given such a hard time about it.

  2. Ins says:

    Hey Danderma – I myself ponder so many times that what is the need to spend just to ‘please’ people around you. Spending to maintain a level in society is so crap! Saving is definitely not something that’s not ‘in’! Saving is so important for all to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances, or to fulfill a dream/desire… Having some extra cash in your bank account at the end of each month definitely doesn’t hurt..its such a ‘feel good’ feeling – like an accomplishment.

    I have attended seminars and read lots of articles on saving. And ideally, you should have a contingency fund which is 6 times your salary/allowance/pay – that way, even if someone is kicked out of their work/someone’s business has doomed the next moment..they know, they have enough money for the next 8-10 months. Because considering the current rate of unemployed people, we can expect atleast 6 months of unemployment. I have friends who have been unemployed for more than 2 years!! *sigh*
    To start off with, 30% of your salary can become savings – no matter what happens, that 30% should remain untouhed! Soon, you will see the cash settling in your account, and you’ll definitely know you are saving! :) Saving for a brighter, better and secure future…

    I save, and I am proud of that!

    • danderma says:

      I read about that somewhere, the 6 months cushion thing but even the six months seem too little. I agree that at least 30% of your salary should be saved in the bank for the future unseen circumstances but apparently stating that around our society is not taken very well. I like your declaration, I save and I’m proud. I save and I’m proud as well :)

      • Ins says:

        hahaha… cheers!! :)
        & probably we should stop worrying about society now! Its better to keep our needs ahead of society needs/expectations.

        Great article! I follow your posts everyday since more than an year now. Good job! 😀

  3. Runt says:

    Well, I can’t speak for Kuwait, but seeing as that I’m from a neighboring country, it’s safe to assume it’s a fairly similar situation.

    Money has always been a ‘3eib’ topic to discuss, but nowadays you can talk about money all you want as long as it’s—directly or indirectly—about its abundance. However, with the mention of saving up/being economical/not being able to afford that 10,000 dollar designer bag (or simply refusing to spend that much money on a purse) suddenly everyone’s so uncomfortable. I think it’s because it takes away this illusion of wealth that everyone has worked so hard to maintain. We might be doing fairly well, but we can’t all be multimillionaires (despite being surrounded by them). You hear all these stories about people taking up loans to buy fancy cars, travel to Europe; all to be on equal footing with the rich and wealthy. We’ve attached our dignity and self-worth to how much money we make. If you make less money, you’re less of a person; so just bury yourself in debt and keep pretending w bokra y7elha alf 7ellal!

    • danderma says:

      Exactly! This is what I don’t understand, why is it that if I refuse to buy a bag for more than 500 KD then I’m labeled cheap and worse poor? Why is “poor” a bad label to begin with? How is it shameful exactly, not being a millionaire? It’s unnatural even to expect every single person in society being a millionaire and acting like it!