How saving gives you peace of mind

January 15, 2020

Healthy money habits deliver a sense of well-being, no matter how much we earn.


How much money do you have right now in your savings account? If you’re anything like the average American, it may not be much at all. 

“The state of our finances can weigh heavily on us,” says empowered money coach and Blissful Budget founder Rachel Peavy. “It gets tied to our idea of how well we believe we can provide for ourselves and our families. When we feel there isn’t enough, we have the sense our survival is being threatened.”

Practicing healthy money habits can translate to a positive outlook, and allows for more opportunities to take calculated risks in life. “I love seeing my clients build their cushion of savings,” she says. “That growing safety net often translates to a deep sense of accomplishment – and the confidence to take risks, like making a rewarding career change.”

 According to the research, when it comes to overall life satisfaction, our “liquid wealth” (i.e., the balance in our checking and savings accounts) better predicts well-being than the tally of our raw earnings or investments.

“Many individuals believe increasing income or total wealth will improve their happiness,” the study claims. “[But] they may also benefit by building a financial buffer in their checking and savings accounts. We found this buffer to be associated with improved well-being regardless of how much a person earns, invests, or owes.”

Given the correlation between a consistently higher amount of savings and greater overall satisfaction in life, why do so many Americans have so little savings?


Money and power: How beliefs can hold us back

“Many people feel powerless just thinking about money,” Peavy explains. “They think they need to be finance experts to get it right. And it’s an unfortunate misperception, because the truth is that each of us is very capable of working with money to build a rewarding life, whatever that looks like to us.”

Since issues around money are inherently emotional, Peavy takes an approach to money coaching she describes as “both spiritual and practical.” And it starts with examining our beliefs.

“We have all these beliefs or stories about our money in our heads,” she says. “Sometimes we create them ourselves; sometimes we take them on because they’re what our families believe. Examples would be, ‘I’ll never have enough,’ or ‘I have no idea what I’m doing,’ or ‘Money is bad,’ or ‘Money is all that matters.’

The stories, she says, affect the way each of us approaches our relationship to money. “Until you address the underlying beliefs, even the smartest budget in the world won’t take you very far.”


Save – and spend – with purpose

Once you start to crack the code on what beliefs or stories are keeping you stuck, Peavy says it’s time to make a plan. “A lot of overspending comes down to a lack of planning. So I work with my clients to customize a roadmap that takes into account their beliefs and their habits. For example, ‘Cut spending in half, and divert that flow to savings.’

“Regardless of the plan, it’s important to know why you’re saving in the first place. When intention informs your saving habits, the peace of mind saving money generates becomes a reward unto itself. I love watching my clients find that sense of empowerment that comes from knowing they’re fully capable of providing for themselves.”


5 steps to blissful budgeting

What does blissful budgeting look like, anyway? Peavy offers a behind-the-scenes look at how she guides her clients through their process: 

  1. Take stock of what’s coming in and what’s going out: “This step can be the hardest for many,” she says. “People often fear even looking at their finances. But once the numbers get out in the open, there’s this sense of relief: Now we have something to work with.” 
  2. Sign up for a money tracking service: Check in with a tracker like Mint or Clarity Money to see where your money is going. “I suggest setting a ‘money date’ with yourself on a daily or weekly basis. Make it a ritual you genuinely look forward to. A cup of tea, nice music … make it an enjoyable experience.” 
  3. Set clear intentions for your money: Once you have a firm handle on where the money is going, consider what motivates you. What brings you happiness? With whom do you want to spend more time? “If you’re not already prioritizing these things,” Peavy says, “that’s where the work begins. Once we connect the things we feel passionate about to the act of saving money, something interesting happens: We actually get the same dopamine hit from saving money that we get from spending it.” 
  4. Start seeing money differently: “I encourage my clients to stop looking at money as a finite resource over which they have no control. Money is energy: energy that flows. Some of that flow gets directed toward fixed expenses and variable expenses. Some, however, we can deliberately divert to support what we value. “Focusing on what’s important to us helps shift the perspective from saving as something that takes money away from us to something that actually enhances our lives.”
  5. Get in touch with your emotional triggers for spending unnecessarily: Do you ever find yourself in your favorite store, wanting to make a purchase … but know you can’t really afford it? Do you wind up shopping online, even when you don’t need anything? “Pause, and breathe,” says Peavy. “Take several minutes to investigate the feelings behind these impulses. Where exactly in the body do they arise? What does the resulting money behavior ‘mask’ or fill? The answers to these questions give you all sorts of valuable information about what you actually need on a deeper level, so you can focus on that instead of the excess spending.”

Peavy recommends putting a roadblock into place for moments when spending is harder to resist. “Put protections in place so you have to think a bit longer before making the actual purchase. If you’re an online shopper, that might be as simple as deleting your credit card from Amazon. And then celebrate the relief; the peace of mind you feel when you override that impulse and stick to your intentions.”


Ready to start healthy money habits? Read on to learn how you can make your accounts work harder for you.

Related content

Booming in the gig economy: A new chapter leveraging 45 years of experience

6 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

Your guide to starting a job: Resources to help along the way

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

7 financial questions to consider when changing jobs

Webinar: 5 myths about emergency funds

How to best handle unexpected expenses

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

Building confidence in your finances and career

How to financially prepare for pet costs

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Money Moments: 3 smart financial strategies when caring for aging parents

Financial gifts can be a valuable – and fun – choice for the holidays

5 myths about emergency funds

What military service taught me about money management

Save time and money with automatic bill pay

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

What applying for store credit card on impulse could mean

Are savings bonds still a thing?

Certificates of deposit: How they work to grow your money

Does your side business need a separate bank account?

How I kicked my online shopping habit and got my spending under control

What you need to know as the executor of an estate

Webinar: Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

How to save money while helping the environment

What documents do you need after a loved one dies?

Stay on budget — and on the go — with a mobile banking app

Make holiday gift giving easier in a digital world

6 questions students should ask about checking accounts

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

Does your savings plan match your lifestyle?

7 steps to prepare for the high cost of child care

3 ways to keep costs down at the grocery store (and make meal planning fun)

How to financially prepare for a military PCS

Growing your savings by going on a ‘money hunt’

Financial Wellness Assessment

U.S. Bank asks: Transitioning out of college life? What’s next?

Military finance: How to create a family budget after military service

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Starting a family

Essential financial resources and protections for military families

Friction: How it can help achieve money goals

How to manage money in the military: A veteran weighs in

How to Adult: 7 tax terms and concepts you should know

Webinar: Common budget mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

First-time homebuyer’s guide to getting a mortgage

When your spouse has passed away: A three-month financial checklist

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

How can I help my student manage money?

Managing your finances in the military

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Common unexpected expenses and three ways to pay for them

College budgeting: When to save and splurge

Steer clear of overdrafts to your checking account

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

5 tips for parents opening a bank account for kids

Should I itemize my taxes?

Your 4-step guide to financial planning

Managing money as a military spouse during deployment

What is a Certificate of Deposit? And what to know before opening an account

Why a mobile banking app is a ‘must have’ for your next vacation

The banking app you need as a new parent

Working with an accountability partner can help you reach your goals

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

5 ways to maximize your garage sale profits 

LGBTQ+ financial planning tips

How I did it: Transitioned from the military to a private sector career

How to Adult: 5 ways to track your spending

How to plan and save for adoption and in vitro fertility treatment costs

Four ways to make a strong resume for your first real job

Tips for handling rising costs from an Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing coach

What does FDIC mean?  

Is raising backyard chickens a good idea financially?

3 financial tools to help automate your finances

5 things to deinfluence in your finances

5 tips for creating (and sticking to) a holiday budget

Should you buy now, pay later?

Financial checklist: Preparing for military deployment

Planning self-care moments that matter (and how to finance them)

5 things to consider when deciding to take an unplanned trip

Stay committed to your goals by creating positive habits

An eco friendly debit card with roots in Haiti

6 pandemic money habits to keep for the long term

How to decide when to shop local and when to shop online

A who’s who at your local bank

Webinar: Mobile banking tips for smarter and safer online banking

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Wedding

Webinar: Uncover the cost: International trip

How having savings gives you peace of mind

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

3 awkward situations Zelle can help avoid

Allowance basics for parents and kids

What’s your financial IQ? Game-night edition

How and when to ask for a raise

How to choose the right rewards credit card for you

Things to know about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

3 tips for saving money easily

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

U.S. Bank asks: Do you know your finances?

U.S. Bank asks: Do you know what an overdraft is?

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

How to save for a wedding

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

9 simple ways to save

A passion for fashion: How this student works the gig economy

Earning in the gig economy: Gladys shares her story

By the numbers: The gig economy

Tips for working in the gig economy

How compound interest works

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

Checking and savings smarts: Make your accounts work harder for you

Lost job finance tips: What to do when you lose your job

Tips to raise financially healthy kids at every age

Money management guide to financial independence

First-timer’s guide to savings account alternatives

Money Moments: 8 dos and don’ts for saving money in your 30s

Tips and resources to help in the aftermath of a natural disaster

Myths vs. facts about savings account interest rates

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Money Moments: How to manage your finances after a divorce

Money Moments: 3 tips for planning an extended leave of absence

Overdrafts happen: Steps to get you back on track

What’s in your emergency fund?

P2P payments make it easier to split the tab

What you need to know about renting

Dear Money Mentor: How do I pick a savings or checking account?

Real world advice: How parents are teaching their kids about money

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

What I learned from my mom about money

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

Building a financial legacy for your family and community

Understanding guardianship and power of attorney in banking

How to increase your savings

Bank from home with these digital features

What financial advice would you give your younger self?

How to use your unexpected windfall to reach financial goals

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.