An online survey was recently carried out on 100 Japanese men in their 30s with an annual salary of 6 million yen (US$61,000) or less who have nevertheless managed to amass more than their annual income in savings, and the results were really quite surprising. The men’s answers seem to overturn the common wisdom on how to save money, resulting in a list of characteristics that natural savers share.
I always imagined thrifty types would hang on to all their old junk in case it came in handy, but for some reason, the men who have proved themselves to be great at saving money also tend to excel at throwing things away and… reading maps.
The common lifestyle habits of 100 excellent money savers in Japan:
1. Rather than giving advice, they more often ask for advice themselves (88%)
2. Find it easy to throw unwanted possessions away (86%)
3. On the weekends, rather than spending more time sleeping, they like to get outside in the open air (85%)
4. In their 30s, they maintain the same body shape they had in their 20s (74%)
5. Rather than having a small circle of close friends, they tend to have many acquaintances (71%)
6. Have changed occupations (55%)
7. Are especially good at reading maps (41%)
8. Always bathe before going to bed (35%)
9. Whether it’s business or personal, always arrive earlier than the appointed time (34%)
10. Are quick to reply to correspondence (24%)
*Survey carried out on 100 single or married men in their 30s earning salaries less than $60,000 with savings of more than their annual income.
The unexpected result in this survey was the high percentage who were great at throwing things away. You would think that if these guys are so good at saving, anything they purchased with their hard-earned cash they’d hold onto and use for as long as possible just to make sure they had their money’s worth, but it seems that’s not usually the case. One man explained that he was not so attached to things in the first place. Content with a bare minimum of furniture, he didn’t feel a burning need to possess the newest TV or Xbox.
Also surprising was the kind of friendships generally enjoyed by savers: 71% said they had a “wide circle” of people they know but maybe aren’t so close to. It would seem logical that the more friends you have, the more you’d have to spend money on them. But wait… maybe if you aren’t all that close to people, you can easily bail at an early stage of the evening without the risk of offending anyone, and save a lot of money on all those rounds of sake bombs later on…
Some financial planners have said that spatial awareness or an ability to read maps well (number seven) is correlated with an ability to plan long-term. But come on, is any guy going to admit he’s not amazing at reading maps?
To sum up, these are a fine set of highly admirable characteristics. Now where do these men live, how many are really single, and how can I get hold of their phone numbers??