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3:35 am - Monday September 26, 2016

The Little Savings That Could

| Money Saving Tips, Philosophy | Rating: 4.5
by Numan

The heap paradox as a powerful metaphor with surprising results.

Making the long and tedious process of saving small sums of money more rewarding and more tangible is a formidable effort. We all lose hope when we only manage to save 100$ each month, thinking desperately we will never get to see them amount to anything significant.

Sure enough, becoming wealthy is easier when you’re able to save significant sums of money on a timely basis. However, we shouldn’t neglect the smaller sums saved as they also have a key role is creating wealth.

I’ve recently re-read a very interesting paradox named the Sorites paradox (Greek for heap paradox). The paradox is attributed to Eubulides of Miletos who lived in 4th century BC and goes as follows: Consider a heap of sand of which grains are removed one at a turn. With each grain removed the heap gets microscopically smaller but is still a heap. However, is it still a heap should one grain remain? Or ten grains for that matter? When was it that the heap ceased being one?

The paradox can also be considered the other way around. One grain of sand is definitely not a heap, yet continuously adding individual grains will eventually result in a heap of sand. I assume you can already see where this is going.

The philosophical question is very interesting in itself and has to do with concepts that lack boundaries. However, the day to day application of this metaphor is even more powerful. A heap will eventually gather. We won’t necessarily get to see the moment it transforms from grains to a heap but we will get to see the heap at he end of the process.

Saving even the smallest amounts of money in a timely and consistent manner will eventually results in decent savings in the long term. The power of compounding interest mixed together with time and discipline will eventually work for you as well. You won’t notice the exact moment your monthly deposits became a worthy sum. But it will eventually become one.

Saving is a long term and tedious effort. Making it tangible and rewarding is very important for consistent success.

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