Why do I (or we) save money?

A lot of personal finance bloggers spend a lot of time and energy on how to save and cutting expenses. I personally think we do not write enough about why we save. Most of us need to see a "light at the end of the tunnel" to keep us on track. Today's post is intended to do just that!

Why do I save? Here is my list of reasons in order of importance:

  1. Emergencies - I need to be financially prepared for most emergencies that can be thrown at me. These include: job loss or downsize, medical emergency, large unexpected expense, uninsured loss (deductilbles), and any other financial hit
  2. Retirement - I plan to be off the job market and enjoying life as soon as possible. The more I save the sooner I can get there. I have dreams of traveling the world and I need a residual income to fund this.
  3. Vacations - I put high value in this. I work hard for my money and everyone needs a break in order to stay sane. I use Delta Skymiles to book my flights and save enough for my room, entertainment, etc. This is my one "luxury" per year where I can let loose and have fun without worry.
  4. Self Employment - I want to eliminate debt and become a consultant so I can work when I want too. This requires a bit more savings in the bank to pad the lean times in the market. This is lowest priority for now.
  5. Larger Purchases - I currently have no large purchases in mind but I use this for cars, appliances, home repairs, or other more expensive needs that may come up over the years.
The bottom line here is: the reason we all need to save is to be able to do what we want more often (freedom and independence), not have to worry about where our food money will come from in later years (security), and to feel we are working towards a tangible goal and not just working to live (sanity). If you keep a clear vision such as mine above we can all have a better life and breathe easier each day. I look at savings, especially for retirement, as: The more I save today is me buying back my time in the future to do what I like to do. I don't want to work forever and the only way to stop working is to save today!

Why do you save and what for? Are you in line to meet your goal(s)?