While it is commendable that the average amount of savings in America has jumped from around 1% to 3.1%, I believe we can do even better. Unfortunately, excuses pop into our heads to stop us from saving that much needed money for our future or a rainy day.
Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.
~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin (Cartoonists)
Those excuses that we fall back on pave the road to the future that we will be living in and dealing with. If we want a future that has a better safety net, whether it is 3 months from now or 30 years from now, we have to toss away the excuses and venture onward to a better quality of life. The excuses won't bring you the savings that you hope for. You have a mind and a will, use them to your advantage and, not to bring yourself down.
Start with a $2 savings plan, find small ways to trick yourself into saving or make your savings account a bill each pay period.
With determination you can find a way to save money; it may not be much, but it is something and that something is "money in the bank" better than an excuse! You can always find a way to do something if you are determined enough to look past the roadblocks and like a little two year old walking over their toys to get to Mommy, you too can walk over those roadblocks to the prize.
It is amazing the ways that we come into money when we least expect it, whether it is money found on the ground, gifts we receive or saved money we didn't expect. And let's not forget those vices that pull money out of our pocket that can be plugged and used to start that new savings account.
Saving money is one of the least time consuming areas of personal finance. You can set up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck to go to a retirement fund or a savings account. The time in setting this up is usually smaller than 15 minutes because companies have all the information ready to help you and banks are more than willing to talk with you on the phone to get you started with a paycheck deduction plan.
I love reading about teachers, garbage collectors, librarians, and the list goes on, who most people would not view as rich but with each dollar they set aside, they built up for themselves a better future and eventually a better future for someone else by donating their estate.
I always read those and am inspired that if they find the time to set aside their money, find the time to figure out what they value most and get rid of the excess, than I can as well. Ultimately, it isn't about not having the time to save money, but taking the time to save the money. If we can make time for when we go to the gym, when we watch a tv show, even when we help out others, then we can move up that priority to take the time to start saving as well.
Saving money doesn't need to be about stocks, bonds, CD rates or best banks. Just the fact that you are stuffing $20 in a jar and not spending it means you are $20 smarter than the person who isn't.
As your money grows larger in that jar you may feel that you want to gain more for your time with a good interest rate and that takes a few minutes to find a decent bank with a high interest rate.
And if you aspire to retire at 50, then as you save up your money, you have time to find the best route to attain your goal. But don't ever let a lack of education stop you. Determination can move you toward the goal you desire. Did you know that Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, had dropped out of school at 15? Or that Simon Cowell dropped out of boarding school at age 16?
If you are determined, you will find out how to save money, whether you have enough money, time or education. The question you first ask yourself is, "How much do I want this?"
Helen Keller said, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
We have a wonderfully creative mind that is made to move beyond obstacles, to take a look at life and create a better life from what we area given. Stop making excuses for yourself and step out into a better financial future for yourself.
Photos courtesy flickr/cc - brad montgomery and Nic's events