Do you remember Lucy from Peanuts and how she became ecstatic when Charlie Brown dropped a nickel into the can at her psychiatry booth? She was right. It sounds/feels good knowing that money is there. The trick is keeping it there and making it grow.
It’s not so difficult to understand, the need to save money. We all understand the theory behind it, and I can’t think of a person who would disagree with it. Can you? Who wouldn’t want to have money on hand for any variety of things? Then Junior’s college tuition doesn’t hurt so much, we can take that trip to Hawaii or Europe, or anyone of a dozen other things we want to do.
A Matter of National Importance
Along with just having money on hand to do the things we want, savings is vital
to the strength of the national economy.
The amount we save from our paychecks and the percentage we save either strengthens or weakens our banks. Right now less than four percent of American households—3.8%–actually have any kind of savings. That’s sad. Dangerous. And worse if things continue on the current path, it’s going to drop even further over the next few years.
As we save more money as a people/nation, it stimulates economic growth, because banks are more stable and have more liquidity. It also reduces our national dependence on foreign banks and lenders for money.
It’s a sad fact that right now of the top twenty banks
in the world, the first four are Chinese. An American bank doesn’t enter the list until number seven, JP Morgan Chase, and that’s down from sixth place last year. The next one is in 9th
place. Sad, sad, sad. And it’s all because people aren’t saving as much money these days.
More Money Equals Personal Freedom
Just, like Lucy Van Pelt, amateur psychologist, it feels good to have that money as a back-up, or for projects we’d like to undertake, or just knowing we’re solvent enough to ride out the storms.
There’s a lot more breathing room when we’ve got a substantial cushion.
What if the perfect opportunity came along and we had to turn it down because there’s no money in the bank? Or what if the car needs a major repair and you don’t have the money for it, and you wind up digging the debt-hole even deeper because of it. The fact is most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings
. You can’t even break your leg these days for that little money. To say nothing of fixing the car.
Stress over money is one of the major causes for divorce, one of the major causes of ulcers, lack of sleep and a whole host of stress-related problems, including heart attacks. In fact a majority of illnesses can be traced back to stress.
Stress lowers the body immune responses, and makes us more prone to all kinds of health problems.
Money in the bank brings us freedom in so many more ways than we realize.
The Good News—It’s easier than you think.
Don’t get depressed. There’s good news. Great news, in fact.
It’s all in your control, and it’s easier
than you think.
Part of the problem is we think we have to have tons of money right away. And that’s the killer. That’s what stops us dead in our tracks toward our financial freedom.
Stop thinking big. (That’s one of the only times you’ll hear me say that.) Start small. You don’t have to put $500 in savings immediately. Start with $30 out of your next paycheck. That’s the equivalent of giving up a latte and a half at Starbucks a week each month. See, what I mean, it’s that easy. (There are all kinds of different investment strategies
for saving, but that’s for another time.)
Another simple thing
to do is pull small bills from your wallet–$1 and $5 bills. Put them away and make a bank run every month. You’ll be surprised how quickly those little things add up. Or put all of your spare change into a bank at the end of the day. That adds up quickly too. An associate of mine did that to pay for his haircut each month.
Another way to save money is stop using your debit and credit cards to pay for everything. When the money is out of sight, it’s easy to just swipe the card, without thinking how much money you’re actually spending. This leads to overspending, overdraft fees (remember we’re trying to save money here) and those aren’t good. This also makes you aware of exactly how much your spending and what you’re spending it on. It also gives you the ones and fives to squirrel away. Start paying with cash.
Find something that works for you personally.
For me, if I put the money in the bank, it sits there and mocks me and dares me to spend it. And I do. So I learned to compensate. My savings plan is buying gold. I always have to get something for my money. So I invest it in gold. If I need some extra cash, gold is easy to sell, and usually at a profit. Right now you might now have the money to do buy gold as your means of saving. That’s okay.
The trick to making this work is find a savings plan/idea that works for you, and do it consistently. And start now. It’s all in your hands. It’s that easy.
You really do have all the power.