Save Money: Do As I Say, Not as I did
My dad used to say “There are always reasons but there isn’t always an excuse.” As often happens when one lives to middle age, it becomes obvious that your mom and dad may have more wisdom than you thought when you were 18 or 28 or even 38. Both of my parents were sensible with money and they tried to teach me to emulate that. Everyone, every single person that has even $10 to their name can take steps to maximize and/or save money. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to really and truly understand how the smallest financial decisions I was making were impacting my financial well-being until I was MUCH further along in life.
I will spare you the detailed explanations of the colossal wasting of money that I once did. You are making your own mistakes, you don’t really need to hear the specifics of what my mistakes really were unless it helps you, for example, to know that because I didn’t have great health I didn’t expect to live to be even as old as I am right now.
Well guess what, here I am, decades later, so managing another even $2,000 dollars on hand would make not only my life better but also the lives of my family better. And I don’t even have children of my own. In short, “expecting to dropping dead,” was not really a smart plan for my later life!
Tiny Action Step to Save Money
You have to start where you are. I used to think that I didn’t need to worry about a diet soda every time I filled up the car with gas because, hey, it was diet, right, and I was single, and I loved having something on hand to drink when I was thirsty as my mouth tends to get dry very quick. but the thing is, if I had instead thrown the $1.50 into the bank even a couple times a week …that $2,000 a week would be in the retirement account, no two ways about it. So the truth is – I didn’t have to give up my darn sodas completely, I should have just given up some of them. Baby steps really add up!
I thought that there was only two ways to fly – doing exactly as I wanted, financially, when I wanted (i.e. if I had the money, I for the most part spent it.)- or else there was living a life of brutal privation never, ever doing what I wnted. The facts are, obviously, I would have served my future – and everyone else’s future that I care about – had I realized that there is a middle road.
Whether you are 16 or 77, know that there’s a middle road for you, too.