I want to Start a "not so new" idea for a New Year’s resolution. If you’re a Facebook user, how many times have you seen the post, "At the Coffee Shop for double latte....much needed!" What if instead, you posted, "I saved $200 this month toward my retirement goal...much needed!"
So, what does a post like that mean? It's really saying, "I spent a little less on coffee and instead saved $200 for my future.” I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to read post after post about fancy coffee or lunch at the newest restaurant. We post that, because it’s cool.
So why can’t saving be cool? Why can’t we get excited about saying, “Hey, today I saved $100 for my child’s college, my new house, or my retirement.” Unfortunately, the answer is most of us don’t want to talk about our savings. Why? Because most of us don’t save, or if we do, it’s not nearly enough, because we didn’t start soon enough. Saving is a journey, not a destination, so it’s harder to “Check In”.
Now, I wouldn't be a very good advocate for helping you prepare financially if I continued to just sit back quietly! So, let's take a closer look at the numbers.
On average people have less than $60,000 in their retirement plans.1 Do you think that will be enough to retire on? The answer is most likely a resounding NO! The average coffee shop patron spends $200 a month on lattes. If there’s 2 of you in the house, that’s $400.
Let's then take that $200 a month and invest it for 30 years. You could have accumulated over $542,016 toward your goals.2 Sounds way better than $60,000, right?
So how do we make saving cool? Here's a thought. Give your goal a clever name. I’d love to see a post like, “Saved $20 today at My Porsche,” or “Dropped $100 at the Beach House.”
Make it a real object, something tangible. Visualize it. Get excited about it. And it will become a reality. Be proud of saving for you vs spending on another cup of caffeine. So, change those posts! I dare you to be different. Be creative and take charge of your financial future! Start Saving and Start Saving Today!
And for those who absolutely can’t kick habit, just cut it in half. But do something! Your financial future rests on your shoulders alone. No one can do it for you.
And THAT is my not so new New Year’s Resolution!
1 Data gathered from Motley Fool, article dated 1/10/2015
2 Results may vary depending on investment selection. Past performance is no guarantee for future results. Numbers listed are from hypothetical results from American Funds illustration dated 12/09/2015. Investing $2,400 annually from 12/31/93 to 10/31/15.
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