We should be piling up money in an emergency fund. We should be setting aside a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to help our kids get through college or university. But are we? Nope. That’s because we haven’t made the things we say are important into things urgent enough to do something about.
People come up with all kinds of great excuses for not setting aside any money for later. My favorites come from the folks who just don’t want to stop doing what they’re doing. From the small expenses like their smartphone’s data plan, to buying $5 cups of coffee or dropping the odd $20 on new make-up, people are spending on stupid crap even as they don’t save a cent. The consumption feels more urgent than the need to save.
Believe it or not, you don’t HAVE to get a blow-out. And if you already own 2 pairs of runners, the next pair is sheer indulgence. So is that bottle of nail polish, the new DVD, or the beer after work. Whether you’re a newbie nester who is determined to make her home picture-perfect or a fast-foodie who drops a ton on specialty coffee, lunch out at work and dinner with friends every weekend, your spending habits are all distractions from savings. How much would you have available to save if you chopped back on the Stupid Spending?
If you want to be “urgent” about savings, here’s what you’ll do:
1. Set a goal. Decide how much you want to have saved and by when. Write it down and post it on your fridge, on your office wall, on your bathroom mirror.
2. Go over your spending and decide what you’re going to stop spending money on so you have the money to save.
3. Do it. Save.
4. Track your savings and reward yourself for each milestone you hit.