Some years ago, while presenting “Stuff Worth Knowin’ About Money, Practice, and Life” at a national meeting, I observed eight young ladies in matching uniforms walk out shortly after my introduction. I thought perhaps they discovered that they were in the wrong room, but they returned ten minutes before the end of my program toting bags filled with stuffed animals, tooth brushes, and other goodies from the exhibit hall. I remember thinking at the time, that, if they had just waited ten minutes, they’d have learned how to become financially secure and enjoy a life filled with choices instead of freebies.
That reminded me of a long-ago incident with a young banker who witnessed me placing some silver dollars in my safety deposit box. She commented that she wished she was rich, because then she could buy some too.
I asked her if she drank the coffee offered by the bank to its customers and employees. She replied that she bought hers at Starbucks each morning on the way in. Asking what that cost, she advised me that it was about four bucks a cup. I asked her if she brought her lunch from home, only to learn that she “dined out” to get away from work, and that she spent about six dollars every day.
When I pointed out that she was spending some fifty dollars each week on elective purchases, and that she could buy numerous silver dollars simply by changing her spending habits, she just stared at me. But when I observed that saving fifty dollars a week for forty weeks each year would enable her to put $2,000 a year into a Roth IRA, it was clearly a “lightbulb” moment.
The wealth we accumulate throughout life is dependent upon how much we save, how long it’s been saved, and the average rate of return on those savings. Increase any factor, and wealth increases as well. Saving even a little bit early in life, then, makes an incredible impact over time.
If you’ve never figured out how to save for the future, carefully assess your current spending and develop a realistic budget. Allow for fun, but make some small sacrifices now to secure your ultimate financial freedom. You can do it!
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Stuff Worth Knowin’ About Business, Practice and Life
Contemporary, pertinent, and useful information regarding money, practice, and life. Consider life’s challenges and benefit from Dr. Kerr’s personal experiences – both good and bad! Examine stress management and life planning techniques. Learn ways to improve your chance for financial success, and consider the needs of loved ones as the years pass.
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“A penny saved is a penny earned.”