That is the response I got when I suggested to a young friend that we sit down and look at getting started planning for the financial future. I totally understand and respect the response. It is exactly the same response I would have given when I was that age. The future is a long ways away, and anything can happen. The worst part is, that “anything can happen” and usually does.
This is the typical plan. The problem with “I am not ready yet” leaves a gap in the plan sequence. From experience (mine and others) that gap can be worth millions of dollars of future benefits. The longer you wait to start, the larger the future loss. It begs the question, If not now, WHEN??
I think that the hesitation is that people feel that they don’t have enough money to start. We have been conditioned to think that big financial goals need BIG amounts of start money. We have also been conditioned, that Financial management, is very difficult, and is beyond the capabilities of the average person. That is total B… S… That is not true. But there is a determining factor!! It is (in my opinion only): how bad do you want your goal. How much effort are you willing to put into it?? Every outcome needs effort. Even getting out of bed requires effort.
Financial goals require effort. Either yours or someone else’s. They also require something very easy. GETTING STARTED!! Where do you start? By saving some money every month. There are only two rules to wealth accumulation. Rule 1. It is not how much you make, it is how much you save. Rule 2. It is not how much you save, but how hard your savings work for you. It is that simple.
Rule one is simple. Start saving money today!! Don’t think in the $100.00 range. Think $5.00 a week. That is 2 less Coffees a week, half a pack of cigarettes, collecting the coins in your pocket at the end of the day. $5.00 does not seem like much. “That will never get me anywhere.” But let me ask you a question, if you saw a $5.00 bill on the ground, wouldn’t you stop and pick it up? Would you feel really good about finding $5.00??
So why do you think that $5.00 is not enough to start saving?? If it is worth the effort to bend over and pick up, is it not worth saving that much? Saving $5.00 is just a satisfying as finding $5.00. It should even feel better, because YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!
“But I have no will power.” Remember, I said effort can either be your own, or someone else’s. So, get your debit card to help you. Most banks and credit unions will do what is called “rounding” of your purchases. When you buy something with your debit card, they round up the value and put the difference into your savings account. For example. Your large coffee costs $2.25. The bank will round up the purchase to $3.00. $2.25 goes to the coffee company, and $0.75 goes into your savings account. Saving $5.00 a week could not be easier. That takes care of Rule 1.
How about Rule 2. In a Savings account your money is basically on vacation. It does not work hard. That can be fixed. Have me come talk to you, and I can arrange to have $25.00 a month go into a decent Mutual Fund automatically, where your money will work much harder. You have just satisfied both Rule 1 and Rule 2. You have just become a SAVER and an INVESTOR in one go.
“But that is still not much money!!” But it is a START. Look what can happen. If you are 25 and do this till age 65, at 9%, your lousy $5.00 a week will be worth $101,360.00. I would be willing to bet that you have never had that much money before. Just so that you know the effects of waiting. If you wait 5 years till your 30, the same savings will only be worth $64,725.00. Waiting costs you $36,635.00.
The amount of effort on your part, in this scenario, is a trip to the bank to set up the rounding, opening another savings account, and having me come and visit you to set up the mutual fund account. By the way, I will bring the coffee to help you save. For me the coffee is a write off.