One of the most difficult habits to instill is saving. In this time we are living, too many of us want to experience a lifestyle that our current income cannot maintain while saving for our future. Before we realize it, our future is the present and we are in a bind. Forced working past the age of retirement that you would have desired to initiate your travel plans and other activities will not make you happy.
While reflecting on my younger days, I remember a couple of lessons learned about saving for the future. My goals were not lofty as a child except for the area of sports equipment. With limited means, my siblings and I purchased our own sports equipment if we wanted something beyond my parents’ budgeted funds for sports. This is where my saving habit came into existence. One of the most important lessons you can learn early in life is the habit of saving. Every child should be taught this valuable habit before graduating grade school.
During my childhood, I saved depending upon the item needed in life. For example, I needed a new baseball glove because George Brett of the Kansas City Royals said so and he was a Hall of Fame Player. (Well it wasn’t only that fact but I also liked the Wilson A2000 glove and how it looked on my left hand.). My parents took me to the sporting goods store and we looked at the gloves. There it was on the rack in front of me – the baseball equipment that would make me a Golden Glove Award winner!
I was smiling ear-to-ear until the salesman told me the price of the glove, $125. Ouch! I had saved $35 and thought it would get me a glove used by the great third baseman, George Brett. Lesson #1: The investment required for worthwhile items may cost more than you originally thought.
So, I went to work saving the remaining funds needed to buy the glove. To insure that the glove would not be sold when I returned, the salesman placed the glove in layaway for me. For the next several weeks, I would bring a payment to the store to be applied to the glove. After six weeks, I was in the store and smiling with a Cheshire Cat grin. I could take my glove home today!
This is where I learned my Lesson #2: Things don’t make you a better ball player, practice does. My new glove was my pride and joy. My abilities to play 3rd base did not immediately improve and I will a little disappointed with myself.
The moral of this story is that you may want to examine why you want something and allow time to pass before you buy on an impulse. Saving for your future should be a habit that we develop early in life. You will find that you are less stressed in life, prepared for inconvenient hardships that arise and are more prepared to take advantage of future opportunities. The great investor, Warren Buffett, began his savings habit while a little boy. This habit helped him become one of the wealthiest people in the world. I am not saying we will all be as rich as Warren Buffett but I am saying you may enjoy a pretty good lifestyle.
If you need help finding a strategy for saving that creates your bigger future, seek out a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. This is one habit that will serve you well in life. See you on the golf course!