Mar 8, 2012
Extinguish that fire, and save!
Let’s say you need to wash the dog, call your dad back, do your taxes, and take care of the fire that’s rapidly consuming your kitchen. It’s time to make a priority list! Let’s say you performed these tasks in the order they’re listed. By the time you tackle your taxes, there won’t be a house left to get those mortgage deductions.
The takeaway: prioritizing matters!
In this case, dousing the flames first is a no brainer. And here’s another no brainer: make savings a top priority! Now, of course there’s a caveat: if food and shelter are an issue, or emergencies pop up, your priorities will change. But in everyday life, as you’re crafting that superstupendous budget of yours, treat savings as if it were one of your most important bills. In a lot of ways, it is. Don’t go with the mindset, “Well, I’ll pay these important bills, get some needs, get some wants, and then if anything is left over, I’ll put it in savings.” That way of thinking isn’t going to get you an early retirement. You need to pay yourself first to get ahead!
You know your situation best, so make a plan, and write down some goals. Say you’d like to put $100 away per month. Instead of hoping it’s there on the 31st, put that money directly into your savings right along with your mortgage, utilities, and groceries. Make it a priority, and it’s far more likely to happen. All your other expenses tend to find a way to fit.
Steve knows that to get ahead, he needs to pay himself first. He’s also the kind of guy who puts out the kitchen fire before washing the dog. Like Steve, once you get in the habit, it’s really not too difficult to save. Start small and work your way up. Even $10 per month is INCREDIBLY better than no dollars per month. Keep in mind that the habit is far more important than the amount!