What does your future hold? Do you ever think ahead? Are you a dreamer? I am and it looks pretty darn good. Then I think a little harder and realize I am nowhere close to where I thought I would be at this age. UGH! I am not alone; many people have not taken ample time to sit down and think about their future. We tend to think we will always have another day to do this or do that but in reality, that’s untrue. For me, I have failed to grasp the concept of saving money, being debt-free, planning for retirement, figuring out when I can retire…
I work and pay my bills. Sometimes I have a little leftover to buy stuff I really didn’t need. I have a car payment I wish would disappear but my car allows me to get to work and the cycle continues. Here is the issue, if I work and pay bills and continue working to pay more bills and live paycheck to paycheck when do I actually have time to live my life to the fullest? I am seeing more and more people in their 60’s and 70’s that are falling behind and losing their homes, having their vehicles repossessed, having medical bills go to collections. Why is this happening? We live in a time where money should be in abundance if we work for it. So again, why are we falling short?
Many of us overextend ourselves financially; I am the perfect example. I think by paying my bills, buying groceries and gas, and eat out a few times a month I am living large. I didn’t have an emergency fund, I have plenty of credit card debt, and as mentioned, a car payment. Are you in the same boat? Are you sinking under mounds of debt and feel there is no way to chisel it away? How do I change this? How should we change this?
I have recently learned that saving is the way to go. It was an epiphany for me and when my eyes were finally opened to the concept of keeping some of my hard-earned money, I couldn’t believe it! Whaaat? Keep the money I earn and don’t give it to creditors? Why would I do that? HA HA.
With all my newfound knowledge, there are a few little steps you, too, can take to start making changes to keep money in your pocket. For me, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of all my debt, when payments are due and when they will be paid off. It was not pretty. Wow. I really do give a lot of extra money away that I could be set aside for my future. My friend doesn’t like spreadsheets. She is old school and is paper and pen all the way. She writes out her budget twice a month planning what will be paid. She budgets the amount of money she is putting into her savings accounts automatically as well. She pays herself first. I’m sure you have heard that before, but I never did.
She explained as such: she works and pays to have a roof over her head, food on the table, etc. She also works for herself. She is not self-employed but the money she earns needs to go back into her own pocket. By setting up automatic payments to go directly into savings accounts, they are part of her budget. She considers them bills so she never defaults on paying herself first. It started small around $10 per paycheck but the amount has grown substantially.
What do you do to save? What do your friends do? I could use some more ideas to reiterate the importance of staying on track and saving not only to pay down debt to become debt-free but to have some spare change to go out and live life without counting my pennies at the end of the day.
Do you need help getting started? Do you need motivation? I can use all the help I can get. Fill me in with your suggestions. I’m willing to listen…