It’s the new year and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who made resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, get in shape, join a gym, or exercise more. How many people do you think vowed to get their finances in shape?
If you’re going to stick to your resolutions or goals, you must have a good reason to do it. It can’t be someone else’s goal and it can’t be because everyone else is doing it. Just feeling like it’s a good idea isn’t enough. There has to be meaning behind it. I’m going to share with you the reasons that my wife and I choose to make saving money part of our everyday financial lives.
- Retirement. For most of us retirement is a long ways away, and the longer you put off saving for it, the longer away it’s going to be. Start early, make it a habit, and watch it grow over the long-term.
- Our daughters. We don’t want them saddled with a ton of college loan debt when they graduate. As parents, many of us spend a lot of time telling our kids they can be anything. In reality, if they graduate with student loan debt, they can be anything as long as it makes enough to pay the college loan payment. Who needs that?!?!? My wife and I were fortunate to graduate without any student loan debt and it put us in a great place for the future and we want to pass that same opportunity on to our kids.
- Vacation! We’ve been married over eight and half years. The first time that we actually took a real vacation other than just a weekend or so away was 2 years ago when we went to Disney World. After that, we decided that taking a family vacation was something we should be doing. The only option was to save up for the next one. No one should be paying off their vacation when the next one rolls around.
- Emergencies. Big problems aren’t so big when you’ve got a nice big pile of money in the bank.
- Car repairs and maintenance. We know we’re going to need your tires replaced and the oil changed. Instead of it throwing off our budget or messing up any other savings goals, we put a bit away each month to cover car items when they pop up.
- Purchases. Sometimes we save for a specific purchase, sometimes we don’t. If we don’t have a specific thing we’re saving for and a great deal comes along, we’ve got the cash there to get it. Plus, using cash makes us think twice as to whether we really need it since we’ve spent so much time building the savings up.
- FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY, and CHOICES! While money can buy you a lot of things, there are some things you can’t get on Amazon. Job got you down? See someone in need? When you’ve got money, you’ve got control. It buys you options and choices that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Those are just some of the reasons that we’ve made saving an important part of our financial life. If you’ve made any New Year’s resolutions this year, consider why you made them so you can stick to them!