Imagine working a full day and having nothing to show for it because your expenses – commuting, lunch, work attire, etc. – cost just as much as you made that day.
You probably wouldn’t be too pleased. In fact, you’d probably find another job. One that nets you more than zero.
When thinking about this scenario within the context of a single workday, it’s easy to understand why you wouldn’t settle for net zero
Why is it then that when a day becomes a week and the weeks string together over the course of a career the majority of Americans are still settling for next to nothing?
Netting zero (or close to it) is just what living to paycheck to paycheck is. It’s what failing to save is. It’s what an empty retirement account is and it’s what nearly half of Americans are settling for.
We often think about saving money as a practice of deprivation and sacrifice. But when you zoom in on a single workday, I doubt you consider walking away with something to show for your efforts as sacrificial – even if it means passing on a pricey midday meal or an indulgent afternoon pick me up or post work happy hour.
As much as you might enjoy those occasional indulgences, you want your 8 hour day, 40 hour week and 40 year career to afford you more than lunch, coffee and cab rides.
You want choices, not just in the here and now, but tomorrow too. That’s what saving money is all about – not what you have to give up, but all you stand to gain.
[tweetthis]Saving money is not about what you have to give up, but all you stand to gain.[/tweetthis]
To maximize your gains, try thinking about your paycheck as you do your take home pay at the end of the workday.
Just as you don’t expect to spend the entire day’s pay at the end of each day, stop operating under the assumption that you have to spend your entire paycheck by the end of each week.
If you build an expectation of savings into your week, just as you do your day, you’ll be able to set aside more – affording you more choices, and fewer sacrifices in the long-term.
Once you’ve adopted a savings mindset, the how-to and follow through becomes much simpler.
The latest episode of #MoneyMinute breaks down how to get started…
There’s no big secret, if you want to save money you have to spend less than you earn. So you have two options, spend less or earn more, or better yet, do both. The more you can widen the spread between your spending and you earnings, the more money you can put to work for you in savings and investment accounts.
So comb through your spending, identify expenses you can reduce, rethink or renegotiate and at the same time, assess your earning potential, identifying opportunities to ask for more or cultivate additional income streams. The more you work both ends of the equation, spending less and earning more, the more you can set aside in vehicles that grow your wealth exponentially.
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