When I ask some people this question, they laugh. They tell me they are living from paycheck to paycheck and they cannot afford to put away anything for the future. They say that living in the present is hard enough much less looking forward to a time that hasn’t transpired. They use every excuse in the book why saving is not an option. They tell me about their expenses, and they tell me that they will save when they get a better job or when they inherit a large sum of money. They try to convince me that their situations are unique, and they will prepare for their futures whenever they can.
This scenario may be true for a small segment of the population, but for the vast majority, mismanagement of funds is the culprit. Whenever I had them to look at their spending habits and write down everything they purchased in a thirty-day period, they were amazed at the waste. Some of them purchased a four-dollar cup of coffee every day. Some of them went out to eat three, four or five times per week. Some of them got their nails and hair done weekly but did not have twenty-five dollars in savings. Some of them went to social events and charged their outfits, knowing they were buying something in which they would later have to pay interest. Some of them went to the movies, purchased popcorn and soda but hadn’t put any money away in months. Some of them went shopping for what they wanted and neglected the things they needed.
Once they had this picture on paper, it was an eye-opener. Every week they were squandering away their precious resources on trivial things. They were living for the moment, not thinking about the principle of saving for a rainy day.
Are you saving for the future? If you’re not, take a look at your spending habits. Write down everything you spend for a month. Once you have the picture on paper, you may be amazed at the outcome. If there are habits you need to change, start today. You may not have to cut out things permanently, but cut them out long enough to live comfortably if an emergency comes up. If you take heed, you won’t regret your decision. Because in the long run, having a small financial cushion will save you from a hard financial bump.