A penny saved is a penny earned. Benjamin Franklin
There is a dirty, nasty S word people do not like – saving. I shared in the posts, 4 Reasons Why You Are (Maybe) Financially Struggling and 5 Things I Have Learned About Money, how saving has saved us many a times. It takes great discipline to save a few amount of dollars but once you save just a little, it becomes a gratifying empowering challenge to save more.
Yet, let me encourage you NOT to save. Get saving out of your head. Personally, ‘saving’ was always a word which looked like an expanse of money I could never achieve. Instead, I prefer what financial expert, Dave Ramsey, encourages which is to build an emergency fund. Like Ramsey, I want to encourage to get to out debt but before you go more in debt, begin building an emergency fund.
Lack of an emergency fund causes us to go into debt. Car issues, broken washing machine, refrigerator on the fritz, air conditioning goes out, etc. causes people to pull out a credit card to go more into debt get repairs. Yet an emergency fund will be available for most issues which could come up.
I encourage putting $100 safely away. This is not easy for most and it needs to only be the beginning. Begin there but $100 won’t cover 99 percent of emergency issues. You must the step of $500 be your next goal. This would cover more emergencies but a $1000 will cover most. Like Ramsey encourages, let $1000 be your goal (for one who is single, he encourages $500).
Don’t touch it.
Don’t think about spending it.
It’s not a vacation fund nor a Christmas fund. It is an emergency fund. It is to be used in an emergency and a new dress is not an emergency.
Beware: once you get to your goal or even close to your goal, an emergency is gonna happen to cause you to pull from your emergency fund. That is what it is there for . . . an emergency. Once the emergency is over, begin building it back up.
Once you get of debt, build your emergency fund until your emergency fund becomes your standard savings account. Your minimum balance should build from yesterday’s balance. If your account balance yesterday was $1200, begin building on that amount. Don’t go below $1200 unless you have an emergency and you will have an emergency. Yet, today’s balance becomes tomorrow’s plateau to build.
Saving brings a great peace of mind. I can’t reiterate this more. There is no peace like when your car or home breaks down and you have the funds to easily repair it.
Saving increases your generosity. When you don’t have it, you can’t give it. Your saved money will allow you to help family and friends in their time of need. There is no greater feeling than to assist someone in their true time of need.
Your savings depicts your wisdom. Proverbs 21:20 says precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Be wise and save so you can have great precious treasures and choice oils.
Your salary does not make you rich. It is your savings habits which makes you rich. Begin the discipline of building your emergency fund today then use that to build your savings. Remember, wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (Proverbs 13:11)