Saturday | April 30, 2022
Step 7 – SAVE
Roadblock #1 – What am I saving for?
From an early age we are taught that saving is good. As children, many of us took our birthday money and set aside a portion for the church, a portion for savings, and a portion for spending. But is all saving good? Do we really know what we are saving for?
Step 7 assumes you have a healthy emergency fund (step 4), have started capturing all retirement benefits from work (step 5), and have your consumer debt under control (step 6). Those are all foundational issues. But at this point in the journey, some will begin to see discretionary income. Is there a “right” answer for where those funds should be directed? Should you just start saving everything? If so, how do you know when you have “enough”?
Step 7 calls for you to be intentional about your savings. Go back to step 1 and take another look at your priorities. If you have discretionary funds, it is important to work purposefully toward fulfilling your goals. For example, if you need more money than step 5 provides for retirement, you can start another retirement account. If you have kids that will need funds for college, you can save for their education. If traveling as a family is a priority, start a vacation fund. If you have a goal of owning your own home, by all means save toward that goal! Everyone’s savings plan will be different and the priorities from step 1 will help define your personal plan. An advisor can also be helpful at this point in the journey.
If you don’t have a purpose for your savings, psychology teaches us that you will be less likely to save at all. It is more likely that your discretionary funds will be spent along the way without intentionality. Or at the other extreme, you will simply hoard to avoid feelings of never having “enough”.
Saving is good … most of the time. But be sure you know WHY you are saving. You will reap the rewards in your financial and mental health.
Content from Crescendo Interactive.
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