By Lana Moline
Childhood is the best time to begin saving for the future. It’s also the easiest because there is never a shortage of investors. If kids were to save all the birthday money, holiday money and the money they get just because – then that would be a small fortune. But kids, much like adults, spend it almost as quickly as it comes. There’s always something that we want, something we’ve had our eye on or that thing that we got to have. Granted, we are supposed to take care of ourselves. But we have to remember to save some for a rainy day.
My mother started doing something a long time ago that I’ve come to really appreciate. She started saving dimes in one of those 5-gallon water jars. She said many times that she was saving for her grandkids’ tuition and this was even before she had any. Over the years, I didn’t think much about it and forgot it was even there. But hurricanes, high gas prices and high prices of everything else brought it back to me.
I love that she did that and I’m thinking about how to take it one step further. Maybe, we could throw in all the change in our pockets, purses and from purchases for a year at a time without touching it. Then at the start of following year, dump, sort and count everything that was saved. Then bring it to a financial institution to invest. And after all of that – start all over.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned was at a Brokerage Firm where I interned in college. Since I had access to a team of stockbrokers, I sat down and asked them about setting some financial goals. After considering my age, they calculated projected cost increases over the next 10 to 20 years and then explained what I needed to be mindful of going forward. The first thing was to commit to saving at each increase regardless of the amount. Immediately save a nest egg that would sustain me for several months in case of emergencies and then invest. I learned how I could work toward several goals such as early retirement or college funds for kids down the line by using earnings from side jobs and hobbies in addition to my salary.
It’s a mindset, plain and simple. Careful planning + living within your means = securing a financial future.
Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at www.lanamolinespeaks.wordpress.com