How old will you be 10 years from now? 30? 40? 50? Let’s say 10 years from now you’ll be 50. That would mean you’re 40 now – 40 and poor and struggling to make money the same way you were struggling to make money at 30, the same way you were struggling to make money at 20. Doesn’t feel like decades have passed without bull returns? It doesn’t usually feel like much time is passing when you’re stuck in a rut. When things aren’t changing much it’s harder to appreciate the reality that time doesn’t stay unchanged along with your circumstances.
So here you are at 40 having the same financial picture as when you were 20, still wishing you had money, still wondering how to turn a few dollars into a few thousand dollars and starting to feel hopeless. But let’s imagine for the sake of making a point that when you were 20 you started saving a dollar per day. A dollar is not a lot of money. As poor as you and I are we can probably find a dollar lying around somewhere every day if we needed to find one. There are times while doing laundry that as many as $30 get retrieved from pockets, but that’s for another post about lacking respect for money. The point here is, most of us can afford to put away a dollar per day. “Put away” doesn’t mean put it in a lock box where you can access it when you’re short of cigarette money, although you could certainly do that, but you won’t be growing your money in the sense of multiplying what you put away. You’ll just be saving it in a lock box in your house and accumulating more of it as you save. By “put away” what is meant is to put your money in an account where it earns a monetary return.
So imagine if you were putting away a dollar per day every day since you were 20. By age 30 you would have $3,650 in an account somewhere collecting interest. By age 40 you would have $7,300 collecting interest. Without doing more than saving a dollar per day you could have made your money grow. And even if you were saving your money in a lock box under your bed and not touching it, your $7,300 could have served as a down-payment on investment property or a home for yourself if you didn’t own a home and were looking to buy one.
Most of us spend more than $1 per day on things we don’t need that fill a momentary impulse. If you kept tabs on the money you spend every day, at the end of the year you’d probably be shocked to realize you’re spending $500 – $1000 per year on things you didn’t need to buy. At $1000 per year, you’d have $20,000 in your lock box by now, or better yet in an account that is collecting interest. $20,000 is not a lot of money, admittedly, but it’s surely a whole lot more money than $0.
So what are you waiting for? Think it’s too late because you’re 40 already and 20 years from now you’ll be 60? Well 20 years from now you might find yourself age 60 right where you are now at age 40, where you were at age 30 and 20. Why is it impossible? Look at you now? Did you think 40 was going to find you still struggling financially, still with no money on the bank?
There are two things you should tell yourself right now:
1. There’s no time like the present
2. It’s better late than never
It’s time to stop being nonchalant and irresponsible with your money. To grow anything you first need to plant a seed. So let’s plant a seed and start growing some money the sure way.