This post isn’t really for all of you, although I suspect many of you can relate to it.
No, this post is really for me. It’s a message I need to hear every now and again.
I’ve always been a saver. I would squirrel away any bit of money I came across and plan any splurges very carefully. I saved every penny of my salary that I could when I was working so that I could become a stay-at-home mom to our three boys.
We were doing fine with our savings goals. Life was good.
But I’ve noticed a change in our finances the past couple of years. It is getting really hard to save money. We’ve had some major car repairs and unexpected home expenses that have drained our savings. My husband hasn’t gotten a pay raise in 7 years. The cost of everything is up, up, up. The money I make from this site used to be “extra” money, now it is necessary part of our budget.
I’ve been trimming expenses and crunching numbers and making lots of tough decisions when it comes to our budget. I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what happens, I need to do one thing:
Keep saving even when things are tough.
Even if I only save $20 this month, it is still $20 I will have in the bank for a rainy day. The amount that I save isn’t as important as the action of saving. Stop saving, and it is way too easy to start accumulating debt.
This frugal living journey we are on is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are going to be times that the road is long, the climb is hard, and the finish line is nowhere in sight.
But we have to keep going. Why? Because you can’t afford not to! As Dave Ramsey said early this week – you have to prepare for a rainy day because IT IS GOING TO RAIN!
Stuff happens. Unexpected stuff like garage foundation problems. But stuff you expect happens, too, like needing to put new brakes on the car. Having a little bit of money in savings makes a huge difference. It’s the difference between freedom and the shackles of debt.
So today, when you are feeling discouraged, look around you. What items could you sell at your next garage sale? How much money in coins is in that basket on the dresser? What coupons could you use on your next shopping trip? Which of your frugal friends could you call up right now and commiserate with?
Every little bit that you can save helps ensure a life with less worry and more joy.
Saving money is a habit – a very good habit, and it’s important to keep at it, no matter what.
For more posts on future planning and retirement planning, visit Women’s Money Week.