Imagine you’re eating a dish of ice cream from your favorite ice cream shop. You’ve got two scoops in the bowl. But your friend (who is dieting) wants just a bite, so you give them a spoonful.
Now go ahead and finish up the rest of the bowl. (Mmmm, mine’s strawberry.)
Did you enjoy it? Was it good?
More importantly, did you miss the bite you gave to your friend?
Cutting back without feeling deprived
Most of us don’t sit around thinking about how deprived we are because we gave a bite of ice cream to our friend. We don’t think of that as “cutting back”, and we don’t go around talking about how we’re “giving up a spoonful of ice cream” as our New Year’s resolution.
Instead, most of us wouldn’t give it a second thought, and we certainly wouldn’t notice the spoonful we didn’t eat.
But a spoonful of ice cream is about 10% of two average-sized scoops of ice cream.
10% probably sounds familiar.
That’s because 10% can make you rich
Consistently putting away 10% of your salary toward a long term goal can make an enormous difference. In fact, 10% of your salary can make you rich over the long term if you invest it wisely and consistently.
10% of a bowl of ice cream isn’t very much. It’s no big deal.
It’s only when you think things like “How can I ever save 10% of my salary?! That’s an extra X thousand dollars!” that you get overwhelmed and it seems like a huge amount.
Yet many of us regularly spend more than 10% of our salary on things that we don’t even have any longer without giving it a second thought.
The thing is, 10% really isn’t very much in comparison to the other 90%, no matter how big of a number you’re dealing with.
Reach that big goal
So if you have a big goal (especially a long term one) try having 10% of your money taken out of your check and automatically put into savings or investments. Just pretend taxes went up and the new amount is what you have to work with. Then focus on the other 90%.
If 10% still seems like too much, start with 1%. I guarantee that you’re highly unlikely to notice the difference. Then gradually up it 1% at a time until you’re meeting your goal.
Go ahead: Use the power of a bowl of ice cream to secure your financial future.Posted in Money Management on 05.26.14 with no comments.