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A question I get a lot is: Do I really have to start saving now? The answer is technically no. But the sooner you start saving, the more quickly you will be on the road to financial security.
Sure, you can put that off until you are older. But there really aren’t any good reasons to wait. The more you save now, the more interest you will accrue and the more time your investments have to mature. With that in mind, I will be running down six of the top reasons to start saving right this very moment.
You don’t Need to Keep up with the Joneses
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of spending just to feel like you are on the same level as your friends, family, and neighbors. But that type of rationale rarely does anyone any good. You continue to spend to try to keep pace with your peers and they keep trying to spend to one up you and the next thing you know, you’re both broke. Rather than always having to own the latest and greatest, consider what you really need to be happy. For most of us, it’s not much. If you have a roof over your head and reliable transportation, consider investing some of your extra liquidity into your financial future. Rather than wasting it on toys you don’t really need and excursions that will never make you truly happy, you can parlay your extra funds into something that will give you reason to smile: long-term financial security and peace of mind. Knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected and are taking proactive steps to prep for retirement well before the average American brings its own kind of happines. And that goes a long way.
Overspending Makes it Easy to Fall Behind on Credit Card Debt Repayment
Another pitfall of overspending rather than saving is that it makes it incredibly easy to fall deeper into credit card debt where you are only making the minimum payment on your cards and continuing to rack up balances, while barely scratching the surface on the interest. Overspending may feel good in the moment but investing in your future makes you feel good in the long term.
If you Don’t Have an Emergency Fund, you are far More Likely to Experience Catastrophic Financial Difficulties that Could Have Been Avoided
By investing any extra funds you can scrape together into an emergency fund, you will be prepared for the unexpected and ready to take on whatever life throws your way. Unforeseen car repairs or a pricey vet bill can really throw you for a loop and derail any progress you have made. But if you have an emergency fund socked away for just such expenses, you will be able to handle the unexpected and recover quickly. If you don’t have an emergency fund, find out how to start one right here. (Insert link).
It’s Impossible to Predict the Future
It may feel good to buy things you don’t need in the moment. But if you lose your job due to an unforeseen economic downturn, that could devastate your finances. However, if you sock away a portion of your income and diversify into a variety of low risk, long-term investments, even the unexpected won’t be able to get you down. Small sacrifices today can pay off in spades down the road. There’s no better feeling than knowing that no matter what the future holds, you are prepared.
If You Build Healthy Financial Habits Now, They Will Follow You into the Future
As I said earlier, there is no good reason not to start saving now. Any extra money that you have can be invested in your long-term financial health and doing so while you’re younger will keep you from having to worry about what life has in store for you when you are closer to retirement age.
Tax Season Has a Way of Creeping Up on You
I may sound like a broken record at this point. But if you are self-employed, you need to be saving for and paying in to quarterly taxes. The IRS charges interest and fees on late payments and that can all be avoided by planning ahead and ensuring that you are ready. It’s easy to say that you will start saving for taxes later in the year but most people find that the longer you put it off, the less able you are to save and the more trouble you find yourself in.