We hear all the time about the importance of saving money. For retirement. For your children’s education. For that car replacement you know you’re going to need someday. It all makes sense and we hear it all the time. So why do so few of us actually do it?
Well, there are a lot of reasons. And really, they’re all the same reasons that we procrastinate on anything in our lives. The need doesn’t feel urgent. We don’t know exactly what we should be doing. How much should we be saving? In what kinds of accounts? What are the best investments? We see complexity in the unknown and we avoid it. Or we feel like the amount we’re supposed to save is too much, so we do nothing instead. Or we have other tasks that feel like they need to happen now, so saving gets pushed to another time.
So how do we combat these obstacles and get to the task of actually saving? Remove the complexity. Remove the feeling that we need to start big. Make it easy. Just start. Start small. Start simply. Start anywhere really. Just start.
Does your company have a 401k? Do you feel like you can spare about $1 per day? If so, start contributing just $25 per month. Don’t worry about what it’s invested in. Just get the contributions going. If you don’t have a 401k, just set up an automatic monthly transaction into your savings account. It doesn’t matter that it’s not a retirement account. All that matters is that you’ve started the process of saving.
Maybe it’s not retirement where you want to start. Maybe you want to build up an emergency fund or start saving for that next car. Whatever the goal is, start small and start simply. Set up an automatic transaction to savings. The amount doesn’t matter at first. Just get it going.
The point here is to start. Once you get going, you’ll naturally become more engaged and the whole process will feel a lot easier. You can always make tweaks to the process later, so you don’t need to worry about getting everything perfect now. Just by getting started you’re putting yourself on the right path.