When you look around today, you see very few people with any type of a savings plan. It doesn’t seem like anyone is saving money. The sad fact is, most people are simply living paycheck to paycheck and just barely getting by. It’s no secret that today, just about everyone in our society is struggling financially. The values we were once taught by our parents years ago are thought upon as old fashioned in today’s society. I can remember during my childhood my parents teaching me that if you wanted something you had to save the money for it. If you didn’t have the cash then you just couldn’t get it. I also recall that part of the money we earned was put in a savings account. I don’t see that happening much today. I can also remember the times that I moaned and groaned about having to put money into that savings account. I mowed lawns in the summer and shoveled snow in driveways during the winter. I was completely against being forced by my parents to put back a certain percentage of my money into the savings account. It’s funny, my sister would even tell my folks that she made less than she actually did for babysitting just so she could hold back more of the cash she earned. Of course, like most parents, they found out about it and fixed her good. They took all of her babysitting money and put it in her savings account. We even were forced to put money we received on our birthday into the account. After graduating from high school, my parents shocked me. They gave me a nice gift for graduating of course, but they also gave me the passbook to my savings account I had all those years. You can imagine the surprise on my face when I seen the amount of money that was in my account. I had no clue about what compounding interest on your money actually meant. And I had no idea of the amount of money that I had saved over these eighteen years. It was more than enough to buy my first car. Unfortunately, too many adults fail to discipline themselves and have a savings account, let alone teach this to their children. It’s the truth. Instead of placing a high value on money in the bank, people gage your value on how much your credit limit is. Credit card companies and the banks all encourage this by advertising using credit to pay for everything. Buy today and worry about your finances later. I can only imagine how poor of a credit score my folks would have by today’s standards because they paid for purchases in cash rather than on credit card. A savings account was extremely important to them. Many times they would go without before borrowing money for something they wanted. It gave them a true appreciation for everything they had because they had waited to buy it until they could pay cash for it. It seems that today, people look at you different when you pay for a big ticket item with cash. They wonder why you’re not using a credit card and how you came upon that kind of cash.
I have hung on to that old savings account passbook over the years. When I stop to look back on how much money I had saved over my childhood years it doesn’t seem like a tremendous amount, but the values and the lessons it taught me are a part of how I operate my business affairs today. I still have an active savings account that I continue putting money in on a regular basis. I also have other savings and investments.
The lesson to be learned in all this is to look at the big picture. Don’t underestimate the power in starting a savings account, regardless of how much or how little you can open it with. If you haven’t started one yet I would highly encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
By: Terry Edwards