I remember many lessons in my youth about postponing today’s wants in order to reap a better reward tomorrow. The ability to do so is often a defining quality that separates those who are successful in life from those who are not. It is easy to look at others and think how lucky they have been; to be jealous of those who have great educations, wonderful jobs, or a solid retirement portfolio. We can feel sorry for ourselves and think that others have had bigger breaks, more valuable connections, or richer uncles. In most cases however, it comes down to sacrificing something today for something better tomorrow.
Some years ago check cashing stores began to become very popular. People who could not wait until Friday to get paid could, for a fee, cash a postdated check a week early at one of these establishments. Customers who frequented these businesses were often unaware of the high costs of the service, yet were likely the least able to afford it.
A new disturbing trend is developing today in which workers can use smart phone apps to get paid on a daily basis rather than waiting for payday. A popular fast food chain recently reported that 70% of its employees were currently using the app, which charges a $2 per day fee. The chain reported the wonderful results the app was providing, stating that absenteeism was way down as employees were much more likely to show up for work if they could be paid immediately. Though it may provide benefits to the restaurant, little benefit comes to an employee whose money management skills are already so poor that they need to be paid daily to survive. With the growing popularity of apps such as these could we be creating an entire generation that has no ability to budget, or to save?
If you cannot save money, if you lack the discipline or skills to budget at even a minimal level, then it will always be difficult for you to obtain the lifestyle you desire. It will also leave you constantly at the mercy of the ups and downs of the economy. You will have no ability to weather the storms, nor the benefit of being able to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Consider this. If your income was suddenly cut off, how long could you pay your bills before running out of money? If it is 6 months give yourself a high five. If it is 3 months you are doing better than most. Keep up the good work. If it is less than one month then you are living on the edge of a precarious cliff and need to adjust your financial habits immediately. We are currently experiencing a strong economy. Use these good times to set aside some funds and prepare yourself for the tough times that most certainly will happen again.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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