The holidays were brutal. I spent a solid 6 weeks with 2 very energetic toddlers and got very little rest. It was a little painful.
In any event, spending all that time with them reminded me of a few things that children do that can be applied to your finances, and life in general.
My children are born 2 years apart and fight constantly. Their biggest issue is having to share things – toys, treats and mommy’s lap. Unfortunately (and I say this with a lot of guilt), the holidays were rough so the one with the loudest shriek and most animated tantrum at that particular time won.
Imagine, for one second, that you treated saving and investing in the same manner – you became selfish about it. Regardless of what was going on in your life, regardless of how much you wanted to splurge on a frivolous item, you prioritized saving/investing first.
Keep it simple
Have you noticed how simple children can be. Their lives are overcomplicated because of us! For example, all the fancy food that I buy and cook is wasted on them. All my children want are 2 minute noodles, plain spaghetti (yes, plain), plain baguette (the toppings are for my amusement), and pap with milk (imagine that!).
Managing your finances requires much of the same – don’t overcomplicate things. Keep your financial plan as simple as possible. There’s a higher probability of success that way
Do it now
I have learned never to tell my children in advance about anything fun that I want to do with them. If I plan to take them to the zoo over the weekend, I need only give them a few hours’ notice, otherwise I’ll never hear the end of it. The question is always – but why can’t we go now?? The same with ice cream, sweets and playdates. Why can’t it happen now?
Imagine if you stopped procrastinating and actually got things done now. Imagine if you stopped all your unhealthy financial habits now. How amazing would things be if, in your twenties, you decided to take out that RA and committed to saving funds for your retirement? The earlier you start, the less painful your financial journey will be.