Even in the most dire of circumstances, we can usually find an extra dollar to give to a hungry, homeless person. Even when we’re just scraping by, we can usually find a way to justify splurging on a birthday present for a friend or a take-out meal for ourselves.
What if we all stopped thinking how impossible it is to save an emergency fund and just started doing it?
What if you stopped reading this article right now and counted all the cash in your wallet and transferred that same amount from your checking account to your savings account? Would it really hurt that much? Would you immediately feel the loss of that $30 or $50 or even $100 that you just moved?
And what if you made it even easier? What if you set up an automatic transfer of a small amount, any amount you think you wouldn’t notice ($20, $40, $50?), to be transferred directly to your savings account from your checking account every week? Twenty dollars is what you would have spent on happy hour drinks last Thursday. It’s three lunches you don’t buy during the week and instead bring from home. It’s just twenty freaking dollars!
Slowly, what seemed like a blurry goal far out in the distance will start to come into focus. What at first seemed ridiculously impossible now seems somehow ridiculously easy because you’re not even thinking about it. And slowly you realize you can up that doesn’t-hurt-amount from $20 to $40, and you still don’t feel it. How far up can you keep pushing?
Do it until you’re just on the side of starting to feel it and before you know it you’re maximizing your savings and what started as zero is piling into a nice looking sum. One hundred per week turns into $5,200 at the end of the year. And $5,200 in five years? $26,000 just like that.
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