If you can’t psych yourself up to save for retirement — there are too many other things to worry about, you say, and I’m never going to retire anyway — instead think of saving as giving yourself freedom.
That’s the premise of this article from NerdWallet, and it’s a pretty good distillation of what all of these personal finance articles are ultimately about: Arming you with the information you need to live your life how you want. In other words, freedom.
“If you save $1 now, you’re basically giving a gift to your future self. You can do anything you want with it,” Brian McCann, a Certified Financial Planner, told NerdWallet. “If you’re 30, looking at retirement in 35 years isn’t particularly fun. But if you have other aspirations — you want to take a sabbatical, pursue a passion job — building your savings gives you optionality for your future. Not just retirement, but any future.”
Simply saving money won’t solve all of your problems, but, as McCann noted, it will give you options and allow you to handle unexpected problems that come your way.
Think of your future self: Are you always going to want the job you have now? What else could you do with your time (and your life) if you weren’t living paycheck to paycheck? What can current you do now to help future you live out your dreams? What pressures could having a few extra dollars in the bank alleviate for you?
Here are some tips on how to do that. Overall, it means evaluating your holistic financial health, and learning how to budget, invest and make sacrifices. It means paying your bills on time and making credit cards work for you.
The race is long and with yourself. Think about what your goals are, what really matters to you, and make a plan to pay yourself to get there.