At the beginning of the New Year there are usually three topics on our minds that we want to address differently in the New Year…maintaining a healthy weight, eating/exercising healthier, and financially saving more.
A financial analyst was on a talk show the other day and mentioned the established three-prong savings concept in financial circles…(Give) Share, Save, and Spend. I even found a thrice-divided savings bank for children to encourage this way of financial thinking (title picture.) We need to be able to break our earnings up into these three components.
Remember this Yearly Savings Plan from last year. You will be proud of me…I not only got to $1000 by the end of December but actually by the end of November. I was thrilled!
…And then (Jaws music) I had to replace all the components to my commode/ flooring plus “resurrect” my car from certain death (becoming scavenger metal debris) …the total of these two “incidents” in late November and early December: $923. 76.
As I stared down at what was left…76.24 cents…I couldn’t help but think of The Gift of the Magi. Christmas was here and that was all of my “extra” savings for this holiday?
Of course one side of my brain was complimenting me for having the savings to pay for these two expensive unexpected “downfalls”…but the other side of my brain was pouting like a disappointed child…this was not what I had dreamed about all those months while saving up to do something really special for the family this past Christmas and use the rest for a surprise adventure, perhaps of my own.
I wasn’t the only one who used this chart and was equally successful…in fact doubly so…because she doubled the amount she put in on each step of the savings ladder….Mary Lee, a friend from my church. She was saving for a very special gift for a loved one at Christmas. I will have to ask her how it went when I see her next.
The more I thought about the three components of how our earnings should be used…the more I saw the wisdom in sharing, saving, and spending. I had a lot of time to watch talk shows while snowed in…and on one show Suze Orman stated that, surprisingly, the majority of people whose checking and savings accounts become unbalanced in their personal financial situations….stem from over-giving to those we love and care about… It is not a selfish over-spending…just a longing to do more for those we love.
I thought back to my days as a single mom with three children and realize that most times this actually was the correct case scenario…trying to squeeze out more money for something the children really wanted or wanted to participate in that just wasn’t in the budget…and I didn’t want them feeling left out.
So this year…I have made out a list of top financial priorities I want to address…so as I plan my monthly budget…I am mentally divvying up my total monthly earnings into the three headings…sharing, saving, and spending. It isn’t easy when we are retired and living on a base-set budget…but I am going to try and make it work. Will let you know next year how this goes.
This little book is adorable….I am going to read it to the two oldest grandchildren and get them a three-holed piggy bank. In the story the three little pigs set up a brick construction site to help all their neighbors build new brick homes after having their straw and wooden homes blown away by the Big Bad wolf. The brick company grows rapidly and is quite successful…so now the pigs have to decide what to do with their profits. Great teaching tool.
I, also, realize however that time spent consumed with financial affairs should be limited too…because there is something far more precious out there…time.
“What if we had a bank that automatically deposited $86,400 in our account every morning? However, what was left in the account after our withdrawals did not carry over to the next day. So, naturally, we would want to withdraw the entire amount each day!
Actually, we all have a bank like this. It’s our “Time Bank.” Each morning we receive 86,400 seconds. Each night it writes off whatever we don’t use wisely. So any wasted time does not carry over to the next day. we can’t borrow time or use another person’s time. The time for that day is simply gone.
…So we must ask ourselves each morning…how do we want to spend our time each day? We can waste it or we can use it wisely. The choice is ours.”
Bob and Fran’s three-fold time plan is: Feel Good, Look Good, and Do Good.
So until tomorrow…Time is life…we can spend it but we cannot keep it…so what results do we want left behind when our time runs out?
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh