No one likes going down Memory Lane to recall regrets but as we get older and wiser most would say that the greatest learning experiences are revisiting past failures or mistakes. In a recent article in the New York Post, “Nearly three in four Americans regret doing one thing with their money”…..
NOT Saving It!!!
I can honestly tell you that in the past that I have been one of those Americans. The consensus among people 30 years of age and older seems to be that not starting earlier to build savings for retirement is their biggest regret. But interestingly, among the millennials, they are singing a different song. Almost half of this younger, coffee loving, living large, eating out (fast food and otherwise), generation have owned up to the fact that they have absolutely nothing saved for any emergency that might arise. The most common emergencies are generally car repairs and health emergencies. These expenses can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars and many of these consumers have no ability to obtain a loan because they either have no credit established or are already strapped with student loans and other debts, not to mention paying rent and utilities….if they have even gotten that far out of their parents’ front doors.
Most millennials would say that they haven’t had a thought about retirement because it seems so far away. Indeed most of us travel through our 20s and 30s, even into our 40s very focused on the present rather than what might develop in the future. Astoundingly enough, most millennials would say that they are far more likely to spend money on travel and entertainment than on saving for emergencies, much less retirement.
All of us can point to those younger than us and find fault. But it’s important to remember when we point a finger and someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at us. With that in mind, I would never want to heap guilt or condemnation on anyone, and I would encourage all of us to sincerely assess what we may have in savings for emergencies and consider the following helpful advice:
Even if you can only save $10.00 per week, that means in one year you will have saved $520.00. I usually advise people to try and set aside $100.00 per month into a savings account that they do not touch unless it is an emergency. At the end of one year they will have $1,200.00 saved. At the end of five years (60 months) they will have $6,000.00 saved if they have not had to access that money. Even though you may think that $100.00 is not much money in today’s economy, spending wisely will result in saving wisely, and saving wisely will result in enjoying a better, more peaceful life financially. When you have money in savings, you can make solid decisions about your spending and develop good habits that will last a lifetime. Over the years what we have realized is that no options equals panic and distress. This generally results in poor decisions regarding finances including pay day and check advance loans, title loans and pawns and other high interest transactions that begin to wreak havoc and may eventually lead to bankruptcy.
All of the attorneys at Bond and Botes are interested in helping people achieve financial success. If you are experiencing financial problems, please schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today in an office near you.
Suzanne Shinn is a shareholder of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama and Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. She joined the Bond & Botes team in 1992 as its first associate attorney and has been helping clients navigate the bankruptcy process ever since. Read her full bio here.