Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What can Disney's Pixar UP! teach us about Personal Finance?

Up (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + BD Live) [Blu-ray]Last summer we went to see the latest Disney Pixar movie: Up!  Wonderful show. I was excited to see that Carl and Ellie had a goal to travel and fulfill their dreams. It was not just a wish – it was a goal. They had a jar and worked and slowly their savings grew. Ultimately, as many of us know all too well, that jar had to be broken for a rainy day over and over again throughout their lives. Sadly, their goal became a wish and drifted out of reach.

Drifting was what my savings did for years. I was lucky one year and with the help of a good friend I opened up my Roth IRA for the first time. Another year, I allowed a fast talking salesman to part with my money. Other years I played the stock market, paid down student loans, or traveled.
I resolved to be a better saver after years of ‘saving’ with nothing to show for it. With the help of some good books, blogs, and friends, I have learned what it means to be a successful saver – someone that knows how, why, and where to save.

1)    Save Regularly
I accomplished this step by “paying myself first” or automatically deducting or transferring a portion of every paycheck into my savings account before anything else.
After establishing the saving habit, many of you will be inspired to create a debt snowball. That is great. But you can also create a savings snowball, too. Saving regularly is how you save successfully.

2)    Create Savings Goals
"Vacation Money" Jar Sunny Ceramic Green Cork LidGoals, as in plural. Originally, when I only had one savings jar, like Carl and Ellie, it became the solution whenever any problem or opportunity arose. I learned that multiple goals are needed to address multiple events in life. Now, when I come home from Europe with an empty travel jar, there is tremendous peace of mind in having a full “Rainy Days” jar that can repair my broken and leaking water heater. Saving regularly, and with purpose is why you save.

3)    The Right Place at the Right Time
Where does all my money go? An IRA, money market, CD, high yield savings, rewards checking account.  Pretty much anywhere but my mattress. I have learned that in an emergency you need to get your money flowing faster than water out of broken pipes - so I put mine in a high yield savings account. Hopefully, your retirement is years away because you started saving young, right? So lock it up in an IRA or 401(k). Successful savers know where to put their money.
Learning the importance of saving money is an essential first step in declaring your financial independence. Along the way to achieving that independence it is equally important to know how to save, why to save, and where to save. Because saving regularly, with purpose, in the right places will make you a successful and happy saver.

What makes you a happy saver?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article and I appreciate the tips. Thanks!



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