$5 a Week: My parents always believed that teaching me how to save money was an extremely valuable lesson. At the age of 12, my dad took me to a credit union to open my first savings account. By taking advantage of my age, I could make small deposits that would eventually grow to thousands of dollars once I became an adult. Like any young child, I was eager to be rich, therefore fully committed to making the $5 weekly deposit we had agreed upon. Initially, I was disappointed by the slow rate of growth and eventually forgot about my savings account. A few years later, I was surprised to learn that my account had grown to several hundred dollars. By that time I was a teenager and you probably know what happened next, I began to want… stuff. Nothing special, just stuff. So I withdrew all of the money from my savings account to make random purchases for things that I would not remember 12 months later. At the drop of a dime (literally), a couple years of saving had gone down the drain.
“Thank Me Later” was the title of Drake’s much anticipated debut album, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Drake named his album “Thank Me Later” as an ALMOST humble attempt to tell his fans that his career would be nothing short of legendary, and they would have many future opportunities to show their appreciation for his music. I believe that Drake didn’t realize the value in how his fans could interpret the title of his debut album. For me, the album’s title would greatly supersede anything he could accomplish in his music career. Now, you are probably thinking,” What does Drake have to do with finance?” Hold that thought…
I read a disturbing statistic last week. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the 2011 Personal Savings Rate averaged about 3%. Historically, the Personal Savings Rate has averaged about 6%. In the richest country in the world, where the sophistication of technology is constantly improving, athletes are bigger and stronger and researchers are learning more about the complexities of our existence than ever before, we are saving less money. Needless to say, the decline in personal savings is a growing concern to experts on the economy. So, how do we fix the problem? The solution is really easy.
START SAVING TODAY!!!!
Proper money management can be very difficult to implement, but the foundation is built on developing good habits early. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to project the urgency of financial responsibility to someone that doesn’t plan for anything past their next algebra test. Therefore, I will provide you with examples of how saving a small amount of money can have a big impact.
Most of our readers are 13-18 years old. So let’s say a 15 year old begins saving/investing $25 a month while earning 8% interest. After 10 years, their savings account will have grown to $4,629.14. If you don’t think this amount is substantial, or you think you don’t have the patience, ask yourself what other plans do you have to accumulate $4,000? Don’t worry I’ll wait…To be honest, most 25 year olds can’t put their hands on $4,000 of their own money.
Now, let’s say you have really enjoyed seeing your money grow and you make a vow to never touch your money until you retire at 65 (yeah I’m talking retirement and some of you have yet to go to prom), you would have accumulated approximately $200,000 off a measly $25 a month investment. You can work toward saving whatever amount of money you would like, but the value of your savings will largely depend on your discipline and personal goals.
I hope each of you reading this article is immediately inspired to begin saving some amount of money each month. If you do, you will be taking the first step to becoming financially prosperous. You will also become part of a youth movement developing in this country to reverse some of the financially apocalyptic trends that are affecting our communities.
I’m certain there will be some readers who are indecisive about making this type of financial commitment. You may be thinking you don’t have the money to save, you may have some large expenses approaching, or you simply don’t see the value in saving at such an early age. The fact of the matter is, saving is not easy and you will have to make sacrifices. You may miss out on a couple parties, the latest iphone, or purchasing that 5th pair of platform heels. However, becoming responsible, self sufficient and prepared for any of life’s unexpected moments is invaluable. So, I don’t want to hear your complaints, rebuttals or reservations, you can just Thank Me Later.