Who knew that perseverance is a financial principal? With today’s magic, get-rich-quick schemes and quick money sales, the art of financial patience is lost. Like many of you, I spent last week shoveling out of an historic blizzard while keeping my kids entertained and trying to not fall behind in my regular work. I’m not going to lie, shoveling the snow was no fun. Day after day I tried to create a path to my car, more snow would come. And when the blizzard finally ended I found I had a long way to go, again. However, after all the work and toil when I was finished and dugout I had a great since of accomplishment.
Many events in personal finance require consistent day-to-day attention and discipline. Continuing to repetitiously execute the same mundane activity time-and-time again until finally, after years of painstakingly sticking to a goal or activity, the end is reached. It sounds a lot like shoveling snow doesn’t it? When I first started shoveling the walk I was motivated, warm and comfortable. However as I continued, I started to get wet, tired, and looked up only to see a long road (driveway) still in front of me.
In the same way, personal finance is a consistent process. We find a new goal and are excited, we are comfortable and work gladly toward that goal. However, after a while we may start to feel less motivated about our savings plan when we have to by-pass the coffee shop or skip on a buying new pair of overly expensive shoes. We may become frustrated when we compare our current progress to our goal and still see a long road ahead.
Perseverance is the key! Let me motivate you to keep “shoveling snow.” Remember the power of compound interest? It’s when you save a small amount now and it continues to earn interest year-over-year. According to the compound interest calculator at Investor.gov $100 saved monthly over a 40-year period at an 8% return will yield $313,040.27! Not bad – considering you only contributed $48,000.
What did that $48,000 cost you? A few less dinners out each month, clipping a few coupons? Here is the snow shoveling part – However, you cannot look up, become frustrated and give up, retreating to the comfort of your home with an unfinished driveway. Perseverance is what will get you to the end goal. It’s easy to put money away when you are motivated, it’s hard when you lookup and still see a long way to go.
What gets you to the end is imagining and dreaming where you will be when you have accomplished your While I was shoveling the snow, my motivation was to drive out of my drive way and have a clear, safe path to walk out of my home. Don’t loose sight of your goal. Just as I envisioned a clear driveway with each shovel, you should envision your financial goal every time you make that bank deposit. Persevere and press toward your goal because someday you will turn around and admire your hard work and satisfaction of a job well done.
Captain, USMC (Ret.)
Disclaimer: (have to do it) – This blog should not be considered financial, investment, legal or tax advice. Consult your licensed financial professional, tax advisor or legal counsel. This blog is for educational purposes only.