Once in a while a person must take a "Thoreau" look at themselves. So here are a few thoughts to consider:
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” -Henry David Thoreau
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” -Henry David Thoreau
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” -Henry David Thoreau
Woody Allen was once quoted saying “80 percent of success is showing up.”
Among with many other Woody Allen quotes this one has resonated with me over the years.
I apply this strategy when it comes to working out. As long as I just show up at the gym I will follow through with the workout. In this case the adage does work. If you look at the other 20 percent of the equation as “the work out,” then this seems to be a formula for success.
Monday through Friday my alarm goes off at 4:20 a.m. and by 5:00 a.m. I am at the gym running on a treadmill. Around 6:30 a.m. I have finished the workout with a couple hundred sit ups. I have followed the routine for years. It gets easier as time goes by, as we are all creatures of habit.
However, this adage has failed me at times and does not work in many circumstances when applied. It may only work when “showing up” is the critical component of the equation. When applied to other areas of life it has no impact. Is 80 percent of having a successful savings account just showing up at the bank once a month? It may be more important to have the money to deposit when you are standing in the teller line. If I cheat on 20 percent of my diet will I still lose weight? The answer is no on this one, as I fail to maintain my diet on a daily basis and can attest that I have not lost weight.
Is following 80 percent of your budget going to get you through the month and meet all your savings goals? It does not work in this arena either. You will need to be close to 100 percent of maintaining your budget to achieve your savings goals. That is why saving is so difficult. It is a complete discipline. By making savings a priority and really meaning it this time, you will develop a habit of savings that will become the norm (as I say we are creatures of habit).
Perhaps at the root of the issue is “Why Save?” After all, we are a nation that loves immediate gratification. Spending is good for the economy. Right? What’s the motivation to save?
Maybe you need to feel the sense of security, the power, the confidence before you get motivated for life to keep saving.
I challenge you to plan and save over the next year. Not to buy something big but just to save. Even if it is only a few dollars every month. Find a way to get the money in a savings account each month. I would almost guarantee the feeling of saving will empower you in ways you never thought possible. It will become a feeling of success every month when you make a deposit, and you will get the feeling of getting stronger with every deposit.
I would love to have your feedback. Perhaps you can start showing up at the gym in the morning and run the five miles with me to start your day and also share your story of your savings journey. My neighbor reacted to this offer by saying that if his body was ever discovered on a jogging trail, to know for sure that it was dumped there.
Ok, just send me your feedback here. It will be much appreciated.
If you don’t know what’s on your Credit Report and you have not pulled your free annual report I would encourage you to make this a priority next week. Go to: https://www.annualcreditreport.com
Any credit report can be mended. It can take time. I mostly think you want to have a continuous vigil in making sure correct information is on your report and you are not a victim of Identity theft. All three bureaus are available once a year to the consumer for free. There are also several web sites now that offer free credit reports. They may have one or two of the credit bureaus on their site. They may also update on a regular basis and can be accessed multiple times throughout the year to check your report at no cost to you and will not have any impact on your score.
For more information or to get help with your credit please contact the Home Center at 406-206-2717. We can help you pull your credit and create an action plan to improve your credit. The service is free.
The sooner you start to manage this area of your life the sooner your score will improve. The sooner you will be in a position to make large purchases or save money on insurance or lower the cost and buying and owning a car. The benefits are many and quite worth the effort.
I am no Dave Ramsey but I have learned a little from some of my own mistakes. As an 80s graduate of the Father Guido Sarducci Five Minute University, I was highly sought after for low-level retail jobs at first. But when they dried up, I was forced to go back to school and get an additional degree in communications. Now I would still have a low-level retail job with with student loan debit to go along with it. Facing an uphill battle, I did the smart thing and started a family.