Time is Money!

Written by admin on December 5th, 2010

I’m 39 years old and I’m trying to save up for the deposit on a house. It seems like time is not on my side, because housing costs are rising much faster than I can save. I really regret not listening to my mother when she encouraged me to save when I was younger. I feel discouraged because if I had started saving earlier, I probably would have owned my house by now.”

As the popular saying goes, “Time waits for no man.“ Although it’s never too late to start saving towards your goals, you won’t be able to turn back the hands of time to recreate that nest egg that would have grown with an early savings plan.

Time is probably the most important factor in achieving your financial dreams. Small consistent savings earning a steady interest rate over many years has made many persons wealthy. When we waste time by not investing early, we’re actually losing money.

What are some of the factors that may cause us to put off saving, and lose the advantage of time?

1.  We think that the money we have is too small to make a difference.

I have heard many persons say that they don’t have any money to start saving, and that they prefer to wait until they get a pay increase. Let’s assume that at the end of every day you could find J after all your bills have been paid. What can J do, you might say? However, if you collected it for one week you would have J0, and at the end of a month approximately J,400. If you invested that amount every month and earned a net interest rate of 5% over the next 25 years, your J per-day savings habit would have provided you with over J0,000!

2.   We prefer to spend now and save later.

Here’s an example of how deferring some fun in your early years in order to save, can make a big difference: Kisha and Barry were both 21 years old when they started working. Kisha immediately began to invest J,000 per month, and continued for 10 years. She earned a net rate of 7%, compounded monthly. Barry chose to spend his money on parties and clothes and postpone saving until later. At 26, he started investing J,000 per month, and earned the same interest rate as Kisha. By age 31, Kisha had saved up J0,000 and earned over J5,000 in interest. Barry had also saved J0,000, but in five years he had only earned about J8,000 in interest. Barry’s lifestyle cost him over J7,000 in lost interest!

3.   We know we need to save, but procrastinate.

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving our financial goals is procrastination. If I had J0 for every time I heard the excuse, “I know I should be saving regularly, but I’ll soon get around to it,” I would have amassed a small fortune by now. The fact is: the longer you delay saving, the more money you’ll have to invest in order to meet your financial targets. Let’s assume that you need J million for a deposit on the house. If you had invested J,500 per month at 6% net interest over the past 18 years, you would be paying down on that house now. You would now need to save about J,000 per month for the next two years to accumulate J million.

What can we do to ensure that we put time on our side in our investments?

The first step is to set some practical goals for your money so that there is an incentive to save. When we don’t have a definite purpose for our money, the temptation to spend frivolously is stronger. Some goals include saving for our children’s college fund, achieving early retirement, or doubling our net worth. Once you have clear objectives and a strong desire to achieve them, the next step is to seek guidance from a financial planning expert. A professional advisor will be able to show you exactly how much you’ll need to save in order to reach your target.

Don’t despair over time that has been lost; the key is to start saving now. Every day you wait to begin a committed savings plan will cost you heavily in the future. Take note of this quote from Tom Gardner: “The best time to start investing was yesterday. The next best time is today.”

Copyright © 2006 Cherryl Hanson Simpson.


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