Just this past week I received a telemarketing call from a bank. They were pleased to offer me an interest rate of under 3% for whatever I might need. And would I have interest in taking advantage of this special rate?
Now, this might seem like a normal call anyone might receive these days. But what’s really going on here? The fact is, debt is sold now like anything else. You’re not really buying anything – you’re just borrowing from your future earnings because what is borrowed must be paid back.
We’re tempted because of low rates, low minimums and the desire for things we can’t afford. What ever happened to saving for the things we want?
Discipline is what most people lack when it comes to their personal finances. This is what made Dave Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber book so successful – the concept of ‘paying yourself first’, recognizing that if we save whatever is left at the end of the month may result in nothing saved.
What makes the concept of paying yourself first so brilliant is the fact that it uncovers the truth of human behaviour – left alone, we may not do the right thing for our future self. But a system that forces us to automatically look after our future self is one that will be rewarded many times over.
How do you do it? You set up a savings account, or perhaps even a few to tackle different savings targets, and fund them with fixed amounts every pay day. It’s amazing how these accounts will grow if they go untouched. Just $150 bi-weekly for 4 years will equal over $14,000. And believe me, you won’t miss the $150 after awhile.
So recognize your own weaknesses and put in place a system that will reward you forever. Be content with what you have, live below your means and just say ‘no’ to cheap debt. Your future self will thank you.