Guest post from Tiffiny
It doesn’t seem like much, really — after all, it’s only $10. It’s not going to eliminate your debt, or enable you to move to a tropical paradise. At least not yet…
It’s hardly even worth your time to think about a single bill that can barely buy you a burrito… or is it?
Let the numbers speak.
$10 a day for 5 days = $50.
$10 a day, 5 days a week, for one month= $200.
$10 a day, 5 days a week, for 12 months= $2,400.
In 5 years? $12,000
And 10 years later? $24,000 (even with no interest)
Now, consider what could happen if you take the money and invest it.
The formulas to calculate this get complicated, but the ideas are pretty simple. It’s called compounding, and it just means that as your money grows, the interest the bank pays you grows as well.
Can you begin to realize the possibilities of that little $10 a day? Does it get you even a little bit excited or hopeful?
I know, I know. 10 years is a LONG time away, and you really need the money NOW, yesterday even. But, can you just think for a minute about how you might feel in 10 years?
Fast Forward 10 Years
Yay you! You found your $10 each day and did something with it! The money is there! You aren’t desperately wondering where you are going to find a little extra for the unexpected. You now have a down payment on a home or your student loans are GONE.
Oops. Looks like nothing has changed. You are still wondering where that extra money to pay the rent or junior’s sports team fees is going to come from. And that house? Or car? Yep. Not here either…those student loans? LARGER THAN LIFE.
Ok, I get it. But how?
“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket”. ~ Texas Proverb
1. Change your mindset.
This starts with setting goals. Where do you want to be at the end of those 10 years? Or even at the end of next year? Or, next month? What sacrifices are you willing to make to get there?
Maybe you want to pay down your student loans, or start a college fund. Maybe there is a down payment on a house in your future. Or maybe you just want to be able to buy a ginormous cappuccino on a whim!
Once you’ve decided, tell someone so they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. Get your kids in on it as well. They will learn some valuable lessons and can remind you of your goals as you leave that extra pint of Haagen-Daaz on the shelf…
2. Take baby steps.
Learn to believe in the power of small. Nobody learned to walk by taking giant leaps. More like tiny, wobbly steps. Starting to save is much the same. Even though those amounts seem really insignificant now, it will ALL add up eventually!
Change just a tiny thing in several areas, and don’t be tempted to get too radical. Not yet anyway. Stick to the one small goal and only expand once you’ve made good progress in it.
3. Keep a budget.
You may be able to find your extra $10 a day just by this one task! Simply knowing where your money is going is more than half the battle. And really, the $10 isn’t the point either. It could be $5, or even $1. ANYTHING is better than not starting at all.
You can do this with pen and paper, or a great system like YNAB, or MINT.
If you have never used a budget before, expect a wake-up call, my friend. Really seeing where all your hard earned money is going is usually difficult at first. Stick with it though because it does get easier.
4. Cut back on what you spend.
Easier said than done…right! But remember, we’re only looking for that extra $10 a day, so you don’t have to reuse toilet paper. Simply work on being content with what you have.
Look into ways to trim your cell phone or cable bill, learn to love beans and rice on occasion, use a few coupons, walk, or ride your bike instead of taking the gas-guzzler. These are just a few ideas.
5. Find ways to earn extra money.
There are many ways to earn extra income — spend some time investigating different options. Just remember it doesn’t need a big payout to be effective.
One service I’ve had great success with (it conveniently pays out mostly in $10 increments!) is UserTesting. The surveys are quick and easy to complete, and even interesting. They usually only take about 15 minutes, and there are also opportunities to earn more with longer surveys.
6. Be generous.
Give, and give some more. We’re never happy when we are hoarding. Taking our minds off of ourselves and caring for others will go far in keeping us motivated and on track in all areas of life.
And being generous doesn’t mean you have to give money, although it can. You can give of your time as well! The rewards here go way beyond anything you can earn financially.
Which 10 year scenario will you be in?
It’s so easy to get bogged down thinking we can’t do anything big enough to make a difference, so we do nothing.
Don’t let the desire to have the benefits NOW, keep you from starting at all.
Where will you find YOUR $10 today?
Tiffiny Sheyda is a freelance writer who lives in sunny south Florida where you’ll find her busy caring for her active family and growing herd of animals, or looking for a bit of chocolate, always seeking to enjoy each day to the fullest.