WRITTEN BY SAM X RENICK
(A.K.A. SAM, SAM, THE MONYEY MAN):
for the American Dream
By Sam X Renick
Recently, I had the great opportunity to address the American Savings
Education Council in Washington DC and discuss our efforts to promote
saving around the nation. Prior to making my presentation, I surveyed
one hundred people and asked the following question: If you could
share just one thing with a child or an adult about money that you
think would make a significant difference in their life, that they
could act on immediately, what would it be?
As you probably imagine, I received a wide variety of responses. But
the response I received most is the one I happen to agree with and
believe is the key ingredient for prosperity: “Pay yourself
THE INGREDIENTS FOR PROSPERITY
Start with Mandatory Saving. The recipe for prosperity starts with
the most basic ingredient–the concept that saving is mandatory.
Instead of waiting until you’ve covered all the bills, choose
to save a small percentage "off the top." This concept of
paying yourself first is vital for the recipe to work.
Beat to a Firm Consistency. Stir your savings until they reach a smooth
consistency. No matter how small the amount, if you consistently put
aside a percentage of what you earn, compound interest will ensure
that your savings will rise significantly over time.
Heat until Habit Forms. Do anything consistently 21 times and you’ve
developed a habit. Once people make saving a habit they often increase
the percentage they save. In addition, a person’s income usually
increases as they mature. Even if you never increase the percentage
of what you set aside, the amount will grow right along with your
Add fresh Cash, not prepackaged Credit.
Vigorously add to this mixture the choice to use cash instead of credit.
Paying in cash helps keep a clear balance between income and expense,
which puts you in control of your finances–no matter what level
of income you make.
Garnish with No, No, No. The last ingredient is learning to say "no."
Teach yourself the difference between "wants" and "needs"
and show your children that instant gratification often lasts exactly
that long: an instant. While designer name brands and electronic baubles
are wonderful, the ability to provide a good education and a home
for your children is much more valuable in the long run. This simple
recipe has only a few ingredients, but it won’t always be easy
to follow. The good news? Thousands of people from all walks of life
and economic levels have used the "pay yourself first" and
"spend less than you earn" recipe to attain the American
dream of financial independence.
Sammy Says. As my favorite children’s character, Sammy, the
“Get in the Habit” Rabbit says, “You can do it,
now let’s get to it!”
Sam X Renick is the author of two financial books for children: It’s
a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! and Will Sammy Ride the World’s First
Space Coaster?; he also produced the music CD titled Get in the Habit!;
and is the founder of The It’s
a Habit! Company, Inc., a socially conscious corporation dedicated
to providing parents and educators with wholesome, entertaining and
educational tools that help them encourage children to develop good
habits, especially saving money.
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