I don’t know about you, but the last time I had a savings of any kind was back in 2007—as in, five years ago. It wasn’t much—but it was something–certainly not enough to retire on! My 401(k) back in the day wasn’t too bad either. But when that medical hardship came down like a ton of bricks, that’s what I had to pull from.
When life fell apart in 2008, I could not get my brain wrapped around the idea of saving even two nickels. Obviously, those two nickels, along with every couch-surfing penny I had, were already spoken for.
You may have seen in my previous blog post that I am on a personal mission of EPIC PROPORTIONS. Last week, I paid every single one of my bills. Every one! And I still managed to put 5% of my paycheck into my 401(k)!
Let’s discuss that for a minute.
I started out at 4% because that is what’s recommended, and because my employer has a match up to 4%. That is FREE MONEY! I don’t walk away from free money. EVER.
Even though all the online retirement calculators I have used say something like: “You’re not saving enough!” and there is usually some form of extremely judging frowny-face staring at me indicating with its beady black eyes that I will end up in a box under a bridge. Whatever! You can’t intimidate me! I’m on a mission!
The truth is I don’t know anything about investing. And, as much as I have been doing my homework, I want to make something clear—this stuff makes my brain hurt. You want me to add 1 + 1 without the use of a calculator? Good luck with that (even with a calculator).
Luckily for me, there was a no-brainer investment option, catering specifically to my lack of knowledge: Morningstar. It was a click of a button and BOOM! Money is saving away, it’s not scary, and I feel like I can move on with my life.
The super awesome thing is that I was so excited about saving, that I went and bumped up my contribution to the 5% I was bragging about up there. And you want to know the even MORE awesome part? Because it’s pre-tax dollars going in, it literally put more money in my paycheck. How the heck does that work? I’m saving more and I am bringing in a few more bucks. It’s magic I tell you! It makes me wonder. Can I get to 6%? 7%?
Bring it on!
What are you doing over there? Are you saving? I challenge you to a savings duel! No one likes doing this alone. So why don’t we trudge through it together?
Stay classy, America.
Sylvia, aka Debt Girl