I titled this blog post and later realized that people would think it’s about Albert Pujols’ income prospects after hitting three home runs in game 3 of the World Series down in Texas (Okay, don’t you think the three home runs will help his negotiating now that he’ll be a free agent?). But seriously, it’s about you.
Saving for the future is a little like baseball – you’ve got to work at it every day. Like baseball, in a regular game, the idea is to try to get someone on base, try to get a run in. If you get in a run during an inning you’re doing well. If you can save a little bit from every paycheck, you’re on the right track as well.
Sometimes in baseball, we get those great moments, like Albert Pujols hitting three home runs. That was truly amazing. But it also wasn’t just luck. Albert is out there every day. He works at it, he makes himself better. He learns from his mistakes and from his successes.
Sometimes in life we have great financial moments as well. Maybe you got a bonus at work, a tax refund you weren’t expecting, maybe even a winning lottery ticket—these are your financial home runs where it’s your chance to put your team ahead. You need to make sure you use your financial windfalls to your advantage. Unlike Albert Pujols, who can’t bank those extra runs to use for the next game, you can bank your windfall money.
When it comes to your life, you’re in it for the long haul. You need to start saving today to make tomorrow worthwhile.
The goal is to save 10% of your income. If you make $200 a week, then you bank $20. If you make $2,000 you save $200. For a lot of people, that’s impossible—at least it is to start. If you can’t do 10%, then I say you need to match your social security withholding. It’s not that much. If you look at your payroll stub, it should be listed right there. If you make $200, then your social security withholding is $8.40. That you can do. Work your way up to 10%.
If you can’t handle a bank account, you can save it in a jar or under the mattress for all I care. Once you’ve got enough to get free banking, then you can open an account and maybe earn a little interest. You always hear the people need to have money to make money—you’re slowly turning yourself into one of those people who have money. Just like baseball—one run at a time.