[Free] Why Starting to Save is Like Starting a Diet

If I had a dollar for every time I said the words “ I’m going to eat better,” I would probably be close to a hefty retirement fund by now. If I had a dollar for every time I said those words, AND continued to follow through with my declaration, I would probably be working right up until ‘The End’. The reason being that starting to save for retirement is just as hard as starting a diet.

Even with every intention to start a diet, we somehow manage to come up with clever excuses as to why we should start at a later date. Imagine this scene: It’s a Monday morning, and your new eating plan is going great. However, today is also your co-workers birthday so there is a cake and an afternoon party in the break room. It would just be plain rude not to have a slice…right??? And all of a sudden, your new diet starts….Next Monday—because I need a fresh start.

How about all the January 1st gym go-ers out there. We’ve all done it-- signed up for a new gym membership as an attempt to crush your New Year’s resolution of loosing weight and only actually make it to about the 3rd week in January before we start using our key tags for _______. It’s hard to stick to a plan! There’s no denying that consistency is difficult to maintain.

I hate to say it but I think most of us have the same problem starting a savings plan that we have starting a diet. We find ways to put it off for one more week for some reason or another. Or we start to begin to save and then a couple weeks, or months in, find that we cannot keep the consistency.

Consistency with a diet plan compares with results from consistency with a savings or retirement plan. We know that in order to get results from a diet, you have to stick to the plan for longer than a day. The same is true for a retirement savings plan—it takes consistent contributions to get the full results that you want from the process. Just like the saying “One salad will not make you skinny”, “One day of saving will not provide a comfortable retirement”

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Here are some helpful tips for sticking to your savings plan—so you can get those results you wanted!

  1. Write out when you will contribute to your savings plan in a planner or on a calendar (Similar to writing out when you will work out each week) It will help you keep on track and keep you committed.
  2. Tell someone (your sister, your friends, your husband) your plan. When you express it to someone else, it encourages you to keep faithful to your declaration as well as having someone keep you accountable.
  3. Make it automatic: configure your bank account so that you automatically contribute to your plan without having to worry about it…and thus forgetting.
  4. Make an inspiration board! Pin pictures or phrases that you would like to do someday (perhaps in retirement!) and look at it each day to remind yourself why you are saving now.

Financial Sisterhood TM, 2016