Think Ahead With Your Money

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Name: Donna Freedman

Blog: Surviving and Thriving

Entry Category: Saving Money and Frugal Living

#MoneyMinute Voting is closed

I’m Donna Freedman and my money-minute advice is fairly simple: Think ahead. That is, think past right now. Everything you do — or don’t do — today will make a big difference to future you. Specifically, if current you piddles away every dime earned and uses credit cards for the rest, future you is going to pay the price. Oopsies.

I’m not talking about the really old future you, either — that sweet, wrinkly soul who wants only a warm corner to sit in and a nice bowl of Cream of Wheat.

Just FYI, that’s B.S. If you’re lucky, you’ll live long enough to realize that old people aren’t necessarily boring. At the age of 88, Col. Norman Vaughan climbed a mountain in Antarctica.

The future isn’t far away. You’ll probably want to have a life in your 80s, too. But we’re not studying elder adventures just now. No, I’m talking about five-years-from-now you. That guy or gal may have figured out what he or she wants: marriage, a condo, entrepreneurship, a move across the country, a baby or all of the above.

And that guy or gal is gonna be really pissed at current you. “How did I spend so much on stuff I can barely remember?” “Why didn’t I stick to a budget?” “Why did I rely on plastic?” “If only I’d thought ahead! I’d have thousands more to fund my dream.”

Because dreams are great, right? But here’s a funny thing: Unless we do something about them, our dreams exist only while we’re sleeping or woolgathering. The things we want most don’t just happen. We make them happen. That takes creativity, planning and work.

So think ahead, already. Build a budget. Follow it. Grab that 401(k) match. Educate yourself about money.

Remember that Col. Vaughan guy I mentioned? He used to say, “Dream big and dare to fail.” I say, “Dream big and plan to succeed.”