Someone asked me few days ago, what is the most difficult workshop I have ever done? I did not have to think before replying, “SAVINGS,” the look on their faces when I said, “SAVINGS” was incredulous, “Savings I cannot believe it would be savings, I really thought that it would be on managing debt and staying out of debt.” She said. I smiled and said “when I facilitate a workshop on debt control or staying out of debt, everyone attending the workshop is ready to change or planning how to manage debt better than a family member a friend or someone at work.”
With savings I get attitude and comments such as the followingg:
- I have no money to save,
- I am living pay cheque to pay cheque,
- I can barely make ends meet with what I get paid.
The body language and expressions say the following:
- I am defeated and my situation is hopeless,
- The looks on their faces say, what can you do when I could not do a thing about saving money myself.
- Bring it on; I have trials and failures to tell you about.
- You think you know how to get me to save, well I have tried and I failed
- I am living proof that savings does not work it is for the rich and powerful.
These are just a few of the reason why a saving workshop is much more difficult to facilitate.
I now have a special way of facilitating a SAVINGS workshop. This is how I began, I walk to the white board and write.
$3.50 Bi weekly
Invariably someone would ask “what does that mean” Can anyone guess I reply? Every head in that classroom will shake in the negative. This! I reply was my very first savings, this was the amount I could save. I was married at 22 so that was the combined amount for both my husband and myself.
“You put the decimal in the wrong spot” someone shouted. “No it is in the correct spot, the total we saved in those days was exactly that $3.50” The usual NO’s could be heard.
So here is the plan we had.
- We could only save $3.50 every two weeks that we already knew from keeping track of our income and expenses.
- This was done automatically for us at my financial institution free of charge.
- Every time I got a raise we saved it, usually the raises were after taxes $3.50 every two weeks so we increased our saving by that $3.50 which meant we were now saving $7.00 every two weeks. My husband’s raises went towards the increase in the cost of living.
We kept increasing that amount and by the age of 29 that amount had grown to $80.00 every two weeks to a total of $7,500.00 in the bank. Not a huge amount of money, but it was all ours.
To this day we both know and remember that our foundation or the beginning of our financial journey was that $3.50. It was not easy at first but we had a plan and stuck to it, increasing it at every opportunity we got.
Everything we do the beginning is the hardest and it is no different with money or building the CN Tower, preparing the foundation is the most difficult; the glory is seeing the results, like the morning you wake up with no bills or mortgage payment to make and money in the bank.
Savings need to have a purpose; it is not the same any more we have so many distractions waiting to grab our money. Can you remember when our parents told us those famous three words “SAVE YOUR MONEY.” Today just saving, just for saving sake is not good enough; savings without a reason is like emptying a huge bag of feathers in the middle of Dundas Square and coming back a month later expecting that they are still there, you would be lucky to find one soggy dirty feather. Remember to always have a reason for saving, ask yourself this question. WHY and WHAT am I saving for? If you do not have a purpose for the money it will be used for whatever.
We are fortunate in Canada to be able to have as many savings accounts as we want. I have a savings account for all the important things in my life. Gardening, Vacationing, Holidays and Birthdays and the list can go on. Having one savings account for everything is like an Irish stew, there are many ingredients but no distinct flavour.
Savings has its challenges but you can do it. Try it you will love the taste.