With money’s familiarity, it’s easy to lose sight of its importance in your life today and—more importantly—in your future. Because of this, it’s often a good practice to put away debit and credit cards and use cash only to make money less intangible and more familiar.
However, in the beauty profession, the opposite is true. Because salons are a cash-based business, it is always available, and cash too becomes insubstantial and familiar. It becomes just as elusive as money spent with debit and credit cards.
Dollars become just pieces of paper, and you can easily fall into an easy-come-easy-go pattern of money management. But the earning of those dollars isn’t easy, and it’s a shame that this familiarity lulls you into unconscious behaviors where you don’t make the most of your money today, but more importantly, you don’t save your money for tomorrow.
So how do you change this unconscious pattern with money?
THREE STEPS TO FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:
Commit to using your hard-earned dollars for both today and tomorrow. Divide a sheet of paper down the middle. On the left side, list all the reasons why you don’t save now. On the right side, list the reasons why you want to save. Analyze the list and decide on which side you want to be—not where you think you should be, but rather where you want to be. A commitment needs to be your choice, not someone else’s. Once you choose, you will commit consciously to saving for the future instead of unconsciously spending for today.
Choose one day a week to contribute to your future. Take the entire day’s earnings (or a portion) and deposit it into a separate savings account. Make this a weekly ritual that takes priority over everything. No excuses. After a month, it will become a habit that replaces your old pattern of spending.
Allocate for the future. When you have $1,000 in your new account, you can allocate between short-term and long-term investments. Allocate a portion or percentage of the new account as a safety net for emergencies (six months to a year), a portion for larger, projected expenses (one to five years), and a portion for long-term investment (five years or more). It’s important to fund all three segments at the same time or you fall prey to never getting beyond the safety net portion. Once you have done the allocation, separate the money into three accounts, divide your weekly deposits in the same way and watch them grow.
These three effortless steps are all it takes to set up a lifetime savings plan. You’ve made the commitment, formed a habit and allocated wisely.