When you work in the personal finance industry people kind of expect you to be wealthy. I guess it is similar to when you retain the services of a personal trainer. You don’t feel inspired or confident by an out of shape personal trainer.
When I tell people what I do for a living some of them assume that I must be financially set. The reality is that I do make some better choices sure, but I am far from my ideal financial state.
Like most average middle class families, we struggle from time to time.
We have successfully avoided the trap of easy credit and limit our debt to our mortgage. We also have a solid emergency fund which helps us out all of the time.
The area I am most unhappy with is our long term savings. For years I thought just realizing that we needed a plan for the long term gave us a leg up.
Unfortunately knowledge without action is pretty much worthless.
So why are we missing the boat with our long term savings goals? The primary issue we face is that we do a terrible job of giving up today in order to save for tomorrow.
Our children’s college funds, our retirement…these events feel so far off in our minds eye that we relegate them to the back of the pile.
On some level I know this is a mistake (Clearly because I am writing a blog about it…) but we just can’t seem to discipline ourselves to make these goals a priority. We don’t want to have to do without something ‘we think we need right now’ for something in our future.
Just so you can understand how completely terrible we have been about this, my husband and I have actually begun to discuss next summer’s vacation.
Why a vacation next summer merits discussion baffles even me…it’s only September!
The fact that we are willing to talk about a vacation when we know we have these goals lurking in the background suggests we have a problem.
These goals are not going to remain long term goals forever. Pretty soon these goals will morph into short term goals and we will be way under the gun.
So I guess I need to create a short term plan to get myself on track with my long term goals. I am open to suggestions!