Better late than never

July 10th, 2007  |  Published in Finances, Frugal Living

Our family recently experienced a setback in our take-home pay. Although this may sound like a big concern, we’re actually pretty excited because it means we’re investing in our long term future.

My employer has promised to match our contributions to our 401(k), but even after working here a year I never got around to doing it. I always figured that since I’m still in school that it didn’t make any sense to put money into a retirement account. I read over personal finance articles that prompted me to take advantage of this free money, and I even heard the same thing from my parents and in-laws. Why didn’t we do it earlier? Laziness, pride, fear: take your pick. I guess I figured I really needed this money now, but when I look at our family budget, it would be easy to make a few sacrifices here and there in order for us to invest in a retirement account. I told the greedy part of me that this meant I would be doubling that money since it was matched by my employer. When I finally made the change it took less than ten minutes to do, but I can never get back the free money I could have had by doing it earlier.

What little things can you sacrifice to make big changes in your future? Do you have a family budget? That’s a sacrifice of just a few 15-minute periods a week to keep it updated after you create it. Do you have any food storage for emergencies? Buying an extra can or two of your most-used food items each time you’re at the store can help you start your food storage by spreading out the cost.

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