The Sense of Cents

It can be difficult to accurately imagine and feel what life is going to be like when we retire. Variable factors, risks and associated (possible) returns, and the “what-if’s” tend to make it even more difficult to articulate or express what life in the next decade or two would be like in the most realistic sense. Sometimes, we refuse to grasp the difference between our ideal future and the (often bleak) reality that stands before us. Planning for our financial future can also be overwhelming. Our day-to-day lives consume so much of our time and energy. Taking on the additional burden of planning for a future that’s “so far away” seems quite unnecessary.

So most of us kind of just default to dealing with it later. Or, we make irrational assumptions of what our financial future will look like while we allow our bank accounts to go down on us every day.

How much longer can you wait though? How much risks are you willing to stomach for the potential returns it can realise, if it does at all? From mismanaging our savings in the good times to indulging in materials and experiences that bring instant gratification, we’re reducing our abilities to provide for the rest of our lives, especially in our silver years.

No, it’s not difficult. But it does require some getting used to, especially if you have to stay within a spending budget lower than what you’re currently used to. No, it doesn’t always mean you have to give up your wants and desires. We all want to have our cake and eat it too.

Start with small, baby steps. I like to spend an hour or so of my weekends looking through my expenses for the week and how it falls into my personal budget. A small tweak like that can help you make sense of the money that goes in and out of your accounts on a weekly basis. If anything at all, you’ll gain comfort by understanding the inflow and outflow of your money. Trust me, it helps you start the new week on a good note.